So, Festival season is upon us once more. Don’t worry, I know you are probably not 25. You really don’t have to dig out the hot pants and face paint, although if that’s your bag then fill your boots, it’s the one time of the year when it is actually socially acceptable to be standing in a field covered head to toe in glitter. You can step away from the flower crown aisle in Claire’s Accessories though, there are other options, I promise!
It’s Glastonbury at the end of this week already, would you believe? Where as the time gone? I decided not to go this year. Last year the mud was just too much for my delicate constitution, I didn’t think I could do it again this year, it was a bit like the trenches in WW1. Just so muddy. Plus a lot of people gurning in what one can only assume was pain… Typically, it looks like the weather could smile upon Pilton Farm this year and if it does, it is the most joyous place on earth.
I have been going to Glastonbury on and off, since 1990. That first year I was 17. I ended up going with a boy I worked with at my local cafe Saturday job. (Only because my best friends Mum decided at the last minute not to let her go with me! Probably a wise move, looking back) We didn’t even take a tent. Just got in the car with a sleeping bag and few wet wipes and off we went. It obviously ended up being the best weekend of my young life. I could go into details, but we’d be here all day. I think my poor parents might have been slightly concerned for my welfare though. I went on Thursday and didn’t return until the following Tuesday. This was in the days before mobile phones, no-one had a clue where I was or who I was with! I just KNOW my kids will be doing the same and there will be nothing I can do about it!
I worked backstage at Glastonbury in 1997 and 1998 with two of my friends. Our job was simply to put the riders in the bands dressing rooms and then clear them out when they had gone. For this we got free access all areas tickets plus breakfast, lunch, dinner and, best of all, we had a caravan next to John Peel to sleep in. What a joy! Both those years it pissed it down from the minute we got there to the minute we left. At night I would take off my jeans, boots and waterproof trousers and they would stand up on their own, ready to be stepped into again the following day. Hygiene was not of the utmost importance. Don’t think I even changed my underpants once. Who cares about cleanliness when you are 24, you’re drinking Jack Daniels out of a plastic pint glass from noon and hanging with Rock stars in the mud.
These days I have to admit that I bloody hate camping. When I go to festivals now, at the very least, I need a ready erected, fully equipped family size tent close to a decent toilet, but in reality you’ll probably find me in a nice B&B up the road where they have a power shower and serve a full English of a morning. I know, not quite the ‘spirit’ is it? One of the most enjoyable moments of last year’s Glastonbury was drinking Bloody Mary’s at Babington House and watching Adele on the Telly! The MOST enjoyable was Coldplay though. Obviously. They are my favourites and I just won’t have it if anyone says otherwise. I defy you not to have a smile on your face at a Coldplay gig.
Anyway, I have digressed. Again. This blog was supposed to be about what to wear to festivals, not a massive trip down memory lane for me. To help you a bit, I have sectioned it into two parts. What to wear when it rains and what to wear when it’s hot. There isn’t much middle ground. Let’s start with the rain.
WHAT TO WEAR WHEN IT RAINS
Because chances are it WILL rain. Even if the forecast says no rain, you HAVE to take precautions. You will need these 4 items in your arsenal…
1. A DECENT WATERPROOF. By decent I mean one that will actually keep the rain out, not some poncy fashion-type one that just looks the part. My favourite company for real decent waterproofs is Protected Species. They are jackets you can wear at any time and they are 100% waterproof
2. BOOTS. Yes, Wellies. If not wellies then a real good sturdy leather pair. When it rains, it gets muddy. trainers won’t cut it.
3. BLACK JEANS. Last year for Glastonbury, I just took 4 pairs of black jeans, 4 black T‑shirts, 2 black jumpers, leather jacket and waterproof. Made for easy dressing. Black doesn’t show the dirt. You need black.
4. BACKPACK/CROSS BODY BAG. If the weather is dicey you need to cart things around with you, your brolly, your mac, your wet wipes, your spare toilet roll, your Gin-In-A-Tin. You need a hands-free option.
Let’s put all these into practise…
Adding a bit of sparkle, just because you can..
WHAT TO WEAR IF IT’S HOT
Because, you never know! Stranger things have happened, and if you’re lucky enough to be going to Latitude — which is my current favourite Festival (especially if you have kids that are too old for Camp Bestival), chances are it will be hot as it’s in July. I do still like to wear a pair of denim cut-offs, but they are certainly not as high-cut as they were back in the day! Here’s my 4 items to think about…
1. LIGHTWEIGHT SUN DRESS. Something that you can waft about it in during the day. Ideally with sleeves so you don’t get burnt and not white, unless you want it covered in dirt. You can add secret leggings underneath when the sun goes down.
2. CANVAS SHOES. Better than sandals as you will be doing a lot of walking, plus if you wear sandals your feet get filthy. A good pair of canvas trainers that you can chuck in the washing machine when you get home will work.
3. SHACKET . You know how I love a shacket, perfect for festivals, throw over your dress when it gets slightly chilly.
4. SHORTS. I know, I know, you might not like your upper thighs, but shorts can definitely be an option at any age. Get them loose and wear a longer shirt/kimono/cardi over if you fear your wobbly bum.
Dress, Shacket, Converse, Cross Body Bag — easy…
Warm, but with a chance of rain? Shorts that are appropriate for the over 30’s…
If you are heading to Glastonbury this week, Enjoy. I’m starting to feel I’m already missing out!