50 Shades of Mud: The Girl Vs. The Festival

Olly Murs - Party in the Park, LeedsPhoto: James Genchi / Flecking Records

When you say to a girl, “let’s stay in a muddy airfield for four days. You will smell, and you won’t be able to wash your hair the whole weekend” the aforementioned girl probably wouldn’t jump for joy. Well, this was me – until
two Fridays ago. I’ve just spent four days in a tent in the middle of an airfield in Balado, Perthshire, Scotland. I’ve been at T in the Park 2012. Having been attending this festival since I was fifteen years old, (I’ve only missed it twice) this year was my first year camping, and boy did it have me stressed out!

I’m used to the finer things in life such as GHDs, fresh running water, toilets that you can flush and washing my hair regularly, so having survived my first attempt at camping at a festival, here are my top tips!

Tip Number One: Pack baby wipes, they hid a multitude of sins, and when showers are not available, they will keep you clean. However, please note if you don’t shower for four days, there is a chance you might smell slightly. Ladies, don’t worry! It’s not your fault; you’re in a field, embrace the dirt!

Tip Number Two: Dry shampoo is a must. Lack of hair washing materials mean that your hair will get greasy and there is not a single thing you can do about it. So dry shampoo is something that you will be pleased to have. However, if like my T in the Park experience, it rains most of the time, then your hair will be under a hat so it won’t really matter. But take a big can; you’ll need to spray a lot!

Tip Number Three: Camp with someone who knows how to pitch a tent. I had never ever camped before and had no idea how to pitch a tent, so it was lucky that my boyfriend had tent-pitching experience. Had I been with someone who didn’t know what to do, we would have probably just sat and stared at the tent, hoping it would miraculously build itself. Failing this, buy a pop up one.

Tip Number Four: Make sure you pick a good place to camp. Somewhere not too flat, but also not on a hill because if it rains from the high heavens like it did at T then there is a chance that your tent will flood. This is not goodtimes by anyone’s standards, so chose your camping position wisely.

Tip Number Five: Familiarise yourself with the people you’re camped around, these people will be your neighbours for the weekend – you do not want to make enemies with them. Chat to them and if they have a party chances are they’ll invite you, go along. Who needs sleep right?

Tip Number Six: Be prepared to work on minimal sleep. People at festivals do not sleep, and this means neither will you. Tent walls are not like hotel room walls or house walls. They are very thin and you will hear everything – even the things you do not want to hear! Embrace the craziness of the campsite, it’s only for a few days after all!

Hopefully these six tips will help you with any festival quandaries you find yourself in, and always remember it’s not for long. And when you get home you can prune yourself in a lovely long hot bath, and be reunited with your hair-dryer and your GHDs.