Ten typical festival goers

We're halfway through the festival season and I haven't yet been away to one – it is the first year in six that I didn't excitedly pitch my tent at Glastonbury and I even missed Lafrowda, the small festival in my hometown that I have been to every year since it was established. To make myself feel better I have watched plenty of coverage from the big ones and imagined myself in those filthy crowds with the best of them...

We have all had moments at Glastonbury or Bestival or Green Man where we see a girl coming towards us, far too clean and fresh to have engaged with the festival at all. In comparison, we are covered in smears of mud, sporting lank hair that is miraculously greasy and frizzy at the same time and, of course, carrying that faint whiff of farm antics that one acquires after not washing for days. The aforementioned clean one is more-than-likely your typical festival day-tripper – someone who has the luxury of swanning into Glastonbury from a place with a four poster bed and fresh towels. And there are other festival goer clichés that I have also noticed. There is the timid festival first-timer (we were all one once!). And that old-timer who you know used to go to Stone Henge for  the Summer Solstice and party right on through to Pilton in the festival's early days. Here are ten of the best festival-going clichés that I have seen (and been).


1. The old-timer
This seventy-plus-year-old raver tends to pitch an armchair in the middle of the patch between the Pyramid Stage and its sound system, wholly unconcerned by the surging crowds around them. Instead they pass out under that head of matted grey hair, spliff in one hand, a beer in the other, and nod along with the music.


Source: Matt Dunham/AP


2. Front row keen
These kids are the opposite. Still excited by the Festival Experience, they have got to see the very pores in Lily Allen’s face to feel satisfied.

When I went to Glastonbury in 2010 I spent enough time right in front of the Pyramid Stage to be snapped by Guardian photographer Mark Large and slapped on the cover of the next morning's paper




3. The Cara Delevingne fan
You may have thought you were waiting to see Rita Ora, and that so were the group of screaming teens to the right of you. Wrong. Cara Delevingne is the word on their lips. The same model-spotting goes on in the name of Alexa Chung, Georgia May Jagger and, of course, famous festival veteran Kate Moss.

Cara Delevingne: more rockstar than the rockstars? | Source: Aimee Blaut/The Formula Blog


4. The day-tripper
These girls and boys impress us and infuriate us in equal measure. While they are able to take a hot shower in the morning and smell of Thierry Mugler Alien all day, we have been reduced to l’eau de Pilton, the ‘wet wipe shower’, and washing our heads under a cold tap. Come on girls, give us a chance – this is hardly a fair fight.


Photo: Rosie Pentreath



5. The happy family
These kids have the coolest parents ever. They are parents that love festivals so much that pregnancy, twins and two tiny toddlers can’t stop them. They are likely to be spotted at the circus tent by day and safely tucked up in family camping at night.


Source: Victor Frankowski/The Guardian



6. The super-fan
This rarer breed wears the t-shirt, carries the home-made banner, owns the mug and screams themselves hoarse when their best-band-of-all-time emerges. They have waited a year for this and endured violent elbow-in-the-rib moments at the front of a growing crowd. When the set starts, it’s all about knowing the entire album in order and singing along word for word.


Yannis Phillippakis of Foals wears a Buckwheat t-shirt | Source: bandintees.tumblr.com






7. The lone ranger
This cool cat meanders into the festival at his own time with a single backpack, beard and brown clothes of varying shades. The hundreds-of-thousands strong crowds can’t distract him from a solitary and soulful experience of the music.


Photo: Ryan Mahon/Facebook



8. The campsite dweller
These guys, on the other hand, are pack animals. They don't seem to mind that they have missed Radiohead on the Park stage. Instead, they are making giant wands from the beer cans they have been emptying down their throats since dawn and guarding the large gazebo that marks their territory.


Photo: Sasha Calontiw/campingtipsandtricksforbeginner.com





9. The hippy healer
Rarely seen outside the healing fields, this pleasant breed is all sunshine and smiles, oblivious to the hedonism that ensues with deep house only one field away.

The best hippy vibes have to be those found at Fire in the Mountain in Wales. This was taken in 2012 when I played there with singer-songwriter Rosie Sleightholme (right) | Photo: Mina Bihi/FITM



10. Twenty-four-hour-party-people
These youngsters spend all their time in the dance villages of the summer festivals. Fueled and goaded-on by their best friend Mandy, they continue even after the rest of us have collapsed under a hot Sunday sun.

Photo: Emily Pentreath/Instagram









If you like this, why not try:

Glastonbury 2013: the diary of a festival goer
Glastonbury 2013: REVIEW
Horizon Festival, Bulgaria
Lafrowda 2013



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