(1) Bicycle- In theory this seems like a good idea, especially at festivals like Glastonbury where you practically need to hike to each area! However a bicycle is not a good idea, there are far too many people and when you get stuck in the mud you’ll be forced to carry it on your back or, in your no doubt inebriated state, you may just choose to leave it. You’ll then wake up Monday morning and realise the only thing you can get to work on is a 12 year old super mario skateboard. Alternative: Opt for a Mary Poppins style umbrella.
(2) Flip Flops- Many many people make this mistake. Personally I think there needs to be a national advertisement campaign to raise awareness of the perils of the flip flop. These cute, easy-to-put-on, foot cushions are lethal when combined with slippy surfaces, mud or socks. You’ll spend most of your time trying to scoop your submerged flop out of the mud with your big toe which will obviously result in you toppling over, getting caked in mud like and looking like those crazy swamp monsters you see running around eating dirt and drinking out of the portaloos. The rest of the time you’ll end up getting your feet stamped into waffles by the welly brigade, these guys are well organised and travel in numbers, beware! Alternative: Wet suit boots.
(3) Ipod- “Hey guys, I’ll bring my ipod yeah?” Noo, don’t do it! Firstly you’re at a festival, its nice to absorb the atmosphere and hear the music that you’ve paid to hear. Secondly, you’re presuming that everyone will like your music and this is often not the case and could create conflict, violence and even death (of the ipod). Alternative: Learn the Mockingbird song performed by Harry and Lloyd in Dumb & Dumber and perform in unison to your campsite neighbours.
(4) Wallet/Purse- A wallet or purse is usually a fairly standard accessory in our natural habitat. Even homeless people have wallets. However, a wallet or purse on your possession at a festival is like putting all your cash and treasured possessions in a bin and setting fire to it because you’ll lose the bugger. It’ll then be left like a small treasure chest half submerged in mud for the tent erecting gypsies to collect the next day when they scour the site like a team of militant cockle pickers. Alternative: Stash cash in you underwear or opt for a 60s bum bag, genuine leather of course.
(5) Phone- On one level this seems like an absolutely necessary tool as you may lose your friends, need to swap numbers with other festival goers or get trapped in a portaloo. However, similar to your wallet- you will lose this too. Also before you lose it you will spend half the time ringing your mates telling them “LISTEN TO THIS! CAN YOU HEAR IT??! OH MY GOD THIS IS INSANE!!!!” Rest assured they’re at home in bed and can only hear a distorted mess of noise and will probably hang up. They’ll then no doubt be rung later in the night/morning by a stranger who’s found your phone, winner! Then the battery will die or the person will have a change of conscience. Alternative: Use tin cans and string, leave one can at base camp and even if there is no one at the other end you can find your way back.
(6) Canned Food. Sure you’ll need food, snacks will be vital, especially as you’ve already lost your wallet, phone and no way of seeking any other food assistance. Two words- can opener. On a par with the evasive corkscrew, these alien like monstrosities have a habit of not following you to the festival, you are unprepared and you’re left to try and open the tin with a rock. The only exception to these forgetful people is the welly brigade, they will all have can openers, possibly several, but alas they won’t know how to work it either- no one does. Alternative: Cans with ring pulls.
(7) Cool Box. Chilled beers, wine, cocktails maybe even some bacon for the morning. Trust me, avoid the cool box! After carrying the beast from the car to the campsite you’ll be worn out, the beers will then be drunk, wine devoured and the unfortunate bacon will not last the night. Why? Well firstly, the cool box will at some point regress into ‘a box’, sweltering in the summer sun, reminiscing about its former, more privileged life. Secondly, at some point in the night two things will either happen to it. (1) It’ll get stolen and trust me this is the better option because (a) you don’t have to carry it back to the car and (b) you won’t have to contend with the second issue. (2) Someone will use your cool box as a toilet and you’ll wake up in the morning to look for your bacon and will instead find it stuck to a foreign object resembling a large yuletide log.Alternative: Cool drinks prior to festival.
(8) Padlock. There’s a dilemma that faces all festival goers, you don’t want to take your valuables out with you but at the same time a tent isn’t the safest place to leave them either. Some security conscious festival goers now opt for a padlock to protect themselves against the evil thieves. However this is like a beacon to the robbers and is similar to attaching a helium burberry balloon to your expensive phone as your walk home from a night out. Also the physical nature of a tent means that a padlock attached at one end is about as useful as chocolate teapot. Alternative: Opt for a tent of a comic nature, teletubbies, postman pat, power rangers- these will all suffice. Or pre record audio of a large man snoring and leave it playing on loop.
(9) Inflatable bed. You have a few festivals under your belt and you think to yourself, I’m clever, I won’t sleep on the floor- I’ll go all out and get a £5 inflatable bed or a lilo (depending on what shops are available). You might as well have saved that fiver and used it as a blanket because thats about as much use an inflatable bed is going to be. After spending 4 hours of manual inflating, pushing your lungs to maximum capacity and drawing dangerously close to carbon monoxide poisoning, you’ll then lie on it and it’ll either pop instantly or deflate at some point over the night. The ‘bed’ will then become a flaccid, deflated piece of plastic that will be melted to your body when you rise in the morning. Alternative: Sleep on a matt.
(10) Pets. Do you ever see pets at a festival? No you don’t and that’s because its not a very good idea. Obviously depending on the pet, some may handle it better than others. For instance a guide dog will be over qualified for a festival, after all, it spends most of its days answering phones, buying groceries, paying bills and mowing the lawn. A rabbit, although domesticated, may adapt to a festival environment- large fields, borrows, abundance of food etc. A turtle would be an annoyance, a snake would be dangerous, a fish would not survive and a cat would just sit there completely unimpressed. Alternative: If you insist on taking a pet, take a sloth. These big lazy creatures would be perfect for leaving outside your tent, keeping guard of your cool box, and great for talking to at the end of the night!
Written by James, The Student Channel