Surviving my First Festival

The 16 July was an important date in 2016. Firstly, it was my best friend’s birthday, and secondly it was Ireland’s biggest fashion show, or should I say, my first music festival. So much time and energy is spent by (mostly) girls about what to wear, what hairstyle to choose, how many tiny dots to paint on their face and debating how much glitter is too much. I was surrounded by girls with flowy dresses, or tiny crop tops, over-sized hats and space buns (I had to look up what they were also). I was no exception for I too had been swept up in the fashion frenzy and spent so much time stressing over what to wear wanting only to fit in, I had kind of forgotten about the actual festival and to look forward to it but also to prepare- that was my first fatal flaw.

cropped final (3)To start off though, getting tickets themselves was a nightmare scenario, visiting the website discover they had been all sold out was pretty much a deciding factor for me that we would not be going- or so I thought (I wasn’t really pushed on going anyway). Unfortunately for me it was my best friend- let’s call her Harley, that was dying to go, and scoured every risky third party website and decided that meeting up with a stranger she had met online agreeing to pay for overpriced tickets was a good idea. Fortunately for Harley, he didn’t turn out to be your stereotypical cyber serial killer and she escaped with two possible dud tickets.

In true Lemony Snicket fashion, the first in a series of unfortunate events was the fact that Harley and I were 17. For those of you who don’t know, the legal drinking age in Ireland is 18, which meant the whole day turned into a Mission Impossible quest for alcohol.

My first attempt at fooling a bartender, which I quickly found out in broad IMG_4110 (2)daylight was impossible, failed miserably. I learned that using sunglasses and a cap in an attempt to go incognito was not as smart of a decoy as I thought. Our two solutions turned out be; 1. a search for either mine or Harley’s legal doppelganger and persuading that drunk clone to lend us their identification or 2. a thirty minute wait each time as we begged strangers to buy us our drinks.

Turns out, legal, intoxicated teens do not need much persuading and so it wasn’t as difficult as it sounds. Despite almost being attacked by a girl twice my size whose identification card I had taken from me by a security guard (again, sunglasses and a cap are a terrible disguise), we still managed to get pretty tipsy- my next fatal flaw.

See, getting drunk at a festival is NOT a good idea for so many reasons, one of those being the precarious hazards that balance is required in order to avoid. I feel I must issue a warning to my fellow festival goers. If any of you readers have been or are planning to go, you’ll have heard of the infamous first class quality of the green port-a-loo shacks. And if there’s one thing you need when relieving your bladder in one of those, it’s balance. Balance to avoid the vomit and other unknown suspect substances whilst hovering above a grimy toilet seat (because believe me YOU DO NOT WANT TO MAKE SKIN CONTACT WITH ANY SURFACE) in a port-a-loo that’s balancing precariously at a 45 degrees’ angle. As for my advice to boys, (and I’m not a particularly religious person but) may God have mercy on you.

Overcoming what I have dubbed “the toilet challenge” was just the first of many faced that day. Okay, without sounding too pessimistic, let’s look on the bright side of things, I’m from Ireland, we get a lot of rain, and the 16th July was one of those exceptionally extraordinary days in which Poseidon and whoever else controls water granted us one blissful rain free day. This meant the festival grounds didn’t turn into one big mud slide, and our clothes, shoes and bones were mercifully spared.

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I also met so many new people that day. From random strangers, to familiar faces we knew, me and Harley socialised with just about anyone whose words weren’t slurred enough to still be understood. We spent about an hour looking after an old friend with a broken arm, attempting to prevent the other arm from meeting the same fate. At one stage I remember realising about halfway through a conversation that the girl I was talking to was completely stoned, and trying to give me the name of her dealer whilst warning me to avoid the vomit on the ground where she had just thrown up. And after being a little too friendly to a seemingly nice, normal guy, I spent approximately an hour trying to (literally) outrun this guy and hide after my friends warn me that he’s been following me for the guts of 45 minutes after I’ve said goodbye to him. He also ended up using 15 euro worth of call credit after about 20 calls were made on each of our phones trying to locate his friends who were probably trying to outrun him also. Jordan, if you’re reading this, you owe us 30 euro.

The rest of the night we spent dancing, trying to avoid being squashed by people taller than us who were jumping to the same beat and liberating sound we were. We sweated dancing, and when it was all over, chattered our teeth as we stumbled through the naked darkness towards the endless rows of buses to take us home.

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