With inhibitions thrown to the wind and potential tiredness, sweatiness and general dirtiness looming at a festival or open air concert, it’s very easy for your good manners and common courtesy to be left behind, but it’s important to be aware of others around you whilst having fun.
There are no real rules “set in stone” for this topic, however, as a lover of gigs and festivals myself, I sometimes come across arrogance that will make me want to walk away rather than get into a fight personally, as I’m sure many others do.
So how to behave?
Read the rules before booking, or at least, before arriving and follow them. Most festivals will now have a detailed website or ticket information sheet detailing how to dispose of your litter, how to behave at the campsite and what not to do around the main stages and show areas.
I am experiencing “The Secret Garden Festival” in Huntingdon for the very first time this weekend and it’s simple rules to make for a pleasant life whilst partying both on their website and in their programme are easy to follow and purely common sense.
Adhere to them to make life easier for the organisers AND your fellow guests!
Live in the moment. These experiences can sometimes be once in a lifetime opportunities, with the rare guest appearance thrown in for good measure, lord knows we all get more than excited when Alice Cooper makes an appearance at a Foo Fighters gig (Or that may just be me!) but don’t stand there on your phone and film it.
Firstly, if you had read the rules, you will most likely have read that they ask you NOT to film any of the show as a general known rule. But this also gets in the way of the people around you and it’s more than irritating – enjoy the here and now.
Also turn your phone off, nobody wants to hear you explaining to your mum who Faithless are whilst trying to shout over their set – would it really hurt to switch off and recharge your batteries as well as the phones?
This also goes for umbrellas. Don’t stand in the middle of a large crowd and pop up your brolly for a little drizzle. Plenty of people around you will be tutting and detesting you for it. On the plus side of bringing it down, your hair will get a natural wash – win win.
Don’t be that “dancing diva” that digs elbows into everybody, bumps into dozens of people surrounding you and hopping around stepping on toes. Judge where you are would be my best advice, as if you are about to launch yourself into a mosh pit, I don’t think your fellow ravers will care that you are jumping up and down somehow!
However, if you are at a classical open air concert for example, stand at the back away from the seated guests to dance so that you don’t spoil their viewing pleasure.
You can’t shout at people for having fun. One of the comedians at the SGP said just last night; ” It’s only at a festival that you will see a successful business executive wearing elf ears and a bushy fox tail shooting a cheap plastic pistol full of vodka into his mouth for 2 days before heading back to London to balance accounts for £millions” – it’s very true and if that’s how somebody wants to enjoy their weekend, unless they are harming you in some way, cannot be told off I’m afraid.
If you need to ask somebody to not do or say something, the only thing you could do is to politely ask if they wouldn’t mind doing said action. However, my feeling would be you may be subject to a barrage of rude comments back at worst, so just move away if it bothers you & let them have fun.
If it’s a family affair, again, you can’t expect children not to be enjoying themselves. My advice would be not to go to a family festival or gig if you know you will get annoyed with kids laughing and running around. For families to afford these luxuries can sometimes be tricky to balance, of course this is just my experience, as I never went to such events as a child myself, so let them enjoy it for heavens sake.
If camping or staying overnight, please be hygienic. Use the portaloo and showers provided, they aren’t as dirty as using the spare grass patch next to you and nobody wants to see you squatting in a bush in full view, we aren’t animals you know!
Brush your teeth, or at least buy yourself some of those chewy disposable toothbrushes to freshen up, it’s not tricky to do and just as important as putting on deodorant when festering in a cramped field with strangers.
Share the love. If somebody looks in need of one of your hundred bottles of water, offer them one. Who knows, they may help you pitch your tent or give you something in return later on. Small and random acts of kindness are always pleasant to be on the receiving end of during these events. And introduce yourself to your tent neighbours, they may well become new friends as a result, get with the “all in it together” mentality.
Take your litter with you. This goes without saying really, however lazy you feel at the time, take a moment to consider your surroundings and respect the event. Don’t take BBQ’s or make a fire and leave a scorched mark in the grass, be considerate to these sort of elements if you are encouraged to get cooking round the campfire at your event. And don’t dump used BBQs in lakes or ponds, come on, do you really need to be told this?… I thought not.
The most important rules of all?
Remember your manners, as if you would anywhere else in your world, enjoy it and have fun, just not at the expense of others.