Many new crazes, trends, ideas and movements have been born from collections of hedonistic hippies, or spirit-fuelled ravers getting together and putting the world to rights.
But moving on from the many ways music festivals have genuinely improved the world (teaching change, raising millions for good causes, and challenging outdated cultural norms), they have also helped change our lives on a much smaller, but significant scale…
Here are, quite simply, the 4 (very small) ways festivals have changed our world:
Anything goes Fancy Dress
Photo By Scott Salt (at Kendal Calling)
People do things at music festivals that they would never do in the ‘real’ world. As a student it may be very common to don fancy dress and hit the town, but what a brilliant sight it is to see fully-fledged adults (the ones who work in an office for 50 weeks a year and who have real adult things like mortgages) grab tutus and wigs and throw themselves in to the weekend as the personified version of their inner child.
Even for fancy dress aficionados the efforts in the field are significantly raised, we’re talking full cosplay style outfits and identity shifting personas, so much so that festivals are even championing fancy dress themes to facilitate the creativity. We could draw a morally progressive conclusion about understanding identity and inclusivity; and say how we need more of it in the ‘real world’, but let’s not get too deep – let’s instead thank festivals for making it acceptable to be dressed as a Power Ranger at 9am on a Sunday morning!
Fashionable Camping Gear
Picture by PoppyLoves (Lifestyle Blog)
There was a time, as hard as it is to believe, where wellington boots were simply used for protecting the feet. We know right, hold on to your flower encrusted hat! They came in black, or bottle green, and were worn by proud farmers in cattle enclosures. Oh how it’s changed; wellington boots are the only requirement at a festival – even if it’s bone dry no one wants to porta-loo in flip flops, so enter a whole range of stylish, coloured, and seriously cool wellies.
The same goes for tents – the old Ford model of ‘any colour as long as it’s black’ has been slaughtered by pink and purple spots, super-hero logos, big patterns and custom builds. These serve two purposes; firstly making you look oh so cool and unique in a sea of other cool and unique people, but, more importantly maybe, helping you identify your tent after one or eight too many dirty ciders (believe me, climbing in to a tent which is not yours at 3am leads more often to screams and security calls than peace & love).
The best thing about such fashionable camping gear has to be the hilarity when you use them outside of a festival setting. As well as you fit in surrounded by 100,000 other party people at a huge summer festival rave, nothing quite beats seeing someone at a family campsite in Skegness, or on a school trip, pitching a bright pink tent emblazoned with ‘Glasto Gals 2010’, whilst walking around in Superman wellies. We salute you heroes!
All Day Drinking
Ok so all day drinking is a relatively common occurrence throughout the UK anyway… however even in Newcastle (we’re allowed to say it, we’re from here) rinsing your mouth out with Beer after brushing your teeth is not too common. However in the fields, let’s be honest, anything goes! Gin o’clock is literally every hour of the day and night, and, for the whole, everyone is a bit more laid back because of it.
Now whilst we don’t advocate heavy drinking, much, there is a wonderful sweet-spot which many ride at festivals where inhibitions are slightly lowered and friendliness and general euphoria is at a high. Whist on the streets of Manchester, and being offered a shot of jager from an egg-cup by a stranger in the early hours of the morning would warrant a restraining order, in festival land it’s the perfect introduction to make a great new friend.
Be it hand-written on a t-shirt, printed on to a flag or banner, or simply shouted across the crowd in front of the headliners, witty remarks are everywhere at music festivals. Now usually holding up a sign with quotes from ‘Flight of the Concords’ or shouting ‘Dan’ in a Partridge voice (actually don’t do this, it’s fucking annoying) would make people give you a double seat to yourself on public transport, but in a festival setting, even if only 1% ‘get it’, you’re still on to a massive win in the banter stakes.
Let’s face it, festival banners are great (bar the whole blocking the view thing); it’s like a real life version of Twitter! I mean can you imagine; you can express yourself in real life with actual words! Also, in honesty, if you’re going to go to the effort of cutting and prit-sticking like a sad, retired Blue Peter presenter, you’re going to make sure your message is dynamite!
So here we are – thank you festivals for the whole improved social change and teaching the world to love thing, but personally for me it’s flowery wellies, angel wings, vodka breakfasts and “you sunk my battleship” banners which we should be truly thankful for!