Festival Wristband Confidence

It’s been a week of two halves; festival & friends and funeral & family. So it felt right to do two blogs covering both… guess which one this is about!

What is it about a festival wristband that allows you the freedom to completely let loose?!

Here are a few other questions about festivals.

Where else do you just go and talk to random strangers?

Where else do a group of people just land on your table in the beer garden without asking and within 30 minutes you’ve laughed like you haven’t for ages and met new friends?

Where else (in public) do you not give a toss about the fact your hair looks terrible, you’re wearing no make up and you haven’t had a shower for three days?

Where else will you happily chat to people 20 years younger or 20 years older or with people who may never meet in your day to day life?

Where else do you just go ‘yeah I’ll get up on stage in front of hundreds of strangers and learn how to play the ukulele?’ (Yes I did that a few years ago!)

Where else do you wear clothes you’d never normally wear?

Where else do you not mind standing outside in the pouring rain and traipsing round in heavy mud?

Where else could you take out a toy meerkat and go and wave it in someone’s face as a conversation starter? (Ok that one’s a bit odd – but happened last week!)

And where else do you really just not give a damn about what anyone thinks?

I’ve been to a fair few festivals in my time; three times at Glastonbury, twice at my favourite Festival No 6, Green Man, a number of the small London festivals such as Lovebox and SW4 and last week at the rather cool little Bluedot – a music / science festival with my two usual festival buddies and for the first time our friend Sue.

And as soon as that festival wristband is on… well, things change and you do all of the above. Festivals give you this uber confidence to do things you just wouldn’t do in the ‘normal’ world. People may argue that’s because of the alcohol drunk, or that some people are aided by other things but I don’t think it’s just that.

I think festivals are a release… you’re all there with common interests (the music to start with) and you’re all there to have lots of fun. On top of that the phone signal is usually atrocious so you can truly leave behind the day to day life; you’re not working and you’re not stressed. And well – when someone pops up with a Frank Sidebottom hat celebrating his 40th along with his mate in a giraffe suit (a Finance Director in the real world!) well you can’t help but laugh – whatever else is going on back ‘outside’ – and given what I was doing later in the week with my Uncle’s funeral, well Bluedot was the perfect release.

I’ve lost count of the great festival stories I’ve had with my friends – from my first one at Glasto back in 2007 in the pouring rain to the one from last week. I eat terrible food, I drink terrible wine or hit the cider, I listen to great music (and sometimes some crap stuff too), I dance, I chat, I talk to people I never would do normally and often instigate it, somewhere along the way I usually have a crush or two, I often find a ‘celeb’ even if I don’t realise I it – and of course I spend quality time with some of my best friends. And the thing I do most is just laugh.

What if you did this in the ‘normal’ world though? I imagine if I just dropped into my local doing any of the above people would look at me like I was a complete fruitcake – but actually I’m quite tempted to use some of my ‘festival wristband confidence’ – there’s no reason why we can’t all be friendly to each other or meet new people even if they’re people that you wouldn’t usually chat to; there’s no reason why we can’t all go out with the aim of having more fun and leaving the stress behind and there’s no reason why we can’t go a little out of our comfort zones to try something new.

Having said that; I’ll never drink rubbish wine in the real world. That’s a definite!

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