Day long festivals minus the camping seem to be becoming more popular now. Yes, nothing beats rolling into a tent when you’re all partied out, then waking up next to all your friends with that quiet hum of the festival starting to wake up; BUT as I’ve got older I’ve started to love one day festivals more and more…
It feels amazing to still have all the fun, but at the end of it have a shower, cleanse away the messiness of the day and sleep in a proper bed. Being able to fully recharge means you can enjoy the second day as much as a first. Yes, this is a super tame way to enjoy festivals, but these days I just really enjoy a hot shower and a proper breakfast in the morning!
It also means your main worry can be what to wear (which, let’s face it, is a big deal!), rather than how much alcohol you can physically carry across a campsite/up a ridiculous hill (anyone who’s been to Boomtown knows that struggle). I enjoyed the messy campsite thing in my early 20s, but more recently I’ve just felt like I can’t face it. At the end of a long day of festival fun, it does feel like it would be ideal to roll into your sleeping bag and pass out, rather than battle the tube or the crazy packed buses. But it feels totally worth it once you’re home, and can avoid the boiling hot wake up call at 5am when the sun comes up and you need to run to the portaloo (which you then find is overfilled).
It’s also less stressful when you don’t have to pack for the weekend, and try and work out whether you trust the weather forecast. If you’re a wimp like me, then if it’s raining too hard you can just go along later or even the next day. Last year at Secret Garden Party I trusted the forecast which said it wasn’t going to rain. Of course it chucked it down as soon as we got there and everything turned into a mudbath, we had no wellies but a very leaky tent!
My first one day festival was Love Saves the Day in Bristol, 2011. It was right in the centre of town which meant finding your way home (or back to my friends house) was a complete doddle. I’ve been every year since and although it’s grown a bigger and moved further out of town, it’s still one of my faves for the ultimate happy, glittery atmosphere and a great lineup. This year I went to Field Day (Nao, Thundercat, Princess Nokia, AJ Tracey) and Lovebox (Childish Gambino, Bonobo, Skepta), which are the first day festivals I’d been to in London. Both were great, with Field Day being slightly smaller (and better organised it felt – with the exception of Four Tet being cut short due to crowds), but Lovebox had a lineup I preferred this year. In total contrast but for the ultimate in throwback, light-hearted fun, I would have loved to have gone to Mighty Hoopla (B*Witched, 5ive, TLC and Nimmo). I’m also gutted to miss out on Pride in Brighton – they had the actual real life Britney Spears there, which would have been a dream for my 12 year old self!
There is something magical about weekend camping festivals, but I think I’m happy to leave them behind now I’m in my late 20s. I feel like I can have just as much fun without all the camplng – probably because I’m a wimp that likes my home comforts and a good night’s sleep!