When I applied to volunteer at V Festival, I had no idea what to expect other than me crying my eyes out every night stuck in a tent in a field in Chelmsford counting down the hours until rather Pink came on or I could go home. It turned out to be the best week of my life. With hundreds of 18-24s sharing a compound, my week was filled with drinking overpriced alcohol (£22 for a bottle of Echo Falls!!), dancing at the barrier to the best music and, well, tent-hopping. Here’s what I learnt:
Tents Are Never As Soundproof As You Think: Now I’m not expecting an anechoic chamber, I know that there’s going to be a fair amount of noise escaping through that ridiculously slim canvas sheet over my head, but it wasn’t until I could hear the girl in the tent next to me breathing in her sleep that I realised the true lack of privacy. Especially when you forget to zip up the door. No wonder my neighbours didn’t say hello to me the next morning.
It Will Be Uncomfortable At Times: You’re rather trying to evenly distribute your weight on an airbed to stop the other being flung off or are on the floor with only a groundsheet between your aching back and the freezing cold, dewed-up grass, it’s hardly going to be footage for the next Fifty Shades film, you just have to (literally) roll with it and try and use him as a chair as much as possible.
Always Have The Bigger Tent: I’m a homely girl. I don’t want to be giving up my little bubble to enter his leaky, moth-infested tent with dribble on the pillow and questionable stains on the sleeping bag, so if you always have the bigger tent you can avoid ever having to leave it. Kelis was wrong when she thought Milkshake was key- you just need a double mattress. (Obviously you will regret packing all this shit when you realise you have a 40 minute Ben Fogle Extreme Dreams style hike to the blady staff campsite, but it’ll be worth it when you’re not the one to do the Walk Of Shame*.)
*Obviously I’m using this term loosely because if you’ve had a 10/10 night then there should be no shame. I mean, realistically if you haven’t showered in 4 days and are shivering from the 12℃ temperature drop, you’re only going to reach a 6/10, maybe dipping to a 4.5 if you find out he’s given you chlamydia, but either way: No Shame.
And anyway You Won’t Be The Only Walk Of Shamer: It’s a festival, everyone is tent-hopping. It’s so dark that you can’t even tell who’s who or where they’re coming from. Just don’t do what I did when I saw a guy emerging from my neighbour’s tent and wail ‘Shit she’s just been burgled!’ causing everyone around me to frantically check for their passports and wallets before realising yes she has been burgled but in a winky face emoji kinda way.
You Can Fit Two People Into A One Man Sleeping Bag But It’s A Tight Squeeze: Just a heads up.
It’s Actually Really Easy To Keep Secret: As long as you’ve kept the noise down and don’t have a massive Africa-shaped hickey in the middle of your neck (who puts it in the fcking middle??) then no one has to know. It’s not like uni halls where everyone recognises each other or back at home where you need a key to get in, tents are like the ultimate symbol of no commitment. Obviously if you want to shout if from the Supervene Stage then you can do that too but if you’re worried people will find out then don’t be. You can even have shit go down with multiple guys and neither of them know about the other.
Okay, It’s Actually A Lot Of Work Making Sure Both Guys Don’t Find Out About The Other: Especially when one is your neighbour and you bump into him on your way back from cleaning your teeth and he’s suddenly wanting a kiss goodnight meanwhile boy numero dos is waiting in your tent and it’s like that moment in Mrs Doubtfire when Robin Williams has to keep changing characters in the restaurant toilets so he can play two parts at once. I’m sure if you had the whole campsite at your fingertips then this wouldn’t be a problem, just be careful if you’re in the staff compound because 300 people feels like a lot until it’s not.
I hope you can relate to any of these if you’ve been festivalling your way through the summer, or if you’re about to set off to one then good luck and Stay Safe. If you want a full post on what working at a festival is like then let me know in the comments or if you want to check out my post on Feminism At Festivals you can find the link HERE.