Lifestyle, Music, Travel

The Vaccines Guide To Surviving A Festival

Don’t listen to your mate Darren, he has no idea how to survive a festival. The last time he went to Reading he dropped his wallet in a portaloo, got his wellies pinched crowdsurfing, and caught actual trench foot from not breaking in his Dr Martens beforehand. What you really need is festival advice from a pro, like from lead singer and festival veteran Justin Young from The Vaccines.

And here he is now, telling you how not to get third degree burns and smell like a feral badger.



Where’s the perfect spot to camp at a festival?

Always go uphill. Find high ground essentially. I’ve had many friends become victims of a slope, then it rains and then you get flooded. Plus it’s easier to spot if you’re on high round.


What do you drink bearing in mind you’re on a minimum of a 3-day bender?

It’s all about beer and cider, because you do a lot of walking and queue for the bar for so long. With a beer you get bang for your buck. You can nurse a beer for an hour without having to go back and from the bar, but if you get a single whisky and coke you’ll be running out pretty quickly.


What’s your festival diet like?

I’ve heard about a lot of people not eating, but it’s pretty important to eat. I’m a big believer about getting your 5-a-day in a big bacon cheeseburger. You’re sorted for the day really because you’ve got a bit of energy and you’ve lined your stomach. It does the job.


How do we get a peaceful night’s sleep?

I would say your best bet is to change your clocks to festival time and go to bed at 6am and wake up at midday when there’s no music. Other than that you have to eye mask, earplugs and all. But chances are you’ll be super inebriated and you may just fall asleep straight away.

What precautions do we take at a festival abroad?

Don’t fall asleep outside. At Benicassim and Primavera people always seem to wake up having fallen asleep on the beach looking like a cooked lobster.


It’s chucking it down and we can’t afford a poncho. What DIY way do we keep dry?

The bin liner. It’s gotta be the bin liner.


What item of clothing couldn’t you do without at a festival?

I like a hoodie because it doubles up as a pillow.


What’s the worst thing to ever happen to you at a festival?

First time I went to Glastonbury I lost my phone and wallet. I was camping in an area with friends but I wasn’t sharing my tent, so I had no idea where everything and everyone went, so I spent the next 24 hours running around trying to find people I knew, around what was essentially a city. Then the issue is that you find someone you have to stick with them, otherwise you have to do it all over again. And this was on day 1.

Showering at a festival or baby wiping your entire body?

Baby wipes are disgusting. You have to shower. If I used baby wipes on my skin I’d want a shower even more than before I used them. I just can’t get my head around them. Take the hit and line up for a shower, you’ll feel so much better afterwards.


What’s your ideal hangover cure?

I’m quite OCD about this. Lots of sugar, lots of water, Berocca, vitamin C, 5-HTP. When I go in I go hard, so I like to know there’s something waiting for me on the other side.


The toilet situation. How do we make it as painless as possible?

A good tip is I’ve seen friends plead with stall owners to use theirs, and I’ve seen it work. They won’t let you backstage, but it’s a good compromise.


Do you ever get festival PTSD? Like hearing cheers and music when you finally get home? If so, how do you stop it?

Yes and I can’t. I go mad. I cry myself to sleep.




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