Your Guide to Festival Season

Lo and behold folks, ‘tis the season.

With semester two finally wrapping up (yep, I didn’t think I was going to survive it either), it’s time to treat yourself to a boogie.

While previously a festival virgin, the past few years have prompted me to channel my inner free spirit and hit up some of Australia’s famed music events. I have gone from the avid doofs of Stereosonic #rip, to the chilled vino days at Hot Dub Wine Machine. In-between, I’ve dabbled with Groovin’ the Moo, Listen Out and even a hectic festival in Lisbon, Portugal.

During my short-lived festy time, I’ve made a few classic rookie errors. And I’ve also been stunned at witnessing some uber creativity from fellow festival attendees. Some mistakes include: wearing a mesh top to GTM when the forecast hit a low of six degrees at night. Yes, I caved and paid for a merchandise jumper. Yes, it was $75. No, it wasn’t that warm. Another classic mistake, was assuming I’d get drunk enough on festival drinks alone while still being able to attend all the musicians’ acts I wanted to. Pre’s are essential and will ensure efficiency when you get there.

Photography by Emily Stribley

One thing I’ve also learnt from my experiences, is that it isn’t necessarily the biggest festivals that you’ll have the most enjoyable time at. While major music festivals are awesome, it’s worth checking out some of the lesser-known festivals as they can provide a completely different vibe. Sometimes an even better one. Plus, you won’t be scrambling frantically to get your hands on some tickets.

While finding an ideal music festival can be overwhelming, you can guarantee that Australia’s music scene will have something to accommodate everyone’s music tastes. Triple J will cover almost all music events across Australia so it’s worth checking out their event page to stay in the loop.

But what to do once you’ve selected your festival of choice? And how to make sure you actually know what you’re doing?

This is my current dilemma. While I’ve been to a few festivals, all have been single day events. But the time has come to be a ‘legit’ festival goer and embrace the camping that’s in store for Falls Festival. It’s safe to say that even though I am absolutely pumped, the nerves have begun to set in despite there being months to prepare.

I’ve heard the horror stories. Overflowing toilets. Used condoms scattered like confetti. Heat waves so hot you can’t boogie properly. In attempt to ease my anxiety, I’ve ventured out to find some festy tips and tricks.

Now, there’s no denying it, being a woman at festivals is heaps more difficult. After waiting an hour and a half to pee at GTM – and being sufficiently scarred from seeing 15 people simultaneously pop some squats in the urinals – I decided extreme measures were in order. I ordered a Shewee.

You’ve probably seen these circling your social media feeds, usually with some quality memes attached. If not, take a gander and Google it. Laugh all you want, but this is a quick and efficient way to ensure your bladder doesn’t pop (the instructions say practising before is essential).

Photography by Emily Stribley

Another common issue that comes during festival season is the classic Aussie sun. Beyond the Valley is particularly infamous for its hectic heat waves. Simply dousing a hat in water and chucking it on your head, or those awesome spraying portable fans should do just the trick to make sure you don’t roast.

As for the challenges with camping, I’ve been told it really is worth just slumming it. Festivals like Falls predominantly have no reception anyway, so having your phone on full charge is not a necessity. I know what you’re all thinking. Did I really go to a festival if I didn’t Snapchat it? You did. I promise. The true holy grail of music festivals is not your phones, but…BABY WIPES. These bad boys will save you from reeking of BO and will allow you to chuck on a fresh coat of glitter daily.

Smuggling. I bet this is the bit that really has the most vested interest. As the inquisitive soul that I am, I have been enlightened with some truly wonderful ways to bring in the booze (or other).

The 24 packs of 500ml water bottles from supermarkets are your new best pals. Carefully unwrap the plastic seal – making sure it stays intact. Pop out the four or so innermost water bottles, and pour boiling water on the caps so the plastic can expand. Then, pry off the cap and seal while making sure it doesn’t crack. Pour out the water and fill with your desired substance (Vodka and other clear spirits are the most convincing).

Pop the cap back on. Put water bottles back in place of the stack. Wrap back into plastic. The same trick for lids can be done for other drinks – so you can replace your Fanta with orange-dyed Vodka and you’re good to go. Girls, while peeing at festivals may be worse for us, your boobs are a great place to hide the goods. Yogurt pouches, that is all.

Photography by Emily Stribley

But the creativity doesn’t just end at booze. For those of you desiring to bring in that extra something, there’s tricks for that too. While many prefer to insert their recreational substances up their bodily cavities, there are alternative methods that seem to work.

General rule of thumb is always double or triple baggie your goods. Sunscreen is a staple to the Aussie lifestyle. And thus, goes unsuspected when brought into a festival and will also mask the smell. Pop your goodies into your sunscreen and you’re good to go.

It’s needless to say this creativity should be taken at your own risk and the gambles should thoroughly be considered by all festy goers.

If you haven’t quite been able to crack some tickets to a music festival, a heap of artists performing this festival season will also be playing sideshows across the country. And hey, you won’t even need to have such extensive prep for those gigs.

Boogie well peeps!

Words by Mona Chatskin

IG – @mona.chatskin

Photography by Emily Stribley

IG – @e.n.str


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