Music festivals usually combine three main components: a copious amount of cheap beer at a ludicrous price, some of the top musical acts gracing the planet and, ultimately the most crucial element for most, spending time with your nearest and dearest mates in a muddy field.
However, what happens when Arcade Fire are headlining a festival 6 hours away and the realisation hits hard that you do not appear to have the third ingredient of friends to make your festival experience reach its peak? The solution, go by yourself.
Daunting? A lil’ bit. Sad? Not at all.
As a T in the Park veteran, where I attended in its penultimate year with a group of fifteen guys and gals, I would never have thought in my wildest dreams that three years later, I would be waking up in a tent at 10 am, grabbing my first bevy and making my way down to the main arena to spend the day making friends, eating good festy food and seeing some serious killer bands, all by myself.
So, why has my friendless festival season been so positive? Surely I got lonely? Well, yeah. It is all well and good lending a boy a lighter and then striking up a conversation about why you chose Trampolene as your headline act over David Guetta and Jonas Blue, but it isn’t the same as having a jolly brill dance off in a tiny tent with your best mate, is it?
The reason my friendless festival season has been such a success is ultimately that I went for music. I went for the second of the three elements that make up a festival experience. I went so that I could jump around at the back of the crowd to Catfish and the Bottlemen blasting ‘Soundcheck’, I went because I wanted a slice of Peaches’ ‘Vaginaplasty’ in my life and I went because I am bloody passionate about music.
If nobody wants to go see The Blinders with you, on a Saturday afternoon, then why should that stop you from going to see them, and doing what you want?
The moral of what I’ve learned, personally, from a friendless festival season is: that if you immerse yourself deeply in festival culture and relish in the idea that you are there totally and solely there because you just want to be, then you can survive. And, to add – as long as you come to terms with the fact that you are there for you, then you can do it. Bloody hell, if I can manage to get two trams, four trains, two ferries, a taxi and a water boat to a festival by myself, then you can do any journey possible.
Basically, what I am trying to say is go to the music festival alone if nobody wants to come with you – don’t miss out on an opportunity of a lifetime to see your favourite band, just because you do not have somebody to stand next to and drink Jack Daniels with until 4 am. Sleep is underrated at a festival, seriously.