The summer in the UK for students means two things: cheap holidays to Magaluf and festivals. Anyone who’s been to a festival in England knows that all rules of normal life disappear out of the tent entrance as soon as you’ve pitched it. So here is an article to break down all of the expectations of a festival, so that if you’ve never been you can learn. If you have been, you can reminisce. So, here are the differences between UK vs. USA festivals!
1. Living Conditions
First of all living conditions generally go out of the window, and living in a cramped space that’s partially bedroom, dressing room, kitchen starts the process of making you into a festival go-er. By the end of the weekend, the tidy, clean tent will be muddy, beer-stained and probably leaking in some way. Despite this, as you pack it away you will miss your temporary home and all of the damp memories you had in there.
2. Weather Conditions
This is England. Although festivals happen in the summer, there is never a 100% chance of it not raining. On the run up to the weekend you’ll be checking your weather apps repeatedly and probably bring wellies just in case. But to pair with your wellies, you’ll also have shorts and bikinis and just generally be prepared for a hurricane and a heatwave! While most festivals in the US take place in the dead summer heat. So, that is definitely a a main difference between UK vs. USA festivals!
3. Toilet Conditions
UK festivals are famously just men using anything as a toilet. These men will wee against walls, against ice cream vans, anywhere that isn’t a port a loo. Truthfully, I’m pretty sure that if women could wee as easily they would. Instead we have to endure the horrific open grave port-a-loos that more often than not someone has dropped a phone in.
4. Drinking Conditions
Drinking at UK festivals is as integral as actually seeing the music and camping. For many people, this doesn’t mean drinking a nicely mixed gin and tonic in the sun. Rather, downing a 10 pack of tinnies, amid lewd drinking games, and preloading so you don’t have to pay for anything in the festival site. Festival security is generally very tight and getting drinks into the actual site is very hard. But drinking in the campsite is usually very social and exciting before the show starts.
5. Eating Conditions
Although most festival sites have catering companies in the site. They’re usually quite highly priced, and for the price of one of those delicious hot meals, you can buy six Tesco own brand super noodles and a mini cooker. Festival food is easy going and cheap: breakfast bars and tinned pasta are your friends, whilst fresh fruit is banished at the bottom of your bag to be squashed and forgotten.
6. Clothing Conditions
Fashion at British Festivals is very simple. It’s strategic and yet somehow shows a lot of skin. If the weather is nice for women its denim shorts, crop tops, and wellies. For men its shorts, a t shirt (but not being worn), and wellies. It is also a necessity for everyone to be wearing enough glitter to turn the air sparkly. At US festivals you can never really predict what people will have on which is definitely a difference between UK vs. USA festivals.
7. Dancing Conditions
Most people who go to festivals, choose the ones they do because of the line-up. The idea of a gathering of likeminded musical souls who all want to enjoy the same sounds as you is a very comforting thought. What isn’t as comforting is how some people find it possible to create a mosh put in any genre of music. I’ve been in Arctic Monkey’s mosh pits as well as Blink 182 and the different styles of music do not matter as long as you can bounce and move. A festival full of drunken young adults is the perfect place to let loose and just mosh to your hearts content.
8. Music Conditions
Many festivals in the UK are very musically diverse. Although some are very much one genre or a collection of similar genres there is usually something for everyone at festivals. Nowadays, a lot of festivals also have art tents as well as comedy and other creative outlets. So even if there aren’t any bands on that excite you, you can generally catch a film or someone funny. In the US, if the music isn’t your style, you usually just head back to your campsite to drink some more which is a difference between UK vs. USA festivals.
If you’ve spent many a summer washing your hands with baby wipes and eating pot noodles and think there is anything that’s been forgotten. Then please comment below!