Saturday, 25 July 2015


If you hadn’t already heard, I went to Isle of Wight festival a few weeks ago. I phrased that statement the way I did because I plastered the news POSSIBLY OVER EVERY SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNEL EVER INVENTED. Without a shadow of a doubt, IOW 2015 provided 4 of the best days of my life. What started out as darting eyes and a nervous flutter in the pit of my stomach as we approached the campsite slowly but surely subsided until the flutters became waves of excitement and the waves became happy exhaustion. I stood beside the Spice Girls, I drank more vodka redbull than should ever be legal and I probably took more photographs than Mario Testino at a Vogue shoot. To put it simply, the festival was knackering, loud, hazy, unexpected and FULL of amazing music. While all the acts I saw were suitably impressive, Fleetwood Mac absolutely stole the show for me, and watching them on stage at dusk surrounded by some very cool people is something I’ll never forget.

In saying all of this, the week did have its rocky moments and I’ve noted a few below so you can learn from (and laugh at) my mistakes, observations and misfortunes.  Enjoy!

1.  You will be drunk A LOT of the time. Plan accordingly.

 I go to a university city where 3 treble and mixers cost £5 and I like to think I can handle a drink or five, but drinking in a festival environment where the grass is both your bar and your bed definitely tested my stamina. Most festivals have a no glass rule, so we’d pre-poured a litre of vodka each into an old bottle and grabbed a bottle of double strength blackcurrant cordial to mix with water, which (sort of) saved us from paying the equivalent of a month’s rent at the bars inside the arena. If you’re like me and need a bit of a pick me up the next day but can’t stand long enough to queue for a coffee, Pro Plus is your absolute saviour. Keep it close at all times. 

2.  You won’t be able to put your tent up, but it’s a great way to make friends

We marched into the campsite full of naïve hope with a stupid amount of determination in our eyes, before sitting on the grass about five minutes later feeling dejected and defeated.
 "I put up a tent at Guide camp when I was ten” and “I definitely put one up when I went to a motorbike rally” were genuine words spoken by two of the group who will remain anonymous out of respect for their dignity.
 Thankfully a lovely couple came to our rescue, and one shared packet of cigarettes and six badly mixed vodka and lemonades later we were friends. A few minutes later a stag do came and joined the party and the rest is history. The long and short of it is, yes you will probably be shit at putting up a tent, you will probably look like idiots, but you just might make some friends out of it. 

3    3. It will probably rain and you should probably not care

      For the most part Isle of Wight treated us well and the sunshine skies and fluffy white clouds made a nice little backdrop to the music stages. We’d been sitting outside in the sun, absentmindedly drinking and chatting, before one treacherous night gave us a serious reality check. One apocalyptic storm, a serious amount of thunder and a few bolts of lightning later and we all ran for the tents. After sitting miserably for an hour, sharing kit kats and moaning about the weather, enough was enough. We put on our macs, shoved on our wellies and slipped and slid down to see The Prodigy with our festival pals. Oh my god it was muddy, but it was also one of the best nights we had. If you’re in the same sitch this festival season, my advice is just go with it (and bring a trillion packets of baby wipes.)

4. You really CAN wear whatever you want

Before Isle of Wight I already knew festivals were famous for their freeing nature, but I didn’t really have any concept of how much everybody let go. From barely there bikinis to full on tiger onesies, IOW festival had it all. Since I was little I’ve always been someone who often makes a daring choice with my outfits, hair and make-up, but I definitely still have moments when I put something back in my wardrobe for fear of looking stupid. My advice for packing for festivals is of course to cover the essentials (wellies, A MAC WITH A HOOD, copious amounts of dry socks) but mostly to pretty much pack whatever the hell you want. A few temporary tattoos, a bit of fancy dress, an outfit made entirely of sequins – whatever you feel like, this is your excuse. Go wild!

5. The trip home will probably be the most miserable trip of your life

 At the ripe old age of erm, 20, I thought I knew sadness. OH how wrong I was. Troublesome teenage years, boy drama, finding out the pair of boots you had your eye on in Topshop have sold out in your size – none of these travesties compare to the utter misery you will experience on the coach ride home from a festival. You can approach the situation in one of two ways: 
a) refuse to let the festival spirit die by continuing to talk about your favourite acts in excitable tones and pretending to enjoy a can of leftover cider, or the more popular option;
b) sit AT LEAST two rows away from your mates, plug your earphones in and listen to your fave festival act whilst staring sadly out the coach window. (Guess which one I chose)

You can make the trip slightly more bearable if you have any nutritious snacks leftover – I found a lovely, lovely, squashed cereal bar at the bottom of my bumbag. Happy times.

Speak soon,

Sara x


  1. Reading this has made me seriously want to go to a festival next year! x

  2. After 5 festivals I can completely agree with all of these - I love how when you go to a festival it's like it's own little community and your cut off from the rest of the world for those few days. Are you going to any others this year?

    The Velvet Black // UK Style & Beauty Blog


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