Beginner's Guide to Festival Going

Written by  Kat Mackintosh

The Basics

Festivals celebrate the weird, the wonderful and everything in between, from thousand year old cultural or religious traditions like India’s Ganesh Chaturthi, to the cultural mash up and binge that is Burning Man.

While attending a festival may seem like a great opportunity to get down and party with the locals not all is as it may seem on the festival circuit; some events have been hijacked by tourism (the Bull run at Pamplona, and La Tomatina, for example) and bulge out of shape with people not down with the spirit of the thing, so look further than the hype if you’re after an authentic experience.

The best advice for all prospective festival goers is BE PREPARED:

*Buy your tickets in advance and have accommodation (or a tent if it’s that kind of festival) pre-arranged.

*Know what you’re allowed to bring. Some places don’t allow liquids, some don’t allow cameras, some don’t allow alcohol, some don’t allow dogs, some don’t allow nudity, some don’t allow women…

*Know what you’re getting yourself into. If you’re a festival virgin you may be in for a surprise, so ask around and know what to expect so you don’t offend anyone by forgetting to cover your shoulders or impaling someone’s foot with your high heels in the mosh pit.

*Bring water and a spare pair of underwear and wear sunscreen and stretchy pants. This is good general advice for all situations, even when attending the opera when a niggle in the back of your throat may leave you paranoid for an entire evenings performance.

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