Sun cream, plenty of water, and good pair of shoes are staple festival essentials – while
we all know how to look after our physical wellbeing, we should also do our best
to take care of our minds at festivals.
It’s no surprise that music festivals overwhelm the senses (that’s the reason we love
them!). But on occasion, the booming base, blaring sun, and crowds as far as
the eye can see can be too much.
If there are certain things you know make you uncomfortable or something unexpected pops up, be assured that there are things you can do to still enjoy the concert in a way
that suits you.
Glastonbury history was made this year as a chorus of ‘Someone You Loved’ echoed back to Lewis Capaldi, who was struggling with his voice during his set. Lewis has never hidden his own experiences with mental health and acknowledged it in his set at Glastonbury, too. The crowd’s response to Lewis asking for help with the song was utterly heart-warming, and the communal spirit of the crowd radiated through the event and onto our screens.
Crowds can be intense, but they’re also an echo chamber of music-loving individuals who are all there to experience their favourite artists in the flesh. Reframing the
way you experience concerts and crowds can help with feeling out-of-place.
Whether it’s your first festival or your 51st, feeling out of place at a gig or festival is entirely normal. There are a few things you can do to make sure you get the most out of your festival weekend:
If you’re with a group and you start to feel uncomfortable, have a word with someone you’re close with. You never know, there might be someone else in the group that feels exactly the same way and would be grateful that you mentioned it!
If you’re feeling anxious while in a crowd, get dancing to shake off the adrenaline. If this doesn’t work, it might be a good idea to find somewhere more comfortable to enjoy the music. If you feel like you need to leave the venue entirely, that’s also totally okay.
Listen to your instincts as well as the music. If you feel that something isn’t right perhaps it’s the people that are around or the behaviours they are displaying, don’t feel pressure to join in trying or doing something you don’t want to.
Festivals are full of new experiences,
and they are a great place to try new things. Take some time away from the busy
main stage and explore the different workshops available. This is the perfect
way to get some downtime in the middle of an otherwise busy few days.
Spend a little time checking in with your group, both for their benefit and also your own. If someone in the group wants time out or needs some support, do what you can to help find what they need.
Going to festivals creates memories that last a lifetime. Making the most of it doesn’t
have to mean being uncomfortable for hours just to get a good spot (some of the
best dance parties are at the back!). Do what’s best for you and ask for
support if you need it. Some festivals have dedicated wellbeing first-aid
points – it might be worth popping the event provider an email beforehand to
see what support they have on offer to ensure you have the best time at the
And to finish off with the most important tip of all… Enjoy yourself!