I have been to a few festivals this summer (as always) and I have been muttering under my breath on occasion as people seem to forget their manners totally when in a field. Yes I think you should be able to let your hair down and relax. Yes I think children should be allowed to be children. yes having a few drinks is fun, but there are limits!
So here are my top festival etiquette tips/rants about bad behaviour:
- Rubbish. There are bins, if there are no bins near your tent use a rubbish bag. There is no excuse. I don't care if you are 17 and it's your first festival, I don't care if you are on the litter team and will clean it all later anyway, I don't care if your kid did it, I don't care if you forgot bin bags! (ask someone, loads of campers bring a roll or two) There is no excuse! You are on someone's land. There may be animals there next week. Litter clean up is expensive. At the least you are adding to the ticket price and at worst the land owner may decide never to allow the festival again. Tidy up - yes I'm judging you, you leave a mess you are a slob and don't deserve to be allowed to go to festivals
- Gazebos. Some festivals have a no gazebo policy, some don't but however you look at it, with all the cramped tents and lack of space it's pretty selfish to bring a gazebo. Ditto loads of windbreaks to create a fence between you and the neighbours. It's not a campsite it's a festival. You should be spending most of the time at the festival and the little time you are back at your tent you will be asleep. I'm sorry if it rains and you get wet. People get wet at festivals. Gazebos are rude.
- Water taps. There are often queues for water. The correct etiquette at the tap is to get your water, in kettle, bottle, jug, cup etc and move along! Children that are too young to carry the bottle they have been asked to fill should not be sent alone to the tap. DO NOT stand and brush your teeth at the tap (especially with the tap running!) DO NOT stand and wash your hair at the tap. I would think these things would be obvious but it seems not. No one waiting to fill a bottle of water wants to wait while you soak the ground by the tap and wash your hair, or watch you scrub and spit minty foam for 5 minutes. Fill your cup/bowl etc and move on.
- Toilets. Festivals toilets may be 'nasty' it is not your job to make them nastier! Ladies, do not hover and spray the seat with wee - or if you do - clean it up! (and buy a shewee for next time). Men, check your aim. Flush before and after you use the toilet - flushing before ensures the toilet is slippery so that any ... solids ... slip away when you flush afterwards. Flush! and clean the seat. Do not leave the toilet full of rubbish and old cans either. If there is no paper/hand gel, politely tell anyone queuing after you - in case it changes their choice of toilet.
- Queuing. We are British, we queue. Do not queue jump, for food, water or toilets..or beer! Be polite, point out if someone is being overlooked at the bar. A festival should be friendly not a battle ground.
- Children. Children love festivals, camping and the outdoors but not everyone loves your child like you do (I know, it's a shocker) If your child is bothering someone who is eating, sleeping, drinking, talking etc remove your child from the person's space and apologise. Often the person will tell you it's fine and to leave them, but always show you are aware. Even at a kids festival like Camp Bestival sometimes adults (and some children) need a moments peace.