I went in not knowing what to expect, I was a total festival virgin! My first impression when I arrived was how "real" the girls looked. This may sound like a strange thing to say but I'll elaborate on what I mean, in this day and age we are surrounded by airbrushed photos in magazines, and perfect celebrities on TV which quite honestly for a lot of us makes us feel shit about our-self. I often see girls on TV that look like they have flawless bodies, but being a V and seeing huge numbers of girls wearing shorts and dresses flaws and all made me realise that the things I am always bothered about my own body weren't as unusual as I thought. Don't get me wrong, there were girls there that were quite clearly blessed with good genes and had perfectly smooth toned thighs, but there were a lot of girls that had a little cellulite and a little wobble when they walk and they seemed to be comfortable with who they were.
I loved that it felt like a free place where girls of all body types could don a pair of shorts and not be judged, it's not something I've seen in every day life but it made me feel a little more comfortable in my own skin. Girls are prone to cellulite and not everyone is a size 6 or 8, not all girls have a thigh gap, or perfect boobs so it was really refreshing to see people's little imperfections and realise I am not alone and these things are all natural.
I discovered boys will be boys no matter what their age and some will always act like idiots! They don't always know how to handle their drink and will quite often have way too much and find it hilarious to be falling all over the floor in a paralytic state. Festivals will attract people from all walks of life, and you will have to put up with boys gobbing on the floor and peeing in the corners and generally acting gross!
There will be more rubbish on the floor than you will have ever seen before, I personally was utterly shocked and found it quite sad and a bit disgusting to be wading through rubbish. There were hardly any bins for those that actually want to put their litter in one. Not that I think many people would use them anyway sadly. I felt immensely guilty putting rubbish on the floor despite being surrounded by everyone else's.
If you don't fancy being pushed, shoved and generally crushed then don't attempt to get to the front of the crowd. Lesson learnt here, on the Sunday I wanted to get closer to the stage to see Rihanna and although we weren't really close to the front it still made the experience a little less pleasant for me. People are in much closer proximity when you get further towards the front and the chance of getting stuck right by some drunkard that keeps elbowing you in the ribs becomes highly likely! I spent the majority of Sunday night being shoved in the back, having cigarette smoke blown in my face and getting generally irritated by stupid people shouting obscenities like "Rihanna sit on my face!" it seems that v festival certainly attracted some questionable people and there were a lot that lacked basic morals and decency, funnily enough quite a few of these sorts of people were more than happy to barge their way right to the front knocking people over as they went! So if like me you don't have a lot of patience for things like this then it may be better to stay a little further back in the crowd where the people are a little more chilled.
There's a lot of people who think it's entertaining to throw bottles into the crowd, not giving a shit about the poor sod it might whack in the back of the head! This really bugged me, and it wasn't one o two bottles it was lots that were flying across the horizon over the crowds heads hitting some poor unsuspecting festival goer as they made their crash landing. I just couldn't understand the type of people who would do this because the way I was raised that sort of thing was NOT ok!
As if the chucking of bottles wasn't horrendous enough, some revolting individuals actually pee into said bottles and then throw them into the crowd. I still can't even believe this is a thing, when Gem told me I stared at her in disbelief thinking she was winding me up. Sadly she wasn't and people did actually do it, I just can't get my head around anyone wanting to do that to other people and question the type of upbringing they must have had to even contemplate throwing a bottle of urine! This another reason why it's safer to be mid to back of the crowd.
Your feet will ache like never before, you probably won't sit down much all day long so the heels and balls of your feet really take a bashing. I felt like a cripple at the end of each night and taking my boots off was almost as painful as keeping them on!
You're going to be ripped off for everything you buy once inside the festival, from drinks to food to rides you are going to pay through the nose for it all. £8 for a tiny burrito (that wasn't even that nice) £6 to go on a ride and £10 to have a little bit of face paint put on one corner of my face. You need to go with plenty of cash and just accept the fact that it's all going to be uber expensive.
The excitement of seeing the bands and artists walk on stage is amazing even if you don't really like them that much! The atmosphere from everyone else around you is contagious and before you know it your hands will be in the air and you'll be dancing along.
The toilets will quite possibly be minging, and may be out of loo roll so remember to pack tissues. Always start queuing when you very first feel like you could do with a wee because by the time you reach the front of the queue you might be crossing your legs doing a jig trying to hold it in. If you wait until you really need to go it could end in tears!
Festivals are an amazing experience, but you very quickly need to figure out the tricks and where you fit into the whole scene. Not everyone is cut out for the mosh pit covered in someone else's urine, sleeping in damp clothes in a tent covered in mud not having washed for 3 days. For some of us we are more suited to rocking up in the afternoon, chilling towards the back of the crowds safely away from flying bottles enjoying a little more personal space, listening to the music and then heading to the comfort of a shower and a bed for a proper nights sleep. We are all different, and there is no point in making yourself miserable trying to be something you're not, because the immense cost of a festival ticket with just seem like a huge waste of money if you don't follow your heart.
Festival season may be coming to a close for another year. But I can promise now that I have found what I am comfortable with, I will be purchasing tickets for a fair few for next year, along with accompanying hotel room bookings because I'm not really cut out for a weekend spent sleeping on the ground and no showers.
Have fun festival goers!