16 of the worst festival horror stories

Stay cautious, this could happen to you

Festivals are wonderful things. Amazing bands, at least 10 minutes of solid sunshine, and a sense of freedom you’ve been longing for with each passing, dull commute. But festival highs are always capable of taking a nasty turn. One second you’re singing along to your favourite song in a crowd of thousands. The next you’re knee deep in unspecified brown goo. Pretty much everyone has their own festival horror story, and their own sage words of advice: approach every portaloo with caution, keep a spare phone in case you lose all your mates, get at least a couple hours’ sleep a night to avoid fever dreams.

But even the most thorough preparation can’t prepare you for the odd festival wobbly. Sometimes bad luck strikes in the worst way. Or, more likely, you’ve just had a few too many bevvies and it’s all your fault. Below are some of the best, most grim horror stories, as told by NME readers:

The original poo girl

Glastonbury Festival, Portaloo, 2007

Pretty much every festival has its own ‘poo girl’ rumour. You’ll overhear that someone, somehow, found themselves stuck headfirst in a portaloo. Most of the time this is cruel hearsay, but in 2009 it actually happened to a girl at Leeds Festival. “Yes, I am poo girl,” Charlotte Taylor told the Sunderland Echo after attending Leeds Festival. The “Specsavers apprentice” (important info, there) lost her handbag down the bog. “As I got up to leave I swung my body round to open the door and my handbag slipped off my arm and disappeared down the toilet. It had my phone, ticket and all my money in so if I left it I would have been stranded. I had both my hands down the toilet. I was straining so far down that I got wedged. My shoulders were stuck on both sides and I couldn’t move at all. I knew I couldn’t get out myself and was so embarrassed.” She had to be rescued by a team of firefighters. About as humiliating as a festival anecdote gets, but at least it’s something to tell the grandkids…

The environmentally friendly weirdo

At Reading Festival one year a friend of a friend tagged along with us. He was an odd fella. He brought a spare tent with him, a tiny pop-up one, that had just enough room for someone to crouch in. And he pooped in it. Every day. Then he would chuck sawdust over it. He basically had a human litter tray – it was fucking disgusting.” – Anon

Tfw you get caught taking poppers to Disclosure at Glastonbury

It happens to the best of us.

The welly thief

Wellies, Glastonbury Festival

“Some absolute rotter – some unconscionable gremlin, some little tinker – stole my wellies in the middle of a mud bath at Glastonbury. So I bought a pint and a plate of delicious duck confit and reconvened to the lovely bar next door. It was a sanctuary of cushions and sofas in the midst of the squalor. Punters were requested to leave their wellies at the edge of the bar and pad across the pristine carpet. This oasis seemed to float above the mud. Yet when time came for Stormzy’s set, I realised with dawning horror that my wellies were not where I had left them and were nowhere to be seen. Panicking, I stumbled, in my socks, into the mud at the edge of bar and frantically searched for them. But they were, presumably, snugly nestling the evil feet of whatever fucking Brexit voter took them. After about 15 minutes of sloshing up and down like Swamp Thing, I asked a random bloke if I could borrow his pair and walk to buy some new ones. He agreed to do so only if I gave him my phone as insurance. Not to harsh Glastonbury’s vibe, but I hope something vaguely unpleasant happens to that man.” – NME’s Jordan Bassett

The lesser-known poo girl

“I was at Latitude Festival. My phone slipped out my hand and I was drunk and thought that putting my hand in the toilet was worth saving the £600 for a new phone… So I did, and spent the remainder of the weekend reevaluating my life for doing so.” – Anon

This guy didn’t have a nice day

Stereophonics' Kelly Jones

I accidentally heard Stereophonics for a few minutes. It was a few years ago and I’m doing much better now but I still get occasional flash backs. Sometimes I can’t sleep in case I have my recurring nightmare about Kelly Jones sat on the edge of my bed explaining the lyrics of ‘Mr Writer’ to me in painstaking detail. There’s a lesson here, kids.” – Kevin Gouldsmith, via Facebook

The kid who got ripped off

“I sold a Smartie to a kid for a fiver who thought it was a pill.” – Tom, Melbourne

The NewLo

Flying Lotus, You're Dead, Tumblr IRL

Flying Lotus

“I shat myself watching Flying Lotus at Glastonbury.” – Jeff, Leeds

The phantom leg

I lost my fake leg whilst very unhinged” – (source)

The wrong tent

Camping, tent, music festival

“At Leeds festival I went for a piss before going to bed. I then headed back to my tent. Woke up in the morning next to a couple who informed me it wasn’t my tent.” – Jason Mountford, via Facebook

The magic carpet

“I saw some guys cling filmed butt naked onto a chair with a flag strapped onto his hand while four of his mates proceeded to carry him across the whole of Reading festival, while passed out” – William Tse, Leeds

Noel Edmonds, is that you?

Mr Blobby, Noel Edmonds

Mr Blobby

“I took a lot of pingers and was walking up to the Park Stage at Glastonbury and fell over a burrito board and when I looked up the first thing I saw were two Mr Blobbys wrestling in the mud infront of me.” – Rich, Bristol

Colonel Mustard

“I put too much mustard on my burger.” – Jake Jon McCann, via Facebook


“My friend was getting on her friend’s shoulders and he dropped her face first onto a concrete floor and she knocked her front tooth out” – Anon

Just a toke

“At Leeds Festival, I once smoked a load of cigars at the speed of which I’d smoke a cigarette. Threw up for hours.” – Anon

The totally Enormous Mistake

“My friend took so many sweeties she mistook Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaur for a potted plant and then bit somebody.” – Anon

The flying pizza

Pizza, Pizza box

“I once saw a guy shit into a pizza box and hurl it like a frisbee across the crowd in blue campsite at Leeds.” – Ed Walton, via Facebook