Festivals are best enjoyed when they’re completely gross. When you go four days without showering. When sweat threatens to envelop your entire body. When you consume tinned peaches and consider it nutritious. Ever had a much-needed post-festival bath, while realising that what looked like a lovely suntan is actually a nasty coating of dirt? Exactly.
Last year it was revealed that – surprise surprise – rolling around in mud, drinking stupid amounts and neglecting hygiene for a week isn’t actually that good for you. In fact, according to a study at the University Of Surrey, a festival wristband left to rot and fester for two years can contain “a concentration of around 9,000 micrococci and 2,000 staphylococci bacteria on them.” In other words, if you keep those on your wrist, you might as well sprinkle ground on your salad.
But those nasty, stringy, worn wristbands are also caked in nostalgia. Each time you stare at a faded, favourite wristband, you’re reminded of the time you witnessed some of the best bands in the world in the company of thousands. Staring at a bare wrist doesn’t have the same effect.
This presents a pickle. You want to preserve those memories, but you also don’t want to be ridden with a lifetime of flu. There’s a solution for this. Here are the ways you can keep hold of those wristbands without being disgusting:
Frame your wristbands
Stick those germs behind a trusty pane of glass and keep them forever safe. Framing wristbands is the best way to cram loads into the same space without keeping a bunch around your wrists. It looks great, you can always swap old ones out for new ones, and you can be reminded of a dozen or more festivals at once. This Reddit user turned their sweaty remains into a lovely decoration.
Turn them into a dreamcatcher
Still suffering from post-festival fever dreams? The ones where you’re submerged in a portaloo, with no escape? No problem. Just make yourself a dreamcatcher out of old wristbands. Nightmares be damned. This Reddit user tells you how to make one.
Sew them onto your clothes
Stick old wristbands on an item of clothing (in the form of a patch, for instance), and carry your memories with you. Denim jackets would work, as would a wild costume you once took to a muddy field.
Turn them into a keyring
Another simple solution – keep old bands by your side by looping them round your keys.
Stick them in your Christmas tree
Months on from festival season, you’re probably longing for the days of baking sun and live music. Make festivals seasonal by cramming your most-loved wristbands in a bauble and putting them in a Christmas tree.
Make them removable
The big problem with mucky wristbands is they’re either on forever or off forever. Keep them glued to your wrist and you’re also tied to germs. Take them off and they go in the bin. One crafty solution is to snip the wristband off and tied them through a bead. That way you can maintain the post-festival look while staying fresh.