What Was Your First Festival Experience?

Do you remember the first time? Did you, like Metronomy’s Joe Mount, have a friend who tried to exist on ridiculous foodstuffs (in Mount’s mate’s case – marzipan and orange juice)? Or were you as posh as Pulled Apart By Horses, who spent their first festival eating strawberries and cream out of a cooler? Perhaps, like Kasabian’s Tom Meighan, you realised that the mud and smell was just not for you (no judgement).

As far as first festival experiences goes, mine was pretty standard. Aged 16, I went to Slane Castle in 2003 for a one-day event. As, it seems, did exactly everyone else my age in Ireland. Seriously, not a party goes by where I suddenly find out someone esle was in that field. It was like the Irish Woodstock.

The coach trip was about two hours outside of Dublin. By 10am, I’d kissed the boy who’d sat next to me on the trip, and then avoided him for the rest of the journey. My friend was so drunk that we had to help her through the ticket barrier. More of the same ensued. The line-up was pretty great, PJ Harvey, Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Queens Of The Stone Age. I considered buying a t-shirt, but they were over-priced for my teenage pocket.


Typically, I lost all my friends during Red Hot Chili Peppers, and had to make my way home from the countryside by myself. It wasn’t the most fun, but in retrospect I was probably a lot calmer about it than I ought to have been. Since then, I made certain that my phone was always charged.

How did you handle you first weekend in a field? Let us know in the comments. We’ve already consulted our Twitter/Facebook followers – check out the best responses below.

Charlie Ivens
Reading 1992: fibbed to my parents that I was meeting friends but went alone, spent the weekend with an awesome young lady anyway, saw Suede *absoutely killing it* in the tent, and managed to miss Nirvana’s final UK performance thanks to the aforementioned lass…

Zoe Turrell

Reading 2001 – I was 15 and had never done drugs till that weekend – I ate the questionable hash brownies before smoking a spliff – after staring at the campfire for quite some time me and my friends wandered off into the mass of people where i was wrapped entirely in cling film like a mummy (I agreed to this) carried around by a stranger, my friends managed to coax me back off him by trading me for a bag of hot doughnuts and an invisible squirrel.

Cassandra Hannigan

The Byron Bay Arts And Music Festival (Australia), 1994, tripping on acid for days, going to see The Dirty Three, right up against the stage. Warren Ellis leans down to the front row and tells us to get up on stage with them… I was of course still tripping, up on stage with The Dirty Three, looking out at a packed out tent, I will never forget it, or the hours upon hours after it, that it took us to stop laughing, until of course we got distracted by the frogs croaking, quite possibly the best time ever in the whole entire universe. I love you Warren Ellis!

Fabio Rocha

Tim Festival 2007 (Brazil) The Killers, Hot Chip, Björk, Juliette and the Licks and Arctic Monkeys. It was crazy, I had to get my first job just to buy the ticket, there were some issues about schedule and it was insanely hot, but it was perfect.