Don’t be a dick this festival season: the COVID-safe edition

We've explored in the past how not to be a total annoyance to everyone around you as festies get underway, but things have changed a bit now, eh?

Festivals are back! Aren’t they? Are they? Fingers crossed for whatever you’ve booked that it slips through the net of what is quite frankly the “government throws a dart at the regulations and announces them three hours before they happen” strategy.

Anyway, now we think about it, festivals, aside from orgies (and quite frankly the two are often interchangeable) are pretty much ideal conditions for our old pal to thrive. Dancing in a grotty field with thousands of other people who aren’t showering and sleeping in airtight waterproof germ-igloos? Sign us up! Of course there’ll gobe safety regulations in place when festivals come back, but we can all do out bit to make sure we’re a bit safer when we’re so drunk we actually decide Snow Patrol are good.

We’ve explored in the past how not to be a dick during festival season, but things have changed a bit now, eh? Here’s our guide on how not to be a dick this festival season.

Don’t share drinks 


This is on a par with blowing out candles on a birthday cake in that we thought nothing of it before lockdown and now we’re all a bit like, “I’m surprised we haven’t had a pandemic before – we’re all disgusting.” Keep that cup with you all day. Plus, there’s nothing worse than picking up the wrong drink and realising you’re friends with someone who drinks Strongbow.

Be careful who you share a tent with

If, like me, you’ve got a mate who likes to get… friendly with new people at every festival, maybe even when you’re in the tent trying to pretend you haven’t got ears, suggest they don’t be a dick and in fact invest in a one-man tent. At the Isle of Wight Festival a few years ago I borrowed a tent from my brother-in-law, and when I got to the festival it was a groundsheet and some pegs. The lad next to us had a spare six-man tent for me and my friend, and his pals were livid as he’d made them set up a two-man and a one-man for the three of them, but he said it was “cosy”. So sell it to them this way.

Get a hazmat suit for the portaloos


Don’t get on someone’s shoulders when they’re trying to watch the headline act

Applied before COVID; applies now. Will apply after the apocalypse and there’s only cockroaches, Rupert Murdoch and that one girl in denim hotpants who obscured my view of Liam Gallagher singing ‘Champagne Supernova’ in Heaton Park in 2009. Not that I’m still annoyed about it.

Don’t lick anyone’s face

Might sound random but it wasn’t at Glastonbury 2016 when a woman did this to me and then told me she was in love with me. IN love. Bit much.

Don’t get in a mosh pit

This might be an unpopular opinion, but don’t do this anyway. Can we not just enjoy the music? (Hello I’m 88 years old.) Can you imagine taking all the right precautions to be safe and then ending up getting COVID from someone’s armpit during the finale of ‘Killing In The Name’. My first-ever gig was The Subways at the Northampton Roadhouse and I got the absolute shit kicked out of me whilst trying to have a nice time to ‘Rock & Roll Queen’. All five stone of me stood at the side for the rest of the gig and got folded into the bus home, and that was without a deadly pandemic. Don’t do it.

Plan ahead for the shower situation


Everyone has a story about their mate who pulled someone on the fourth day of a festival and the ensuing hygiene horror story that unfolded. If you can’t fork out the extra £45 quid for access to the showers (I’m aware it’s been a tough year for everyone but let’s face it £45 at a festival is giving up your last three pints; consider sacrificing something) then bring biodegradable wipes – or maybe a refillable spray bottle – and just try and make sure you have some sort of wash in the time you’re away from home. Maybe take a small tin bath and let the inevitable rain do the rest?

Throw your wristband in the recycling the second you get home

I’m fairly sure these things are gonna single-handedly contribute to the fourth wave if we carry on leaving them around our arms for decades after we attended. Side note: never go beyond a second drink with someone who has one on that isn’t from the same year you’re in. They do not wash their hair.

Snog through a mask

Kidding! Just go for it if you’ve done everything else. It’s the least we deserve. See you at the burger van.