This was the first year that I made it to the Wireless Festival at Hyde Park in London. Having finally witnessed what I have been missing, I am certain that I will be going again, again and again.
I’ve compiled a few personal observations – mostly things that I was amused by or would have been thankful to have known before I went.
Hope they’re useful or just fun to laugh at!
2. If you sing along and dance to every song, as I did, you should expect to leave with a sore throat and aching legs… definite signs of a wonderful day.
3. You will leave with lungs filled with passive smoke from cigarettes and weed joints. Smokers ignore the signs which ban them from lighting up, and because we’ve become so accustomed to the smoking ban in the UK, it’s a bit of an uncomfortable experience, especially when someone decides to light up in the middle of a crowd and you’re standing beside them.
4. Food and drink is not cheap – you can expect to pay at least £4 for a beer, £6 for a small cocktail in a cup
5. You will get grass in your cider, or your beer, or your soft drink.
6. You’ll probably have someone else’s drink spilt on you too.
8. There is lots of flesh on show, and it’s great because makes you feel like you’re in another country
9. Expect crowds. Massive crowds. If you are claustrophobic, I’d recommend that you stay well away from the stages.
10. Print a copy of the line-up so you know who is performing, on which stage, and at what time. It’ll help you plan your time so you can schedule in those essential toilet breaks and trips to the burger bar.
11. Speaking of going to the toilet, if you’re a female you will have to pee in a portable toilet, also known as a portaloo. I had my first experience of one at Wireless – luckily there was toilet roll and there was even a small mirror on the back of the door, but just in case, I would recommend that you take a tissue or two in your handbag.
There wasn’t the greatest of smells around the toilet area – the stench of men’s urine festering sucked out all the life in the air.
This was probably because the men had a row of plastic urinals without any walls around them; so it felt like they were literally peeing before your eyes. Well, technically, they were but thankfully all you could see was a row of bottoms lined up.
12. It’s a fun, open-air, outdoor concert and everyone there is just looking to dance, sing and have a great time and so there is a fantastic atmosphere.
13. If you hate litter, like me, you might have to walk around with your eyes shut. By the end of the day, the field is more of an assault course with rubbish spewed everywhere. You must carefully navigate your way to the exit, dodging burgers, chips, cardboard boxes, clothes, and more.
14. Your patience will be tested – stay calm and smile! As you arrive, you are likely to notice masses of people queuing to actually get in to the Festival. It took us a good hour to get through the doors.
My patience was tested occasionally during the day when I got the odd push or shove from a reveller in the crowd – don’t be gobby or give attitude, just accept apologies and focus on having a great time.
15. The level of anti-social behaviour, craziness and drunkenness of festival goers will increase as it hits early evening time. I witnessed drinks being thrown over and into crowds and a few verbal squabbles when people pushed or got in each other’s ways – it’s definitely light-hearted fun but probably not the place to bring any children.
16. Finally, when it comes to getting home, imagine 50-60,000 people all rushing toward a station like elephants. It’s inevitably going to be shut down due to overcrowding, as is the next nearest station and the one after that.
Think strategically and jump on a bus or walk to a station as far away as you can as you’ll have a better chance of getting home, and faster.
That’s about all from me – don’t be put off though, it’s a fantastic day and definitely worth going to if you like the line-up!