Surviving Festivals As An ‘Indoors Girl’
I’M going to stand up for the ‘indoors girl’. This poor maligned creature who hates dirt and mud and being caught in the rain. There’s nothing wrong with her.
In fact, the human race has spent tens of thousands of years evolving so that we don’t have to live outdoors. It was probably the indoors girl who pressurised humanity to move from caves to mud huts and then onto houses. Of course, the indoors girl didn’t have anything to do with it herself; that was left to others who liked lifting and digging.
You might guess that I am an indoors girl. I used to play camogie, but apart from my complete inability to strike the ball in the air, I hated the cold drizzling rain that was so much a part of training sessions. I have never camped. Once, I made what my mother called a ‘bower’ in the back garden, tying two old bedsheets between a pair of trees, but once the first drops began to fall I carefully dismantled it and went inside for tea.
As well as being an indoors girl, I love music, especially live music. I’ve even been to outside gigs before. Granted, they were in places like the RDS and Thomond Park at the height of summer, but they were still outside. However, festivals have always sounded like my idea of hell; something like the Somme but with less bullets and more pills.
So I thoroughly surprised myself by not only going to Indiependence, a three-day music festival in Mitchelstown, but actually enjoying it.
So how do you survive a music festival, if like me, you don’t like mud and rain? Well, if you can avoid camping, do. I’m lucky in that I live close enough to Mitchelstown and my friend’s patient and kind father drove us home every evening. Not for one second did we regret our decision to forgo camping. We heard tales of woe, sleepless nights, cowpats and flooded tents from not-so-happy campers.
The idea of camping is lovely. It’s probably lovely in somewhere like France where the sun can be relied on to make an odd appearance and campsites have loos and showers. But not so in Ireland, where the weather operates solely on Murphy’s Law.
Another tip: forget fashion. Some hardy souls were donning flip-flops and Converse and the only thing achieved by this is the ruination of €50 footwear and/or the ruination of your feet. Wellies are the only way to go. Denim is designed for the mines of California, not fields in rural Ireland (or aeroplanes, but that’s another article). Sometimes you see the likes of Diane Kruger or Katy Perry at Coachella wearing cute heeled boots. Forget it, this isn’t the desert and you will not spend your time behind a VIP rope. Wellies are the only way to go.
Sensible men wore the kind of tracksuits professional rugby players wear; ones that dry quickly. Countless girls froze in tiny denim shorts and soaking jeans. I’d advise layers; a dress, leggings or bare-legged, cardigan and of course, a rain coat.
Be sure to bring wet wipes and toilet roll. The toilets will be disgusting, but hold your nose. Think of it as an authentic cultural experience, recalling a time before we had proper sanitation. And if you ever think how soulless the 21st century is, just remember the smell of a festival portaloo. That’s the smell of history.
Embrace the mud. Yes, even indoor girls can enjoy festivals, especially when they return home to hot showers and warm beds!