After a relentless and unforgiving winter, it feels like it's actually summer now. Which means, of course, festival season is upon us.
Some people can rock up to a festival with just the clothes on their back and a bag of alcohol. Good for them. We're slightly more high-maintenance and neurotic than that, so we like to come prepared. Whether you're going to a festival for the first time this year or you feel you need some gentle guidance, here are 16 ways to mentally and physically prepare yourself for festival season. Disclaimer: not all of them are deadly serious.
For the love of god, wash your sleeping bag
There's nothing quite like unzipping your bag on the first evening and breathing in the sweet odour of your leftover sweat from that hot weekend at Glastonbury 2013.
Pack suncream, an umbrella, sunglasses, a mac, and a bikini
It could rain. It could be 30 degrees. It could be stormy. Being the UK, it will probably be all of those things at once. Come prepared.
Buy a shit phone
Forget about Instagram, you're going to be too busy having F-U-N. A Nokia 3410 will do the job fine, and its battery will outlive Bruce Forsyth. It's also got arcade classic Snake. What's not to love?
Start practising Buddhism
Queue for the toilets? Meditate. Someone pushing you around inside a packed tent? Meditate. Man in a fedora playing the guitar outside your tent at 5AM? Meditate. Can't go wrong.
Incorporate a hike into your daily routine
You're going to be standing up for about 18 hours a day. Those calf muscles need toughening up, otherwise you'll wilt like a dainty flower whilst watching Outkast.
Update your festival wardrobe
Throw your flower headband, kigu, morphsuit, and comedy hat into an incinerator and be done with it (if you own all of those things, you're a terrible person).
Learn the ways of the smuggler
This is so you can successfully transport three bottles of Russian Standard without being rapped by an overenthusiastic festival volunteer.
Buy more tent pegs
You don't have as many as you think, and many of yours will get nicked/bend into strange and wonderful shapes the moment you try and shove them into the unwelcoming British terrain.
Cut the strings off of your mate's acoustic guitar
It's for the best.
Tins are your friend
Go to the supermarket and buy ALL OF THE TINS. Sweetcorn, tuna, beans, spam - just go crazy. They (hopefully) won't leak, you can eat them cold with a stinking hangover, AND they're nutritious! Kind of...
Practise putting up your fucking tent beforehand
Or just buy one of those neat pop-up ones.
Get some ear plugs
They're cheap, and for those who do enjoy the occasional rest at festivals will cut out the sound of the all-night dance tent, your mates having awkward tent sex, and the relentless clanging of the nearby toilet doors.
Stuff as much toilet roll as you possibly can in your bag
This stuff is like gold dust, and you'll thank the lord you brought it when that kebab you bought at 3AM doesn't seem like such a good idea anymore.
Become a recluse for a week beforehand
You're going to be constantly surrounded by people for four days straight. It may be nice to go in there feeling well-disposed to them as a result of your self-imposed exile.
But most importantly, be prepared to barely sleep or eat - but have a bloody amazing weekend
See you at the bar!