Art & Culture

Hi-De-Hi Campers! Straw hats are visible in the window of H&M and Millets are advertising in the Guardian Film and Music section. It can mean only one thing; Festival Season is upon us again and thousands of undergraduates, pikeys, fairweather ravers and reformed crusties are preparing to descend on the nations forests, car parks, swamps and arable for another summer of iphones in the air, wacky outfits, t-shirts with inane slogans, patronising clap-alongs, bad drugs, bad noodles, 2 quid bottles of water, celebrity backstage gossip, crappy Chinese lanterns, discarded camping furniture, indiscriminate deployment of spurious buzzwords like anthem and legendary and endless, breathless babble as journos and punters alike clutch at those precious and all too fleeting festival moments.R$Ns raving reporter Jack le Pen will be bringing you news, reviews and all the lastest goss, toss and dross from the UKs heaving festi-calendar throughout the summer. But before we kick off with Glastonbury next week, heres Jack le Pens Festival Survival Guide in simple didactic form. Go hard or go home, kids. 

Festival Dos and Donts

Dont: Go to a festival with your ex-girlfriend. Dont let her cuddle up to you in the tent on Friday night. Dont slope off and spend all day Saturday with the girl she thinks you might now be seeing. Dont double drop an hour before you meet up with her on Saturday night because she will seize the moment to inexplicably revisit some horrendous episode from your break up. You will be too mangled to engage and it will kill your Saturday night and the rest of your weekend. On the plus side, she will leave early on Sunday and you wont hear from her again til Christmas.

Do: Keep sunglasses on day and night and simply blank anyone that you cant face trying to talk to. If its someone you know through work or an old friend whose circumstances you cant instantly recall its going to be torture. Keep on walking and staring into the distance. Chances are they will be thinking: Oh Christ its him, he always forgets my name and try and avoid you anyway. If they really want to chat they will approach you. Remember, if cornered the chat will consist of little more than So when did you get here? Where are you camped? Who are you with? Really, can you be bothered?

Dont: When security guards clear everyone out the comedy tent to allow production staff to prepare the venue for DJs and dancing, dont slip under the makeshift barricade tape and run right through the middle of it whooping and waving your arms. All the punters queuing to occupy the tent will laugh and cheer but security will not find it funny, dislocate your shoulder marching you to the front gate, threaten to chuck you out and make you say really humiliating things like Im just a stupid student shithead just because they can.

Dont: take a fistful of hitherto untested drugs shortly before the surprise act emerges on the Park stage at Glastonbury. It could be someone really amazing like, I dont know, Radiohead or someone and you could well find yourself shivering and contemplating the entire set through the reverberating blue walls of a crud splattered portaloo. Your mates will then spend the rest of the weekend telling you how totally amazing it was and how you totally missed a totally legendary unrepeatable moment because youre a greedy, self-serving drug dustbin.

Dont: shit your pants if you arrive at Reading train station to find the platforms swarming with grim faced coppers and lairy spaniels. Spaniels cant smell K, as it turns out.

Dont: leave a message on your voicemail that says Hi its Jack, Im at (insert festival name here) I probably wont be checking messages this weekend so if you want to meet up, text me with a specific location and time and Ill see what I can do. Cheers! Everyone will think you are a cunt. Particularly your solicitor.

Do: Keep a large empty bottle in your tent at night. Theres nothing worse than lying awake for hours on end listening to the scousers in the adjacent tent discussing the new Kasabian record trying to work out whether you need to piss or not. Dont bother getting dressed and stumbling to to toilets, just pee in the bottle and decant it in the morning. If you need a crap use an empty carrier bag. Dispose of it carefully the next day though. Putting it in a bin which a human may later have to handle is not cool. Chuck it at Bono instead.

More scurrilous rumours and abject lies to come from Jack Le Pen over the ‘balmy’ festival season.
We’ll even have a photo of Jack before too long in those stupid glasses that look like blinds with a loads of lanyards and wristbands. And a big spliff and a pint of cider. In a t-shirt that says i-pood (featuring man on toilet wearing headphones). Watching Elbow. With a copy of the Q daily on my lap. From an inflatable chair.