The Hobo Guide to Music Festivals
Ah music festivals – the hobo Mecca (once you jump the fence). The following are essentials for anyone campsite bound who doesn’t want to spend their time enviously gazing upon their neighbours’ flick-knife/head-torch/condom/acid tab.
What to Bring
You’re a hobo and therefore way too poor to buy fancy burgers from the food trucks set-up around the main stage. Stuff your bags with non-perishables such as bread and two-minute noodles. Leave your clean eating sensibilities at home and make sure you carb-load for the entirety of the festival to stave off hunger-pains and inevitable alcohol poisoning. The one perishable exception to this rule is bananas – these bad boys will boost serotonin, which your poor tired brain will love on day four.
Admittedly, purchasing alcohol in the festival is going to set you back a few bucks, though the boutique beer barns are defs gonna be worth it. You’re obviously not allowed to sneak alcohol in, but if you hypothetically wanted to, the following tips are bound to increase your chances of getting the hard-stuff inside:
- Plant a decoy bottle: Something you don’t mind having confiscated that will make Sven the bouncer feel like he has done his job, and will make you get away with four other bottles of booze sealed in water bottles.
- Get personal: It will be painful, but sticky-tape the booze to your stomach. Fill a water bottle almost to the top and then squeeze the remaining air out so it’s flat. Then duct tape to your stomach (those with chest hair, give this a miss). This is ideal for sneaking booze from your campsite into the main festival site.
- Bread: Pick your favourite loaf, hollow out the inside, stick in your bottle of booze, and wrap back up.
Yes, there is more to packing than booze, so make sure your bags are bulging with the following:
- Water: That shit is expensive inside – bring as much as your hobo arms can carry.
- Clothing: It’s not the time for tricky trends and confusing zippers. Keep it simple in clothes you don’t mind getting a little rough around the edges. And leave the Indian headdress at home.
- Medication: Of the legal and non-legal variety will be essential to your trip. If bringing in the latter, enjoy your high and don’t be the dickhead in the medical tent abusing the volunteers at 4am. For the rest, you are bound to receive some drunken injuries at some point, so chuck some Band-aids and Panadol in your bag. You can use fancy antibacterial cream and bandages at aforementioned medical tent, so don’t waste money on that schnit.
- Wet-weather gear: You might be blessed with amazing weather, but it’s always best to have a back up. Bring a poncho or at least a large garbage bag to create a bespoke one in case of a flash flood.
- Torch: Hunting in your tent for a dropped biscuit is a game no one will win; you’ll need to save your phone battery as well, so it’s best to go old-school when needing to light the way.
Who to Bring
Now that your bag is bulging with necessities, you need to be as selective about the humans you pack for the trip.
- Someone attractive: Bring at least one person with abs that could grate cheese and a face that would put a top model out of a job. An attractive wingman will help you skip queues, talk your way backstage and guarantee you get their hook-up cast-offs at least once throughout the weekend.
- Someone who has camped before: Not only will they have thought to bring obscure items like a tarp and extra rope – they will be genuinely helpful when you are too drunk to put up your tent.
- Someone with all the music knowledge: Let’s face it, you may have printed out a set-list and highlighted the bands you want to see, but a lot of the time, you end up becoming a mess who can’t find their left gumboot let alone the Mix-Up Tent. Bring someone who can navigate you competently from stage-to-stage without missing an opening song.
“Festival grounds are a veritable Petri dish of diseases.” That may or may not have come from a science journal, but it could be true and it’s best to try to keep up some level of cleanliness. Endless shower queues sometimes make this a difficult task; therefore, it’s sometimes necessary to invent your own shower:
- Dry shampoo, wet-wipes, and deodorant: First thing in the morning, freshen up your unmentionables with a few vigorous swipes of your moist towelette and then douse yourself in so much shower-in-a-can that you become as flammable as lighter fluid.
- Bottled water: Yes, it’s wasteful, but desperate times… Stand on the inside of your zipped up tent, strip down, and douse yourself in refreshing bottled water. Use this method sparingly as you will need to drink the water more than you’ll need to clean yourself and it’s not that great for the environment.
If you have somehow managed to pick-up despite your questionable hygiene, you might want to bring your conquest back to your tent for some old-fashioned lovemaking. This can prove problematic if you’re sharing a tent or are within hearing range of your neighbours. Since there is no doorknob to hang a sock on for your roommate and patchy mobile reception to let them know you’ve pulled, it’s best to either sneak off mid-set and knock out your nookie when no one’s around or head back to nature and get some scraped knees in the bushes. Bull-ants might bite you during the latter option, but you will also avoid alienating your entire campsite with awkward tent-sex noises.
Nobody enjoys this part of the festival: people are irritable, the festival sparkle is gone, and that art sculpture you so lovingly created with leftover bread last night looks a lot like mouldy vomit this morning. Worse still, it has to be done on New Year’s Day. However, everybody is feeling as shit as you, so man-up, pitch in and get out as quick as possible. It’s tempting to rest your hung over head on a goon-sack pillow until the crowd has dispersed, but if you get up early and flee before your fellow punters, you will feel better for it and will really have earned your third bacon and egg sandwich of the day.
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Rowan still hasn’t finished War & Peace, but she did use it to balance her dinner once. Living in London, she’s steadily working her way through the Europe’s great cities and hopes to try every wine in England before her visa expires.