The Wildest Festival Stories You've Ever Read
After two years of cancellations, rescheduling and sub-standard events, festival season is officially in full swing; a period grandly ushered in by some of the biggest festivals in the world such as Glastonbury and Coachella.
For decades, music festivals have represented much more than a showcase of popular, talented artists. They are a vessel for community; for cultural movement and the setting for some of the most outlandish stories that could fall on one’s ears.
If you’re lucky enough, you won’t just have heard these stories; you’ll witness them yourself! Though in most cases, it’s probably less of an ordeal to just have them told to you. So, with that in mind – and with Glastonbury commencing this week – I thought it would be appropriate to take a look at some of those stories…
*(some of the following stories have been redacted to accommodate for their size, or to reduce the potential risk of offence)
The True Stories...
“At my very first festival I broke my foot, became friends with a guy who had broken his leg and partied with a small person who was wearing a unicorn horn while sitting on the shoulders of a girl who was sitting on the shoulders of another girl. I’ve been going to festivals ever since. True story.”
“I met a guy with two cats that sat on his backpack through the whole festival. Actually ran into him at Dillon Francis set at Counterpoint 2015. These cats were completely chill with the sound and lights too. It was mind blowing to say the least.”
“After wandering around for a bit, I see a guy standing on shakedown with an old style boombox, just chilling… I head over, tell him I like his tunes and toss him a beer.
We’re both jamming out for a bit, start dancing… slowly a few other people came over… within 15-20 minutes a group of probably 30 people had gathered up, somebody had hauled over a keg, and we had a full blown dance party going on.
It was probably about 7 AM, a madhouse was brewing, and me and boombox guy were the DJ’s. After maybe a half hour of this, we notice some security guards eying us up… eventually a couple security guards come over, and I step in.
“Hey guys what’s going on, everything cool?”
The security guard says, “It’d be cooler if you put that NWA back on.” We oblige, and now the security guards start getting down. Probably around 9:30 I run out of beer and smokes, and plan on heading back to camp. I sit down, and promptly pass out.”
“At wakarusa 2012, the people that we camped next to wore onesies quite a bit, the guy had a box full of random [stuff] he busted.. out of nowhere he pulled dental moulds of his ex-wife out and gave them to my friend to keep. Nice people, unique experience.”
“Pemberton 2014. Having a blast during Above & Beyond at the electronic stage. I had my hands up in the air and some dude straight up bites onto my underarm hair and holds on. I was shocked for a second then pushed him off. He then took off through the crowd never to be seen again with some of my hair still in his mouth.”
“Pemberton 2014. Having a blast during Above & Beyond at the electronic stage. I had my hands up in the air and some dude straight up bites onto my underarm hair and holds on. I was shocked for a second then pushed him off. He then took off through the crowd never to be seen again with some of my hair still in his mouth.
So I messaged them because I am technically a licensed minister. Then I reached out to the county to get my paperwork straight. So on the first night of forest I performed a wedding”
“There was this guy on the floor, surrounded by security trying to shoo people away. He was on his back, I think he had taken too much… I’ll never forget the way he moved, he was still dancing: like a broken toy, a wind-up soldier who couldn’t stop, a puppet… The sheer horror of it…”
“At Paradiso last year the winds were REALLLLY heavy, I thought that the main stage might fall over so we were way up the main hill. Suddenly we saw the entire VIP area catch a gust and begin to fly away!
Hundreds of party goers had to grab the tents before they went into the gorge! Somehow they tied it down better but me and my friends were cracking up so hard at the whole thing!”
Taking It Back To Where It Started
Perplexed? Struggling to visualise, or fathom them chaos? I wish I could say the same…
Now I can’t quite produce a blog post on the otherworldliness of festivals without getting some first hand accounts from the festival that shaped the modern expectation of what a music festival would, could and (arguably) should be…
“… I couldn’t believe how widespread the whole hippy thing had gotten as evidenced by the size and appearance of the crowd.
There were guys in tie-dyed shirts and bell-bottom trousers, girls in jeans or granny dresses with long hair parted down the middle, and they all looked under 30… Later we learned [attendance] had been around half a million – the third largest city in New York State had sprung up like a mushroom.
This was the first revelation of Woodstock-the sheer size that the counterculture had grown to. Every town had its hippies, but now enormous numbers of us had massed in one area. Friday afternoon brought home to everyone there how broad-based the movement really had become.”
19-year-old male from the Finger Lakes, on Woodstock ‘69
*[Unfortunately I couldn’t find a name or username for our Woodstock attendee, but I’ve added a link to the source – as well as all the other featured stories – for you to check out in your own time; but read at your own risk!]
“Arriving at the festival and seeing all those incredibly strange people…me sitting on a stone wall, just watching and absorbing it all. Even today, the feeling resonates in me.
I was a small-town kid and had never seen or felt anything like it. You have to remember, it was just a festival. Nobody knew it would become this historic thing and that we would be part of it. We just wanted something to do and hear some music.”
What's Your Festival Story?
That’s enough to make you either A) buy a ticket for the next big festival (or Ibiza) or B) never go near one for the rest of your life! And hey, they’re not for everyone, but the stories are nothing short of entertaining.
Whether it’s a personal anecdote, or an urban legend passed from ear to ear, add your wildest festival story to your timeline today! Maybe you shared that experience with an old friend? With Iternal, you can share any of your stories with the people you care most about, and revel in the nostalgia together!
Be sure to come back to this blog spot next week for more new content!