Confessions of a Festival First-Timer + I’m going to Festival No.6!!

Hi, I’m Elle, I’m 31 and I’ve never been to a festival.

*waits for horrified gasps to die down*

Yeah, I know. The thing is though, in Australia, where I grew up, festivals aren’t the rite of passage that they are here in the UK.

But probably more importantly, I’m scared of camping. We broke up, actually (you can read my ).

Festival No. 6

But I guess we’re getting back together (we’ll just call it a summer fling, because I doubt it’ll last till winter) because this September I’m off to in Portmeirion, North Wales.

What is Festival No. 6?

After I read about Monica’s experience there last year I thought, for the first time, that maybe I could get into this whole festival thing. The food seemed out-of-this-world, there was a whole woodsy vibe that I’d go crazy for (seriously; show me a hedgehog and I melt) and the entertainment looked world-class. There was even paddle boarding, which is one of my favourite things in the world.

Festival No. 6

Festival No. 6

So when Monica asked if I’d like to be a 2016 Festival Number 6 ambassador I was so excited I said yes before remembering my camping break-up. Awkward.

But honestly, it looks like an incredible event, and perfect for a festival novice like myself. The musical line up alone is impressive, with Bastille, Noel Gallagher and Hot Chip headlining, as well as a bunch of other acts that I will spend the next few months listening to obsessively to learn the lyrics (check out the ). Then there are parades and processions, more paddle boarding (yasss) and a stage in the forest where I’m pretty sure I’ll be spending at least 85% of my time.

Plus, there will be Michelin starred chefs cooking at banquets as well as tasty street food and plenty of options in between. I honestly don’t know how I’ll decide what to do each day – there’s just so much choice!

Festival No. 6

I have a few months to work out how to festival like a pro, but in the meantime I’ll take any tips I can get, so please share yours in the comments!

I can’t wait to experience my very first festival, and I’ll be sharing every step of the journey with you, including how to pack, and maybe (if you’re really lucky) a video of me trying to pitch a tent.

*Googles “how to pitch a tent”*

Festival No. 6

But for now, I want to hear from you. Are you a fellow festival virgin? Would you lose your festival virginity for Festival No. 6? And if you’re a festival pro, please please tell me all of your secrets! What do I need to pack? What do I definitely not need to pack? How do I stay clean?

And how, seriously, how, do I pitch a tent?

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Festival No. 6

Elle Croft

Elle Croft is a London-based travel blogger who is equally happy exploring the city she lives in as venturing to far-flung destinations.She's a firm believer in stylish travel, and will always look for a twist on the traditional. Luckily for her, London offers unusual experiences in abundance. When Elle's not travelling or blogging over at A Bird in the Hand you can usually find her, coffee in one hand and camera in another, strolling the beautiful streets of the city she calls home.


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SHOWHIDE Comments (14)
  1. Finally, someone else who’s not into camping or festivals 🙂 I’ve also made it to the grand ol’ age of 33 without doing either.. I don’t think high school camps really count.
    Since I’m from NZ, I did do the Big Day out though!

    1. Oh, the big day out is a must (but then again, it’s not camping so it’s so much better!).
      I’m glad I’m not the only one who wasn’t swept up in festival mania…stay tuned to see how it all goes though! *laughs nervously*

  2. Good luck! I’m 47 & I never have, nor ever will go to a festival! The idea of being surrounded by hoards of people, using smelly plastic toilets & sleeping under canvas is enough to send me into utter demential mode! I’m built for comfort i’m afraid!! Though I do hear there’s a nice one in the Balearics somewhere based in a boutique hotel??!! Now, that’s could be tempting 😉

    1. Thanks Nicky! A boutique hotel sounds lovely – and I have a feeling Festival No. 6 will be closer to that than the average festival experience – I’ll let you know!

  3. Festivals aren’t too big here either (in Canada). I mean, we DO have them but they’re just not as popular as they are in the UK and the rest of Europe. I’m 34 years old and I’ve never been to one – but I HAVE gone camping once before! The festival you profiled in this post looks absolutely dreamy! Almost like you’re going to some kind of posh resort or something – I’m sure it’ll be a blast! Plus, Noel Gallagher!!

    1. Doesn’t it look lovely? I’m predicting it’ll be so much fun that I’ll totally forget about the whole camping thing! Would you go camping again?

  4. I’ve been to a ‘local’ festival, and to be honest it’s not for me at all. I didn’t think I’d like it, but I gave it a try – which ended up many tears. I partially liked the idea of it as it’s only a day festival and I could come back to my house at the end of the night/early morning and sleep in my own bed and use my own facilities. However, I got on the bus to the venue and had a panic attack and from there on out the panic attacks continued for a good few hours & I kept trying to convince myself I could stay. But in the end, I decided getting the bus home was a much better choice for me personally! That being said, obviously thousands and thousands of people love them! And I hope you have a wonderful time!

    xx

  5. I’m no festival pro, but I have been to a few now and I’d recommend taking lots of plastic bags! I learned to wrap all my outfits in them individually after a very damp festival + leaky tent meant that I didn’t have any clean dry clothes for a weekend! But don’t be put off, the atmosphere will be amazing & it’s the best break from real life, everyone’s so happy at these places! I’d highly advise Glastonbury next year! 😉 Can’t wait to read more of your blog! xx

    1. Agreed with it being a break from real life – especially at Festival Number 6. It’s like stepping into some kind of weir fairy tale for a long weekend.

      And we’ll definitely have to make sure Elle has a good tent – nothing worse than a leaky tent!

  6. I went to my first festival ever two summers ago, and had so much fun! I am NOT a camper, and didn’t particularly enjoy the ‘tent’ part of the experience, but had such an amazing time listening to the great bands, spending time lounging around with my friends, eating and drinking and just chilling! The atmosphere was indescribable, and it is definitely something I am happy to have experienced! 🙂

    I’ve written about how I experienced my first festival here () and here () if you’re interested. But forgive me; it was early in my blogging days, and literally just a play-by-play of all the fun! 🙂

  7. I love festivals! I was just talking about it to my friends yesterday, there’s something (without sounding too corny) about being surrounded by strangers all there for the same thing, it gives me goosebumps when a crowd sings so loud it echoes through a venue. I imagine Bastille singing hey ho will have exactly this effect.
    Take baby wipes, dry shampoo and a good hat… I don’t know how civilised this festival is, it seems pretty up market but people like to throw beer… hopefully that doesn’t put you off. It only usually happens if your really far upfront! Anyway, enjoy I hope you love it and I can’t wait to read your thoughts!

  8. I went to No 6 last year and it was amazing! I am a well seasoned festivaller having worked at festivals for 10 years. No6 was pretty easy, it’s quite well organised aside from the transport from the train station which they will have hopefully sorted this year. It’s like three festivals in one! The bits set in Portmerion are great especially if you have ever seen The Prisoner. Then there are activities and stages on the woods. And then there is the main arena with the big stage which is very chilled out and has lovely views. It’s worth going down to the beach through the forest route.
    The camp site there was on a hill so if you don’t want to sleep on a slope for 4 days like we did GET THERE EARLY! Have a good spacious tent not some tiny thing that is all hot and sweaty and damp. If it rains you want a place where you can stay for a bit and be dry but not afraid the whole thing is going to collapse on you. And if it’s hot then you also want somewhere you can sleep and not boil to death. Wake up early for the shower otherwise you will be in the queue for hours. It gets super cold at night though so make sure you pack some cold weather shoes for trips to the loo. If you drink alcohol beware it can be really expensive! £8 for a little G&T 🙁 The people who attend the festival are really nice. The atmosphere was quite relaxed and chilled out, no aggro at all. And the best bit is you get to hear people actually speak Welsh. Have a lovely time.

  9. I am by no means a festival virgin, in fact I’m a bonafide festival floozy – but I can attest to the fact that Festival No. 6 is super *nice* and will probably be perfect for you!

    Here’s some photos of my weekend there last year:

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