Summer means music festivals and these are an opportunity to pack lots of live gigs into one fun weekend with your friends. The best way to really experience live music is to get as close to the front as possible which, as anyone who’s been to a festival will know, isn’t that easy but here are some tips to help you out.
1. Get to your favourite band’s set early.
Try to get to the stage where they are performing whilst the sound team is still setting up to make sure that you’ve got a great spot.
2. Tell a little white lie…
The old ‘my friends are over there’ line is a bit cheeky, but it works and people are more likely to let you get past.
3. Be prepared to stand.
Leave your fold-out camping chair at your tent and wear comfy shoes! If you want a chance to get to the front and stay there, you need to prepare to be stood up the whole time.
4. Don’t wear a backpack.
Backpacks are irritating in festival crowds and they make you an easy target for pick-pocketers. It’s a real squash at the front of the crowd so wearing a backpack will make people more likely to push you towards the back, so just take the essentials with you.
5. Try crowd-surfing.
Crowd-surfing is really effective as long as you drop down before you get anywhere near security. It’s also really fun!
6. Get your friends to help keep your place.
Once you’ve got your way to the front, it’s really frustrating to lose it because you need the toilet or run out of water. Get a friend to help you keep your place to avoid this from happening, especially if you arrive with plenty of time before the band’s set.
7. Be nice without being a pushover.
Be nice to everybody and you’ll find it much easier to work your way to the front. If you’re rude to other festival goers they will delight in pushing you to the back and not letting you get through.
8. Wear something interesting.
It isn’t practical to wear fancy dress every day of a long festival, but wear something interesting when your favourite act is playing, like some fairy wings or neon bright clothes to make yourself stand out and get to the front more easily. This is especially effective if the festival is being recorded and televised as the camera men will try to get interesting looking people into crowd shots.
9. Pretend to be security.
This is a bit tricky to pull off, but try wearing a black t-shirt and sunglasses and put on an air of authority. The crowds will part to let you through!
10. Come prepared.
Without carrying a big bag, make sure you have a bottle of water and your phone on you so that you don’t have to give up your spot.
11. Trail somebody bigger than you.
If somebody bigger than you is making their way to the front and getting through the crowds, follow them even if you don’t know them!
12. Work the edges.
As people will tend to gather in the middle of the crowd to get the best view, try making your way to the front by sticking to the perimeter.
13. Start up conversations with people.
Most festivals are quite friendly places, so try to get chatting to people in front of you about what songs they reckon will be in the band’s set or if you’ve seen them live before and work your way forward.
14. Get a good grounding.
Once you’re at the front or near it, make sure you stand with your feet hip width apart so it’s harder for people to push you.
15. Don’t stand on somebody’s shoulders!
This is also annoying to other people and will result in you being pushed towards the back of the crowd.
16. Pretend to recognise the person in front of you.
Simply pretend people further forward are your friends and work your way past other people.
17. Get a mosh pit started.
This is more appropriate at rock and metal festivals and you need to be careful; starting a mosh pit will help you elbow your way through the crowds.
18. Duck and dive.
If you’re short, you can try your luck ducking and diving past people. Be careful to avoid being elbowed in the face.
19. Distract people and sneak past.
You’d be surprised at how many times people will fall for the old tap on the shoulder or “Look over there” trick, in fact it might get you the whole way to the front of the crowd.
20. Forget nice and shove your way through!
Sometimes you do just have to turn into a human battering ram and shove your way through! Just try to make it look like you fell into somebody if they get annoyed.