A guide to attending music festivals, sober.

Image result for music festival meme

So this month I’ve been fortunate enough to attend two music festivals where I saw amongst others Queens of the Stoneage, Iggy Pop, Goldfrap & The Cure.

I just wanted to take a moment and acknowledge a huge shift in my sobriety…at no point throughout both of the festivals did I even have an inkling or a thought that a drink may be nice! This is huge. Booze had become a non-entity to me. Is this where the ‘obsession’ lifts I wonder? I sang, screamed and danced sober and had a bloody fantastic time doing it. I had forgotten that a live gig really is one of the happiest places I can be.

I was very aware of alcohol of course because the Finsbury Park festival was completely overshadowed by the lengthy cues to the beer tent.  I find it really amusing that people are now demanding refunds because they had to wait so long to get a drink. How can they expect a refund when what they were presumably paying for was to see a band, which they did. They just weren’t able to get as shitfaced as they would have liked be so now a refund is in order? This is where the tentacles of the alcohol industry become very visible. They have twisted themselves firmly around the live music scene and now people cannot even fathom not getting hammered and just listening to the music.

Forgive me, I digress…

Without further ado my guide to going to music festivals sober and having a bloody marvellous time!

  • Shoes
    Make sure you are wearing comfy closed shoes…I would recommend boots like DM’S, Wellies, Biker boots or the like. Do not try to go to a festival with your nicest open toe sandals. Your feet will be trampled upon by big oafish lads in rock shirts and also become unrecognisably filthy. Two hours into the festival people seem to completely be unable to use dustbins and the entire park becomes one large dumping ground for cigarette buts and empty paper cups and old bits of hot dog.
  • Water
    Take a water bottle and keep filling her up! Keep hydrated and beat overheating. Your skin will thank you in the morning.
  • Festival outfit
    Make sure you have a rocking festival outfit to get you in the mood and help you feel great! I personally love face glitter and don’t need much convincing to use it. I also like anything that has fringe and flowery see through kimonos are a must. If you feel good about yourself you are way less likely to miss booze.
  • Tissues & wet wipes
    Always have tissues and wet wipes in your bag. You don’t know the state of the toilets and may just need to make a balaklava out of them to enable you to survive the experience.
  • The drinkers
    If you are in early sobriety make sure than you really observe the drinkers to see what it actually does to you. Observe from start to finish. You will notice that they are deliriously happy the first hour when they start drinking. Then it’s a slow descend into a pit of debauchery. I saw a lot of crying, passing out and swaying. They can be your biggest motivating factor to stay sober.
  • The Music
    Close you eyes and pretend you are alone with the music. This will shatter any inhibitions you have and you can get right into it! Dance!!!! You were born to dance. You do not have to be wasted to do it! Let the music take you away!
  • Exit
    When you know there is only 1 or 2 songs left start making your way to the exit. Get a little jump-start on the crowd. Go to sleep with a clear head and get up the next day feeling bloody fabulous albeit slightly sunburned and tired:)



26 thoughts on “A guide to attending music festivals, sober.

  1. Hi HC!
    I am happy for you. 🙂
    And yes to the ‘If you are in early sobriety make sure than you really observe the drinkers to see what it actually does to you.’ Indeed: what it ACTUALLY does. 🙂 Not so pretty. 😦 I’m soooo happy I quit :-).
    xx, Feeling

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hilarious, as always! I haven’t been to live concert in years, but I think your advice applies to any outdoor event. Baseball and football games here are exactly as your described, without the dancing. It is CRAZY to watch the drinkers cursing and crying at the end, especially if their team loses.

    The most amazing part of your blog: “Booze had become a non-entity to me. Is this where the ‘obsession’ lifts I wonder?” That’s so amazing. I’d heard people talk about this state of mind but didn’t believe it was possible until I reached it myself. Congratulations! 💕💕

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love face glitter & everything sparkles all over too. If you have a Lush where you live, go buy their Lush Beauty Bar… it’s the bomb & smells yummy. Good work on sober festivals lady❤️, I can’t wait to attend one for my first time sober one day.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I completely agree! Great list!
    Of course, there’s not so much face glitter at Slayer or the mostly Metal festivals we go to. But the rest is true.

    I never went to festivals or concerts on my drinking days as the effort required always seemed too much. Now we travel, drive, enjoy, don’t wait in lines for booze or toilets much and drive home. I can’t begin to say how much I am inspired by love music. It fills my soul (yes, even slayer). Lol

    It’s awesome.
    Stillness and peace

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Sober music festival going. How very excellent! The raddest festival I’ve been to (Phish’s farewell in Vermont) I was not sober for. I went to a bluegrass, lower key one day festival with my kids recently. That was awesome. I, at least, can remember it much better than the drunken one. Curious. Who was your favorite performer?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I was at The Cure gig, HC – that’s is, assuming you were at Hyde Park festival last weekend? They were amazing! As were Interpol. You weren’t missing anything by not drinking.. and it was £25 for a bottle of crap Bulgarian Sauv! Red xx

    Liked by 3 people

    • You are joking red! You were there! That’s awesome. Maybe you saw the crazy redhead in her biker boots and flowery kimono screaming her 40 year old head off? Or did I just describe half the crowd? 😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻I remember the prices because my husband bought rounds for him and our friends and I almost had a bloody heart attack.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. “and flowery see through kimonos are a must” OMG!!! Will have to try one sometime but don’t know if I could pull that off. :)))) Face glitter YES. I loved The Cure…. I’m holding off on trying it sober for now.


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