An Artist’s Guide to Festival-ing

Since festival season is now well under-way, we thought it best to dig through the HISKIND archives for the best advice and general festival-chat from the artists who know the summer circuit all too well.

Tips for surviving festivals…

Everything Everything:

Jonathan: Don’t go. Or just don’t get too pissed in direct sunlight.
Alex: Make sure you eat some sort of vegetable in the three days that you’re there so you don’t go insane. In the shade though…
Jonathan: In the shade, go wild.

Spring King:

James: Have a Winnebago. And an airbed.
Pete: Berocca is the main thing. A tent you can pack down so you can take it away and not just leave it and litter the place as well. Hand sanitizer is an important thing too.
Tarek: Berrocca and shorts. I always take a pair of shorts, I have to have a pair of shorts at a festival otherwise I just don’t feel at home.
Andy: Don’t buy a cheap tent, buy a proper tent for the love of God because they always go to shit.

Frances:

Well… I’m a rubbish camper. A good pair of wellies. Ooh, actually I’d like someone to invent a pair of wellies with a good trainer base. They get really uncomfortable so they should invent a pair of wellies that you could just wear all day, like a trainer. Obviously some kind of rain coat is needed. I think you just have to let go at festivals, don’t you? Just admit that you’re going to look a bit rough.

Loyle Carner:

Yeah, baby wipes and whiskey. What else? Don’t go with your girlfriend I would say, don’t want to argue in the tent, yeah those are my tips.


Dream festival line-ups…

Everything Everything:

Alex: Deerhoof, Blonde Redhead, Plaid and…
Jonathan: R Kelly.
Alex: R Kelly, Mr Fingers and Aphex Twin.

The Big Moon:

Juliette: Ooh! The Kinks, Pixies, maybe The Magic Gang? LCD Soundsystem, definitely. Prince, Davie Bowie, Elvis headlining. Maybe Roy Orbison and Marika Hackman, she’s great. The Big Moon, obviously. There’d also be loads of circus events, people dancing and really colourful tent. Falafel, haloumi, olives, flatbread, hummus, all those nice things.

Frances:

Ooh! Carole King would have to headline one night. Stevie Wonder, Radiohead, Adele, Sam Smith, Kendrick, Michael Jackson, Prince, Bjork… I’d like to cater to everyone’s tastes for my festival. It’d be the best festival ever, really. I’d have to have a few million for this to work though.


Festival drink of choice…

Frances:

A mixed berry Rekorderlig cos they’re fruity and great, like me.

Spring King:

Andy: We’re all getting into cocktails now. A strawberry daiquiri, I love strawberry daiquiris.
Pete: If it’s not booze, I really like cucumber and water, I know that sounds incredibly lame. For me it’s just the most refreshing thing in the world, I just love that.
Tarek: I think James is just on the beers.
James: I’d probably just be a warm larger.

Loyle Carner:

A pint of whiskey [laughs]. No a pint of fizzy water definitely with loads of lemon.


Festival anecdotes…

Declan Mckenna:

One of the weirdest things that has happened was at SXSW in Austin. It was my last day there and I did this session and half one in the morning in this abandoned park and afterwards we went to book an Uber. So I’m on the phone to the guy trying to find where they’d parked the taxi on this really busy street, this woman shouts, ‘WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE!? YOU’VE BEEN COMPARED TO ADELE!’ I’m just there thinking, ‘What? Since when?’ before my tour manager steps in trying to tell this woman I’m busy finding the Uber. She ended up just talking to this person about me whilst I was on the phone and it was so uncomfortable. So that was a bit awkward, you get weird stuff like that. Turned out, she’d been to the show I did in the morning for a radio station which was kinda funny.

Words by Bill Baker