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26th Aug 2021

Weeing on stage, giant penises and mistaking babies for bins: horror stories from festival fans

Adam Bloodworth

Festival horror stories

Soaked by torrential rain with nowhere to sleep, and too out of your head to make any good decisions? That’d be a walk in the park for this lot, who have experienced some true festival catastrophes..

Weeing live on stage, ending up in the wrong tent, puking over other people’s belongings and mistaking bins for children: below are some of the worst festival horror stories, compiled by JOE.

Okay, so none come close to the OG of festival nightmares, Fyre Festival, where tickets cost up to £75,000 but all punters got was this now iconic cheese sandwich, pictured below. But they’re pretty ridiculous anyway.

Ahead of the biggest sesh weekend in two years this bank holiday weekend (party sensibly! There’s some info at the bottom of this piece on how to do that) we’ve been getting nostalgic with some festival die-hards.

If nothing else these stories will make you feel better when you end up soaked, stoned and with nowhere to sleep this weekend. Dig in…

“I peed myself, live on stage”

“I perform at festivals with my partner as we both run Power Ballad Yoga, hosting workshops and performances at festivals and events.

“One particular performance, I’d already cracked open a can and then by the time we’d set up and been relocated to a new venue, I’d had one or two pints more. Towards the end of the workshop, I demonstrated a deep lunge and air grab, during which I managed to dislocate my big toe.

“The combination of pain, position and beer was too much for my poor bladder and I peed myself, live on stage. I’ve never been more glad of a full black velour catsuit and it’s absorptive capacity.”
Cat, 48

“She clung onto a bin – but it turned out the ‘bin’ was a child”

“During Adele at Glastonbury, a mate over-indulged and got into a dark place. When Someone Like You hit, she started hysterically crying and couldn’t move for a long time after Adele had finished.

“She then tried to attempt walking through the thick mud (it was one of the worst years on record) and when struggling a lot, clung onto what she thought was a bin. Her weight brought it down as they fell in the mud – but it turned out the object was a young child. The mum shouted angrily, of course, like you would if a high person grabbed your child and thought they were a bin….”
Chloe, 23

“My mates called me the guy with a huge penis all weekend”

“At Reading 2009, I was queuing up with a group of mates to get into the music area from the camping when a security guard came up to me and demanded I remove the hidden bottle from the front of my shorts. He then patted the area and discovered it was just…me.

“He almost died of embarrassment and my mates called me the guy with a huge penis all weekend. Not the best story but a boost for my ego! And before you ask – no, not really, but who am I to deny a rumour!”
George, 35

“We scrabbled around on the floor looking for hundreds of fivers”

“I was only about 20 in my early days of working at festivals. We were doing glitter face painting and it was definitely a steep learning curve… There was a lot of falling asleep at my stall after too much partying, but the worst experience was at my very first festival as a worker, Secret Garden Party in 2014.

“We were using an old wooden dressing table for our stall, and after a busy day, we carried the dressing table – filled with our days’ earnings – behind the stage we were working near and through to our tents. But when we got back we realised that the drawers in the table had fallen out in the middle of the dance floor with all the cash we’d made in the day.

“We ran back in to the tent and scrabbled around on the floor between dancing feet for hundreds of quids worth of fivers. Tragic. We must have looked so distraught as punters helped us pick it up. Luckily we managed to retrieve most of it so we treated ourselves to a celebratory cocktail!”
Dulcie, 28

“He walked back to our camp in just his pants, abandoning his clothes”

“The first time we went to Green Man, our friend Lawrence got lucky with a lady but only managed to spend half the night in her tent, because he went out to take a pee and then realised he had no idea which tent was hers to go back to.

“He had to walk back to our base camp in just his pants, abandoning his clothes, shoes and new lady without explanation. A sad story.”
Chris*, 39

“He vomited all over The Frenchman’s sleeping bag and clothes”

“I once went to a festival in France where a friend got so drunk he left us all to get an early night. He went back and threw up in his tent several times before drifting off to sleep.

“He was eventually woken up several hours later by an angry Frenchman. He didn’t speak French, but didn’t have to. He quickly realised he’d gone back to the wrong tent and vomited all over the Frenchman’s sleeping bag, clothes and everything else.”
Simon, 26

“We lit up a spliff in the tent, as A$AP would have wanted, which turned out to be a terrible idea”

Asap Rocky performing at Reading in 2013

“At Reading 2013, I was 17 years old and went to see A$AP Rocky in the NME tent. Poor and eager to have a good time, I prioritised beer and weed over food and water, so I attended the gig in the baking heat rather dehydrated as well as tipsy.

“We lit up a spliff in the tent, as A$AP would have wanted, which turned out to be a terrible idea. After one toke, I collapsed into the railings around the pillar that held the tent up, and was out cold. I woke up during his last song, Fucking Problems, surrounded by concerned friends and a paramedic nursing me back to health. Can of coke and a ciggie later, I was right as rain, but I learned not to smoke and drink again on a hot day without lining my stomach and carrying sufficient water first.”
Malcolm*, 25

“I bought acid from some hippies. They said take a half but I boshed the whole thing”

“I was at Fusion festival just outside Berlin. It was my first festival trip abroad. I took the acid on the first night and lost my friends soon after – then the weirdness began. It was occasionally fun and occasionally not.

“Trying to find my way back to my tent was the not fun part. I left the festival site, but via a different entrance than the one I went in, so my tent was not where I expected it to be. I could barely see at that point and was panicking. People kept talking to me in German and I was getting scared. I started running away when people tried to engage with me.

“My proudest drug moment was finally finding the tent and collapsing in a safe place.”
Alex, 41

“The waiter laughed and explained the festival was the other side of the country”

“I went to the 24-hour ‘I love Techno’ festival in Ghent, Belgium, via Amsterdam with a bunch of mates. We arrived by train in Genk and proceeded to have a Chinese meal in a restaurant. I asked the waiter at the end of the meal where the festival site was. He laughed and explained that Ghent in Belgium was the other side of the country. We had gone to Genk, a two-hour drive east of Ghent.

“We jumped on the last train back to Brussels and then boarded yet another train to Ghent. We finally arrived around midnight and I lost my friends straight away. I joined a queue of people and there was a lad handing out pills. I took one and then wandered around for a few hours. I ended up back in Amsterdam at 9am – not sure how I got there.

“It took us five hours to get to the festival and I reckon we were there for three hours max…”
Rob, 44

 “My tent COMPLETELY blew away”

“It was pouring with rain and I’d just finished a 12-hour shift working at Bestival. I returned to the field where I’d pitched my tent only to find it had COMPLETELY blown away, and was crumpled in the corner of the field. I could see my sparkly bras hanging in the hedge and people taking the rest of my clothes whilst my most prized possession – my DSLR camera sat in a puddle.

“I found my bag and scooped everything I could find into it and took the wet things off the people who were eyeing them up to steal. My bag was SO heavy because it was filled with litres of water alongside the items I’d recovered from wandering around the field.

“The only two people I knew on site saved me. One worked in crew catering, so had access to a big bag of rice for my camera, and the other worked in boutique camping so I stayed with him – hopefully that was karma for all the charity work I’d done that day.”
Jen*, 29

Helpful information

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article and would like help and support, click here.