My opinion on the cancellation of YNOT Festival…

Now first off, I want start by saying that it has taken me a long time to write this post for a couple of reasons, one being I came straight back from YNOT to then go on holiday to Greece (ooo’s and aaa’s and all that) and the second being its taken me more than one attempt to get this right with out sounding to critical or offensive towards the producers of YNOT festival and also I didn’t want to be one to moan but I felt as I experienced everything first hand I am entitled to have my say.

So, If you didn’t know YNOT Festival is a family friendly festival which has ran every year since 2006 and it has actually won an award for the best medium sized festival and was very reputable up until this year.
Now, there are many arguments surrounding why the festival got cancelled early and most are a matter of opinion but for me the biggest factor of why the festival was cancelled was the organisation. When the announcement was sent out that the festival had to cut short the reason which was given was because of ‘extreme weather conditions’ and ‘dangerous grounds’ and yes the weather conditions were extreme as it was torrential rain majority of the weekend and yes therefore the grounds had become dangerous but when a festival is based in the middle of the Peak District in ENGLAND what do they expect. Like I said there was torrential rain for majority of the weekend and I understand that every piece of land is different but there were no precautions taken there was only straw placed around the food stalls everywhere else was like a swamp. I mean every single visitor to YNOT festival knew it was going to rain that weekend so for no precautions for the weather to be taken is purely a lack of organsiation and preparation.

Now, besides from the weather being a factor of the cancellation there are also speculation around the increased volume of people attending the festival this year. When you compare YNOT festival to something like Reading and Leeds or Glastonbury it is such a small scale festival and I feel like this year the producers tried to compete with this by allowing more people to attend the festival than the guided capacity stated.
When I got to the festival with my early entry ticket on the Thursday the campsite were all already very busy and just got fuller and fuller as the day went on. Being in the arena wasn’t too bad but maybe thats because I’m used to being in crowded arenas but I did notice that it did seem very overly capacitated and if you add together torrential rain, a lack of organisation and a massively over capacitated festival it can only end in disaster.

Never the less of the acts that I did see (*cough* all 6 of them *cough* ) I had a great time, majority of the staff were super helpful ( some really weren’t ) and the festival itself had the potential to be a favourite of mine. However, I just wished the weekend would’ve gone as planned as I has ruined my opinion of YNOT festival well and truly and I wish I would’ve had chance to give it a fair review. But hey ho, I got to meet a lot of new people, get drunk in a field with my best friend and I also got to meet the lead singer from one of my favourite bands, check me out I know… All in all I still love festivals and I do hope to maybe give YNOT another go at some point in the future.
Also stereophonics were AMAZING and I did get a really comfy hoodie so I guess thats a win…

Ciao for now, xo
-lex.

p.s. all opinions are my own.
p.p.s. all images are my own and were taken by me over the course of the weekend.

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Festival tips (YNOT? edition)

So as festival season is well underway and is one of my favourite times of the year I thought it very fitting to give my opinions on how to get the best out of your expierence and also have one of the best summers of your life.

As a regular festival go’er I’m not the most experienced but I mean I’ve managed to survive 4 years of attending festivals so I guess I’m doing something right. This year I am going to YNOT festival which runs from Thursday 27th July to Monday 31st July and this will be my first year attending this festival. I am also going to Leeds Festival this year but as that isn’t until August I figured it made more sense to write about YNOT and it thought it would also be more exciting as it is my first year after all.

Now onto the somewhat helpful part ( I hope) …

1.Camping…
In terms of camping there are several factors which come into consideration like the tent, the comfort, the pitch and the safety. For a tent it’s best to shop around before you actually commit and buy the first one you see that ‘looks okay’.
Look for:
Material (make sure it states that is is waterproof not water resistant, otherwise you will still get soaking wet in a downpour)
Specifications (you will find out so information just from this section)
-Set up (look at how easy the tent is to set up and take down as the last thing you are going to be wanting to do is spending hours setting up and taking down a tent. Automatic pop-up tents are great as they still have poles and a fixed frame but are super quick to assemble and take down)
Reviews (This is such a handy thing to do, looking at what past buyers think is the bets way to get a real judgement for an item as it hasn’t been depicted as an amazing product form the seller)
Price (obviously for a festival you don’t want to be spending hundreds of pounds on a tent that you will use once or twice so just look for one which is reasonable but not ridiculously cheap!)

All tents look very similar but if you actually read the specifications then you will see the differences. Last year me and my best friend literally walked in to Asda and bought the first tent we saw for £30 because we thought it would be fine and was an absolute bargain. But boy did we pay for it! granted we had torrential rain every single day of the festival and the ground more of a river by the end of it the tent itself held up pretty well. However all the pegs got stuck into the ground, the tent itself ripped the and we woke up soaking through from the rain every morning! That is why this year we didn’t want to make the same mistake but we also didn’t want to spend a fortune on a tent we were going to use twice. So we took to good old Amazon in hope we’d find a cheap but sturdy tent and we found a double layered, water proof, automatic pop-up tent for £49.99 which had 5* reviews, bargain I know!

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This is the tent I have purchased this year. 

Now, for the comfort you may want to consider an airbed, lanterns, sleeping bags and blankets (because it gets exceptionally cold at night) all of these for me are essentials but everyone is different! This year we are also taking camping chairs, a gazebo and firewood just to make the overall camping experience better.

The pitch and safety are two factors which role into one really, for me going to YNOT festival this year I have no idea where to camp and where is best to camp but we are just going to look for the most lively of places where we can meet new people and party with this at night, because thats what festivals is all about. If rain is forecast do not camp in a ditch as the water will collect and you will literally wake up to a lake outside your tent, the top of a hill is always a safe bet for camping. Finally, DO NOT padlock your tent as this just entices people. If you’re worried about leaving your belongings in your tent, don’t be everybody at the festival will most likely have the exact same belongings as you and therefore have no reason to steal it. The only thing that may entice people is your alcohol and your camping chairs so just make sure they are out of sight. As long as you keep your valuables like your mobile, money, ID and anything else valuable on your person you will be safe.IMG_2038

2.Food & Drink… (and by drink I mean alcohol)
This is a subject which is quite close to my heart when it comes to festivals as I am also hungry and love to drink, and festival food is also very pricey. Obviously you don’t want to be bringing your full weekly shop to a festival with you but if you make sure you bring  enough to keep you from starvation over the weekend then you will be okay. For food I personally like to bring cereal bars for the morning when we wake up, family packs of crisp to tie you over through the day and pot noodles, seriously those things are life savers! Maybe eat a proper meal from the food vendors at least once every other day for a slightly more nutritious meal.
Now, for the interesting part… The alcohol. Anyone who goes to festivals knows a substantial amount of alcohol is consumed over a short period of time which is why it is a necessity. If you want to get crates of cider or larger or even bottles of spirits it all becomes very weighty when you’re trying to juggle carrying all your camping equipment and clothes. But, YNOT have introduced an ingenious idea where you can click and collect your alcohol once you have set up your camp and the prices aren’t too bad so its a win win situation really. Don’t panic if you run out of anything whilst you’re there because you can leave the festival so if you want to pop to the nearest supermarket there are usually shuttle buses which run to and from the closet city centre.

3.Clothing… 
In terms of packing clothes it is so easy to go terribly wrong and you could end up freezing because all you’ve brought is shorts and dresses or not having any dry clothes by the end of the weekend because your jacket wasn’t waterproof (this one I have first hand experience on)
When packing consider..
-Checking the weather forecast before you pack so you can account for all weather types
-Plan your outfits so you don’t overpack
-Always bring warm stuff for night time
-Bring a waterproof jacket regardless of the forecast (we are in England after all)
-Bring extra socks!
-Pack jumpers/jacket which you can just throw on if you get cold
-Sensible footwear, Wellies aren’t cute but they are practical, I also pack my doc marten boots for when the weather isn’t too bad.
-Sunglasses!!
-Glitter!!! (purely aesthetic but still essential)

4. Most Forgotten items important items…

-Sun cream (it might not be warm but you can still burn)
-Rubbish bags (to stop the campsite getting too littered and to also save the volunteers a job)
-Toilet roll (festival toilets are never pleasant and running out of toilet roll is the worst)
-Hand sanitiser (Germs, germs every where)
-A torch (for the middle of the night toilet trips)
-A portable charger
-Water (trust me you need water)
-Toothbrush and Tooth paste (Again trust me you’ll need it)
-Paracetamol & Antiseptic gel

There are probably more items which you will need but I did say they were the most forgotten items, and I have most probably forgotten them!

5. HAVE FUN!!!
Wether it be your first, second or 100th festival just make sure you have fun and make the most out of the weekend, stay safe but have fun!

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YNOT? FESTIVAL

p.s. all images included are my own.
p.p.s. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by anyone.

Ciao for now, xo
-lex.