Cost, crime, cleanliness: All the fun of the festival?

Each year thousands of people fight over limited tickets for the hottest music festivals in the UK. Yet each year thousands of people are left disappointed when they fail to get their hands on the highly sought after tickets.

With weekend camping tickets for festivals such as V and Glastonbury ranging from £175 to £193 it’s a lot of money for students to be paying out at once.


Even smaller festivals like Latitude attract thousands of visitors every year. Photo: photoaf

Emma Bloor thinks that the high price becomes irrelvant because they are so in demand: “The demand for tickets is so high that festival organisers and ticket touts can charge almost any price they like and people will still buy them,” she says.

But first year student Antony Fox has no problem paying the increasing prices: “It’s good value for the amount of bands you see and everyone there has the same music taste so it’s a great way to meet new people.”

With over 60,000 people attending V Festival in 2008 and nearly 200,000 attending Glastonbury it’s easy to see why festivals are a good way to meet people.

However, an event of this scale does have some negatives, including a high crime rate. Superintendant Stuart Greenfield from the Thames Valley Police, Reading experienced Reading Festival in last year: “Last year saw an escalation in violence on the Sunday night where too many people had too much to drink, they were lighting fires which presented a very real safety risk to other campers,” he says.

Although he admits that “most people go to the site and are there purely to watch the music.”

Festivals could be seen as relatively cheap when compared to some holidays and can last for four or five days which is a mini break for stressed out students, but for first year student Vicky Bryant, the bands would have to be great: “If all the bands were really good I would go but it does seem a bit expensive as I don’t really like camping,” she says.

For many people, camping is not an option when going to a festival, with many choosing to buy day tickets and stay elsewhere over night, although some argue that the whole point of a festival is camping as it plays a big part in the overall experience and atmosphere, including student Bex Clayforth who speaks from her own experience at Leeds Festival:

“It does provide a good experience and it gives young people independence, I went before I came to university and it prepared me more for having to look after myself.”

For many first time festival-goers it is also their first time away from home and can seem daunting, but websites such as www.safeconcerts.com offer advice for before you go.

One main issue that worries some people is the lack of hygiene at festivals. When faced with the prospect of not showering for days and having to survive the portaloos many decide against camping. Olivia Cant says: “From what I’ve heard it seems like a lot of mud and no care for hygiene.”

Although music festivals may not be for everyone, this summer thousands of people will pack up for a weekend away filled with music, memories and sunburn!

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