With some festivals making a comeback for 2021 (we’re still processing the news that Brighton Pride isn’t going ahead), we’re dedicating this edition of Snog, Marry, avoid to tent life, live music (remember that?) and good vibes.
These days there’s a festival for everyone, so whether you’re into food, art, theatre, beats, dogs or silent discos, there’s a field out there with your name on it.
Between us, we’ve had our fair share of festival highs and lows, be it soggy pants, trash line ups, sad Fyre Festival looking sandwiches and the utter jubilation of cry singing into a crowd whilst an identifiable friend, possibly even a bold stranger overcome with emotion, attempts to mount your shoulders.
From Benicassim to Parklife and beyond, here’s our line-up of the festivals we love and loathe.
Snog: Reading Festival.
Ahhhhh I feel emosh just thinking about this. Reading was the first weekend festival I ever went to and I have so many endlessly happy memories here. I’ve seen some amazing bands and artists here like Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa, Panic! At The Disco, Peace, The Wombats, Pale Waves and Sundara Karma, but most of all seeing The 1975 headline for the first time on the Friday night of 2019 was hands down something I’ll never forget.
I love them so much and you could tell the fans and band were equally as emotional and happy to be there in that moment.Charlotte
I love them so much and you could tell the fans and band were equally as emotional and happy to be there in that moment- it just felt so special and monumental even at the time. Both times I’ve been it’s been spent with groups of people that I love dearly, but it’s a little bittersweet as some of those relationships and people are no longer in my life so I wonder whether I’d feel able to go back now. The silent disco was unreal too and it was one of those evenings that even at the time I knew I would look back on for a long, long time and wish I could relive. It only makes the snog category because of the mixed emotions I feel now, and also I definitely feel a bit too old to attend as every year it feels like the other campers are getting younger!
Marry: ‘Bring It All Back’ Club nights.
Now I always enjoy pre-drinking more than a club and would much rather a cocktail evening where you can chat to your friends than dancing to some current chart music I don’t know, but let me tell you a throwback night is up there with some of the most fun I have EVER HAD. Bring It All Back tour the country with throwback and themed club night and oh my god, they are out of this world. I’ve been to two One Direction events and it’s essentially like a full-on concert full of fans and pure joy.
They’re really cheap to attend and it truly does feel like a concert with all your besties.Charlotte
I normally have some drinks before but honestly, I end up completely sober from all the water I end up drinking for my poor dry throat after screaming to every single song. They’re really cheap to attend (first release tickets are £5) and it truly does feel like a concert with all your besties. I really want to go to a Taylor Swift night so I’m keeping my eyes peeled for if they organise one of those next!
Okay so hear me out on this one. I really did love Latitude, the vibes, the variety of things to do, the attention to detail and the overall aesthetic, but I think it was just a little bit too indie for me. I mainly went to see The 1975 (of course) but I can’t help but feel like the festival has so much potential but the lineup is always a bit …. meh.
V cute though and I probably would go back if the lineup was more than like a 5/10.Charlotte
This is obviously a completely personal preference and comes down to individual music taste but I just feel like it could be unreal with the grounds they have and overall aesthetic but every year the lineup comes out and there’s a couple of people I’d want to see but that’s about it. As you can tell from my marry answer I love seeing bands I really connect with, but maybe if I was open to just enjoying the music and appreciating new artists it would be more for me. V cute though and I probably would go back if the lineup was more than like a 5/10.
Snog: The Brighton Fringe Festival.
When it’s on, you honestly can’t get hold of me for the whole month of May. There’s such an array of talent, from comedy to music, plays – all sorts. Whatever you fancy, you’re bound to find it. Act’s perform in different events at venues all around the city and it’s an opportunity for people just starting out to perform alongside big timers.
I feel like it’s a thing everyone in Brighton looks forward to. Holly
I feel like it’s a thing everyone in Brighton looks forward to. Honourable mention to my favourite venue, the Warren. They are an outside venue which means it can go ahead this year (yay) they kick off the season with a firework display, have a silent disco every night, food stalls and multiple stages for different performances. And a huge plus is that I can go home to my own bed every night ready for a fresh start the next day. Bliss!
Marry: Brighton Pride
This isn’t really a question is it? BRIGHTON PRIDE! There is no day in the whole year I love more. Everything about it makes my heart glow. The colours, the people, the music, the love in the air. Most pride events have my heart but there is just something special about Brighton.
There is absolutely nothing I can fault about pride.Holly
The whole weekend there are things going on around the city. I usually start Friday night at the Old Stein venue (Saw S Club there one year) then the Saturday starts with drinks at my house, watching the parade and crying, then heading to the Pride in the Park. Sunday is spent at the Street Party in Kemptown. There is absolutely nothing I can fault about pride. I am devastated it’s not happening this year but there will definitely be beach parties and all sorts of other celebrations going on. It really is just a celebration of every kind of love.
There are not many live events of any kind I would avoid in all honesty. But if I had to choose, I probably wouldn’t return to Benicàssim. It was soo much fun and the atmosphere was incredible. But the music was indie/alternative and I’m a solid 90’s pop girl.
Waking up with a hangover in Spanish sun was not the one.Holly
It wasn’t the cleanest festival I’ve been to and honestly, waking up with a hangover in Spanish sun was not the one. I also wanted my bed so bad but you have a whole flight and journeys to and from the airport before that can happen. I’d very much still encourage people to experience it for themselves but it’s a no from me. Until I can stay in a hotel anyway.
Snog – Bestival
It pains me that Bestival is no longer running and deep down I hope some millennial who loves it as much as me and my mates decides to get a cash injection and put it back on. Although I’ve only attended twice Bestival fills me with the BEST memories of so many interesting tents and areas to keep exploring all weekend long. The first time I went it was on the Isle of White and an absolute ball-ache to get to on public transport but it was such a great place to have a festival.
I loved how many areas and unknown elements there was at Bestival as it was so much more than just musicDanielle
The second time we went for my best friend’s hen do in its newer location – where they still have Camp Bestival! The Saturday is always a fancy dress day and we all wore ugly bridesmaid dresses whilst she was the Bride and even though I ended up COVERED in mud it holds such a special place in my heart. I loved how many areas and unknown elements there was at Bestival as it was so much more than just music, so now I need to find something similar to attend!
Marry – Lovely Locals
So this is a bit of a cheat answer but my absolute favourite festivals are always small and local. There’s one close to where I grew up called Marvellous which is a tribute festival so you can see the likes of Ted Sheeran, Adele again, Queen, T-Rextacy, Fleetwood Back, I could go on and on! It’s all a bit of a laugh and there’s only one stage but it’s just such a great day out and so easy to attend with loads of local friends.
No super famous acts just great music that lots of people would likeDanielle
My other marry fest is also no longer running (still heartbroken honestly) and it was based in Stevenage called Hogsozzle. It was founded by loads of creative people who hire entertainers, comedians, graffiti artists and more to make the weekend super experiential. No super famous acts just great music that lots of people would like, tons of quirky furniture to sit on during the day and chill, a free hog roast on the Saturday and a paint fight on the Sunday. Miss you Hogsoz!
Avoid – Glastonbury
Don’t @ me. I’ve said what I’ve said. After hearing so many friends come back from Glasto say it was AMAZING and they were so glad they went and they can’t wait to go again I still just can’t get on board.
It’s ok to admit it’s not your bag and you have permission to roll your eyes at all the Glasto-glorifiers!Danielle
I don’t like the vibe of everything being SO big and spread out, when you leave your campsite you’re basically leaving for the whole day (drinking at the tent is my favourite pass-time) if you lose a friend you pretty much have no way of finding them, big crowds, like huge almighty crowds, the mud and not being able to shower if you’re doing a simple camp, need I go on?! The artists are, of course, incredible and it’s a once in a lifetime chance to see some people you won’t get to see again, and obviously, I’m not actually telling you to avoid it if you want to go, more that it’s ok to admit it’s not your bag and you have permission to roll your eyes at all the Glasto-glorifiers!
Loved this festival so much I went two years in a row when I was 18/19, the best part is that it was a holiday and a festival wrapped in one which made it really cost-effective for a young adult working part-time. I found there was a really good mix of music, so there was something for everyone.
Can’t complain about having to relax on a sandy beach but, I think if I went again, I’d stay in a villa with a pool and bus it to the festival.Darcey
I saw some pretty big people like Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Kasabian, Stormzy, Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd and so many more (I did miss seeing Dua Lipa and I massively regret that to this day). One thing that wasn’t so fun and why it didn’t make the marry choice, waking up hungover in a boiling hot tent was… interesting to say the least ha. It meant you were forced out of bed and to the beach as there isn’t really anything else to do in the day. Can’t complain about having to relax on a sandy beach (especially after the year we’ve had) but, I think if I went again, I’d stay in a villa with a pool and bus it to the festival.
I cannot begin to explain how much I enjoyed Parklife, firstly I love Manchester, so getting to spend some time there before the festival was really fun. The festival is so organised, it was really clean too which is pretty rare, even the toilets stayed fairly clean even up until closing.
So sad to think that was the last festival I’d go to due to coronavirus, but I’ll absolutely return to Parklife next year!Darcey
Again like Benicàssim, it’s a good mix of music which I think is nice at a festival to break up the day/evening. I also got to see Adam Beyer and Peggy Gou at Parklife which was one of my life goals, so I could leave happy! It rained alllll weekend but that didn’t dampen my spirits and I think that’s a sign of a good festival and vibe, everyone was just enjoying the music and not bothered about being soaked through. So sad to think that was the last festival I’d go to due to coronavirus, but I’ll absolutely return to Parklife next year!
I mean… It should have been so good with who was performing but it just fell really flat. I think being in London, getting there and back is such a chore as the tube is packed full of people all going in the same direction. The food options and just general stands were just not that exciting either, which doesn’t matter that much I suppose but I feel day festivals need to have good food because you are there all day. Also, it would have been good if they had some kind of extra entertainment because a lot of things seemed to go wrong with the lineup timings, on the Sunday there was no music except for a DJ (bless this poor guy trying to entertain an angry crowd ha) for about 6 hours? Because Nicki Minaj was running late and David Guetta couldn’t start earlier. It was all just a bit meh.
This snog marry avoid is truly wasted on me because I’m really not your average festival-goer, well not in the traditional muddy field and wrist band sense, anyway. Alas, I shall do my best to come up with three events I would peck, wed and do just about anything to get out of attending.
Snog: Brighton Food Festival
Why settle on one meal when you can hang out at a food festival and eat all three of your meals there.Lareese
This one speaks my language and therefore will always have my heart. As someone who’s painfully indecisive, especially when it comes to ordering food, a riot of carbs and picky bits is my idea of heaven. Why settle on one meal when you can hang out at a food festival and eat all three of your meals there with naps on the lawn and balmy beers in between. In short, dear reader, I would snog its pants off whilst making lots of uncomfortable eye contact.
I won’t stand for poo-on-poo crimes and washing my fanny with a baby wipe for three days straight but a festival dedicated to celebrating dogs? Yes, yes, I am infinitely available. The calendar is wide open. I’ve never been to this one based in the New Forest (probably because I don’t actually have a dog) but that won’t stop me from wanting to snap someone’s hand off for a ticket.
Avoid: Camping Festivals
I love the buzz and the atmosphere of live music but I love getting home at a sensible hour even more.Lareese
I’m just avoiding anything that requires me staying in a sweaty tent and compromising my bathing habits, or runs the risk of someone pissing in a shoe and chucking it into the crowd for fun, basically. It’s a hard pass from me. I love the buzz and the atmosphere of live music but I love getting home at a sensible hour even more. Nothing beats awaiting a lineup of bath, PJs & bed – just that casual rockstar life, ya know!