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My Story: Highly Sensitive Person On A Festival

Have you ever been to a music festival? Even though we can only dream of these right now, you know how noisy and packed it can be. Well, I’ve been to a couple myself and I want to share my experience of Reading Festival as a Highly Sensitive Person.

I woke up around 7 am in the morning, we wanted to avoid traffic. People in the car all sleepy and groggy. We travelled for couple of hours with one MacDonald stop on the way. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw people having fast food for breakfast – while I always have this reaction, they keep eating their McMuffins. Nothing changes.

We joined the car queue to the site around 10 am. It was blistering hot and the tiny conditioner in our car couldn’t satisfy all five of us. I was trying to enjoy the hype, music and the view of yellow fields stretching on the right side to pass the time.

When we finally arrived to the car park, it was about 12 am and the sun was right above us as we were trying to get all of our belongings inside the festival site. They gave me a bracelet on the way in. It was pretty but the glitter irritated my arm for the rest of the weekend.

Once we finally got to the spot where we want to set up our tents, I was exhausted already, yet I remained calm and tried to look enthusiastic. Setting up our tent reminded me of spiders and other bugs. I prayed that no spider enter our tent as if I was a nun – on my knees half way into the tent, setting up a hanging light on the sealing.

The next morning I realised that I didn’t bring my toothbrush. So I had to use mouth wash for the rest of the weekend. At least I slept alright, so I had the energy to travel by our feet, a two kilometre road, to see our favourite bands. Although, my body already ached from handling our luggage the day before. My only hope was that I’ll be very fit by the end of this weekend.

It was again very hot and dry, too many sweaty people too close to each other. Everyone was desperate for water all the time. My legs started to give up around the lunch time on that day (it’s just the 2nd out of 3 days). Some of my most favourite bands had to be experienced sitting down on the grass behind all of the standing and dancing fans inside the tent.

Later that day I accidentally bought myself a very spicy bowl of noodles. With the heat and my dying legs, it was unbearable. But then we went back to our tent. My friends wanted to stay up and drink. I thought it wouldn’t be too bad if I was to just sit down all the time.

We made a bonfire, and poured our drinks. It was a messy night and I don’t remember how I ended up in my tent or whether there were spiders in it.

On the last day I woke up from being cooked alive in that tent. We overslept to the lunch time. My body was aching like I was deadlifiting all night. But, in the corner of my tent, I found my little friend I was so scared to get this weekend. So, like magic all of the pain was gone and in a record time I was dressed and out of there.

When it was time to head out to the stages area, I didn’t want to. But, I had to support my friends and I went anyway. Sun was even more blinding and people were even more sweaty. As we were passing through the sea of tents on our two kilometre journey, there was this horrible mix of smells – sweat, weed, alcohol, bonfires, piss and street food. But, because my friends didn’t pay attention to it, I was convinced it wasn’t all that bad.

I was relieved to know that there aren’t many bands that I want to see that day. Most of my personal highlights were towards the end of the festival. So, I just chilled out in the comedy tent, sipping on my water. Because of the great queues to water fountain, I had to spend half of the day just in those queues.

When the grand closing performance started, we made it pretty close to the main stage, meaning the mosh pit area. We couldn’t even move, the sea of people pressing into each other like a single organism made a circle and then all of them just jumped right into it. At least they were somewhat predictable.

Being so close to the stage’s massive speakers also made my heart almost literally jump out of my chest. Every drop sunk my soul into the ground and it was so loud, that not only I couldn’t hear the lyrics, but I could feel blood rushing to my ears as if they were about to bleed.

And then, there it was, the ending to the last performance – stage on fire, lasers everywhere, balloons, confetti and everyone singing along. The energy of all of the people was not overwhelming, it was exhilarating!

And the warm summer nights like this is exactly why I love music festivals. Although, I can’t say it was pleasant for me most of the time, it was an experience I’ll never forget.

By Jevgenija Zukova

I'm a second year university student doing Accounting and Finance course. I stand together with other female entrepreneurs to bring sensitivity into the business world, fun of art and creativity into local communities, and awareness of highly sensitive people.

6 replies on “My Story: Highly Sensitive Person On A Festival”

Wow I have never been to a music festival before but the college fests around my city feel quite similar to what you described. The energy is always great when a favourite band is up on stage but in a hot summer day it could test my patience. Another thing I noticed the cool drinks stalls get away a lot of crowd in such hot day occasions, maybe even more than the stage area itself. I would love to experience a music festival some day but now I know what to be prepared for. Thanks a lot for sharing your experience.

Best wishes from The Strong Traveller and have a great day.

Do have a look at my blog whenever you find the time. There are some travel and lifestyle content which you may find interesting. Your thoughts will surely be very valuable. Stay connected. 😊

Liked by 1 person

Thank you for your comment ☀️ It’s like this in most UK music festivals, but I never experienced one in another country, maybe they are less extreme than ours 😁 Looking forward to reading your blog!

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