Friday started off so well. It was sunshiny as my best friend and I packed the car up, my teepee/tipi had arrived and I’d sprayed it with Solarproof waterproof spray to keep it extra dry. I’d got my patches on the way for the bands I’ve already seen (new sewing project). Everything was set to make it a memorable summery weekend of relaxation, good music and great company.
It started to go wrong when we got off the M1 motorway, and E’s car suddenly slipped out of gear, doing a strange thing which meant we coasted a bit and the gears wouldn’t engage. The car conked out, and we had to fiddle with it to get it to go again.
We hoped this would be the end of our troubles. It was only the beginning of one of the longest days of my life.
1. Queueing for entry: We had taken a sizeable armload of stuff so we could hurry to the campsite, pitch up and get set up quickly. We were then left holding it for an hour and a half while we waited to get into the campsite. Festival security was pretending to be stringent while not really bothering, and they only had half of the gates open. Why they were bothering was beyond me – there were plenty of people inside selling things they shouldn’t be, and the staff didn’t check my handbag (the logical place to stash anything) but patted down my sleeping bag and tent. Next time, I would recommend gaining an entry wristband, then going straight back to the car for the equipment. We thought it had been a long walk with our stuff but the journey from the entry gate to our campsite was about twice that same distance again.
2. Campsite full – pitched on nettles. We actually got the very last pitch in the quiet camping – no-one else wanted it because it was covered in nettles and thistles. Other people were turned away and told to camp even further away in the furthest campsite. I worried a little about my tent because I got stung by nettles through the groundsheet, but it was sunny and I thought it would be fine as long as it remained sunny.
3. Once the tents were pitched, we went to the arena, which was a phenomenal walk – I missed Lacuna Coil because it took so long to get in and pitch the tent at the campsite.
4. It started to rain a bit.
5. Lost E. when she wanted to see some random band and dragged me away from Judas Priest. Rain got worse.
6. Gave up looking for her. Rain got worse.
7. Went to see Slipknot. They were actually pretty good, the 2 drummers both played on a revolving drum kit each side of the stage, and they did all the classic favourites. They officially christened this festival “Downpour 2015” which was pretty apt. Rain got worse.
8. Went back to tent. Rain got worse.
9. My tent was absolutely flooded. Turns out they had used the most non-watertight zips in the history of tent zip production, so while the panels were keeping the water out (due to the spray I had used), the water was streaming in through every zipped area (which was 4 of the 6 panels). From hers, I could hear that she was not alone. Rain got worse. Unfortunately, waterproof spray only works on things which were waterproof in the first place.
10. I went to bed in a wet tent, thinking it couldn’t get worse. All I could do was cower in my sleeping bag and try to protect my phone and cuddly unicorn. Thankfully, they both survived.
11. I was awakened by a drip on the head. The waterproof spray had capitulated and the whole tent was raining water over me and my belongings. Luckily, she was awake and alone again by now, so I could at least get my less wet belongings into her less flooded tent…
…As a comparison, on the day we left, we only tipped about a litre of water out of hers. That was after it had 2 days to dry out under a gazebo. Mine was worse. We left it there because it had failed in its basic function as a tent. I was heartbroken because it had looked so awesome. All across the campsite, people with the same tent as me took them down on Saturday morning; I guess they either shared with someone who had a fit-for-purpose tent (like I did), went home, or checked into a hotel. I would imagine that tent will get a few bad reviews now. The brand was Yellowstone and the tent was the Yellowstone Festival TiPi. I have no faith in this brand now, because it started to flood long before it reasonably should have. I would link to it on Amazon but I’ve come home to find they’ve axed my Amazon Associates account because it didn’t generate any sales in 6 months. Oh well, it was clearly a huge waste of time anyway.
Find Download Festival 2015 Review Day 2 here…