“But then the next day I woke in a ball pit and two people were having sex next to me.” – Charli XCX
Festival experiences can sometimes be life-changing. But other times, they’re simply underwhelming or even scarring. The Sherp has compiled a list of the best worst festival experiences, or rather, ‘horror stories’ that are an uneven blend of horrible, hilarious and absolutely repulsive moments.
From getting into cat fights to setting a dozen tents on fire, these unlucky individuals on the internet have been kind enough to share their respective horror stories. So here’s the unofficial guide to what not to do at music festivals.
1. Lost & LSD’d At Bonnaroo
“Probably accidentally dosing myself at Bonnaroo when I was fifteen. I really wanted something to drink but was out of money so I asked a guy who was standing near me if I could have a drink of his water. “Sure!’ the asshole exclaimed with a grin on his face.
I take a big ass drink and then he says “Keep it, man!” and wandered off. Like thirty minutes later, during The Dead(Not the Grateful Dead, this was like fifteen years after Jerry died, when they did some shows as just “The Dead), Bob Wier’s guitar starts melting into his leg.
Keep in mind I still have NO CLUE that I have been dosed. I am freaking out, looking around at my fellow attendees thinking “wow, everyone else is handling this guys guitar melting into his body way better than I am. Why am I so scared? What is there to really be scared of? Death? Rejoining the cosmos? blah blah acid thoughts.”
It took me about another forty minutes of tripping HARD before I kind of pieced together what was happening. I figured I must be tripping on something but I didn’t know what. It was only years later, after doing acid intentionally, that I really could pin it down.
Anyway, the rest of the night was something of a blur, although my brother did tell me that at one point he saw me standing on some kegs leading people in a chant of ‘Bonnaroo, Bonnaroo, It is super good for you.'” – attendee on Reddit forum
2. Bad Blood At Camp Bisco
“Worst experience: Camp Bisco in Mariaville NY back in 2011. I went with my boyfriend at the time (i paid for both our tickets).. we broke up on the car ride there. He met up with his friends and decided to spend the three days in their tent. I had to set up my tent myself and my phone died the first day so I couldn’t find any of my own friends. The second day I dropped three tabs of LSD and during one of the Disco Biscuits sets I saw my ex hard core making out with some topless chick. I bumped into them “by accident” and started walking away. That crazy chick ran after me, pulled my hair which started this massive fight. I finally punched her in the face and ran away when she was on the ground. On the last day my ex found me and tried apologizing to me and asked for a ride home back to Maryland.. Turns out his friends didn’t have enough room for him in their car. I left him there and haven’t heard from him since.” – attendee on Reddit forum
3. Kanye West: The Greatest Living Diva At Bonnaroo
“Worst festival experience without a doubt was when Kanye ruined late-nite at Bonnaroo ’08. He threw a hissy fit about his time slot at 8:30 on Friday, and demanded a late-nite set after Pearl Jam on Saturday. He then threatened not to perform unless nobody else was performing, so the show I was at after Pearl Jam got shut down. I was at Phil Lesh who had fucking liver cancer at the time, and he looked so upset telling us that “Kanye has this great light show he wants you all to see…” then Kanye didn’t take the stage til the sun was coming up like 3 hours later. He shut down late-nite and didn’t even answer for it. What a fucking douche.
Robert Randolph led the crowd in a chant of “KANYE SUCKS” the next day, which remains an unofficial Bonnaroo slogan. I can’t believe they invited Kanye back to the farm this year. They’re begging for a riot.” – attendee on Reddit forum
4. This Tragedy
@WynonaGrant got hospitalised at Reading because a fire popped and a piece of splinter lacerated my tearduct and I missed Radiohead
— Greg Sheldrake (@happyshopper56) March 26, 2015
5. T In The Park Mayhem
“T in the Park 2011. Full of pissed up teenagers who think they’re hardcore. They were disgusting animals, pissing in cups and throwing the cups over the crowd. One friend got her head cut open as well as concussion because someone thought it would be funny to throw a boot into the crowd. I haven’t been back since.” – attendee on Reddit forum
6. Deep Hate For Deep House At Coachella
“Not too many stories besides one dude who was clearly tripping coming up to me and my gf on Sunday telling us how we “still had tomorrow man” Also our neighbor would blare Pete Tong’s Essential mix at 6AM. EVERY. MORNING. We left notes. He clearly gave no shits. I have an irrational hatred for deep house now lol.” – attendee on Reddit forum
7. Being Called A Cunt By Billie Piper At V Festival
“Me & 2 mates ended up bumping into her and her friends/people. Introduced ourselves and spent 15/20mins chatting away with them. HER MOUTH IS FUCKING HUGE BTW. She seemed quite nice – talkative, querying whereabouts in Glasgow we’re from and asking why we came “all the way down” when TITP is back up in Scotland. She announces that she’s meeting other friends & has to leave and we go our separate ways until I turn round and shout loudly: “Haw Billie. Billie! Ask us why we’re down at V-Festival again” She does “Because we want to. Because we want to” And that was when she called me a cunt” – attendee on Reddit forum
8. Burning Down Reading & Leeds
“ Having been entrusted by my father to go solo (although my aunt was also there supervising) a portable gas cooker we were tampering with exploded and gave three of my friends serious burns. They were all rushed to hospital. Then at Reading later that year, having not learnt our lesson, my friend Julian and I built the tallest fire I have ever seen in the campsite. It collapsed and destroyed half a dozen tents. Our parents weren’t due to pick us up until the next day so we had to wait and apologise to everyone when they got back to their tents. I sincerely wish I had not been on acid at the time.” – James Mullinger, GQ
9. Charli XCX’s Not-So-Secret Secret Garden Party Story
“I remember I was at the Secret Garden Party and I peaked, let’s say, very quickly and had to sit on the floor in the middle of this tent while the Whip were playing. Everyone was jumping around me and I just sat on the floor, passing out and vomiting. It wasn’t great. But then the next day I woke in a ball pit and two people were having sex next to me. ” – Charli XCX to The Gardian
10. Kesha Clearing The Crowd At Glastonbury
“I went to Glastonbury festival, and the very first act that was on was written and “Special Guest” in the Festival guide. Thousands of people turned up to see who it was, anticipating some one awesome, someone amazing to kick the festival off. Kesha Comes bounding on to the stage. Most of the crowd left then and there.” – attendee on Reddit forum
And To End With, This Hate…
Literally fuck wireless festival. Was the worst experience of my life
— Aimée☀️ (@StarsAndRavers) January 30, 2015