How to Rock a Festival in Your Fifties…

Have you reached your half century, or beyond, without ever going to a festival?  Do you feel like that particular ship has sailed and festivals are for someone younger, cooler, Kate Moss?

Well maybe it’s time you had a rethink?  If you gain nothing else from the experience, and trust me you will, the psychological benefits of singing en masse will be enough.

As a bona fide music nut, borderline obsessive, I’ve attended many hundreds of concerts; some very cool (Miles Davis at the tender age of 14), some cool in an idiosyncratic way (Kid Creole and The Coconuts), but it took me until the age of 46 to embark upon my first festival, and what a festival it was!

I was six months into a new relationship and rather rashly agreed to accompany my new beau, now husband, to the Isle of Wight Festival in order to spend four days in a tent surrounded by fifty thousand other people.  What could possibly go wrong? 

After leaving home on Thursday morning and spending 22 hours in a car (the festival organisers closed the site on the first night due to mudslides) we finally made it onto the site at 7am Friday. 

The weather soon perked up and, even though we were wading in mud most of the time, we went on to have the most incredible weekend; thanks mainly to Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Tom Petty, Noel Gallagher and Madness to name but a few.

We were lucky the first year managing to find a mud-free field in general camping with affable neighbours. The second year in general camping proved to be far less fragrant.  I won’t go into details in case it puts you off your breakfast/lunch/dinner!

When it came to year three we opted for a glamping field complete with hot showers and posh flushing loos (there’s only so much roughing-it a girl can take). June 2018 was our sixth IOW Festival in a row and we’ve already booked for next year!

There are a multitude of great festivals throughout the UK (and beyond) catering for all age groups and tastes in music.  Go online, pick one you fancy and go for it!  Whether you’re forty or seventy it’s never too late to rock a festival.




  • Try to avoid general camping unless you want to spend your weekend crammed in with the, mostly single, 18-30 rowdy unwashed
  • If you want to take your own tent choose a glamping field with decent loos, showers, plenty of space & like-minded people
  • There is a lot of walking & schlepping of gear so invest in, or borrow, a sack truck or some other means of transporting your kit from the car (festivals do have Sherpas for hire if you can’t face transporting your own kit)
  • Don’t fancy taking your own tent?  There are plenty of other options from tepees to yurts, pods to camper vans
  • Check for any early-bird ticket discounts & deals on camping (and ferry crossings if applicable)
  • Pack for all eventualities: wipes, hand sanitizer, sun cream, weather-appropriate clothing, wellies, earplugs, sleep mask & a loo roll or two 
  • Take your own wine, beer, booze for those neighbourly drinks outside your tent, but do not take glass bottles
  • Do prepare to leave the real world behind
  • Do have enormous fun
  • Do expect to be shattered for the entire week following the festival

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