So if you follow me on social media, you'll already know that my friend Jess and I were sent to Y Not Festival in Derbyshire by Rocket Dog last weekend. I hadn't been to a festival in a number of years so I was feeling a little worried, especially as someone who doesn't normally drink and enjoys home comforts (especially the kettle!). However, I needn't have worried; Jess and I had a fantastic weekend at Y Not Festival and it showed us that even if you don't know many of the bands who are playing, it's the festival atmosphere and the memories that makes it such a great weekend.
So when we arrived at the festival and got parked, typically the heavens opened and it absolutely poured down. We tredged from the car feeling like Buckaroo with all of the bags we had and it took us waaay longer than it should have to walk to that campsite! I don't think I'll need to go to the gym for three years. We found a little patch for our tent and started to set up and as camping amateurs, it's needless to say that we struggled even with the easy tent from Vango! As you can see, we looked like we'd just got out the shower by the end of it and in hindsight, the tent was incredibly easy to put up. Like seriously, the poles go through the holes, the pegs go into the ground and that is it - I don't know how it took us so long! Anyway the tent was perfect for us with the small porch area and the cosy inside and it kept up dry from the rain completely and didn't fall down once, despite it being fell on a number of times in the night (what else would you expect from a festival?!). Plus, the Pop 300 DS tent is only £100 so it's super affordable too - perfect for summer festivals! We also had the Rocket 120 Bluetooth Lantern which was a lifesaver on the dark nights trying to get ready for bed in the tent and the Cocoon 250 Sleeping Bag which was unbelievably thick and kept me as toasty as possible in the freezing English summer!
Anyway onto the festival itself. I'll admit that Y Not wasn't a festival I'd heard of but after a bit of research I decided that I would give it a go and I'm so glad I did. Headlined by Editors, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds and Madness, it has the perfect mix of music and although I hadn't heard of many of the bands past the headliners and Catfish and the Bottlemen (and Kelis who I was absolutely gutted cancelled five minutes before her set!) I wanted the entire festival experience again and oh boy did we get it.
Festivals are always full of the coolest little things and Y Not was no exception. Think fun fairs, roller discos open until 2am, shisha tents, a pop up cinema, silent discos, 80s themed DJs, Pina Coladas on tap, hair braiding, glitter make-up and much, much more! Of course, we spent a lot of time in the tent with the super cool, super cheesy 80s DJs, dancing along to classics with an Archers and Lemonade in hand. My Rocket Dog wellies did me so well throughout, enduring dancing, mud-splodging, jumping, dodgems....it's fair to say they have been through the wars and still look spick and span, after a good wipe down of course! These will be available exclusively at Schuh very soon!
Of course, with the good parts of the festivals comes the bad...yup you know where I'm going with this. I don't think I'll ever get the stench of those portaloos out of my nose. You know when people warn you about how bad festival toilets are and you don't think they'll be half as bad as what you think are exaggerations? Well, times those "exaggerations" by a hundred and that is what the festival toilets are like a few hours in. I won't mentally scar you with the details but let me just warn you - what has been seen can never be unseen.
One of the best things about Y Not Festival was how accessible it is. I've never seen so many families with small children, even babies, at a festival before and it was so refreshing. They had an area with toilets just for kids, a family camping area, a kids area full of activities just for the kids, special little carts for babies and toddlers...I don't know what other festivals were like but Y Not made it so easy for families to safely take their little ones along and have a good time. I mean, I'm pretty sure we saw a couple with young kids get married there which was super cute.
And finally onto what festivals are all about - the music. Like I've already mentioned, Y Not Festival didn't have the type of music I would normally listen to past the headliners and a couple of others but it was so diverse it didn't really matter and I enjoyed just about everyone we watched. We of course saw the biggies like Catfish and the Bottlemen, the headliners and DJ Fresh but it was the smaller, perhaps more unorthodox acts that were the most fun.
On Saturday morning we did a workout with Mr Motivator himself. Yup, you read that right. It was honestly so much fun and he is the liveliest, most fun person I have ever seen who drew in a huge crowd who were all following his workouts, even after a night on the lash! We also saw a band called the Lancashire Hotpots who were also so much fun, singing folk songs about Sausage and Chips, the horrors of shopping in IKEA and so many more crazy yet catchy things! We also saw X Factor's Lucy Spraggan as well as a few acoustic acts in the smaller tents during the day which is always a great way to find up and coming artists who perhaps don't get the recognition they deserve!
As you can tell my Rocket Dog shoes took quite the battering but even my white canvas sneakers have survived, ready to take on another festival...when I've recovered from Y Not!
Keep a look out for my Festival Lookbook where you'll see how I styled my Rocket Dog shoes - don't miss it!
*This post is in collaboration with Rocket Dog. All words and opinions remain my own.