A festival survival guide for the 30 over 30

Front row fans of Mafikizolo at OppiKoppi 23 in 2017
Front row fans of Mafikizolo at OppiKoppi 23 in 2017
Image: John Hogg

Festivals are fun. This is an objective fact and the reason why tens of thousands (one million in the case of Glastonbury in the UK) routinely head out to remote plots of land to listen to music. Freed from the pressures of having to wear clothes as status symbols or take particular care of their hygiene, people at festivals are scientists engaged in a mad experiment to see how much unadulterated fun can be extracted from a weekend.

This, is the reason why festivals are also soul destroying. Returning to the real world after a weekend can feel like pitching up to the start of a marathon after having been run over by a leaky garbage truck hours before. Bouncing back from this kind of thing when you’re still in your early twenties is light work. At that age your body is made of the same stuff as Wolverine’s.

"By the time 30 hits however, your body’s party recovery system is outdated, slow and prone to crashing".

All of that doesn’t stop festivals from being a hoot and with Oppikoppi taking place this weekend, we thought we would dispense some advice for tricenarians or anyone else who doesn’t want to get home feeling like they’ve been mud wrestling the forces of evil for the past few days.

Prep yourself

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail or something like that. The point of that oft quoted pop psychology platitude if you don’t have all your ducks in a row, is your endeavours will be plagued by disaster. It cannot be overstated how much this applies to Oppikoppi. It will be blistering hot then unbearably cold. Someone will get lost, your phone battery will die and you will have no signal. Before you leave sit down and make a list of everything you will need, then add the things you think you may need. Finally add the stuff your mother believes you will need. Take all of that with you.

It’s pointless to try and look cool

No one cares. Not a single person running around that dust bowl is interested in your fashionable athleisure wear. Your dearly bought Ivy Park sweater will not impress anyone but probably will get ruined in some drunken fireside accident. In your youth trying to look swaggy is a curse you repeat because you don’t know any better but by 30 you should have developed enough common sense to know that some items of clothing are too expensive to be wasted on an environment nicknamed “Mordor”. You’re going to get home and burn it all anyway so go to MRP, buy three plain everythings and wear those.


This seemingly obvious nugget of wisdom is ignored because people believe fun and water don’t mix. The truth is that water is the foundation upon which fun is built. Further more, beer has water in it but is not a substitute. When you return to the real world, your hydrated body will not only thank you; it will build a shrine and start a religion with you as its messiah.

Eat regularly

See previous entry.

Remember you’re still a spring chicken

Thirty is not old. In fact it’s rather young. Sure by the time you reach or are approaching your third decade you should know that having tequila for breakfast is an objectively awful idea but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun and enjoy some youthful irresponsibility. You’ve still got the last morsels of your youth to eat so gorge yourself. Your body can take it, just don’t push it. Enjoy!

Over 30 Grown and Sexy in Barcelona

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