Festival Real Life

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According to our survey of over 2,000 people, only 35% of women said they always bring contraception to a festival. If you find that you’re not completely festival-ready or your regular contraception lets you down in the heat of the moment, know your morning after festival options.

And remember, you’re not alone. It happens…as Rosie, a writer and occasional comedian, reveals in our first My Morning After confession…

Last year, I took the morning-after pill at a festival.

Long story short: three days of sweat, a diet of cider and chips, and a fair amount of glitter landed me in a tent with the guy of my dreams. Unfortunately the only thing missing was a condom.

There was a huge group of us going: my girls, some of their boyfriends, their boys, and…him.

He was a friend of a friend. Wicked sense of humour, dark eyes and a beard…obviously. A few weeks previously, I thought he was going to kiss me at our mate’s ‘Seaside’ party, but turned out he was leaning in to re-adjust my ‘tache (no, not my real one…I was dressed up as a pirate...looking back, I can see why I didn’t pull).

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You know it’s real when at a festival with tens of thousands of people, there is only one you can’t take your eyes off. This was not just any vibe. This was a vibe so strong, it was like the over-powering, intoxicating scent of freshly-baked chocolate croissants when you walk into Tesco Metro in the morning. And, just like golden flakes of pastry and molten chocolate, he was destined to end up all over me.

After days of cringe-worthy attempts to get his attention, on the last night, the trusty ‘big festival clash’ dilemma came to my rescue.

Half of us were oddly desperate to see some Ska-Dub-Punk-Jazz-too-cool-for-school fusion band, while the other half went to the disco tent praying for Diana Ross and glitter balls.

While the bickering was going on, we were finally flirting outrageously, I didn’t even notice the time until our friend James – Essex, huge personality, even larger teeth – interrupted: ‘Mate let’s go, gotta grab a good spot.’

My man glances at me, then back to James, ‘Actually mate I’ll find you later, I’m really in the mood for some… Disco’

My eyes lit up. Disco? For me? This has to be on…  

And it was. Disco, glitter plus the romantic chat up line: ‘You look much better clean-shaven you know’ ended up with us ahem, snogging each others faces off. We went outside for some ‘air’ and he uttered the words every girl longs to hear: ‘Want to come back to my tent?’

I was ecstatic. We trekked through the mud, hand-in-hand (big shout-out to me for pulling whilst wearing wellies, wish I’d learned this sooner – could have saved a fortune on shoes.)

We arrived at the tent and fell onto his lilo (genius – why has no-one else thought of this?). It was getting steamy when something hard poked me in the bum – not that! Get your mind OUT of the gutter! – something sharp: the lilo had deflated, leaving just a plastic sheet between us and the hard ground (so this is why no-one uses lilos as mattresses). We laughed, and carried on.

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As anyone who has encountered the joys of tent sex will tell you, the morning after is hot. And not in the good sense. We woke up at 6am drenched in sweat, glitter everywhere.  

We swapped numbers (YES) before I emerged very swamp creature-esque from his tent/oven, heading back to my own tent. My mind started racing. I had no regrets about the man, the night was perfect apart from one thing: we hadn’t used protection and I was freaking out. Pregnancy was the last thing I wanted – for one: I wanted to come back next year and didn’t fancy raving with a baby.

Mid-panic, I heard my friend Monique screech ‘OI OIII! WHERE DID YOU SLEEP LAST NIGHT!’ – mortified, I hissed: ‘Shhh! Shut up! I’m freaking out!’

I explained, she looked unphased: ‘Don’t panic, we’ll sort it – first things first, you should take the morning after pill.’

I looked at her in disbelief: how on earth was I going to get my hands on emergency contraception? As if she had read my mind, she pointed back towards the main festival ground, ‘I think I saw this guy called The Medicine Man yesterday. It’s like a pharmacy on wheels, I’m sure they’ll have the morning after pill.’

Lucky for me the portable pharmacy was exactly where she said it would be. Now, I would never dream of going to a festival without a back-up, it’s as necessary as a portable phone charger, or a can of dry shampoo. And guess who was waiting for me at the coach with a chocolate croissant and a coffee…


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Want to help take control of the morning after conversation and smash the stigma around the morning after pill? Send us your My Morning After story. DM us @ellaOneUK on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for more info.

Leo Kent