Claudia Winkleman: Take It From Me

'Basically, the human population can be divided into two groups – those who like festivals and those who don't'
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The Independent Online

Festival season is almost upon us. I know this because newspapers are doing articles on "super wigwams" and column inches have been devoted to whether or not Jay-Z should be rapping in Somerset. The other clue is that fashion magazines are filling up with features about floral Birkenstocks (dear God) and, uh, whistles.

Friends of mine are buying tickets and booking babysitters and are genuinely excited about sleeping outside – I repeat, outside – next to thousands of people they don't know so they can listen to The Feeling (I mean, just get the CD) and eat a lamb's-testicle sandwich miles away from home.

Basically, the human population can be split into two groups – those who like festivals and those who don't, and I'd argue that you can spot whether a person fits into group A or group B within the first five minutes of meeting them. If they like a festival, they will share one or more of the following characteristics:

1 They want to go to India.

2 They had a gap year.

3 They think getting a torch for a present is a good thing.

4 They have tried a cigarette made with liquorice papers.

5 They believe in reincarnation.

6 They do yoga.

7 They think Angelina Jolie is probably a "really nice person".

8 They like hummus.

9 They have wellies with real mud on them.

10 They wouldn't kill a spider.

11 They think Victoria Beckham looks fake.

12 They own one or more hats.

13 They've always dreamed of going to Finland.

14 They never listen to Magic FM.

15 They have bought clothes in Oxfam.

16 They buy fresh local food.

17 They can make a crumble.

18 They have a natural tan.

19 They once played a musical instrument.

20 They read books.

21 They think flip-flops are OK.

22 They like rose quartz, and believe in its healing properties.

23 They've got a dog – or they'd consider one day having a dog.

24 Their method of contraception is the diaphragm.

25 They eat magic mushrooms.

26 They like class B drugs.

27 They think trees have feelings.

28 They actually like music.

29 They have a clip-frame in their hallway.

30 They voted for Ken.

31 Their children call them by their Christian names.

32 They let cars out in front of them.

33 They think James Blunt is rhyming slang.

34 They're happy in a Portaloo.



And the second group can be spotted through the following characteristics:

1 They have a daughter called India.

2 They went straight to university and turned down InterRailing, thinking it was some sort of joke.

3 They would think getting a torch for a present is extraordinary. Who needs a torch in Soho?

4 They smoke Marlboro Lights but once kissed a boy who smoked roll-ups for a bet.

5 They speed-walk around the park and think that yoga is too slow.

6 They think when you die you're dead.

7 They think Angelina Jolie is a fame-hungry, unhinged, tattoo-covered woman with horrific taste in clothes.

8 They don't get "dips" – they like cutlery.

9 They have a pair of Hunters but they've never actually worn them.

10 They'd kill a seal if it was in their way.

11 They secretly want Victoria Beckham's teeth and clothes and tiny frame.

12 They have a hat stand. And it's for coats and that's that.

13 They've always dreamed of going to Mustique.

14 They think Radio 1 is too loud.

15 They donate clothes to Oxfam.

16 They buy strawberries in December and asparagus all year round.

17 They know someone who they can pay to make them a crumble.

18 They only get summer sun from a spray-tan booth.

19 They read Grazia.

20 They've never played a musical instrument. In fact, they have no rhythm whatsoever and can only dance to Lionel Richie. And badly.

21 They've never owned a flip-flop – wedges are more flattering...

22 They like diamonds (semi-precious means not precious enough).

23 They don't generally like animals.

24 They're constantly on the Pill.

25 They eat porcini mushrooms.

26 They like class As.

27 They know trees don't have feelings.

28 They own Now That's What I Call Music 10 through to 61.

29 Their frames are boxed and white and photos of themselves are on only on show if they look fantastic.

30 They voted for Boris.

31 Their children call them "Mother" and "Father" (and sometimes "Papa").

32 They cut up anyone who tries to drive ahead of them.

33 They think James Blunt is a musical genius.

34 I'm sorry. Did someone mention the word "toilet"?



Before I started this I really thought I wasn't a festival-goer. I thought Reading and Latitude were full of strange plait-wearing people who lived for music and good times and wanted to be sprayed with water while singing along to the Arctic Monkeys. But now I've read my lists back and I realise people who don't like festivals are hideous.

Someone get me a tent – I'm going to Glastonbury.

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