The 10 emotional stages of camping at Stendhal

Writer and music aficionado Aine Cronin McCartney takes an irreverent look at camping at Stendhal Festival. Visit for more of her work

For some people the idea of camping at a festival is one if the main reasons they like to attend.
Now, I’ve had some pretty bad camping experiences particularly at festivals but camping at Stendhal has certainly been some of the more pleasurable camping experiences.
Waking up outdoors, soaked with morning dew, empty cans all over your tent and lying next to a stranger, what could be more wonderful?

1. Arrival at Stendhal:

The initial celebration of arriving at Stendhal is quickly replaced by the thought of having to get the two dozen bags of unnecessary luggage all the way to the campsite. As you unload your car and realise you have brought more bags than you have fingers you start to question what exactly you have brought.

2. The car park:

Despite the walk from the car park to the actual site not being that long, it seems at least a thousand miles away at this point. Was it this long last year?

3. Do I really need all these things?

Once you start walking you begin reliving flashbacks of the year before in the exact same position with the exact same thoughts? Do I really all 36 packets of crisps I brought? Why are all my blankets so heavy? Why can beer not be easier to carry?

4. Pit Stop:

Taking a pit stop after approximately two minutes of walking is a must to preserve energy for the whole journey. Coming to realise after your first few times to have a few cigarettes pre rolled because you will undoubtedly stop for several breaks in between is a good call.

5. New Friends:

One thing you can always count on, on your way to the campsite is to meet new friends along the way. Having met some weird and wonderful characters along the trail has definitely made the experience more bearable. Mutual understanding with a stranger on your struggle towards the field will help bind you with someone for life.

6. Feck it, I’ll just camp here:

Who says you have to make it the whole way to the campsite to actually camp. The car park is looking like a mighty fine place to pitch a tent at this stage.

7. The please help me stage:

Making slightly sad and helpless looks at passers-by who seemed to have nailed camping has worked in my favour far too many times. But then again that’s the sort of people you’ll meet along the way, those who are willing to lend a helping hand wherever they can. So to anyone who has helped me lift my bags in the past, thank you!! And I’ll see you at the same time, same place this year?

8. Do I really need all these things pt 2?

Deciding what you really need while abandoning the rest usually happens towards the end of the walk. Trying to bargain passers-by that they will definitely need at least five of your ten packets of super noodles so you feel less guilty for not bringing all the food your mum packed you helps. You then spend the rest of your weekend regretting not giving away some alcohol instead of snacks.

9. Arriving at the site:


10.Pitching your tent:

Just when you thought the worst part was over, the real hard work begins as you realise you still have to assemble your tent. Having nearly lost a few friends through this process I’ve learnt that I’m more useful not helping at all. If only a pop up tent was an option.
While I may have made the stages of camping sound slightly more dramatic than it usually is it’s one of the most fun and enjoyable parts of the whole weekend. So to those who are in two minds either to camp or not I urge you to do so, you will not regret it