It’s peak festival season, and where better to start than with the Festival Lover. There’s something liberating about going to a festival. Whether you’re camping, glamping or just there for the day, as soon as you’re through the barriers, obligatory festival wristband secured, all the pressures of the outside world disappear. For any first-time, or even regular, festival goers, it can be a daunting task figuring out how to bring your authentic self to a festival and fully enjoy yourself. That’s why we decided to sit down with London based model, DJ, and festival veteran Simone Murphy to discover her experiences with festivals, how she puts together her festival style and how to live your best festival life.
No matter whether you’re there just for the day, camping with a bunch of friends, or living the luxe life and staying in a fancy yurt, there’s something about a festival that gives people the space to live their lives however they want. Glitter (eco-friendly, naturally) becomes ubiquitous, while people’s outfits veer from relaxed to fabulous outrageous. Whether it’s people experimenting with drag, living their skimpy-clad fantasy or leaning into relaxed fits for ultimate comfort, festivals provide an opportunity for self-expression, and for people to experiment and push their style further than they might otherwise feel comfortable doing IRL.
For queer people, this could mean a multitude of things, from experimenting with different expressions of gender, playing around with cosplay or just serving full fashion-forward looks that in day-to-day life might not always be sensible for popping to the shops in.
It’s this sense of individuality and creative freedom that took Simone from festival virgin to veteran. With numerous festivals under her belt, from Snowbombing in the Austrian mountains to All Points East in London’s Victoria Park, Simone is something of an expert.
Hey Simone. How would your friends best describe you?
I think a lot of people would describe me as a bit of a party animal because I’m very sociable. I like to be on the go a lot, but my closest friends know that I also enjoy my own company and can be quite introverted at times. I think it’s all about balance.
How did you first get into going to festivals?
Funnily enough, I didn’t go to my first music festival until my early 20s, but after that, I was immediately obsessed with the freedom and culture surrounding them. I think because I joined so late in the game, I threw myself into the experience. I used to take the outfits a little bit too far and now my festival style is a lot similar to my day-to-day look, which I would describe as a model-off-duty meets video game character. I do think it’s really important to push the boundaries of what you like to wear at festivals because you have the space to. You can just completely be yourself while you’re on the festival grounds.
How do your interests and hobbies influence your style?
I’m incredibly lucky to get to travel the world modelling and as a DJ and I think I take a lot of inspiration from people I see on my travels. As a model, I’m often at the forefront of what’s coming into trend –I get a little sneak peek – but my favourite is when I’m out and about in the evenings and immersed in nightlife, especially in places like Berlin and East London, where all the fashion gays are pulling looks.
Who are the people you take inspiration from and what do you love about them?
I look to a lot of different women. As a DJ, I think Peggy Gou is a fairly natural choice – she showed me a career path I didn’t realise I was capable of while also being incredibly cool and stylish, which I find inspiring. I also love Alexa Chung in regards to fashion; I think she’s so timeless. But I’m also really inspired by groups of subcultures, especially from different decades, and it’s really interesting to look at youth culture throughout history. In terms of personality, I admire the way Jameela Jamil uses her platform and her voice to speak up for what she believes is right, and a little bit closer to home I think Lucia Blayke is a wonderful advocate for the queer and trans community in London.
It can be hard figuring out what to bring to a festival. What’s your favourite thing you’ve ever bought for a festival?
Despite being from Scotland, I’m a Camden girl now through and through so don’t roll your eyes when I say this, but I am going to go with a pair of Dr Martens. You can bring one pair with you to a festival and they will get you through thick and thin: they will not fall apart and they have got your back. If I had to choose something else, I would probably go with some Factor 50 SPF because you never know what’s going to happen, especially with our British weather, so it’s very important to keep your skin safe!
As a Klarna app user, what’s your favourite shopping feature on the Klarna app?
I love the CO2 tracker, I think especially when you’re shopping online it’s easy to get carried away and forget that these products are being packaged and shipped to you and they don’t just show up at your door so it’s nice to have that little reminder so that you can manage what you’re doing.
Seeing as you can shop anywhere in the Klarna app, what are your favourite retailers to shop at when you’re heading to a festival?
Honestly, I enjoy the mix of places you go shopping with Klarna. It’s really easy to shop my favourite brands like All Saints, but equally, I can use it on eBay, too, if I’m looking for something second-hand or one of a kind. For festivals, you do really want to show your personality. That can be hard to do if everyone else is going to be wearing the same thing as you, so I love that you’re able to shop pre-loved items, too.
What advice would you give to someone who was thinking of going to their first festival?
It’s all about having fun and discovering your style. That can be a bit of trial and error, but that’s half the journey and half the fun. Mostly, I think it’s really important to just stay true to yourself. If something works, that’s great. But if something doesn’t, you know for next time how to tune things more to your taste. It’s way more important to get out there and have fun – there are no rules!
Klarna don’t just have your festival look sorted – they can also help you book the hottest festivals and concerts, and even your travel. Shop Simone’s curated festival wishlist with Klarna.
You can even spread the cost into 3 interest-free payments when booking through the Klarna app.
Klarna’s Pay in 3 instalments credit agreements are not regulated by the FCA. Use of these and any missed payments may affect your ability to obtain credit from Klarna and other lenders. 18+, UK residents only. Subject to status. T&Cs apply. klarna.com/uk/terms-and-conditions.