Y Not presents itself as an opportunity to have fun and forget about your responsibilities for a few days. Unfortunately, it seemed that the organisers forgot about their responsibilities too. Being the kind people we are, we’re going to give Y Not some tips on how to get it right in the future.

Tip #1: Make sure there is a festival to attend

It would be nice to say that things started off well, but festival-goers arrived on the Thursday to find that the Saloon Bar (one of the few stages open for early entry ticket holders) was still being built. This was before all the rain, so even that couldn’t be used as an excuse. As someone correctly pointed out, Y Not had a whole year in which to make sure this stage was ready on time, and they failed. Regardless, everyone continued to have a good time for the rest of the night. Everyone except Feeder, whose lack of stage presence and enthusiasm bleakly foreshadowed what was to come.

Tip #2: People at festivals don’t want to think too hard

Friday’s confusion kicked off with the simple uncertainty of which stage was which because there were no signs to let people know where they were. To add to this, the set times appeared to have changed, so people were left wandering around the site before eventually giving in and looking at the site map on the Y Not website. This isn’t Glastonbury. There aren’t hundreds of stages to look for. There are six (or at least, there are six when they are all built).

Tip #3: Hope for the best and prepare for the worst

When the rain started, nobody seemed too phased. After all, this was the Derbyshire countryside. People came prepared with wellies and rain coats. Everyone had read the safety information on the Y Not website that clearly highlighted “the possibility of wet, muddy and slippy conditions”. The festival itself seemed far less prepared.

No trackway had been laid, so the grass soon turned to mud. The gravel perimeter road around the festival became unusable. The main stage had to be suspended and acts were cancelled. They resorted to putting up a few gazebos on the stage to protect the equipment, but this was ineffective and Friday night headliners The Vaccines didn’t perform. How can a festival in its 12th year be so ill-equipped to deal with the weather?

Tip #4: Keep the crowd safe and aware

There was an air of uncertainty across the whole festival. With the stage closures and shuffling of acts, nobody was quite sure of what was going on and people felt very uninformed. This leads people to worry about their safety, because what if something happened? What if there was an emergency? There was a noticeable lack in on-site support and a very small police presence, something that doesn’t reflect well on the 60+ thefts that were reported in the first 24 hours of the festival.

On Sunday morning, Y Not made an announcement on their Facebook page stating that the remainder of the festival was cancelled due to the adverse weather. The site was no longer safe, and there have since been reports that they were unable to get an ambulance onto the site. The announcement aimed to provide all the information people would need, but many people had no phone signal and were unable to access this information or contact others. Through all this, the festival staff were still nowhere to be found.

Tip #5: Learn from past mistakes

This being many people’s first festival, it might be a struggle to win them back around. However, if Y Not returns in 2018 with better planning, there will surely be plenty of people willing to give it another chance. Failing that, maybe invite Bear Grylls along and it could be turned it into a survival event.


Have you been affected by the cancellation of Y Not? Did you vow to never go to another festival again? Well, LeeFest are offering 100 free tickets to Truck and Y Not attendees to restore their faith in festivals.

Founder Lee Denny says:

“We don’t want people to lose faith in festivals because a major company failed to deliver. Hopefully we can give a few people the experience they deserved at Y Not and Truck and that will restore their love of festivals! Independent festivals are toiled over by teams for the love of the event, not just for profit. We don’t want to be tarred with the brush of the majors so hopefully this is a small contribution to combat that!”

To stand a chance of claiming one of the 100 LeeFest tickets, attendees just need to forward their Truck or Y Not order confirmation to [email protected]

Winners will be chosen at random on Sunday 6th August at midday.