how to survive a music festival

So I recently spent the best part of five days at Reading Festival, which to those of you who don't know is this massive music festival in Berkshire. It's like this younger, more reckless version of the famed Glastonbury, but full of chavs drinking Redbull and downing Ket, featuring vastly overweight girls trying to fold themselves into sequin pants. It's the sort of place you'd be lucky to come out of without scurvy, trenchfoot, or hepatitis. Most people there end up crying in the foetus position in their tents at some point (be it because of the cesspits of human waste regarded as the toilets, or the horse tranquilisers everyone's bent on trying), but alas, instead I've brought you a guide on how to not let it get that bad. 


Don't dwell on the fact that you just spent 80 hours' wages in one go
And you have nothing to show for it. Honestly, you'll feel a lot better if you ignore that niggling feeling that you could have seen 16 Broadway shows, bought a decent car off Ebay, or taken your best friend on a two week trip around Poland, because if you think about how one beer there is worth five back home, you'll end up being completely miserable.

Make sure you're a million percent comfortable with the people you go with

I'm pretty lucky that I'm relatively close with the main person I went with, as that meant we could complain about just how goddam much we needed to crap the whole time. Seriously, after the first day it's all anyone cares about, and if you're with someone who you feel awkward with then it's just going to make it super difficult. Either way, if you're not particularly close before you go, you'll know everything about their bowel by the end of it.


Drive, don't take the coach

Oh. My. God. Taking the coach to Reading was the worst idea ever. Not only do you face two-hour long waiting times, but you also have to put up with the aggressive vomiting from people high off their faces on Ketamine on the way back. When you've had about three hours' good sleep over the period of five days, the last thing you want is to wake up on a sweaty coach journey having to lift all your bags from the pools of sick swirling around your ankles.

Wear lots of sunscreen
Sure, I've sunburnt my armpits, thighs and hands (out of all places), but for the most part I don't think I've had to suffer too much. Spending 12+ hours outside in the sun is likely going to mess with you unless you're slathered in factor 50, but at the same time it is pretty entertaining to watch a bunch of people walk around with bright red skin, with white lines where their friends sunscreened a massive willy on their back.


Understand that four man tents are not for four men
So one night we have this other person stay with my friend and I in this four man tent, which was at that time filled with our bags, worldly possessions, and selves - and let me tell you how insanely uncomfortable it was. This person slept in the middle, which meant that us either side of her would wake up with wet hair from the inside of the tent, breathing weirdly from the lack of air, on the corners of our mats, with no room to move an inch. It was the worst thing ever, let me tell you. I think that if you plan on getting a four man tent, it's only big enough for two people. A six man tent is for three, and sixteen is for eight. Unless you want to wake up wanting to punch someone, always go for the bigger tent. And if you already have a perfectly good tent, stay in your goddam lane. Leave our tent alone and wait for the MD to leave your system far, far away from me and my comfy-ass self-inflating mattress.

Wear sunglasses
This isn't a PSA, I don't care about whether or not you burn your eyeballs. I'm just saying that there's a scary amount of white people everywhere, and the sun glare on their skin will probably hurt your eyes more than the sun itself.

Don't leave anything you want outside
My friend got her chair stolen because she left it out the third night. I don't know why someone bothered stealing it as I'm pretty sure we found it in the human waste cesspit the next morning, but apparently it happens, and you will just hate on sitting on a ground full of condoms and Xanax. Don't even leave your shoes outside, as if they're worth more than $5 they will either get stolen or covered in someone's wee.

Wear good shoes
Imagine - there were people with strangulation bruises around their necks, lumps in their arms from dodgy needles, broken noses, and black legs from mosh pits. So my badly injured dear friend and I went to the medical tent and waited half an hour for her to be seen. When the medic worriedly asks my friend what is wrong with her, she pauses and then goes, "see, I just have the worst blisters from my shoes". If you don't want to get turned away from a medical tent with some $5 plasters and a laugh, take some good shoes.


Note the mosh pits
Mosh pits differ from genre to genre, but the overall idea is that a circle is formed in the middle of a big group of people, and then everyone goes crazy pushing each other, punching each other, and generally trying to rid of insane amounts of testosterone. I was in one and it was pretty fun, but then I didn't get socked in the face so I can't really comment. Just know that there'll be mosh pits at every single gig at a music festival, and they're more likely to happen when you're at the front. Also, don't look to the musicians to help you as they'll either encourage you or join in.

Scout the local area before arriving
So when we turned up at Reading, I was carrying the weight of four small children on my back in the form of knock off alcohol, soya milk, and candy. I literally thought I was going to die carrying that rucksack for hours, and when I found out there was a Lidl just a $4 Uber ride away, I was tampin'. Unless you're willing to spend eight quid on a beer or nine pound on some dodgy looking burger, buying stuff outside the camp is a must, but carrying it is hell.

Make friends
So we had some great Essex neighbours called Emma and George who were sweethearts and great to talk to, and a bunch of teenage dudes who were gorgeous and great to look at. Not only were these people great, but they were super helpful, helping us set up our tent, blow up chairs, etc. I made friends with this one dude who was great as he bought me a $9 hamburger in exchange for looking after his ex-girlfriend who was high out of her mind on MD. I'm not quite sure what happened to that girl, but the burger was good.




Use the Arena toilets
I know everyone goes on about festival toilets and how grim they can be, but I never knew just how bad they really are. Imagine little metal boxes in 77-degree heat where people can see your calves and the top of your head, with the doors not locking and slamming every five seconds. Now imagine the actual bog, which is made up of a cesspit of human waste a few feet below the hole you're expected to squat over, where everything from vomit to caca goes down. Risk looking down and you'll see the crap from the person next to you landing on these piles of waste, with the worst smell you could ever imagine. There's no sinks, no toilet paper, no seat, no air to breathe without wanting to sick up your overpriced festival meals. It's literally the most disgusting thing you could think of - and I have Crohn's Disease, so that's really saying something. And then there's the toilets we discovered in the Arena, which are proper flushing toilets with air fresheners and soap, that even have good wifi. It's crazy, and most people don't even realise this luxury being so close to them - the first morning we went and paid a pound at Toby Carvery so that we could use a toilet that didn't have a bunch of human fluids dripping off it.

Carry flags
Are you Welsh? Are you anything but English? Then it's likely a bunch of people from your country will be carrying flags around them, and you'll be gutted if you're not there to represent also. I literally saw like 20 flags from Wales (one from Cardiff, boo), and I genuinely felt so hyped whenever I saw one of my people. If you're insanely patriotic like me and want to make a bunch of friends from your hometown then you've just got to carry a flag with you or pin it to your tent.

Bring an emergency kit
Band-Aids, Laxido, sterile bandages, power banks. If you or your phone is dying then you'll want some way to handily fix it - and the medical tent won't lift a finger if your problem isn't life-threatening.

Use their water stations
If only someone had told me I didn't need to take eleven bottles of water with me, then maybe my back wouldn't still be aching from carrying them cross-country. All you need is one empty water bottle, and then bam, you can refill it whenever you choose. Queues are crazy in the morning though, so definitely fill up on water at night.



Coming home after five days at a music festival is honestly the best feeling in the world. You can sleep in a bed! You can eat good food! You can have green tea! You can crap in a normal toilet! You can shower! With the latter, the water will turn brown and be filled with a mixture of other people's fluids, crumbs from pills you've sat on, and lumps of dirt, but man will it feel great. To be frank with you, the $200 festival entry fee is nothing - by the end of it I'd consider paying that for a working shower.

And so, that's my advice on how to survive a music festival. I hope it helps y'all if you ever want to waste nearly $500 or more in one go, but if not then it's your own fault really. Just know it's unlikely you'll see me at one again without booking myself into a hotel for the evenings, with a proper meal plan and running water. Oh, and one last thing for when you're there - try to not get hit by the cups of flying piss that are flung around the festival the whole time. I can guarantee you they will hit you at least twice.

68 comments:

  1. Thanks for the nice comment, I reeeeeaaaaalllllyyy love that Post. !!!

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  2. Ahm. I am glad I already went to music festivals and enjoyed myself, otherwise I would have never dared to go near one judging by your (extremely entertaining) description.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpaging

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  3. These are great tips! Especially the shoes part!

    Have an awesome day!
    xx Kris

    https://dreamingofpink.wordpress.com

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  4. Great tips on how to survive a music festival - it is always a good idea to go with friends you know really well :-) Have a nice weekend!

    Miriam xx

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  5. Although I believe you on a word that most of this is true, I had quit a good laugh of how you wrote it :D And when you first mentioned Reading festival in your previous post, I actually thought it's like comic con for books or something.
    Anyway, I unfortunately didn't yet have a chance to attend festival like this, only those that last just one day, but I can already imagine who'd I take with me when I finally go to one.

    Glad you had so much fun and you recovered from it already ;)
    xx

    d'star

    *d'star*

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  6. your post was so fun to read! I've never attended to a festival (but I really wish to do it!) and I know that is not so comfortable to sleep there or the other people, but I think it's nice to be there to listen your favoirite groups and met new people ^^

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  7. That's a really pretty outfit in that bottom photo, if I may say so. I don't really have any response to your tips (other than there were a lot of them and that the article was a good read), but I'm really interested in just how many words there are in this article that we don't use in America (including, of course, the money words/currency, which seem fun).

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  8. Your posts are always a hilarious read but this honestly sounds like the worst festival in the world! I can imagine how amazing it would feel to come home after the one! haha
    Thanks again or the laughs.

    TFM Life & Style blog

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  9. Wow!!! So amazing (and strong) experience!!!
    Don't miss my last outfit, now on my blog! Kisses from Italy and thank you for your visit,
    Eni

    Eniwhere Fashion
    4 Reasons to wear a white dress

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  10. I love your writing style, your posts always crack me up! I went to Leeds fest when I was about 16 and thought I'd never hack a festival again - it's literally just the toilets I can't handle so that arena tip is the best!
    Amy xx
    www.callmeamy.co.uk

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  11. I'm glad you had a good time and great tips too, I really like festivals and camping!!
    Have a lovely weekend :)
    Rosanna x
    Rose's Rooftop

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  12. I've never been to a festival but I've learn't quite a bit from this post haha its so easy to spend money when your away! I can imagine how nice it would be once you were back x

    S x
    SHELISES WORLD

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  13. Ahh, I've never been to a music festival (One day I'll go). I love your tips especially about the water as I can't go without water x

    LAURA ­| Laura Thinks About

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  14. I honestly have never been to a music fest before and don't think I ever will because I'm just too old for it now. Love how realistic your tips are too!

    Shireen⎜Reflection of Sanity

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  15. Oh man, this sounds terrible! I've been to festivals before (never slept there though, always in hotels) and they were traumatic enough, so I can only imagine what you've been through there!
    la veine chronicles

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  16. Seems like you had fun on music festival! Thanks for sharing! The make up looks so fun!



    xoxo
    ayu

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  17. Your comment about overweight girls is pretty offensive, whether you intended it to be or not. Festivals are a place for people to be who they want, regardless of weight.

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    Replies
    1. My dude I didn't say it was a negative thing, I am literally just stating the demographic. Most people don't read that far though to be frank, so ty for that

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  18. What great festival tips! It's been ages since I've been to a festival, but I definitely want to make it to one next year, so I'll keep these in mind!

    -Emily www.coatandcoffee.com

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  19. This looks like so much fun!!

    http://mollyx.com.au/

    Molly X

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  20. These are some super cool tips :) Thanks for sharing!
    Have a good Monday!
    https://anjage.com

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  21. Thats some good tips, my last festival was horrible....bad shoes :(
    thanks for sharing,
    Sonia
    www.soniaaicha.com

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  22. Omg sounds like such an amazing festival! Slash totally agree with all of your tips girl!

    xo,

    H

    http://firsttimethings.com

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  23. I really love this post
    Have a nice day!
    www.recklessdiary.ru

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  24. Wow, these are some great tips! It has been quite a long time since I've attended a music festival, but it sounds like fun!

    http://roadesque.com

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  25. Wow! These tips sound as real as they get! I have always wanted to attend a music festival but I have never found the proper friends that I wholly trust to go with. Plus, I don't know how I feel about staying in a tent with a million other people haha. Seems like a try it once in a lifetime thing though! Hope you still enjoyed your time! :D

    Kim
    Simply Lovebirds

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  26. sounds like a lot of fun :) thanks for sharing these tips!

    http://www.pinkoolaid.com/

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  27. ¡¡Hola Amy!! Estoy contigo, prefiero un mal hotel que una estupenda tienda de campaña. Hasta en un mal hotel, tienes una ducha en condiciones y una comida medio aceptable. Cerca de donde vivo aquí en España, hay muchos festivales de música, sobre todo de rock, pero para ir y venir en el día, vale, pero no para acampar allí cinco días, te aseguro que yo regreso mucho peor que tú, ja, ja. Bueno, ya he leído que te recuperaste bastante bien con tu manta de sirena y tu leche de coco. Besitos.

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  28. I love how real your advice is! I've never been to a music festival before, but it sounds like quite the adventure.

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  29. I was thinking that probably I could go to a music festival for two days but not for five days is too much. Great tips
    xx

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  30. I have never been to a music festival before and I don't think I ever will!
    Loved reading your post though - it sounds like quite an experience!
    Julia x
    http://www.thevelvetrunway.com/

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  31. I love this kind of events- I am sure you spent great time during this festival- great tips xx

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  32. Great post! Thanks for sharing.

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  33. Thanks for the tips! I see you are a pro :)
    Many thanks for your kind comment on my blog. Do you want to follow each other?
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
    www.dressedwithsoul.com

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  34. Here in Romania we have one of the biggest music festivals in Europe and I've been willing to go for a while. These are great tips!

    Xoxo,Khloe
    http://khloelocom.weburl.ro/somewhere-beach-croatia/

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  35. Wow, what an experience. Thank you for sharing Amy. Booking a hotel for the evenings is the best tip, lol.

    Xx
    Nikki
    www.nikkilivinglife.com

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  36. Oh my goodness that sounds horrible - and so expensive! What a frustrating experience for you - just made me happy I've never seen or been to anything like that, what a let down after you paid all that money!

    Hope you are having a lovely weekend now you're home :)

    Away From The Blue Blog

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  37. Fantastic tips. Especially the tip with the shoes I can confirm ;-)
    XX
    Marcel
    www.marsilicious.com

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  38. oh dear, good tips
    Now I'm sure I'm never going to go a place like that
    ahahaha
    =)
    New post in my Lifestyle Blog

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  39. Oh my gosh, your description of the festival toilets is SO vivid haha! I can absolutely imagine how disgusting they must be, portaloos are terrible in most places - let alone a festival. On a brighter note, I adore the first photo in this post; the atmosphere looks amazing and what a beautiful sky.

    aglassofice.com
    x

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  40. I believe that those tips are very useful for anybody who wants to go to music festival :)
    However, since I have kind of phobia with crowd, I don't think that I can make it :(
    Thank you for the tips anyway ^^

    xoxo,
    |CHELSHEAFLO|

    www.chelsheaflo.com

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  41. Great tips. Thank you for sharing.
    Have a fantastic week.

    Love, Esther
    https://lifestyle-tale.com/en/feminine-military-style/

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  42. I love music festivals! I haven't been to one in a while but I am dying to go to Coachella

    -Lena
    Lenarevealed.com

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  43. This was a fantastic read! I've never personally been to a music festival that required camping out for a weekend, but I've always been curious about the experience. I appreciate your honesty here! I don't know if I could do it lol. Your photos are lovely as well!

    amberelb.com

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  44. Que buena experiencia, lo tuviste que pasar genial.

    Te dejo mi nuevo post, último #summerlook
    https://simplysory.wordpress.com/2017/09/21/pink-kaki-summer-look/

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  45. Thank you for you such a cute comment- Have a lovely weekend :-)

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  46. I have never been to a similar music festival, so I really appreciate the tips! It was also very fun to read :)

    Thanks for sharing!

    Andrea.

    Seize your Style

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  47. These are such good tips- and I agree, good comfy shoes are so key!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

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  48. I’ve always wanted to go to a music festival but they are a little intimidating. Wait… Glastonbury! I visited Glastonbury for historical reasons and had no idea they had such an awesome music festival there, I would totally go back. Thank you for the great tips! I will keep them in mind.
    -Mary
    www.evolvewithmary.com

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  49. I've never camped at a music festival but those r such awesome tips! AMAZZZZING!
    Looks like u had a total blast!
    kisses
    xoBeckerman girls

    www.BeckermanBlog.com

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  50. That sounds like a very fun event! I've never been to a music fest, I do not think there's one here... but I would love to attend one day even if it sounds like a lot of hassle (I mean, rest room...)

    - Gretch of GG Memochou

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  51. Never been in a music festival and seeing your pictures makes me want to try it!

    Almari Writes. ❤

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  52. This is a great post & all sound like really great tips. I wish I could go to a music festival, but I have way to much anxiety. I'm claustrophobic just thinking about it. Maybe I'll become a little more "normal" one day, if not or until then I'll just enjoy everyone elses stories & photos from the events!

    Kara Aragon
    http://www.thekaragon.com

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  53. Have a wonderful start into the new week!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
    www.dressedwithsoul.com

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  54. Thank you for your tips. This will keep in handy when I decided to go to one.

    StyleSprinter Blog by Katya Bychkova

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  55. Great post

    http://iameleine.blogspot.com/

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  56. Great tips babe! Festival season is the best!

    www.prettyinleather.net

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  57. Lovely pictures, dear! Surviving a music festival is an art ;) I haven't gone to one in a while so next time I go I'll remember your tips. By the way my boyfriend is Welsh! I visited Llanelli and Swansea for the first time two weeks ago (I'm from Argentina) and I loved it. Now we're in London again but next month we're coming back <3
    xx

    www.stylebydeb.com

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  58. thanks for sharing such great post great blog ..... keep updating
    http://www.imfaceplate.com/printland9891/sip-your-favored-coffee-in-these-printed-coffee-mugs

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  59. I've been attending music festivals and even festivals since 2009 and I vouch for your tips especially on driving, travelling with people your comfy with, and sunscreen! :)

    BTW, I've read your comment on my blog about how I make my GIF photos. I use Photoshop and Filmora video editor. But for something easy (and when I'm feeling lazy) I just shoot using my phone, and then covert it to gif in Giphy.com :)

    xx Alyssa // STYLE VANITY

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  60. Great post!!

    http://www.brooklynglam.com/

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  61. I find it hilarious especially this part "overweight girls trying to fold themselves into sequin pants". I don't do festivals though since I don't do camping especially if there's no proper toilet and shower.

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  62. these are good tips, I love your writing great post :)
    Isabelle x
    www.isabelleelli.blogspot.com

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  63. Great tips! I definitely want to brave a festival next year xx
    www.basicallyalice.blogspot.co.uk

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