Board Games vs. Bored Games


I have just returned from spending a rainy week holed up in a seaside cottage in Norfolk. Upon arrival, we were secretly delighted to discover a cupboard full of well-played board games and whenever the weather got just a little bit too wet and windy, we had the comfort of knowing that we could always retreat to the cottage to play (yet another) game of Scrabble.

For me, board games have always been a staple part of any festival experience. At busy festivals, sleep is often a rare commodity, saved for only the most hardened or intoxicated festival-goers. In my experience, everyone else relies on making their own entertainment to get them through their time at the campsite. My husband has been known to recoil with horror at the thought of “that time when your Austrian friend beat me at Scrabble at the Reading festival.” At festivals, friendships can be made for life over a game of poker. With the summer festivals nearly upon us, here are some traditional games that can be re-invented with a musical twist for festival-goers:

1: Scrabble. Who doesn’t love being made to feel stupid that they can’t even think of a simple three letter word using the letters C L D Q E J A in their own language? Why not play a version using band names, artists and acronyms for bands to provide even more hours of excruciatingly painful fun?

2: Guess Who is a fun game to play when you’re stuck in a tent. Why not come up with your own music-based alternative version? Yes, this is time-consuming but entertaining. Draw some caricature inserts of your favourite artists and instead of “Does your character have a beard?” you will quickly find yourself asking “Has your character won any BRIT awards in the past five years?”

3: Risk. Keep your pacifist friends happy by pretending that the little soldiers are actually bands and artists that are attempting to take over the world with your strategic assistance.

4: Chess. It could be entertaining to stick post-it notes on the chess-pieces to give them names. Hence, your Queen could be Madonna or Beyonce and your Rook could be Ellie Goulding. If you are REALLY bored.

5: Connect

6: Give each opponent the name of a country, i.e. France. Each time a counter is put into the slot, they have to say the name of a musician from that country. This is actually a lot more difficult than it sounds!

Of course, the variations on traditional games are endless and, provided that your don’t get too caught up in your game of CD-cover “Snap” that you miss the main act, should comfortably see you through a few days in a muddy field.

Hang in there! Summer is just around the corner:)