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The History of the Festival Drug Dealer 'Look'

A fashion shoot, with a bit of context, from Wavey Garms.
Left: Marc Jacobs bucket hat, Stone Island heat reactive jacket, CP Company netted tee; Right: Hermes cap, North Face summit series jacket, Gucci satchel, Rolex watch

Every summer, the fields of Britain take a battering. Young men and women spend three months jumping on them, expelling fluids into them, not washing themselves to a fully acceptable standard on top of them, and consuming metric tons of booze and drugs on and around them. Where do they get these drugs? Unless they've smuggled them past the sniffer dogs in an imaginative and enterprising way, most likely from a festival drug dealer.


Festival dealers present a couple of problems: A) they may well be selling complete duds; B) you've never met them before, don't know if you can trust them and have no way of finding out the purity or strength of the stuff they're selling (unless you're lucky enough to be at a festival staffed by drugs testing organisation The Loop). One thing, though, is that they're very easy to spot: a trend has emerged over the last decade among festival shotters, one that originated up north and is now prominent across our country's fields.

Helly Hansen jacket, Stone Island jeans, Louis Vuitton belt, Rolex watch

"The style was actually taken from Scousers, who would turn up over the fences of the festival dressed head-to-toe in Alpine Lowe and Berghaus, with all their professional camping equipment at the ready," explains Wavey Garms founder Andres Branco, "Being cocky Londoners, [the drug dealers from London] would always have to outdo everyone, so they would nick the most expensive hiking gear possible from Northern Europe and finesse the look in their own way."

Mixing expensive camping brands like North Face and Arc'teryx with designer brands like Versace and Stone Island, it's a blend of high end contemporary street fashion and practical, top of the range hiking equipment that really doesn't make sense on paper but somehow works in real life. Basically, if you see a guy who looks like he's ready to brave the Arctic, but is also wearing Gucci shades and slides, chances are his Mulberry messenger bag is full of other stuff than wet wipes and water bottles.


"Although the look was originally based on the kinds of people seen jumping the fence at Glasto back in the day, the style as seen around campsites today started from London circles of graffiti writers, shotters and rude-boys," says Andres, "Most of them were looking to pack in the tagging to earn some real money, which they'd usually go spend on C.P Company goggle jackets or Fendi belts."

See some more of those looks below:

Karrimor jacket, Gucci bag

Versace sunglasses, CP Company T-shirt, Moncler shirt, Hermes belt, Rolex watch

Stone Island button-up, Fendi belt, Rolex watch, North Face waterproofs

Arc'teryx hat and bag, Stone Island coat

Right: True Religion hoody, Gucci sunglasses. Right: Skengman sunglasses, Helly Hansen jacket, Arc'teryx backpack

Arc'teryx hat, Mulberry bag

Left: Stone Island coat, Nike hoody, CP Company trousers; Middle: Arc'teryx jacket, Stone Island cap, Acne jeans, Prada trainers; Right: Hermes cap, North Face jacket, Rolex watch

Creative director and stylist: Andres Branco
Photographer: Frayser Thorne (VBLOCC)
Photographer's assistant: Rory Griffin
Stylist's assistant: Ryan Morris

Wavey Garms / @williamwasteman