Even by the usual standards of this scene, the 2022 festival season is throwing up some weirdness. Perhaps these things are simply more apparent now due to most festivals being away for two years. Or maybe everyone’s trying to distract themselves from the McDonald’s style lineups – such is the number which are the same.

This year, there’s the added complication of Covid-19. The restrictions which used to control our daily lives have mostly come to an end now, but the virus certainly hasn’t. Indeed, the entire team at Ears To The House managed to catch the virus at various points last month – such is its prevalence now, albeit in a different form to two years ago.

Mask wearing is one of those things less commonly seen now – but we’ve been watching various clips from various festivals and have noticed they’re experiencing something of a renaissance in certain quarters. We first spotted it a few weeks ago at Glastonbury and noticed it again at the likes of Coachella and Burning Man.

So what’s going on? Are clubbers suddenly becoming concerned about Covid again, having generally not been the least bit interested for the past year? This might explain some cases, but definitely not all. No, the real explanation appears to be… the weather!

Much of Europe and the USA is in the middle of an unusually dry summer. Amidst a backdrop where Portugal has seen temperatures as high as 47°C in the past few weeks, parts of the south east of England have seen less than 1% of their normal August rainfall and much of the USA being in the longest summer ever, it’s having an effect on the festival circuit.

And that effect appears to be dust. The already famished, dry ground has several tens of thousands of people walking and dancing on it, compounding the effect. Which means a number of regular festival attendees are making a decision to mask up – including our very own Insider.

He contacted us yesterday to say he’d been at a festival in the USA as part of his work, saying “My nostrils are completely plugged up. I used to travel on the London Underground and the dust from that is child’s play compared to this stuff. Everyone who was there with me is saying the same to me right now – and we were a big group. I’ve never seen a year like it.”.

So if you do see someone in a bone-dry field wearing a mask, there might be a good reason for it…