Are you off to a festival this year? With the British summer weather as changeable and unpredictable as ever, here are our essential tips to help you survive!
Before you go, get the festival programme and check the line up and the clashes – highlight the bands you really want to see and the ones you would quite happily watch – compare notes with your friends and plan the your time ahead your arrival. It saves any disagreements once you’re there and ensures you all (hopefully!) see some bands that you like. Don’t race to see all the big names, there’s loads to see and experience at a festival, make the most of it and go with the flow as much as you can, you’ll enjoy it more!
Pack light, you’ll have to carry your kit to where you camp and you don’t want to be carrying excess baggage. Wear your heaviest clothes so it’s less to pack, and wear your hat! Check the festival website for any banned items – glass (including mirrors) is often on the list. Whilst we say pack light, we really mean pack the essentials and having talked to a fair few festival goers over the years, these are their must-haves when they’re off to enjoy the experience…
· toilet roll
· waterproof jacket (even if it’s a rain poncho you can stuff in a pocket)
· baby wipes (will become your friend in the absence of showers and with the portaloos it’s best to be prepared!)
· duct tape (to mend just about anything from a hole in a tent to a broken zip!)
· sun block
· jumper (it gets cold at night)
· a rollmat and sleeping bag (don’t worry about a pillow, use your clothes!)
· torch and ID
Take enough clothes in case you get soaked through and a plastic bag to bring them home in, but it’s not a fashion show, you don’t need three changes of clothes every day.
Remember wellies/walking boots and flip flops whatever the weather – if you’re heading for the toilets at night, you don’t want to be in flip flops…
Take a photo of your friends’ phone numbers and names and use it as your screen saver photo on your phone – if you lose your phone, whoever finds it can let one of your friends know and get the phone back to you. It’s also worth taping their details to the back of the phone in case you run out of battery! Pack a couple of extra batteries if you can, and remember that phone coverage isn’t always great if you’re in the middle of a field in the countryside, so have a back up plan if the mobile network isn’t playing ball.
Camp near a landmark if you possibly can – when you’re coming back to your tent in the dark, they all look the same! But camp nowhere near the toilets… we don’t need to spell out why – there’s a reason that there is still space around them even if you turn up late! When you have set up your tent you’ll head off to enjoy the music - arrange a place to meet your friends in case you get split up – have a time that you’ll be there to check everyone’s ok especially if you’re heading off in different directions.
You’ll be walking for miles on end each day – between stages, food sites and the campsite – make sure you have comfortable footwear and enough food and water to keep you going. You’ll be able to buy food and drink on site, but remember they have a pretty captive audience and the prices are likely to be higher than outside of the festival. You don’t want to run out of energy or money, so pace yourself and take a box or two of cereal bars to keep you going.
Leave your valuables at home, don’t make yourself an easy target.
Have fun – there’s no better place to be than when you’re with friends, the sun is shining and the music is good!