I have been attending music festivals for the past 10 years and it just does not feel like summer without getting down to some amazing music in a muddy field. Since I now have a decades worth of experience I thought I would share some of my top tips with you.
1. Drink enough water!
I know that this sounds boring, but having passed out at two festivals due to dehydration I am warning you that it is not fun nor clever. I now take a plastic water pouch like this one so I can fill it up throughout the day.
2. Pack light but for all occasions
Having experienced all seasons in one day at Glastonbury, and also the pain dragging my stuff through the campsite, I have learned the hard way how to pack. I am going to make a full list very soon but my top tip is to always pack things that are light and you can layer.
3. Remember suntan lotion
I use sun protection almost daily to prevent my tattoos from premature fading, but after blistering my nose one sunny year at T In The Park this is even more of a priority at a festival.
4. Wear Wellies
No seriously, sandals and new trainers look hot but when you step into a festival toilet, or it rains, you will regret ruining your feet. I can’t even get started on my hatred for people who put plastic bags over their shoes – though watching them fall is an amazing pass time, do you really think that your Tesco bag feet are ‘cooler’ than my wellingtons?
5. Take a Waterproof Jacket or Poncho
The boys I festival with are particularly bad at not packing a waterproof jacket because “it’s summer”. I much prefer being prepared than having to get into a battle with fellow campers for the last batch of plastic ponchos.
6. Pack your fancy dress box
I know it takes up space, but festivals are such a great place to get creative!
7. Duct Tape is an amazing multitasker
Surprisingly awesome for fancy dress, and is brilliant for repairing your tent and wellies.
8. Be prepared for the toilets
It is essential to take toilet roll and hand sanitiser; some festivals provide both but it runs out so quickly. I also bought myself a she-wee, which takes a bit of getting used to but was so much more hygienic than squatting over filthy pit.
9. Pack enough socks
No, seriously, they will get soggy from sweat or rain and putting on damp socks is the worst.
10. You can drink on a budget
I think that every festival should have Glastonbury’s drink policy where you are invited to bring your own booze, however, I get that they need to make money somehow. Sneaking in drink is like a right of passage: my most successful attempts have been water bottles in crotches, resealed Capri-suns, and cutting a hole in the lining of my bag.
11. You don’t have to drink to have a good time
No, really! I love a drink but last year I was a bit poorly and stuck to one cider a day at Glastonbury. I thought being sober was going to be awful but was actually an amazing experience. I could remember all the sets I saw and had a clear enough head to sort out issues before they became situations. I also didn’t need a day to recover.
12. Be careful with drugs
Not my thing but I would never judge people that do. Most festivals search on entry, they will confiscate anything that is illegal and may not let you enter at all. If you are buying inside be careful not to get ripped off; there are lots of fake substances going around that could not only be a bum deal but also life threatening. If you do feel at all unwell after taking something don’t try and be cool in front of your mates – seek medical help or, if you start to freak out, head to a welfare point or to the Samaritans, they won’t judge and it is confidential .
13. Take a flag or make arrange a meeting point
You will get lost but it doesn’t have to ruin you weekend, have a plan, take a flag or make new friends.
14. Make friends with the crowd
Things will get crowded and sometimes uncomfortable, try not to panic and start chatting to the people around you, I find that once they see you as a person and not an obstacle you get a little more room.
15. Take plastic sheeting
It is light, makes a great rain cover and gives you something to sit on during a long tiring day in the mud.
16. Take money out before you go if you need it
It helps with sticking to a budgets, and who wants to be standing in a queue for hours when there are such great bands on. I personally hope that all festivals go cashless like Download.
17. Take a portable phone charger
Phone signal is better than ever at festivals so if you get lost you can call a buddy and, though I hate seeing a line of phones at a gig, it is always nice to grab a few snaps. There are usually charging facilities but queuing is such a pain.
18. Make a note of where you pitched your tent
It seems obvious in the day but come night fall after a few bevys it is not so fun finding you tent, at least if you know the general area you have a starting point.
19. Don’t pack too much food
I always like to take some cereal bars, but every year I have packed food it has been a complete waste as I simply can’t resist a good quality food van; I feel like every year there is more variety and even though I am vegetarian I never leave a festival hungry.
20. IKEA bags are a life saver
They are a great way carry your stuff as someone can take another handle and as they are water proof keeps your stuff dry.
21. Take your own shower
Dry shampoo, baby wipes, deodorant will leave you feeling fresh.
22. Don’t stress if you forget something
You can beg, borrow or buy the things that you need, festivals are well equipped or ask you neighbours.
23. Don’t let not having home comforts ruin your experience
You are in a field, tired and it’s either raining or far too hot; so what, you are at a festival!!!
What are your guys top top for festival fun?