Whether you’re a battle-hardened festival goer or you’re taking your first foray into the mud and music, you’re constantly on the do’s and don’ts learning curve of a successful festival experience. To help you get off to a good start, we’ve put together a collection of festival tips in a guide to surviving festival season.
How to Survive a Festival
Festivals aren’t as scary as your older relatives might tell you, warning you about all of the madness and dangers because they’re really quietly worried you can go off on your own and handle it like a boss all by yourself.
However, it’ll only be a success if you prepare accordingly. There are a few things you absolutely do not want to forget, as it’ll be your way into and around the festival, and determine what you can and cannot do.
- Tickets: often your entry into the campsite and the arena are two different tickets, sometimes with a wristband, so it’s best to take everything they send out in the post just in case. Also, for festivals that have Be Chilled areas or similar where you can collect pre-ordered alcohol, you’ll probably need a printout of the details.
- ID: don’t rely on your good looks, you will only ever get served if you can prove your age!
- Phone and portable charger: you can’t use one without the other when camping. Check in with your loved ones every day to let them know you’re having a blast.
- Cash and wallet/purse: keep this on you at all times and don’t leave it lying around or in a pocket that’s easily accessed in crowds.
So long as you have the above then you’ll be able to get into and around the festival, keep in touch with your campmates and have a grand old time together.
When camping at a festival you should aim to arrive as early as possible in order to get a good spot in the campsite. Even the bigger festivals like Glastonbury are jam-packed because the bigger the space, the more tickets sold, so don’t risk it and get there early doors.
Pitch up with pals and if there’s enough tents create a circle so you have your own communal area to set up your camp chairs. Once you’ve set everything up, locate some memorable nearby landmarks and funky tents that’ll make it easier to remember where you’re based. This will make it a lot easier to find people in the off chance you get lost at some point.
Don’t leave any valuables unattended to in your tent when you’re away from the campsite. Always keep your wallet/purse, ID, phone and tickets on your person in a bum bag.
Torches! Whether it’s a head torch or just a classic handheld one, this will come in very handy when trying to get back to your tent in the dark and to see inside your tent when getting changed or winding down.
Stock up on food and drink so you don’t spend a fortune at the burger vans all weekend. Remember not to litter and bring a few carrier bags that you can keep your rubbish in and drop off at the bins around the campsite either each day or at the end of the weekend.
We’ve already had the chat about your valuables so we won’t go through it again – bum bag! – but there’s another few important things to quickly run through.
Drinking can be a big part of festivals worldwide but in the UK even more so. Be aware that you are in a new environment surrounded by new people and keep your wits about you. Always travel in pairs, ask your friend to hold your drink for a second instead of putting it down, and remember to drink water in between. Overdoing it isn’t fun for anyone and you don’t want to be a burden to your campmates or put yourself in danger!
If you’re part of a big group that includes friends of friends, make sure everyone has everyone’s numbers saved on their phones so that everybody can get in contact if anyone gets lost.
Being exposed to the sun all day long with little-to-no shade means sunscreen will be your best friend. Be sure to put it on every morning and re-apply it to any exposed areas every few hours when you can, never forgetting the all-important face, neck and shoulders.
Wet wipes will also be a good pal to you as they come in handy for so many things. We wouldn’t recommend going a few days without washing your face but with wipes you don’t have to, so you can wipe off any dirt from the day and start fresh every morning, too. Moisturise before sunscreen to really keep your skin safe.
Hand sanitiser is an absolute must-have for festivals. From our experience, taking two miniatures is best as this way you can keep one in the tent and one in your bum bag so your hands are clean on the go so not to spread germs, break out your skin, or make your food dirty.
Do not forget your tooth brush and toothpaste either. All you need is a bottle of water to keep those teeth clean and your breath fresh!
In addition to those few items listed above, you should always take:
• Toilet roll
• Paracetamol (thank us later)
• Dry shampoo
• A hip flask (if you fancy)
• A blanket
• Jumpers / hoodies
• A fleece
• Plenty of socks
• A pair of trainers for around the campsite
• A hat
• Waterproof jacket (or at least a poncho)
When festival-ing in the UK, you pretty much need a mix of everything. So long as you follow this list, you’ll be in for a time to remember.
Now what are you waiting for? Have fun!