Attention Festival goers!

Amy Tweddle By Amy Tweddle, 31st Aug 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Music>Festivals & Gigs

Going to a music festival? You might want to take a look at this...

Intro

Planning on going to a music festival this summer? Then read on. If you've never been to one but are thinking about it - do it, you'll love it! Here is a list of my top ten tips for surviving a weekend at a festival.

Tip # 1: Never underestimate the British weather

Festivals are notorious for being muddy so remember to pack those waterproofs and wellies!! You can usually buy plastic ponchos on site for a couple of quid so if you've not got a lot of space left in your rucksack there's no need to worry. Even if there's only been a bit rain the paths can quickly turn into mud especially when there's tens of thousands of pairs of feet trampling on them!

Also, don't take your best clothes with you - if you're guaranteed sunshine then don't worry too much but if it's rain then definitely take clothes that you don't mind getting trashed.

If it's sunshine that's predicted then take some sunscreen with you - my first festival experience was spent looking like a lobster...not cool.

Tip # 2: To share or not to share?

I am of course talking about tents. Tents are funny things - a two man tent will fit you and your rucksack and food/beer for the weekend but that's it. If you're planning on sharing a tent with someone then I'd think about getting a 3/4 man tent (depends on how well you know the person you're sharing with).

Remember, you've got to wash yourself inside your tent as well, personally, I wouldn't share with anybody at least then you can retain some kind of dignity!

Tip # 3: Car share

Save some cash and the environment and see if you can car share with your mates or even find out if anyone from your area is heading to the same festival - the more people the better!

Tip # 4: Money

You will need a lot of this, of course this depends on how much you plan to spend and what intend to buy while you're there. Food can be pricey if you buy it when inside the arena, drinks too. Most festivals tend to have a Shuttle bus service that will take you into the nearest town/city where you can stock up at a supermarket, these usually charge a few quid. Then there's the merchandise stalls, be warned these are not cheap! You'll also want to buy a programme so you know what's happening when, these can be anywhere between five and ten quid.

Also, if you're driving make sure you've got enough cash left to fill your tank up on your way home!

Keep anything valuable on you when you leave your tent. Unfortunately there are people that will, given the opportunity, raid your tent - this has never happened to me personally but a friend of mine had left some money and a rather expensive camera in their tent while we were in the arena, well, needless to say, they weren't there when we got back. Don't let this put you off though, like I say, this has never actually happened to me and chances are it will never happen to you (however, 'scuse the cliche, it's better to be safe than sorry) - there tends to be several wardens to each campsite that patrol pretty much 24/7.

Tip # 5: Book your tickets early

This may sound like an obvious point but if you've got your heart set on a particular festival keep an eye on their website for when the tickets go on sale because as they say, when they're gone, they're gone!

Tip # 6: Get directions

This only really applies if you're driving. Before you head off make sure you've printed off directions (even just as a back up) - don't rely on the signs they put out close to the festival site, these can sometimes be misleading/confusing. I found this out a few years back when we ended up driving down the same road several times convinced that we were heading in the right direction because we'd followed the signs. Also, check local traffic news for any roadworks, congestion etc.

Tip # 7: Food

Festivals can be an expensive business. The first year I went to a festival I spent a fortune on food (though I must admit it was quite nice just being able to walk up to a stand and have a hot meal within three minutes of asking for it). You can take a stove and/or disposable bbqs (check your festival's website for regulations on stoves and gas canisters - some can be quite strict) and some tins/packets of food (i.e. dehydrated pasta/rice). Also, you can't beat a belly full of bacon/sausage to head into the arena with.

Take your own drinks (beer/water etc) too as these can be very expensive to buy several times a day - watch out though as most festivals won't let you take drinks into the arena with you.

Tip # 8: The dreaded Portaloo

There are many horror stories of festival loo's and be warned, many aren't too far from the truth.

During my second festival I discovered 'Travel Johns' on a stall inside the arena - I wish I had known about these beforehand. Basically, it's a plastic bag with silica gel inside and are very easy to use (I won't go into detail on here!), they are great to use in your tent - however they can only be used for liquids not solids!

Another trick to keep portaloo usage to a minimum is to stock up on 'Biscuit Browns', these are used in ration packs in the Army and are notorious for bunging you up. You can get hold of these online.

Obviously you can't completely avoid using festival loo's but these tips can help you to avoid using them all the time. When you do have to use them take some toilet paper with you (it's rare for this to be provided and if it is there's usually very little if any left) and some antibacterial handwash - you can pick this up in a supermarket for about 70p.

Tip # 9: Remember - This is going to be your home for the next few days

This is your home for the weekend so make sure you take some home comforts with you e.g. a cushion for a pillow or blankets to go over your sleeping bag at night (it can get very cold). A good nights sleep is very important so make sure that you've got something comfy to sleep on - blow up matresses are good as they don't take up a lot of space when packing. Also, take something to sit on, trust me, you will thank me for this one - you can pick up festival chairs once you're at the festival so you don't need to worry too much about finding one before you go.

Tip # 10: Enjoy

Above all else enjoy yourself - forget the fact that you're spending a weekend in a (most likely muddy) field with 50,000+ people, as long as you've read the previous points and prepared yourself you'll have a great time.

One more thing, take a torch...you'll need one!

Tags

Beer, Camping, Carling, Essentials, Festivals, Food, Glastonbury, Leeds, Music, Reading, Sleeping Bag, T In The Park, Tents, Waterproofs, Weekend, Wellies

Meet the author

author avatar Amy Tweddle
I am a qualified English Literature and Film Studies teacher. I enjoy writing scripts and short stories in my spare time.

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