We’re longing for some free and fun times and there’s no greater occasion than a festival to really let your hair down. But before we can let loose in a field for a few days, there’s seemingly a lot to organise, particularly if there’s a few of you going.
To ensure you have the best, most stress free time possible, we’ve compiled an ultimate guide to festivals
Regardless of your taste in music, the dress codes for festivals are pretty universal. The essentials are: a pair of welly’s (Glastonbury 2005 serves as a pretty good reminder as to why), sneakers, an anorak/rain coat/poncho, hoody/fleece for colder nights, hat and sunglasses. Additionally, you’ll want a pair of pjs (jogging bottoms and t-shirt serve well, especially if camping), shorts for the really hot days (it really can get hot at a festival in the UK, we promise!), plenty of t-shirts/tank tops and lots of socks and underwear.
Importantly, you don’t want to over pack. You’ll need to carry these things in and out of the festival from your car/coach and you could be walking for miles before you’ll get any relief. Additionally, you’ll have lots of other items to be taking with you; so pack as lightly as possible. You’ll not be showering for the few days you’re there so re-wearing isn’t exactly a problem- unless it’s soaked through of course or absolutely filthy. Therefore only pack a couple of lightweight changes, just in case.
Although you’re gathering with a ton of other free spirits, some people simply aren’t. Festivals are an opportunity to have your things stolen, particularly as you’ll be away from your tent and possessions most of the day. So always keep essential and expensive possessions such as camera, phone and money on your person at all times. Alternatively, if you’re with a few people, you can always ask them to mind your things temporarily and take it in turns to go the bathroom, get food etc.
In fact, it’s always a good idea to go in pairs wherever you go. Although you may have good intentions of separating and meeting at a designated spot, sometimes, it doesn’t always work out. So if you need to go in search of food or to the loos, take someone with you you’re your group wherever possible. Also planning which acts you want to see when with your friends in advance will ensure an enjoyable time for all and ensure your safety too.
Don’t forget about the end of the night too: finding your tent after a day of partying can be particularly tricky; it’s wise to carry a small torch with you to help you get back to your tent at the end of the night safely and also to have an obvious sign/flag or other significant marker to help you identify your tent with ease. The campsite looks considerably different at night, especially as festival goers are arriving at all different times and days so don’t be surprised if it seems overly crowded where you’re pitched by the time you get back.
Additionally, ensure you pack condoms, a small first aid kit including plasters, antiseptic wipes, safety pins, dehydration sachets and anti-diarrhoea medication. If you’re feeling overly cautious, you could also carry a rape alarm and battery operated phone charger to ensure you have everything you could possibly need to have a fun, safe time.
Eating & drinking
The world is your oyster when it comes to eating at festival as foods from all over the world will be right at your doorstep. You’ll be pleased to hear that caterers are expected to have certain levels of food hygiene when serving at festivals and certification and policies to boot. Look to each trailer for further information; in addition to the food standards certificates they may have specially designated certificates from the festivals and generally take a look at their processes before placing an order. It’ll give you a good indication of how they handle their foods and whether it’s good to eat.
Additionally, ensure you pack some bits with you. We’d recommend taking in a few litres of water to keep at your tent, a bit of your own booze- transfer anything in glass bottles to plastic (though don’t forget you’ll have to carry it in) and some dry store foods you can keep at your tent (e.g. biscuits, breakfast bars, crackers, crisps etc.); it’ll help you save a little bit of money, ensure you can stay hydrated and give you bits to snack on as and when you need it.
Camping & hygiene
Probably the worst aspect of festivals is the toilet and lack of showers for a few days; unless you’re on upgrade or in special facilities of course. But if not, make sure you pack your own toilet paper; not just rolls for your tent but pocket ones you can carry with you throughout the festival, wet wipes you can wipe seats or hands with and antibacterial gel for the same thing. There is no avoiding terrible toilets I’m afraid, though it does vary from festival to festival and whether or not there is running water but taking those few bits can make all the difference.
As for the lack of showers, endless amounts of baby wipes (to wash your armpits and have a general ‘wash’ with) will be a saviour as would antiperspirant spray (large can) and dry shampoo to remove the greasy hair look; though actually after a few days your hair will look great again anyway.
As for camping, it’s always a good idea to get a tent with a bit of a porch to store your food, drink, essentials and allow you to take your muddy boots off without getting it all over your sleeping bag, clothes etc.
When it comes to pitching, always aim for a hilly bit; if it does rain, at least it’ll run downwards and help keep your possessions and your tent dry. Of course, these tend to be the most popular areas to pitch so it’ll entail you getting to the festival as early as possible.
If you’re travelling with friends, share the load. As mentioned, you’ll likely be parked miles from where you intend to camp so if you can share the weight of the things you need, it’ll make life so much easier and you’re less likely to be irritated with each other- not what you want early on into a 3-5 day trip. It’s worth splitting the cost too- whether that’s sharing a tent, food, drink, supplies etc. it’ll make it easier and more affordable all round.
We hope our tips have helped and you have the best time! If you’ve any further advice, please share below! xx