Now that the festival season is approaching and all of the exciting line-ups have been announced, it’s the perfect time to start planning your muddy weekend (you’ll only get a sunny weekend if it’s one of those freak heatwaves that we experience here in the UK).
Whether you’re a festival pro or a festival first-timer, a bit of advice will always go a long way!
Two words: SUN CREAM!
I can’t stress how important it is to make sure that you and your friends are loaded with an unlimited supply of sun cream. Just think of how much you’d struggle if you had to spend the weekend looking like a lobster! And that’s not to mention how embarrassing the photos would be!
Bring toilet roll… LOTS of it.
A festival portaloo could leave you feeling slightly traumatised, but you’ll soon discover that toilet roll is basically a myth at festivals. That’s why you should always bring your own. Don’t worry, you don’t have to carry a roll around with you all weekend, just grab a bit and shove it in your pocket at the beginning of each day and keep the rest in your tent, simple!
Make sure that you have a big enough tent.
It sounds ridiculously obvious, doesn’t it? I mean tents always come with a ‘man’ rating, but your standard 3 man tent is probably only big enough for 1 small child. Make sure that prior to your chosen festival, you and your friends carry out a trial run. This will let you make sure that your tent will fit you and your friends, along with everybody’s bags and sleeping stuff. Most importantly, make sure you can actually figure out how to put the tent up. Honestly, some tents require a degree in engineering.
Pack a raincoat.
We live in the UK, it tends to rain a lot. This point requires minimal explanation.
Stock up on wet wipes.
Without access to showers or any form of washing facility, you have to improvise. Wet wipes/baby wipes are the festival equivalent of a luxury, whirlpool bath. They’ll also come in handy when you need to clean just about anything, they really do serve more purposes than wiping infants’ bums!
Make sure that you arrange a meeting place.
If you and your friends end up separated, it’s never going to be easy trying to find them within a sea of thousands of festival goers. Make sure that you have all agreed on a meeting point in case someone gets separated, that way you’ll all be reunited quickly and easily.
All of that dancing can be thirsty work! Always make sure that you’re keeping yourself hydrated, especially in the middle of the summer. Most festivals will allow you to take in your own bottles of water providing that they are still sealed which will save you from having to pay extortionate prices for a bottle. These festivals often also have refill points.
Check the schedule.
It’s inevitable that some of the acts you want to see will be on at the same time as each other, but clashes are one of the few downsides of festivals. Make sure that you check the schedule in order to avoid disappointment and make sure that your weekend has a slight structure to it.
Bring your favourite shoes.
They’ll get ruined, you’ll be annoyed. Simple. Wellies will be the safest option but if you’re lucky enough to have good weather for the weekend, an old pair of trainers will always be great.
Forget a first aid kit.
You could need anything from a plaster when you’ve tripped over in the minefield of tent pegs to a dose of paracetamol when you’ve had one too many ciders the night before. Hay fever medication will always be a good one to remember too, you’re going to be spending a whole weekend surrounded by fields and trees after all!
Get carried away when packing.
Travelling light is so, so important. You’ll have enough to carry just with your tent and sleeping stuff so make sure that your weekend bag isn’t weighing you down. Make sure that you only pack things that you need rather than things that you think you might possibly use.
Forget to check the weather forecast.
This could mean that you have to do some last minute re-packing but if the forecast suddenly changes, you’ll be prepared!
Leave any valuables in your tent.
Obviously you shouldn’t take anything that’s worth a great deal of money to a festival but if you do, most festivals these days have secure lockers on site which you can hire for the weekend for a few quid. Some of them even have mobile phone charging facilities installed in them so you can safely and securely charge your phone while you’re off seeing your favourite bands!
Pitch your tent miles away any sign of human life.
Try your best to get into the festival grounds as soon as you can, that way you’ll have more chance of finding somewhere decent to pitch your tent. Remember, if you need a late night trip to the loo or suddenly crave a greasy burger, trapesing around a field will be the last thing you want to do. It’s always an advantage if you have portaloos near your tent or if you don’t have to walk across miles of tents and ropes on your way to the main arena. You’ll save yourself a lot of energy if you don’t have to take a never-ending walk to get there.
Be afraid to speak to new people.
Festivals seem to bring out the best in everybody. You’ll encounter some great people in the queue for the toilet or in the tent next to yours. Meeting new people and making new friends is all part of the experience! Festivals are all about socialising whilst having an amazing time, so make the most of it. You never know, you could end up forming a long-distance friendship with Sarah from Scotland once the weekend has ended and you’ve all gone back to your day to day lives.
Make sure that you enjoy yourself. Festivals are the ideal place to let your hair down, make new memories and bond with your friends! After all, nothing says ‘friendship’ more than singing your hearts out together to your favourite band.