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How to Survive a Festival – A Beginner’s Guide

music festival
Written by Connor Thorpe

Are you going a your first ever festival this summer but don’t know what to expect? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are some tips on how to survive in the fields.

Pack as lightly as possible

It may be tempting to fill your bag with as many clothes as you can, but try to avoid this. Take only what you need, such as clothes, snack and alcohol, as you don’t want to make the long walk from your vehicle to your camping spot with an unmanageable weight on your shoulders. A good way to make your bag lighter is to think about what kind of alcohol you’re going to take. Do you really want multiple crates of beer or cider cans? Maybe take bottles of spirits instead.

Take baby wipes

The thought of living on a muddy field for a weekend without a shower often fills people with dread. And whilst baby wipes may not be the most ideal way of keeping clean, it will probably be your closest substitute for a full shower.

Arrive as early as you can

Turning up to a festival at 8am may not sound very appealing, but if you do arrive early then you’ll have the pick of all the camping spots. This is important because you don’t want to be setting up camp far away from the stages, as the constant walking won’t be too kind on your legs.

Carry an empty water bottle

Festivals should have taps in the campsite and arenas, and empty water bottles are allowed into the main stages. Without wanting to sound like an overprotective mother, it’s so important that you drink water at some point in the day, particularly if you’re drinking alcohol and cutting some shapes to your favourite acts in the sun. Tom Barton, who has worked at festivals such as Y Not and Truck, has experienced this first-hand: “We’ve had years where people pass out from unexpected sunshine. Reusable water bottles are essential.”

Be prepared for all kinds of weather

Never trust the weather forecast. Even if the Met Office tells you to expect clear skies and temperatures in the mid-twenties all weekend, still be prepared for torrential downpours. We are in Britain after all. Bring wellies, because if you wear trainers and the ground turns to sludge on the Friday, then you may have trench foot by the Sunday. Make sure you take coats to wrap up warm. It may be lovely and warm during the day, but that won’t be the case when you’re tucked up in your tent at 4am. Bring multiple ponchos in case it rains.

Bring a speaker

Believe it or not, festivals can be boring. Because of the noise, you’re very unlikely to be asleep past 10am no matter how many hours kip you got. Waiting about for the music to start for hours on end can be tedious, so make sure you and your friends all bring a speaker. That way, if one speaker runs out then you have backup plans. You can accompany your breakfast of crisps and a can of Carling with some music from the festival line-up. It’s a great way to get in the mood for the acts, and pass the time whilst you’re sat waiting.

Buy a trustworthy portable charger before

Not many phones can last a full weekend on just one charge, so bringing your own portable charger is a good idea. Festivals do tend to have charging stations on site, but you have to pay for the service. And for all you know, it may be a useless rip off one. Bring your own tried and tested charger. Trust me, if your phone runs out of charge, finding your friends is nearly impossible.

Bring a deck chair

You’ll be stood up for hours throughout the weekend, so make the most of being able to sit around the camp and bring a deck chair. You might think you can cope with just sitting on the floor instead, but after a while that’s rather unkind on your back. Let your body rest so you’re in tip top condition for the headline act.

Plan out your schedule

If you can find out stage times before the weekend starts, write a schedule on a piece of paper and take it to the festival. You could completely forget that one of your favourite acts are playing. Tom Barton says: “Go there with a plan of who you want to see and know when and where they’re playing. Make sure you don’t miss acts because you haven’t properly planned to see them.”