FESTIVAL SURVIVAL GUIDE

The basics for making it through the weekend in style

Take a bigger tent than you think you'll need

As a general rule, you should always get the next size up. If it’s just you staying in the tent, buy a 2 man one, if there are 2 of you, buy a tent made for 3 and so on. It’s always better to have extra room than being super cramped in a tiny space – especially if you are sharing with others.

And those extra bits of space will come in handy to store your muddy clothes and wellies, keeping them away from where everybody is sleeping. 

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Turn up early

The earlier you arrive at a festival, the more chance you have of finding a decent camping spot. If you’re driving, arriving early also has its perks. You may get lucky and avoid some of the dreaded traffic around the site. And as an added bonus, you will probably get parked nearer to the camping site, meaning less of a painful trek with all of your stuff.

Pick the right camping spot

If you do arrive early and have vast camping space to choose from, be tactical about where you set your tent up. You want to be far enough away from the loos so you cannot smell them, but not too far so you can easily find them if you need to get up in middle of the night.

You should also try and stay away from the paths going through the campsite. The tents pitched up here will be subjected to the most noise and are generally the ones that are most likely to be fallen upon by drunken festival goers trying to find their own tents.

If you think you will struggle pitching your tent, let alone finding the right spot, take a look at our instructional video showing you exactly how it’s done here.

 

Create a landmark near your tent

This will be needed so you can find your tent within a sea of more tents that look identical to yours. Try to be original as a lot of people have clocked onto this being a good idea and now campsites are inundated with flags, with many looking the same (tip: country flags are not original). This definitely won’t help your lost tent situation.

You need yours to stand out and to be recognisable as yours – it’s a great excuse to get creative or at least find the most obscure flag you’ve ever seen. 

 

Check the rules

All festivals will have rules that will affect you, so it is worth checking them before going to make sure you’re not going to break any the moment you arrive.

A lot of festivals will not allow you to take glass anywhere on the site. If you are planning on taking anything that comes in a glass container, you will need to decant it to a plastic one to avoid getting your goods confiscated. 

Pack for all kinds of weather

If you are heading to a festival in the UK, it is best to be prepared for whatever the weather throws at you.

Make sure you take sun cream as there doesn’t tend to be much shade in the open fields – and apply it even if it’s cloudy! And when the heavens open up, you’re going to want your waterproofs and a pair of wellies to save your clothes from getting soaked and muddy.

Don’t take loads of valuables

In other words, don’t take anything you’re not willing to lose – because unfortunately this is a big possibility. And anything you cannot avoid taking, you should keep on you at all times and close to you when you are sleeping.

You might even want to consider taking an old mobile phone to avoid the heartbreak of losing or breaking your high-tech, latest model smartphone.

 

But do take cash

It will be hard to find loads of places that are accepting cards, if any at all. Most festival sites will have ATMs, but these will generally have long queues so it is best to take a stash of cash with you to last you the weekend. But make sure it is hidden away and kept on you at all times so somebody else doesn’t benefit from your lost or stolen money.

 

Don’t lock your tent

You may think your belongings will be safer if you lock them in your tent, but instead the opposite can happen. A lock on your tent can indicate to any potential thieves that you have valuables you want to hide and keep safe, even if you don’t.

If you’re worried about your belongings, rest assured that each campsite will have security personnel stationed in high towers to overlook the entire area and make sure there isn’t any suspicious activity going on.

 

Don’t forget a portable charger

These are a must for festivals lasting longer than a day. All festivals will have charging stations, but you may have to pay for some or stand in ridiculously long queues just for an extra hour’s charge – it’s not worth the hassle, trust us.

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Stock up on essential toiletry supplies

Wet wipes are a must at festivals - they will be a saviour if the portable loos run out of toilet paper. And they're great if you have any spills in the tent or simply need to freshen up.

And if you do plan on avoiding the showers and opting for baby wipe baths instead, you may want to bring some dry shampoo to keep your hair from looking like it’s been dipped in a vat of chip fat – unless that was the look you were going for...

Anti-bacterial hand gel is another must as the toilets will often run out and you don’t want to ruin your festival experience by getting a dodgy stomach mid-weekend.

 

Take a mini first aid kit

In case minor injuries do occur, it’s best to pack a mini first aid kit so you can deal with them yourself. First aid tents will be on site in case of bigger injuries or incidents though.

And don’t forget the paracetamol – you’ll thank us for this when you wake up in the morning with a banging headache!

 

If you want to sleep, take earplugs

Campsites at festivals can get very noisy, even into the early hours. So if you want a relatively early night and actually want to have a decent sleep, these are well worth taking.

 

Pack a torch

If you plan on roaming around in the dark, it’s best to pack a small torch to avoid tripping over those pesky guy ropes, falling on someone else’s tent, or worse - a person in their tent.

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And lastly, make the most of your weekend

Have fun! Don’t take yourself too seriously and just go with the flow. At festivals, you can create memories that will last a lifetime and stories that will stand the test of time. If you survive your first one, you will definitely be booking your second, and your third, and your…well you get the picture! Happy festivaling!

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