Festivals have become the ultimate summer experience, and with so many different genres of music and atmospheres on offer you could spend your whole summer having an amazing time rolling from one to the next.
But you need to remember that in order to really enjoy the whole experience, you need at the very least, to do a little pre-festival planning. If it’s your first ever festival you don’t want to stand out as a ‘festival Virgin’ by turning up without essential items and a tent you don’t know how to erect. So to give yourself the best experience with no dramas, and a chance to remember which bands you actually went to watch, ensure your memories don’t include having your valuables stolen or getting soaked with no dry clothes to change into.
It’s wise to start small for your first festival and learn from the experience but if you are a seasoned pro then there are always new tips to pick up to enhance your experience – so what do you need to remember? Well apart from booking a ticket for the VIP areas of a festival where shampoo, hot water, yurts, luxury toilets and electricity are on tap; then you should stick with the basic tips.
1. Be prepared, when we mentioned preparation: we meant it! Remember to take plenty spare clothes, if your wet, you’ll stay cold unless you can put on dry clothes, but remember to go easy on shoes as they take up too much space -you will get through the weekend, depending on the weather, with either a pair of wellies and a pair of sandals, trainers or converse; just don’t take anything you are not prepared to get ruined. Ensure you have enough money for just the first 24 hrs, this is much safer than taking enough cash with you for the whole weekend; and you can always withdraw any further money from the cash machines on site, although you may need to queue.
2. The above clothes and shoes need to remain dry during your stay. For this ‘Dry Bags’ are great, strong, sturdy and completely waterproof, these can easily be picked up from outdoor shops and come in a range of sizes. However, if you don’t have the budget for these make sure you keep all your belongings wrapped in 2 or 3 bin bags but although these are still waterproof they are likely to rip and are not as easy to drag out of a flooded tent!
3. Practice putting your tent up in your garden first. This may seem obvious but so many people turn up to a festival and make a hash of their tent, meaning you spend all weekend adjusting it or run the risk of it falling down or blowing away. There are plenty festival tents available from supermarkets and camping shops which will provide you with good shelter and keep you dry. Be sure to take along duct tape as this acts as an emergency repair item for rips and tears.
4. At some point over the weekend you will decide you need some sleep – so you can either crash on the grass or dive inside your sleeping bag in your tent, but for a bit of luxury replace your basic camping roll with a ‘Thermarest’. This is a self inflating mat which with just 2″ of air under you will provide a comfortable base to sleep on and keep you raised off the cold, potentially wet, ground.
5. Finally, remember the basic essentials which will leave you feeling like you are living in luxury compared to those people who have forgotten to bring them. These include a small stove and pan for boiling water, essential for a morning coffee hangover cure. Include dry shampoo, toothpaste and baby wipes, and leave feeling like the great unwashed to your not so clean neighbours. A Money Belt is required, as keeping your cash and phone on your person at all times is really the only option – any other valuables should be left at home. Water and dried food is a must as no matter what else happens you need to remain hydrated, and if cash is running low a Pot Noodle or Cup a Soup can feel like a grand banquet. Finally, and probably the smallest item in your bag – should be earplugs! If you want to sleep in the afternoon or the tent next to you is up all night partying, you’ll be glad you brought your earplugs to get a few hours silence!
Make sure you plan, account for plenty eventualities and enjoy!
Photo Credit: Flickr/Festival CulturaDigital.Br