Music festivals have got to be one of the greatest things about British summer time. It’s all about camping out, spending time with friends and seeing some great bands. But while you may have an idyllic image in your head of stretching out on a patch of lush green grass in the sunshine while Bon Iver gently croons into the microphone, don’t forget that there will be rain, there will be mud and there will be a horrific toilet situation.
This is our festival survival guide for 2012. Drawing on all our collective festival knowledge, this guide is intended to help you make the most of your loud-music-in-a-field experience, wherever it may be. And no this guide does not apply to you if you’re VIP or worse, staying in a hotel off-site. Because unless you have a real legitimate reason for doing so, it’s just lame man.
- Take an easy-to-use tent. If it’s a new one you might want to test out putting it up at home first where you’ve definitely got both daylight and sobriety on your side.
- Take a Sleeping bag. Unless you’re a very confident an attractive person in which case you can risk finding someone else’s to share.
- Take enough money. Which you’ll need for booze and overpriced festival food. You’ll need to pay for everything in cash but there are usually ATM machines on-site. You might want to consider setting some spare cash aside in case you lose your purse or wallet, in which case attaching it to your keys is a good idea.
- Take enough toilet roll. Where you’re going you’re going to need it as it’s rarely provided. Make sure you take enough to see you through and consider also taking a small lightto guide you to the loo’s in the dark, as well as some hand sanitiser.
- Take a mobile Phone. Festivals are massive and you’ll need one to stay in touch with your friends. Festivals sometimes have a charging facility but you’ll have to queue so it’s a good idea to take a separate emergency charger of your own.
- Try to plan where you’re going and tell your friends. If you want to try and see all your favourite acts, you might have to miss the end of one to make another and vice versa so check the stage times to avoid disappointment. If you tell your friends who you’re watching, it gives them a better chance of finding you if one of you gets lost and can’t get through to you on the phone.
- Take too much booze with you. Many people overdo it on the ‘crates-o-lager’. You’ll need to bring something you don’t mind drinking warm (no fridge in most tents) and remember that most festivals don’t let you take your own cans inside the main arena anyway. Happily you can then buy cold beers once you’re inside.
- Put a padlock on your tent. It makes it obvious that you’ve got something in there worth stealing.
- Try and cook all your own food. Seriously? You’re going to try to make beans and cheese on toast with a camping stove while seriously inebriated at 3am? Festival food is of a pretty high standard these days and you can always bring a big bag of crisps to fill in any gaps.
- Wear your best and most expensive clothes. If it’s bad weather, you’re only going to be able to pull off one look: ‘mud wrestler’. If want to protect your shoes, a great idea is to cover them up with an overshoe, especially if you’ve got some nifty Festival Feetwith which to do so.
But above all enjoy yourself of course! And let us know if you think there’s anything we’ve missed in the comments below.