You have got your tickets. You may have even got your tent. The excitement is building up, but so are the nerves.
Going to a festival for the very first time can be pretty daunting. They are big, they are busy, and they are loud, and if you do not know what to expect, they can be quite intimidating. Fear not though, as we have a few tips to help you to survive – and enjoy – your very first festival. It is going to be a blast!
Take a Cheap Tent
Do not, whatever you do, blow your savings on a fancy, expensive tent with all the gimmicks. You will regret it if you do. Buy a cheap one that you don’t mind binning at the end if necessary. You will spend minimum time in there anyway – sleeping for a couple of hours (if you are lucky!) and changing, and that’s about it. We won’t even mention the fact there is a very high possibility of being woken up at 5 am by a passing drunk mistaking your tent for the urinals.
Be Prepared For All Sorts of Weather
Despite most festivals being held in the summer, there is no guarantee of the weather being anything good. We have all heard tales of mud swamped campsites and torrential downpours. Make sure your tent, no matter how cheap it is, is fully waterproof and you pack rain boots and a lightweight waterproof jacket. On the other hand, you might be blessed with glorious sunshine and hot weather. This makes the experience a lot less stressful – no falling out of your tent in the morning into a swamp – but it also brings problems of its own. Pack plenty of sun cream to stop yourself from burning and a wide-brimmed hat. Keeping hydrated is essential – and we are not just talking about with beer! If you don’t want to pack bottles of water or carry them about, it may be worth investing in a festival hydration pack. They are easy to refill and are entirely hands-free.
Pack the baby wipes
Showers are often in short supply at festivals, and even if you get the chance to get anywhere near one, you probably wouldn’t want to. Baby wipes (after the alcohol!) will be the best thing you take. They can be used for taking off makeup, after using the toilet and for freshening up until you get home.
Take Food and Drink
A lot of festivals can be pretty strict when it comes to taking your own refreshments in, but if they allow it, take your own as much as possible. There is usually a massive array of stalls selling all sorts of foods, but as you are a captive audience, you may well find that the prices are astronomical so taking as much as you can will save you a few dollars. Don’t forget to take a chill box to keep food fresh.
Ok, so this contradicts the point above, but remember a festival is not a fashion show. You’re likely to get hot and sweaty or soaked in a downpour, and whatever the weather, you’re probably going to end up filthy. Leave the glam evening wear and white clothes at home and take minimal but practical clothing. As we said above, rain boots and a waterproof jacket are essential. A couple of t-shirts, a pair of shorts, a pair of jeans or sweatpants and a sweater or hoodie for the evenings, as well as clean underwear and pair of sneakers and that is all you need.
Sleeping bags are essential – it will probably get chilly at night, but leave the pillows at home. Instead, bring a pillowcase and stuff your clothes into there to save on valuable space.
We do recommend taking a basic first aid kit. It might sound boring, but when you’re in the middle of a muddy field, you will thank us for it. Take some band-aids, antiseptic wipes, a couple of bandages and safety pins, as well as any essential medication. There should always be a first aid tent on site for bigger emergencies.
Schedule Your Time
Sounds boring, right? It is but again; it is something that you will thank us for, especially if there are multiple screens or stages. You don’t want to miss your favorite act of all time because you are stuck at the other end of the site. Many festivals have an app to help you create your own schedule, but if they don’t, look up the timetable, which is usually announced on social media in the weeks or days beforehand and plan where you need to be and when. Don’t forget to schedule in a little bit of downtime as well in between acts.
Check for landmarks
You are likely to be one of many thousands of tents, all squashed into a large field. If you don’t have a marker point, you will struggle to find it on the night, particularly if you are the worse for wear. Look around you for a landmark, and if there isn’t one, make one.
This is the most important bit of all. It can be all too easy to have a few too many beers, make some new friends and let your guard down. Don’t leave yourself vulnerable though; do not accept any drinks from strangers, do not leave your drink unattended even for a minute, and if you are the designated driver, make sure that you are legal to drive when it is time to leave. Remember that alcohol can still be present in your blood the next morning, so make sure that you give yourself enough time to sober up completely.
A festival can be the most unforgettable weekend of your summer. A bit of forward thinking can go a long way at a festival, and we hope these tips will help you have a great time and keep you safe.