A festival is like a small town and can be as big as one – the perimeter fence of Glastonbury is 8.5 miles long! Festivals bring people together to party with friends and escape for the weekend. To enjoy yourself and avoid some of the classic festival fails, it’s good to understand the environment you are going into.
- There will be queues – to get in, for food, drink and toilets
- It can feel chaotic at times
- It may be crowded
- People will be drunk, giddy and sometimes misbehaving.
But that’s what makes it fun right? Within a festival community we should all try and be a friendly face in the crowd. Whether you are going with one friend or a big crew, everyone will have a better time if we take care of each other. One of the ultimate buzz kills can be seeing other people having a bad time so help everyone to enjoy themselves. Don’t underestimate how much festivals can test your endurance skills, especially when the weather is bad. It’s important to keep your wits about you and remember it’s a marathon not a sprint!
- Latitude Festival 18-21 July 2019, Southwold
- Camp Bestival 25-28 July 2019, Lulworth Castle
- Creamfields 22-25 August 2019, Daresbury
- Fusion Festival 31 August – 1 September 2019, Liverpool
- Reading & Leeds 23-25 August 2019, Reading & Leeds
Going to a music festival can be an amazing experience. Whether it’s one day or a weekend-long event, these tips below can help you pack for the event:
- One complete set of dry clothes packed in something completely waterproof – like a sealed plastic bag. Or think about investing in a waterproof backpack/dry bag.
- Loads of plastic bags you’ll use them to sit on, to keep stuff dry, to carry away your own debris (and remember to carry away the plastic bags too).
- Wet wipes and some antiseptic wipes. It’s sure to be muddy and dirty. Back to nature is one thing but water for washing is likely to be hard to find and even cavemen probably hated sticky fingers. Any sort of antiseptic wet wipe from the supermarket will do if you’re just worried about being grubby.
- A packable rain poncho can do double duty as a ground cloth to sit on. Look for one made of a reasonably heavy duty plastic or rubberized cloth –
- A small flashlight for finding your tent in the dark (an absolute essential). Don’t rely on a flashlight app on your smartphone. You may not be able to recharge it as often as you like and you could end up stumbling over other campers looking for your pitch.
- Your mobile phone for staying in touch with friends. Most of the phone companies will have booths for charging cell phones at the larger festivals. A word of warning though – if you don’t want to waste valuable festival time standing in lines for the charging facilities – ration the amount of time you use it.
- A plastic bottle for water there will be drinks for sale but it’s a good idea to bring along a refillable bottle because there will also be a water supply that you can probably use for free. Keep an eye on your own bottle and other drinks though. People have been known to do unspeakable things in them.
- Enough money for your weekend needs. Cash machines may be far away, the lines for them will be long and they will probably run out of money before the festival is over. Just don’t bring more cash than you can stash on your person.
- Sun cream
- Condoms (You never know, you could get lucky)
Stay safe – Keep in touch with your friends via your phones, check in every now and then and arrange rendezvous points in advance. Stick together with a group and tell your friends where you expect to be and when. Don’t wander off into dark corners of the crowd on your own. Be careful what you drink and who you accept drink from. Bottles at festivals are famously receptacles for all sorts of unpleasant waste. And no matter how warm and friendly the crowd seems, rapes at festivals are not unheard of – you never know what’s in a drink accepted from a stranger
Rise in sexual abuse at festivals – In recent news, there have been stories detailing the rise in sexual abuse attacks at festivals. It might also be the case that some people affected don’t actively report sexual assault and harassment for fear of stigma amongst other possible reasons. There are ways in which you can help yourself and others stay safe and unharmed when attending a festival. With these festivals taking place during some of the hottest days of the year, as well as being on unfamiliar territory. Below are some general tips to keep you safe this summer:
- Stay hydrated – Temperatures during festivals can soar, so staying hydrated is one of the most important tips to consider for general wellbeing. Most festivals now have free water refill stations that are located throughout the festival we recommend you take full advantage of this and take your own water bottle, which many festivals also allow.
- Protect yourself from the sun – Whilst putting on your best festival shorts might seem fun the day before, it is important that you wear the correct sun protection. Also, don’t forget extra layers of clothes for when it gets cooler at night!
- Have a buddy system – Not all festivals last one day: for festivals which allow guests to camp overnight we recommend you set up camp near a lamppost or landmark – something that you can easily find at night. If that isn’t an option we suggest you create a meeting spot with your friends and make sure you have a buddy system to avoid getting lost on your own.
- Don’t shy away from visiting the medical tent – Medical tents are located throughout festivals and offer free care, don’t be scared to visit the medical tent if you or a friend is feeling unwell they can offer some reassurance and any medication if it is needed.
- Stay safe whilst drinking alcohol – Everyone wants to have a good time at festivals. If you’re going to be drinking alcohol, make sure you keep to a one-to-one ratio (a glass of water for between every alcoholic beverage) this will help keep you hydrated. Don’t share your drinks or accept drinks from people you don’t know or trust: better still, buy and pour your own drinks to reduce the risk of your drinks getting spiked.
- Get your bearings – When you first get to a festival, check out what’s where. Festivals can be confusing places, it is important you get to grips with your bearings and know where key areas are such as the toilets, first aid, camping areas & chill out zones. Most festivals provide a map, or you could walk around and explore
- Make a Meeting Point – In case you get lost or separated from your friends, make sure you organise a clear meeting point on first arriving at the festival where to reconvene. Don’t rely on mobile phones as the coverage might not be reliable and batteries could die!