I’m an old well-seasoned hack who’s seen his fair share of music festivals over the years. You forget though sometimes how hard it can be for the first timer. Festivals can seem like a chaotic cacophony of noise and human traffic.
It can all seem so anarchic and exciting to the festival novice. So for those trying to navigate the whole experience we thought we’d try to put together some tips on how to survive the festival season – just in case you need them.
Camping can be quite a shocker for people used to the hotel of mum and dad or plush hotels. Lots of people will tell you that camping is great fun. Don’t listen to them. The people who are telling you this are either twisted or deluded. Yes camping on one of those rare sunny days with all mod cons in your SUV to back you up is one thing, but how often do we get a sunny day? To make your festival experience go as well as possible, try to spend a bit more on getting the best accommodation possible. Avoid the cheapo site in the valley floor like the plague. If there’s deluge you’ll be the one floating around in a pool of mud in the morning. Whichever site you decide on always make sure you’re as close to the toilet and shower block as possible. Getting up in the middle of the night to use the toilet is not fun or romantic and after stuffing yourself with lots of junk food and beer you may need to be visiting that toilet block more times than you think.
What to bring with you
Well I know it’s going to sound bleeding obvious but do not forget to bring your wellies and a good pair at that. I’ve got my trusty old green Hunters which always do the trick. They’re well-worn but they’ve sort of grown on me now and any other wellies just down feel right. Please remember that even if it seems like the sunniest of periods and even if that bloke on the telly is saying that the forecast is for fine sunny weather for the next few days, do not believe him. This is Britain (or even Europe if you’re going all posh) and rain loves a festival.
Also don’t bring too much. You might convince yourself you need 3 changes of clothes per day in the comfort of your own home but when you’re dragging two giant rucksacks across a muddy field you’ll wish you’d kept most of it at home. Bring lightweight simple stuff. T shirts, shorts, lightweight rain jacket and maybe one jumper for if it gets cold. One pair of jeans will do. They might get a tad smelly and mucky after a few days but they always look better that way anyway. Bring a powerful deodorant too and a roll of toilet paper of your own. There’s nothing worse than getting to the front of the loo queue only to find there’s no toilet paper – that will happen!
Don’t get too intoxicated too soon
This might sound like I’m coming over all sensible but this is through years of experience. Yes I used to neck it all back when I was younger and all eager to get the most out of the festival experience. You can feel like a kid in a candy shop with the cocktail of drinks and drugs on offer. I’ll let you into a secret though – I can’t even remember my first 3 festivals. I was so off my head from early in the day that only dreamlike snippets were retained by my poor brain. The answer might sound dull but it really does pay to pace yourself. You don’t need to throw it all down your neck at 10 in the morning. You’ll be throwing it all back up again by teatime and look like a zombie the next day. Have small amounts through that day and have periods where you just drink water. It is quality not quantity you’re after so have a subtle puff on some OG Kush marijuana rather than buying a wheelbarrow of some dodgy low grade weed skank. Booze wise drink a nice quality tipple slowly and avoid the cheap and nasty. This way you can get a nice buzz and won’t be turning into Frankenstein’s monster and scaring off any potential mate anytime soon.