I’ve been to my fair share of festivals in the past few years, and from personal experience I could write pages of dos and don’ts concerning festival conduct. Of course, I don’t have space for pages and pages, plus I’m pretty certain that no one will want to read pages and pages of advice.
I asked around a few of my festival going friends, and here are our top tips for punters who are going to their first-ever festival this summer. Follow these tips, and you won’t go far wrong from having a weekend you’ll never forget!
DON’T take valuables if you don’t need them:
By this, I mean smartphones, iPods, speakers, wallets and purses. All of these valuables do not necessarily have to be brought to a festival, because in reality you don’t need them. Let’s say you’re going to Glasto, where there will be three nights of music, activities galore and thousands of people looking to make festival friends. Why on earth do you need smartphones? Facebook can wait for a few days, any recordings of bands that you make will be terrible, and there is no point risking breakage or theft!
DO bring your wellies:
Let’s face it: this is the UK. It’s going to rain at some point in your festival experience. If this is the case then a pair of wellies will be the difference between feet decimated by mud and water, and relatively clean feet. From personal experience, Vans will not survive too long when mud starts dominating the campsite.
DON’T take too much stuff:
I was recently at a festival with someone who took nine bags with them. What on earth did she have in them, a house?! You don’t have to live like an emperor at a festival; you don’t even have to live like a normal human being. Bring the bare essentials because that will do. You don’t want to carry the heavy stuff into the festival, let alone carry it out when you’re tired and majorly hung-over.
DO bring a towel:
Going to sleep at night with wet feet or wet hair is a nightmare. Not only will it be uncomfortable, but it will also mean the one thing you need to stay dry – your sleeping bag – will become soggy. One can solve this issue with a simple pat down with a towel! If you’re not wet, a towel can double up as a handy-dandy pillow!
DON’T forget wetwipes:
This is a biggy. In all honesty, you’re very unlikely to shower whilst at your festival – unless you are willing to queue for hours and share your cubicle with equally disgusting people. You won’t be able to solve the issue of smelling like a dead zombie, but wetwipes will be able to give you that fresh feeling in the morning when you wake up feeling less than wonderful.
DO get to the campsite early:
I’d also say that this is a biggy. Early bird tickets do add a little extra onto the festival price, but they give you access to the campsite a day or two earlier than other festival goers. This means a pick of the best spots in the campsite, and therefore it also means not having to settle for a spot next to the burger van or the god-awful toilets.
DON’T overdo it:
Everyone at a festival is (hopefully) there for a good time. Stupid stunts, pints of alcohol and big laughs are a given. But for the love of everything good, don’t go over-the-top. Drinking is fine, being drunk is fine, but drinking so much you become uncontrollable is not. Stupid stunts are fine, but a stupid stunt that will most likely leave you in the medical centre with a broken arm (or worse) is not. Be sensible, don’t spoil yours or anyone else’s weekend, and know when enough is enough.
DO drink plenty of fluids:
Water, mainly. I find a big swig of water before you leave for the music arena, two bottles of water in the arena, and then a big swig when you return to the tent is suitable. This amount of fluid will cure a hangover, stop the development of a nagging headache, and keep you energised whilst you dance/sing/mosh/cry to your favourite bands. Bringing a bottle with you into the arena is a good idea, especially if you don’t want to pay £2.50 for one!
DON’T take expensive clothes:
Taking expensive clothes to a festival is dangerous for two reasons. One, if they’re damaged or destroyed by mud then a good amount of money is wasted. Two, if they’re lost or stolen then you have wasted money AND you don’t have clothes to wear. A Primark or TK Maxx trip prior to your festival is a good shout, and a few plain t-shirts wouldn’t go a miss either!
DON’T be a twat:
There’s always one, or ten people who sit on someone’s shoulders in a crowd, thinking they look well f*cking cool when in actual fact all they’re doing it blocking some short person’s view. Be considerate. That includes chucking your pint glass of piss too.
DO have fun:
That’s what you are there for after all! Embrace the bad weather, embrace the life of a slob, embrace the bad food and embrace the craziness of a festival audience. Don’t wish for home comforts because, before you know it, you’ll be back there in a flash. Enjoy the music, and enjoy an experience of a lifetime!