How To Survive Your First Ever Festival

Why Go?

For any music nut, a festival is a musical pilgrimage that you need to take. Grab your best mates, a cheap tent, even cheaper booze and get ready for a weekend of joy. Music festivals are pretty much the most unique holiday you can have, there are so many people crammed into one space, gathered for one shared love, music. Unlikely friendships form, memories are crafted and musical discoveries are made.

Your Tent

Whether you're going to Glastonbury or Y Not, campsites are PACKED. Take a tent that you & your mates are going to recognise when you're traipsing back at half three in the morning a little worse for wear. Get a brightly coloured one or stick a massive flag next to it so that you’ll remember.

Booze

Whether you’re a festival newbie or not, mistakes happen. Don’t make the mistake of bringing anything in glass bottles. No glass is allowed onsite & you’ll be gutted when you have to ditch your alcohol at the gates or frantically try to find empty plastic bottles to decanter it into. Do this beforehand and your life will be so much easier. Also if you like your beverages warm, you're in for a treat! Some bring coolers, some wrap their drinks in foil, some store them in a divet under their tent. Regardless of how prepared you are at the beginning, the likelihood is that you'll be drinking lukewarm alcohol at the end so get ready to have your palette broadened!

Keeping Yourself Fresh(ish)

Stock up on some mini toiletries. At most festivals, there’s a distinct lack of showers and a distinct abundance of sweat and mud. You’re most likely going to want to freshen up somehow & the miracle of dry shampoo is the exact way to do this. Don’t forget about deodorant either, after a few hours of standing in huge crowds things can get a bit sweaty & you don't be that one person that absolutely reeks. Use deodorant.

If you happen to prioritise cleanliness over self-image, you can always go for a cheeky head and shoulder shower at your nearest tap. You can get your head under the cold tap, slap some real shampoo on your head and rinse it off in about 30 seconds whilst people queue behind your trying to refill their water bottles. It can look a bit weird but in my eyes, it's a worthy trade-off, especially if you get there early enough in the morning.

Food

You don't need to become Jamie Oliver for the weekend & start making gourmet burgers. Just make sure you take enough to keep you sustained for the festival, this doesn’t mean just taking a few packets of Super Noodles & a variety pack of crisps to live off as you'll end up spending most of your money at the on-site restaurants, expect pizzas, burritos, gyros and falafels. An average meal at one of these stalls will set you back around £8-£11 so for those on a budget, be prepared with nibbles of your own to fuel you in times of need. Some personal favourites include peanut butter, Ryvita and Belvita, all will last for the weekend, are calorie rich and pretty easy to snack on.

Keep Yourself In Check

Through all the festival excitement it can be easy to forget about your health. If you're on any medication do not forget to take this with you, just pop it into your toiletry bag with your toothbrush & take it before you clean your teeth so you don’t forget. Also take a mini human repair kit with you; just a little bag containing essentials like plasters, antiseptic wipes, paracetamol, ibuprofen- even chuck in a tube of Berocca in there, they’re perfect for giving you a little pick me up in the morning when you’re dealing with a hangover to get you ready for the day ahead. Also if a miracle happens & the British sun shines some rays over whichever the land, make sure you’re prepared for that & take some sun cream. No one wants bright red burn marks when they could have just as easily caught a tan instead.

Take As Few Valuables As Possible

Things go missing at festivals, this is something every long-term festival goer has accepted & embraced. Don’t take anything you don’t need to that’s valuable; don’t even take your phone. Get yourself a festival phone, nothing fancy, just something cheap & cheerful that sends & receives texts & phone calls. Try and find your mum's flip phone from 2005 or make a visit to your local phone repair shop and grab something similar for a tenner.

Clothes

Obviously you're not going to be walking around naked because you forgot your clothes, we know that. But what type of clothing should you take? This is England so only God knows what the weather’s going to do but it’s best to be prepared. You don’t need to take your entire wardrobe with you & nothing too fancy because yes, festivals are muddy & your clothes will get that way too. Take clothing that means you’re prepared for sun i.e shorts, vests, baggy tees or whatever you class as summery, & clothes that will keep you warm like hoodies & jumpers that you can snuggle into at night and be thankful that you took this advice with. DO NOT FORGET PAJAMAS! If you have done this before you will know why. It is not fun. You'll be cold & will either have to wear the clothes you’ve been in all day (which is uncomfortable & often muddy) or borrow a top off one of your mates that they were planning on keeping clean. You might be comfier this way but it's still cold. So please pack pajamas.

Have A Banging Time

Lastly, through all this festival planning don’t forget to have your fun. Festivals about you & your mates having an absolutely amazing time & making memories that you’ll still be raving on about when you’re 70, “Remember that time at ____ when…”. That’s going to be all you say for the rest of your life. You’ll meet some new people along the way, too, and see great bands all weekend.

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