Summer Festivals: A Survival Guide

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The start of the festival season

The start of the festival season

In less than a month the summer festival season will be kicking off (and no doubt the rain continuing). Whether you’re a festival virgin or mud-stained veteran our essential tips will make sure you are fully-prepared for the event…


Take a Car

Ignore the organisers’ advice by taking your car and parking as close to the exit as possible. As you’ll need to pack as if you were embarking on a round-the- world trip, travelling by train is an absolute no-no (no matter how many carbon footprints it saves). You’ll need every spare corner of your (parents’) car to hold your festival kit — and you can always live in it if the weather turns too soggy. You could even go one further and opt for a gas-guzzling Winnebago; it’s a dread-locked eco-warrior’s worst nightmare but sure offers a good night’s sleep.


Fancy finding your tent here? Creative Commons credit: tomrobinsonphotography

Fancy finding your tent here? Creative Commons credit: tomrobinsonphotography

The Brighter, the Better

Ever tried to pick your tent out of a sea of identical green Eurohikes in the wee hours? Thankfully due to the new wave of brightly coloured, floral gazebos flooding the market at present, you’ll be able to spot yours a mile off. It really is a case of the brighter, the better.


Beat the Heat

More than likely the heavens will open and your campsite will turn into a mud swamp. But on the off chance sunshine prevails, don’t forget to pack your sun cream and that festival staple; the straw hat – the best way to protect your bonce from roasting. Remember to swig a lot of water throughout the day too; otherwise the constant flow of warm beer and lack of food might land you in the first aid tent.


An experience in itself... Creative Commons credit: Like_the_Grand_Canyon

An experience in itself... Creative Commons credit: Like_the_Grand_Canyon

Be Toilet-Prepared

Most of us have tried not to use the loos for the duration of the festival but as much as the lack of anything green stops the metabolic process, it is only a question of time before nature knocks on your tent door and you know you have to go. Our advice: dab some Vicks VapoRub under your nose before you go in to block out the rather pungent aromas. And while we’re on the subject, always take a large stash of loo roll.


Stay Connected

If you have an iPhone, the Tentfinder app will be your new best friend and put an end to stumbling through a sea of writhing bodies in the small hours struggling to find your base-camp. It uses the latest GPS technology to navigate you back from wherever you end up (or even to a beer tent, the cleanest toilets etc.) and, if you can’t remember what your tent looks like you can also add a photo. Did we mention it has a torch too?


Creative Commons Credit: tiainen

Not exactly fast food but certainly cheaper... Creative Commons Credit: tiainen

Bring the Barbie

The UK’s corporate mud-fests are a breeding ground for rampant capitalism but never again need you hand over a week’s wages for a soggy halloumi burger and watered-down beer; take along a collapsible barbecue (check this one out) and a selection of treats in a cool box; it’ll save you a fortune. Alternatively, a weekend’s supply of Pot Noodles will do the same job.


Remember the Ear Plugs

If you find yourself pitched up next to a bunch of louts or dread-locked trustafarians who spend the night reminiscing about days spent squatting in Bristol, you’ll be thankful for the little foam discs. It won’t be the music that damages your ears, trust us.

Are you off to a festival this summer? Any other tips you’d add to our list? Share your thoughts below…


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About Gemma Howe

Gemma is a travel junkie, freelance writer and foodie who likes to dabble in a spot of photography from time to time. A former local news reporter she is now based in London (in the one and only Brixton) and is working for Gap Daemon. During her travels she spent a year in Latin America as well as several months in China and South East Africa.

9 Responses to “Summer Festivals: A Survival Guide”

  1. I’d like to add that taking a car to a festival is fine (and waaay easier than braving the trains)… as long as you fill it with people :)

  2. My tip to add is pack things in ziploc bags. Easier to find everything and keeps it dry and clean!

  3. Ian Cook says:

    What about those great VW camper van tents. You’ll always find them:):)

  4. Ian Cook says:

    Don’t forget the VW camper van tent!

  5. Great tips! I especially like the idea of using the Vicks VapoRub!

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