Wednesday 25 August 2010

My Festival Guide

At the weekend I went to my erm... 5th festival (I think it's 5, my memory is shocking) and it was Spurs boy's first! We went with a big group of friends and met other new friends whilst we were there. A festival bond can last for years and maybe even a lifetime ;-)

Being a bit of a seasoned festival go-er, packing the right things to take is kind of my speciality now. Spurs boy was pretty good with his packing too, but then men are pretty minimalist.

So this weekend is Reading and Leeds and the weather forecast is pretty wet :-( So I thought I'd put together some of my tips from my festival experiences. 

Firstly ALWAYS buy your tickets from a reputable place. This goes for any tickets you buy. You have been told!

Read all the information pack about your festival so you know times, dates, what you can and can't take.

Now you will need a tent (obvious) I know but you must be able to put up your tent. People and friends will help but if you ever need to make a quick escape (like we had to early Monday morning at 3am) then you'll be on your own. Have a trial run in your garden, you can even put some music on to get you in the festival mood. 

Airbeds are a must as is also a sleeping bag! Again these are obvious things but they could be the things you are most likely to forget.

For me and Spurs boy we had a four man size tent for the two of us. A two man tent is not big enough and where did you think you were going to get changed? Bigger tent is better!

Guys can use this checklist of stuff too but obviously delete off the girlie stuff!

For clothes I took;

2 t-shirts (one for each day)
Denim shorts
Pair of leggings
Knee High socks (unless you are wearing your wellies over trousers, if not knee high socks will save them digging into your legs)

It's always a good idea to not take your "best" clothes for a festival. Again for obvious reasons.

Sunhat and sunglasses are also a good idea. One minute it could be raining and then the next it could be bright sunshine.

Other things to pack;

wet wipes (this is your version of a shower, so pack a few packs)
deodorant wipes
female hygiene wipes
waterproof jacket
notepad and pen (I can't go anywhere without a pad and pen)
sun lotion
after sun
Tigi dry shampoo
toilet roll
painkillers and mini first aid kit
hand operated torch
antibacterial handgel (I bought the handy size spray)
cushioned plasters
condoms ;-)
toothbrush and toothpaste
bin liners
umbrella (I don't take a umbrella but that's because they annoy me!)
make-up and mini size perfume :-)
beer pong flag (I'll explain this later)

Other tips for when packing;

Pack your toilet roll into a plastic bag, and also do the same with your clothes. Your tent can flood; believe me, and these are the things you don't want to get wet! (Also if it rains a lot your tent can actually move, it all adds to the fun)

Pack an extra mobile battery (iPhone you suck) as there will be many "Where are you?" calls/texts over the festival. We are regular lovers of the juicepack for the iPhone but the Virgin Mobile stand were very nice to us and let us charge up there :-)

Pack a small mirror. How else are you going to apply any make up?

Pack treaty food. Jaffa cakes is my particular favourite. I've always bought everything from the stands at a festival, expensive yes but I cannot be bothered in the campstove malarky! Treaty food can be just the thing to tide you over until your next meal stop :-)

Bum bags are back in fashion! But I still wasn't going to use one. Although there are a lot of nice ones out there I went for a waterproof across the body bag. Waterproof is again a must as you don't want everything inside to be soaked! Don't leave any valuables in your tent, I had my iPhone and purse on me at all times in the bag. 

When you are packed make sure you have your ticket!!! Try not to lose your wristband over the weekend, if you do it can get sorted but it's a pretty lengthy affair so keep it safe!

Before you leave for your festival, change your bedlinen. After spending a few days on a airbed with a sleeping bag you will long for your own bed again. You cannot beat the feeling of fresh linen on your bed and especially when you return tired from a festival. Absolute bliss!

On arrival;

Arriving at any festival they always have helpers/volunteers, for the V Festival they have Virgin Mobile Angels. A few years ago I was one of these for V and it was great! Anyway, where possible try to get on a first name basis with them as they are super handy to have around and tell you what times bands are on so you can plan your day. They also tell you who to see for free beer...shhh.

Once your tent is up, and it's stable! Notice everyone else's tent? Same colour, size...oh dear. How are you supposed to find "your" tent at night? Do you remember I said about the beer pong flag? Well Spurs boy loves his beer pong and we have a union jack beer pong flag that we made so it's individual. Remember to carry your torch in your bag and don't leave it in the tent!

I bought a cute little piggy hand operated torch which I should have used before going as I found out that when I wound it up it "oinked". So if you were in your tent fast asleep and wondered why there was a pig outside your tent then it was me, well my torch! I'm sorry!

It can be a good idea to set up a meeting point during the day as not everyone will want to do the same things that you do. In the evenings we'd all be pretty much together but during the day it can be smaller groups.

You will find there are bands you really want to see all on at the same time. I took to twitter to help sort our evenings entertainment. Thank you twitter people!

There will always be a song from the festival that will always remind you of going, and it might be something that you'll be surprised about. It seems that V Festival for me and Spurs boy is all about the song Kickstarts by Example. Odd choice but it was a great set

Most important bit for any festival guide is


This post is so long! Wow!

1 comment:

Thinking it through said...

Some great tips. I am so sad that I haven't been able to get to a festival this year. I really love them.