Festival survival and etiquette guide

Jubelnde Konzertbesucher auf Rock-Konzert

Summer is rapidly approaching, and if you want to make the most of it then any self respecting music lover will surely want to head to a festival. They are a longstanding tradition and with new festivals popping up all the time it’s no problem at all to find the perfect one for you! But this is no ordinary concert, there is so much more going on, and as such takes a greater level of preparation. If you make sure to come prepared then you’re in for one fantastic weekend, if not… well, we’ve all heard plenty of horror stories! Here’s a few top tips to remember.

The first step is deciding what festival to go to. It’s worth trying a few smaller and more local festivals before you delve into the massive events. This eases you into things and smaller events are often more intimate and rewarding. Cost will also be less of an issue. You need to bear in mind not only the cost of the ticket, but also the cost of transport and for any camping gear that you may be lacking. Be sure to shop around and look what nearby event fits your budget and has the line-up that ticks the most boxes for you. The biggest festivals such as Glastonbury require you to register online and buy tickets months before a single act is announced, but with the sheer number of stages on offer there will always be something worth going for.

When packing your camping gear you need to find a happy medium. Pack too light and your horrendous lack of sleep will probably outweigh the joy of the festival, pack too much and you’ll spend hours attempting to set up the tent equivalent of Buckingham Palace and end up looking like a total wazzock. Pack what you can reasonable carry in your backpack/fit in your car and make sure to have the essentials:

  • A decent tent! You needn’t spend a fortune but make sure there’s plenty of room, that you can easily put it up yourself and that it’s sturdy enough to stay up
  • Festival ticket and ID
  • A warm sleeping bag
  • Plenty of cash and somewhere safe to keep it
  • Wellies and waterproofs, because this is Britain and it will rain
  • Sunglasses and sun lotion, because you might get lucky
  • Food and drink. Everyone loves a festival BBQ, but even if you don’t have room to pack a big banquet and cooking supplies it’s worth having a few snacks and a bottle of water
  • Phone charging facilities
  • A torch, preferably a headtorch so you can have your hands free
  • Toiletries. There may not be a shower but that doesn’t mean you should resign yourself to stinking
  • First aid kit. It may seem silly but you never know what might happen

Be mindful of other people at the festival as they are all there to enjoy themselves too. Don’t block off other people’s tents, don’t make too much noise when people are trying to sleep, don’t leave the toilets in a worse state than they already are. Try not to just camp out at the main stage just because you don’t want to lose your good spot at the front, you’ll be missing out on the action on the other stages. There’s always something new worth discovering. Leave your big obnoxious flags back at base camp to help you find your tent, no one wants a massive Union Jack obscuring their view. The biggest festival sin to avoid is littering; take all your rubbish with you or dispose of it properly!

No one can guarantee a perfect festival experience. You will probably get wet and muddy, there will be some acts that leave you disappointed and you will probably leave the field smelling like a pig, half dead from a lack of sleep and suffering flashbacks from the horrific scenes in the portaloos. With a bit of preparation and a hint of common courtesy you can do your bit to ensure that everyone has a memorable and enjoyable time. Other than that you can’t go too far wrong… unless you’re daft enough to camp next to the portaloos that is.