I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I am a total festival fanatic. I’m not entirely sure what it is about them that I love so much, but there’s definitely something that makes me want to go back time and time again. Which is why it always shocks with me when I find out someone hasn’t been to one, it’s an experience I think everyone needs to have! So keeping this in mind I have made a list of some of my top tips for surviving your first festival.
Leave your preconceptions at the door
A lot of people I know, and also a lot that I don’t, are completely and utterly reluctant to go to festivals for the sheer fact that there is mud and there is tents.
When I went to my first festival back in 2008 I had no idea what to expect, except that everyone talked about this particular festival (Glastonbury) and that it looked like a lot of fun. And it WAS.
Yes, admittedly, the ground had gotten pretty squelchy after the first few hours but that’s what wellies are for and the mud is the last thing on your mind when you have a drink in your hand and are listening to an amazing set.
Now I’m not saying go crazy and go for a little mud bath – I have actually seen people do this, it horrifies me every time – but the mud is highly unlikely to just jump on your face.
As for the tent situation it’s only three days and to be honest the only reason you’ll be in there is to get changed and sleep, it really is only a minor set back if that.
Going unprepared to a festival can be a real nightmare. It’s not uncommon for people to turn up minus tents and sleeping bags hoping they can wing it when they get there. Whilst it is possible to buy things like this on site in most places the amount you will pay for it is beyond ridiculous.
I once went to a festival where two of the people I was with had seriously underestimated how much money they needed and spent the whole weekend miserable, scrounging food and eating cold baked beans. Please don’t let this be you.
At your most basic budget I would suggest (if you were taking your own alcohol and snacks) £20 per day and £10 extra for emergencies, this equates roughly to three meals a day and a drink.
Obviously if you want to buy clothes and go on rides etc you would want to take a bit more!
Now I’m certainly not advocating their use but festivals are one of those places where a large amount of people are going to be on drugs. As fun as it may look it can be dangerous and even fatal especially in an environment where it’s likely to be slightly or even heavily crowded and very easy to get dehydrated.
It is so so important to drink loads of water whether you’re on alcohol or other substances. By law every place that is serving alcohol on the premises has to provide free water so there really is no excuse for not drinking any, even if you’ve run out of money.
Another good thing to do is to arrange a meeting point with your friends as things happen, people get drunk, phones get lost and people begin to panic. Last year at a festival my meeting place was conveniently right outside a pizza stall and people would feel sorry for me standing alone and drunkenly offer me food (see there are perks to being alone!).
In the event you do get separated from your friends don’t let it ruin your festival, obviously make an attempt to find them, but after you’ve waited a while don’t be afraid to go and have fun.
One of my best experiences at a festival was seeing Panic! At The Disco alone at Glastonbury. I met so many nice people in the crowd and every festival I’ve been to the people are super super friendly so don’t feel like you can’t do the same!
So there you have it, my top tips for surviving your first festival!
What about you guys? What one piece of advice would you give to someone who hasn’t been before? Let me know!