If the British weather is anything to go by, the sun isn’t always guaranteed to be shining, but with our handy guide to the festival season at least you’ll be prepared for everything else.
Sorting your travel
Travelling to and from a festival doesn’t need to be stressful. With plenty of planning and the right mode of transport, that festival feeling can begin as soon as you hit the road. Picking the right way to travel can depend on a few things, from distance to how many people are in your group.
If it isn’t too far and you’ve got a handful of companions, driving there could be the best option as many festivals offer parking on site. Even though it may be a trek to get to your campsite, the freedom of hitting the roads earlier than everyone else is very appealing. Plus, you can start the warmup by creating a road trip playlist, sharing stories and having a boot full of supplies!
Remember to check with the organisers ahead of time for parking arrangements and plan your route (plus a plan B route in case of last-minute diversions). Check the local area to see if there are alternative options for parking too, this may cost extra but could help with those queues in and out!
Need a car fit for a festival? Lots of boot space and an awesome sound system – search thousands of used cars at Exchange and Mart and s1cars.
What to pack
If you’ve chosen to drive there, remember to pack supplies for the car, like water and snacks. Plus make sure you check over the car before you head out on any long journeys – top up any fluids, check your brakes, wipers and tyres and fill up the tank. Your packing essentials will vary depending if you’re camping, staying in a hotel or just visiting for the day. Either way, here are some must-haves when you’re there:
- SPF – make sure you apply before you leave and top up during the day.
- Waterproofs – the forecast may say sun but it’s always best to be safe.
- Sunglasses/hat – protect yourself throughout the day.
- Comfortable/waterproof shoes.
- Fully charged phone, plus a portable charger if you have space.
- Water – remember to stay hydrated, especially in the sun and when drinking alcohol.
- Snacks – there may be restrictions to what you can bring in, but some small snacks will keep you going.
- Small bag – try and avoid big bulky bags at a festival, keep it small and this will encourage you to take less valuables.
When you get there
Setting up base is a priority for any festival, whether it’s picking the right camping spot (not too far from the stage but not too close to the toilets and party tents!) or picking the best place to enjoy the performances.
If you’re camping you might not have a choice when it comes to your camping area but, in general, early arrivals tend to get the best spot. A good tip is to set up your tent near a landmark, like a tree or sign, so you can find it more easily. If you’re just visiting for the day and you’re with a crowd, it’s a good idea to pick a meeting place in case you get separated, lost or need to meet up during the day. Make sure you familiarise yourself with the layout- where the bars, toilets and especially any first aid points are.
During the festival
The most important part of festival life is to enjoy yourself and stay safe. Large crowds, hot weather and alcohol can be a dangerous mix so keep your wits about you. Stay close to your friends and, if you’re drinking, make sure you never leave your drink unattended.
Take breaks during the day, whether that’s to get out of the sun, stay hydrated or even have a nap! Keep track of time too. If you’re hoping to see all your favourite acts, you don’t want to be grabbing a cheeky burger or stuck in a toilet queue while your fav song is playing.
When it’s time to leave
You’ve had a great time, but it’s time to gather up your things and your friends and head home. No matter when you leave, you’ll no doubt get caught in a queue. So, remember to stay calm, plan your route and make sure you remember to pack everything you need. Make sure you pick up all your rubbish too! If you’re the designated driver, grab a coffee and snack before you hit the road, make sure you’ve had an early night and stick to water or soft drinks! It’s always a good idea to have a couple of routes planned on the way back in case of any disruptions.
Now you’ve read our survival guide, it’s time to hit up your next festival. Here’s a list of our top ones to visit in the UK:
Top 5 UK festivals
Wireless – 5-7 July, London
TRSNMT – 12-14 July, Glasgow
Reading & Leeds – 23-25 August, Reading & Leeds
Download – 14-16 June, Derby
Glastonbury – 26-30 June, Pilton
Creamfields – 22-25 August, Daresbury
Not forgetting CarFest, North 26-28 July, Cheshire and South 23-25 August, Hampshire.