How To Survive a Music Festival

By Dan June 3, 2015

Not long ago we gave you a run down of our five favourite summer music festivals – and now we’re going to tell you how to get through them in one piece!

If you don’t know your pitching zones from your Portaloos, or you’re unsure about crowd surfing etiquette, our music festival survival guide is essential reading.

Mud and wellies are essentials at any UK music festival

Packing for a Music Festival

When packing, it pays to be prepared. To make sure you’ve got all your survival essentials, here is a quick check list:

  • Large backpack – don’t take a suitcase, it will only get stuck in the mud
  • Tent – pop-up tents are great, but make sure you know how to pack them up
  • Sleeping bag, pillow and roll mat – an full air bed will only weigh you down
  • Comfortable clothing  – make sure you take a jacket for the evening
  • Water proofs and wellies – because it rains at Glastonbury almost every year
  • Mobile phone charger – most UK music festivals have charging points now
  • Sunblock and water – save queuing for the tap and getting burned to a crisp
  • Toilet paper – it’s always best to have your own supply
  • Medical kit – you never know when you might need it
  • Cash – at music festivals, ATM’s can be quite hard to find
  • A large flag or banner – makes it easier to find your tent

how to survive a music festival - many people associate hippies with the essence of a music festival

Getting There

To avoid disappointment, your travel arrangements should always be sorted out months in advance.

Most big music festivals offer shuttle bus services direct to the gates for a very reasonable price – but going by car has got to the most convenient mode of transport. And you can save money if everyone chips in for the fuel.

Always make sure your route is planned before leaving and make sure you stop at a supermarket on the way to grab bottles of water, beer, camp site food, paracetamol (for the continual festival hangover) and anything else you might need.

Rides are increasingly becoming an essential part of any music festival.

On Arrival

Always make a note of where you’ve pitched your tent and make sure your flag or banner is visible before heading into the main arena.

Once in the arena, it’s good practice to agree a designated meeting point in the quite likely event you and your friends get split up. This way you can enjoy yourself without worrying about getting lost.

If the sun’s creeping through the clouds it’s worth carrying sunblock and a bottle of water in a small bag to avoid getting baked or dehydrated, as well as a little cash for buying beer, food, ride tokens or novelty festival items from one of the many stalls that will no doubt be dotted around the place.

Crowd surfing is not for the faint hearted and may get you kicked out, but it is something you see at every music festival

Most importantly, have lots of fun and if someone wants to do a bit of crowd surfing, be sure to lend them a hand!

If you like the idea of the great outdoors, but don’t want to rough it, take a look at our great selection of UK glamping breaks.

Images: PIETER MORLION, EVA RINALDI, RACHEL DOCHERTY and RICKY BRIGANTE via flickr.

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