Video: 11 hacks to help you survive your first festival

25th Jun 18 | Lifestyle

Wellies at the ready - it's festival season.

Isle of Wight festival 2018 - Day 2

Whether you’ve nabbed tickets to Wireless, Bestival or Latitude this summer, the music, the atmosphere and dancing in a field with your besties will undoubtedly make for a memorable weekend. However, some things are true of UK festivals no matter which one you go to – long walks to campsites, losing your friends in the crowd and smelly toilets.

Any regular festival-goer knows, you quickly pick up tricks to make your long weekend in the mud that little bit better, though. So, if you’re about to embark on your first festival experience, heed some of this advice.

1.Don’t overpack

The long walk from the car park to the campsite is long and arduous, made 10 times worse by your three crates of beer and four pairs of shoes. You don’t need nearly as much as you think.

2. Take a bigger tent than you think you need

If there’s two of you, bring a four-man, unless you want to leave your luggage in the mud outside and have zero personal space.

3. Be strategic about tent pitching

Don’t put it at the bottom of a hill (we’ve all seen the flooding pictures), or next to a walkway (you’ll hear drunk people all night) and don’t camp anywhere near the toilets. You may think you want a short hop to the loo in the middle of the night, but half a day in and your tent will be in the middle of a smelly mud bath.

Flooding at Glastonbury
(Yui Mok/PA)

4. Buy a portable phone charger, or even two

You’ll need phone battery when you inevitably lose your friends, and although there are phone charging tents, the queues are always long.

5. Pack earplugs and an eye mask

If you plan on getting any sleep, that is. If you’re going to one of the bigger festivals it won’t matter how far away from the stages you pitch your tent, music can usually be heard throughout the night and drunk people will definitely be stumbling through your camping area until the wee hours.

6. Bring wet wipes

Not showering for three or four days is one of those unfortunate realities for every festival-goer. Even if you’ve paid for ‘luxury camping’ you’ll probably have to queue an hour for showers, so wet wipes are pretty essential. Filling up a collapsible water container and tipping it over your head works too.

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7. Take enough cash

The queues for the ATMs are huge and they tend to charge you to get out cash. Just make sure you always keep any cash on you, even when you’re asleep – middle-of-the-night tent thieving is unfortunately a thing.

8. Get organised about your timetable

Sure, being carefree and spontaneous works for some people, but if you have some must-see bands or DJs in mind, some planning is necessary. Remember to factor in extra time for food breaks, toilet stops, walks between stages, friends being slow and accept you can’t see every band.

9. Bring something distinctive to hold in the air

Until you’ve tried to find your mates in a crowd of thousands, while not being able to get signal because each of those thousands of people are trying to do the same thing, you won’t understand how stressful it is. So to avoid risking having to listen to Kasabian all by yourself, bring a flag or long pole and stick a toy or an inflatable to the end of it so you can all find each other easily.

Philip Lyons, 38, from Gravesend at the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset.
(Ben Birchall/PA)

10. Want to get near the front? Weave your way in through the sides

No one likes someone attempting to move through the crowd from the back – no matter how polite you are about it. Get to the stage 15-30 minutes beforehand or, if you’re late, head to the side of the crowd and weave your way in that way. Call a generic name, tell people your friend is “Just there!” and apologise profusely.

11. Leave early, or leave late

There’s nothing quite like the combination of end-of-festival blues and sleep deprivation, with the prospect of a five hour journey home. Mid-morning, never-ending traffic out of the festival is the worst, so to combat this, book a bus in the middle of the final night, get up at 5am to drive home or accept defeat and sleep until noon, have breakfast and leisurely make your way home in the afternoon.

© Press Association 2018