Monday, 18 May 2015

50 Of My Best Festival Tips

Another year, another festival season for me to prepare for and get excited/jealous about!
 If you live in the UK and are a fan of music and partying there is a very high chance that you have been or are going to be going to a Festival of some shape or form!
You all probably know by now that I live on the Isle Of Wight so festivals have been something I have grown up with over the last 10 years or so. 

So with that I thought I would share with you my top 50 tips for Festivals! Now... these are just from personal experience, you may find them totally obvious, you may disagree or maybe they won't help you in the slightest but these are just things I always like to do to make sure I have the best and happiest experience! These tips are aimed at Festivals such as the Isle Of Wight Festival & Bestival, festivals with camping and over 40,000 people.
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1. Take a mirror - Believe me, trying to do your hair and make-up in a tent is pretty much impossible without a decent mirror! I would recommend having a compact with you at all times if you are vain like me and maybe something a little larger if you are camping, it will come in handy!

2. NEVER wear sandals - I don't care how hot it is, sandals for me are just a big fat NO. The amount of crap (literal) in and around the loo's will have you wretching at the best of times, now who wants their toes being near that? Being England we are definitely a bunch of wellie wearers and I tend to wear them whatever the weather ( I bought Hunters and they are so expensive I need an excuse each year to get them out!) but if you aren't a fan then ankle boots are always a winner!

3. Sunglasses are a must - To keep the sun out your eyes, to hide how drunk you are, to hide how hungover you are..... sunglasses are always on the top of my list of things to take.

4. Pack Binbags - for all you campers, binbags are something I would urge you to pack. Even just one or two each, they will always come in handy. Whether it's to keep your shoes on when inside your tent when they are muddy or to keep your campsite clean and tidy - they are so tiny to pack that they are well worth it.

5. Invest in a waterproof - English weather is so unpredictable that whatever month your festival is there will always be a chance of rain. Always invest in some form of waterproof, even if it's just a poncho, if the heavens open and you are stood in a crowd of thousands of people you'll be grateful.
 No-one wants to be walking around in soggy clothing, it will only make you colder! Spent lots of time and money picking out the pefect outfit? There's loads of clear poncho and rainmacs you can buy, so win-win!

6. Snacks, snacks, snacks - Drinking all weekend will have you inhaling food left, right and centre. BUT the prices of some of the snacks and food in those places is just ridiculous! Always pack snacks to have at your campsite! Crisps, biscuits, Breakfasts Bars (nothing that will melt!) they will keep your hunger at bay and save you money in the long run. (I ALWAYS pack pringles and bourbon biscuits!)

7. False Eyelashes - 1. They look fabulous, 2. They save you from re-applying make-up all on & 3. They look great in photos! (Just don't forget to keep some glue with you 24/7)

8. Dry Shampoo - An obvious one there.

9. Take a 'no hands' handbag - When your walking around a festival, you'll want your hands free. Holding drinks, waving your hands in the air, eating, texting your friends you've misplaced - there's nothing worse than having to have a bag hanging off your arm too! Across body bags and bumbags are the only things I will take around with me at a festival. A backpack may look cool but try getting something out of it in a hurry when your in a crowd - not fun.

10. Don't take your whole 'usual' purse -  For me I like to just take cash, my ID (because I look about 12 and they WILL ID you) and a bank card for emergencies (There are normally always ATM's on site)! There's no need to lug around my huge Ted Baker purse I just take a small coin purse. It takes up less room in my bag and saves me from loosing everything.

11. Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel - You will live for this stuff while at the Festival. Funnily enough Portaloos don't have sinks with soap and water and 9 times out of 10 the anti-bac in there has ran out or you don't really fancy touching it, so having a bottle on your person is a must. I love my one's from Bath & Body Works as they smell amazing aswell as cleaning my hands!

12. Travalo - One of my best finds to date has been the Travalo. A small atomiser you can decant your favourite perfume into. This is perfect for festivals as you can take your perfume with you without having to bring the whole (expensive/breakable) bottle! 

13. TISSUES - I cannot express enough how much you will want to take tissues with you. Loo rolls, packets for your handbag - they are crucial. (Well to me they are anyway.... I'm a bit of a girly girl like that!)
I cannot tell you how many times I've got into one of those nasty loo's and there has been no loo roll or it's been chucked on the floor and now it's covered in god knows what. Always make sure you have tissues on you BUT I warn you.... hide them! Otherwise every drunk person in that toilet queue (and there will be alot of them) will be asking you "just for one" and before you know it you'll be tissueless before you've even made it into the box of doom.

14. The Two Essentials - Cups & straws, don't forget your cup & straws!

15. You will never regret taking a chair with you - A camp chair that is - not an armchair! It might seem like something else you have to load onto yourelf to lug to the campsite but from experience you will be grateful you did. 
If it's raining you won't want to be sitting on the ground (Although if you packed those binbags like I told you to do there's a perfectly good mat there) and there is nothing worse than everyone else having a chair and sitting on the floor on your own!
 Just make sure when you leave your campsite you zip it up in your tent as they do tend to go "missing"! Do what I do aswell and write your name on it - there was noway someone can deny stealing it when you've plastered your name all over it!

16. Sleep with your stuff - you might think this sounds stupid but if you are camping may sure that when you sleep at night you keep all your personal belongings (well the expensive ones... not your bourbons) in your sleeping bag with you. I have heard countless horror stories of people being robbed in their sleep, of holes being may in people's tents and hands poking through - if your things are safe ans sound with you they won't stand a chance of pinching them.
17. Plaits/Braids - These are a godsend for when it is hot! They still look gorgeous and tidy plus they keep your hair off your face, better than chucking it up in a sweaty bun after an hour or two right?

18. Plasters - New shoes? wellies? Take them just in case! If you don't need them I'm sure one of your friends will!

19. Suncream, whatever the weather - Even if it's overcast the chances of still getting sunburnt in summer are still high! Slap it on, you don't want silly tan lines now do you?

20. Make a plan - There is nothing worse than missing an act you were dying to see. Always make a plan and try your best to stick to it. Too many times have me and my friends stayed in the campsite for way too long and wasted hours and hours of good music time!

21. Portable Phone Charger/Charging Phone Cases - These are something that have only really been available for the last few years and they are a handy and practical must. Smart phones are renowned for having crap batteries *cough*iphone*cough* and the amount of photos you'll be taking and people you'll be trying to contact it won't be long before your battery bar is red and your phone is dead. Having one of these in your bag will make you seriously happy when you find your alone in a field with a dead battery! 

22. Wear a watch - Just in case your battery does go, or you don't really have the hands the take your phone out of your bag - a watch is the best way of telling the time...duh!
 You'll want to know the time if you've made arrangements to meet friends at a certain time and place or if you are planning on seeing a certain act at a certain time. There aren't many clocks up and around festival sites you know.

23. Don't sit in the campsite for the weekend - I kind of touched on this earlier when I mentioned making a plan but I urge you NOT to just hang with your friends in the campsite for 4 days. Yes you will be having the best time and see some hilarious things but in all seriousness - there is SO much more to see inside the festival than around your £10 2-man tents from Tesco. (especially if you are heading to Bestival)

24. Decant your alcohol - Prior to arriving at your festival of choice if you are going to be drinking alcohol (18s +)  make sure you don't have any glasses bottles with you. They will NOT be allowed onto site (you will be searched) and it's a whole lot of effort and slightly annoying when you are stopped right at the entrance and told to sort them out!

25. DO NOT camp at the bottom of a hill - if it rains all the water will run down the hill and you will be in the muddiest part of the campsite (same goes for when guys pee!)

26. Avoid Camping on a walkway - The easiest tents for people to walk/fall into when they are drunk! Avoid being right on the walkway.

27. Mouthwash is the best - Funnily enough brushing your teeth isn't the easiest thing to do in a field. Mouthwash is a great way to freshen up throughout the day! 

28. Press On Manicures - If you can't afford to have your nails done and don't want to have chipped polish looking at you all weekend then I highly recommend a press-on manicure! You can pick them up in Boots for about £7/8, I've used them myself many times and they can last upto a week - no glue and faff needed! Great for a weekend at a festival.

29. Meeting Points - If you and your pals are splitting up for any reason always make sure you sort out a meeting point. Somewhere where you can say we will be at "that particular place" before we go and see "that particular artist". That way if you become lost you know to head to there and your friends will appear at some point! Great if there's a huge group of you and you want to go off and do other things for an hour or so.

30. DON'T over-do it on night 1 - The amount of times I've seen this happen, you get to your festival, you get your tent up  and you decide that you are so excited and hyper that you're going to get paraletic. Drinking half your alcohol for the weekend in a couple of hours, missing out on all the music and feeling like crap for the next 2/3 days! Calm down and pace yourself haha!

31. Keep Hydrated - Yes you might have had 14 beers BUT you need to drink water aswell. God I sound like a sensible Sally don't I, but you don't want to be suffering from dehydration, especially if it's really hot!

32. Think before you eat - another sensible Sally moment .... before you hit those food stands think about what you are buying. Yes a seafood paella may seem like a fantastic idea when you've had a few to drink and could eat a horse but if it doesn't agree with you your only option is to head to a portaloo.... somewhere you don't want to spend more than 30 seconds! Gross I know.... but true!

33. Showering - If you are camping then you will probably want to use the available showers at some point.... you may not but you know you might! If you do I would say get up and out there as early as possible, I've seen the queues they get loooong and that's not what you want when you are hungover and tired!

34. Passcode your phone - JUST in case you loose it/have it stolen, make sure you have a passcode on your phone! This will stop people using it until it switches off at least. Then cancel it as soon as possible. (Or if you don't trust yourself..... take an old brick phone instead to be on the safe side!)

35. Take spares - pants, socks, outfits.... if the weather is awful you may be soaking and if you've been unfortunate enough to fall over in the mud the best thing ever is having some fresh clothes to change into. On the flipside it may be soooo hot that you want/need to get changed into something else - it's best to plan for most things, layers are the key.

36. Organise your tents - this is probably an obvious one but when setting up your tents make sure they are in a circle with all the doors facing in - the easiest way to make a social area for everyone.

37. Clumsey? Write things down! - If you are one for loosing things... write people's phone numbers down and keep them in your purse! JUST in case! That way if you have too you can always ask a stranger or member of staff to use their phone to call or text someone and let them know where you are! 

38. Take your meds! - By that I mean paracetamol, Imodium, your pill - just essentials you may need and don't really want to pay £10 a box for on site!

39. Babywipes - they will be handy for everything.

40. Early birds catch the worm - get to the campsite as early as you can! There's noway you are going to want to camp 2 miles away from the main arena, so head on in and get as close as you think you'll want to be before all the nearest campsites fill up!
 If you DO want to get some sleep over the weekend I would recommended avoiding the closet site to the arena and that tends to be super loud.

41. Lipbalm - Chapped lips suck but vaseline + sunshine does not mix! Keep a lipbalm with you, get a tinted one and you can save on the melting lipsticks in your bag too.
42. Think before you wear - yes a playsuit may look adorable and super cute with your new boots but if it has a zip and 3 buttons at the top you are going to regret it when you are fiddling around outside or in a portaloo! Think about the practicality before you buy/wear something! Tassles are cool but be aware of them dipping down into the bog - GROSS!

43. Put up camp by something you can remember - Maybe a certain flag, someone else's huge tent that you can spot, or a certain food stall. Putting you tents in line with something that's easy to spot will help you so much when you are trying to find your tent at night!

44. Avoid camping near the toilets - by all means camp not too far from them, you never know when you'll need to break the seal but don't whack your tent up right next to them - yes they will be cleaned but they bloody stink and that's the last thing you'll want to be sniffing first thing in the morning! 

45. Remember where you park - if you are taking your car with you... you won't be the only one. Thousands and thousands of cars are parked at festivals and unless you are driving a double decker bus it may be a little tricky to find again once you it.
 Take a photo of where your car is parked or pop something on the top of your antenna  - that way it will be easier to spot and you won't be walking around 3 different fields for an hour.

46. Get a map/an app - Most festivals have apps now and they are a great help if you haven't been to that particular site before. Luckily the festivals I go to rarely change their layout but I'd be lost if they did. Maps are always available and are really handy.

47. Read The Rules - I'm not sure if this applies to all festivals but ones that I have been too sometimes there are rules when it comes to the campsite. For instance - only being able to take in alcohol in on the Thursday and Friday.... things like this are best to know before you go so you can plan everything! 

48. Side way is the fast way - want to get to the front of the stage? Avoid piling down the middle down towards the front, head down the side of the crowd and you will get so much closer, so much quicker!

49. Take warm clothing - Even if it's the hottest day in summer there will be a point in the night where you are chilly - especially if you've been rocking hot pants and a crop top all day! I always make sure I have a cosy sweater with me, they are easy to chuck on and keep you so warm.  

50. Stay Safe & Enjoy Yourself - Whatever the weather make sure you enjoy yourself! Even if you are soaking wet just think how much you've been looking forward to it and how much the ticket has bloomin' cost! Have fun!!!

So there we have it! I'd love to know what you think and/or if these have helped you at all! Have an amazing festival season guys :)

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  1. Totally agree with these tips. These could be a life saver for anyone who hasn't been to a festival who's thinking of going to one this year. I usually attend leeds/download and I love it :)

    Sammeh x

    Odds and Sodz Blog

  2. Such a thorough list but I agree 100% with the warm clothing part. No idea how the weather will turn up :)

    Pam Scalfi♥

  3. These tips are great!
    I just wish there were more festivals where I lived :(

  4. Great tips! I will deff be using these when I attend my next festival. Especially the sleeping with our things and not camping at the bottom of a hill. Never thought about that before but would be awful to get flooded out!

  5. Such a great post! I've been doing festivals for about 8 years and there are still things you forget or pick up each time!
    Bee xxx

  6. I'm off to a festival for the first time in June so this post was really useful, thank you for writing it! xx



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