Sarah Hazelwood

Festival survival guide

Are you heading off to a festival this summer? Read Sarah's top tips to make sure you're festival ready.

Be prepared whatever the weather

You can’t predict what the weather will do, but you can be ready for the elements. A lightweight waterproof jacket to a sun hat and sun cream, if the temperature decides to soar, are all necessary items. Even in the height of summer it can get cold at night, so don’t forget a warm jumper and socks to keep you toasty.

Whether you’re travelling to a festival by car, bus or train, plan it all out so your journey is as quick and easy as it can be. Always check the route and make a note if there are likely to be any restrictions along the way – the festival website is always a good source of information. Always go armed with plenty of water and snacks to keep you going - it can sometimes take a while to get on to the site. You don’t want to be getting ‘hangry’ on the first day!

Pitch perfect

Opting for the cheapest tent can be tempting, but in this case size really does matter. If you’re sharing with a friend consider the room that you both need to sleep, as well as somewhere to store all your things.

When it comes to setting up, remember that good spots go quickly, so arrive early to bag yours. If there’s a large group of you form a circle with all the tent openings facing inwards, to create your own little area. Windbreaks are also really handy to stop people walking through your spot.

If you can, avoid pitching up near the toilets or down a hill from them, because things could get a little smelly after a while. Going near a landmark is always a good idea, as it helps you locate your tent late at night. If there’s not one near by, you could always get crafty and make your own.

Pace yourself

Once you’re all settled in, it can be tempting to get straight on the booze, but don’t overindulge too soon. The music often goes on late into the night and sometimes it doesn’t stop. Spacing out your drinking and having plenty of water in between will help you party all night long. You don’t want to be the one retiring to the tent early and end up missing out on all the great acts you’d planned to see.

Keep valuables hidden

Only take things that you really need and don’t carry too much money. If you’ve got anything of value try and keep it securely on you at all times. When you’re sleeping, store valuables away near your head – furthest away from the entrance to the tent. And, during the day don’t be tempted to lock your tent. To potential thieves it looks like you have something inside worth stealing, so don’t encourage them!

Keep safe

Each festival has it’s own restrictions – they’re there for a reason, so don’t ignore them. Stick with your friends and always choose a meeting point before you start exploring, just in case you lose each other in the large crowds. If you need help or spot anyone that does, give the stewards a shout. There’s always a first aid tent onsite too, so find out where it is, just in case you should need to get there.

Familiarise yourself

A lot of the larger festivals all have their own app these days. These are perfect for finding out where things are and what’s on. It can also be a great way of checking out exclusives on social media. Watch your battery though; you wouldn’t want to be without your phone for a few days.

So, that’s it – everything you need to make your first festival experience the best it can be. Have fun, stay safe and don’t forget to let us know how you get on.