by Liberty Stembridge, Entertainment Columnist
Published in Entertainment on 30th August, 2019
Packing smart is key to an enjoyable festival experience. Depending on where you live in the world, packing for the weather might be very simple or a bit more complicated.
Festival fashion has come a long way from baggy jeans and welly boots, but try to bring at least a few outfits that can keep you safe from extreme heat, cold, wind or rain. Hopefully, they won't be needed. You also want to consider how you're going to transport all your belongings.
You'll be carrying camping gear and your clothing in all likelihood, so you need to make sure that this all fits into one or two backpacks, particularly if you don't have a car to transport all of your belongings to and from the festival. Dragging around heavy bags gets tiring very quickly.
Sure a festival only lasts a few nights usually, but your camping equipment is the difference between you spending three nights sleeping on a hard wet floor with a collapsing tent around you, or actually getting a good night's sleep and being able to enjoy yourself.
It's tempting to want to skip out on buying a more expensive and durable tent, but if you invest now, you'll have a worthy piece of equipment for all future festival adventures.
It's also worth noting that it's probably a good idea to bring a tent that's a little larger than you need. One man tents can pack up small and may be cheaper, but it'll be a lot trickier to store your stuff, get dressed and shelter a mate who's tent has collapsed.
If you're going with a group of friends to a festival, you'll probably want to stick together as much as possible so make sure to stake your claim on a nice patch of grass early in the game.
Find a nice area and pitch up, ideally in a circle for maximum protection. Festival goers are notorious for disregarding other people's space and property, so take some precautions to avoid having all of your belongings trampled through.
Festival food has also come a long way, with most festivals catering for a wide variety of tastes with some good food and drinks.
Rather than dragging along bags of your own food and messing around with a camping stove - just buy your food while you're there. It's easier, quicker and although it might be pricier, it's normally worth it.
Baby wipes are your new best friend during festival season. Although some festivals have upped their game when it comes to hygiene facilities, the mere fact that thousands of people will all be using those facilities is enough to make anyone retch. Festivals are not known for their cleanliness, but that doesn't mean you have to be either.
There are several precautions you can take to avoid the hazards of festival facilities. Top of the list is to bring your own disposables such as toilet seat covers, toilet paper, baby wipes, soap and so on. If you're festival does have showers, they may not be the best quality and are often very crowded, in which case a "baby wipe shower" may be necessary.
Festivals become infinitely more enjoyable when you're with the right people. Make sure you're with a group of trusted friends who you love being around. Camping, sleep deprivation, alcohol and living within close proximity to one another will likely test the strength of your friendship, so make sure you're up to the test.
A festival is not the time to be flashing around your expensive new ipad, or fancy watch. Thieves are rife in festivals, and the best precaution you can take is to not have anything worth stealing. Any valuables you do bring are best off remaining on your person at all times, since realistically, there's no way you can theft-proof a tent.
There are a few essentials every festival goer needs, and might need to access quickly, so pep beforehand and create an "essentials kit".
Items to include could be: a portable charger for your phone, energy bars, a mini first-aid kit, a lighter, ear plugs, a sleep mask, tissues, extra baby wipes, a mini pocket raincoat / umbrella, gaffa tape (excellent for patching up holes in a tent), a headtorch, spare batteries and of course, a bottler opener.
A lot of festivals now restrict you from bringing your own alcohol into the festival site, and will search your bag to make sure you're not breaking the rules.
This means that you have to fork out to buy drinks from the vendors at the festival, which can quickly get very pricey. If that's okay with you then go ahead, but if you're sneaky, you may be able to get some of your own through without security noticing.
As with any situation involving thousands of screaming fans, alcohol, exposed elements and potentially drugs, festivals can be dangerous. Take the right precautions though, and you should be fine.
As mentioned above, leave as many valuables as you can at home, and keep any others on your person. Keep track and take care of your friends, and they'll likely do the same for you. Don't stop yourself from having fun, but try to remain lucid and aware of what's going on at all times.