Whether you are a seasoned festival attendee who’s lost count of the number of events you have been to, or you are planning on going to your first, you never stop learning about some of the best ways to do things at your chosen festival. There are so many festivals across the UK, Europe and beyond, it means there are always ways to improve upon your experience.
It’s natural to get nerves of excitement days before you leave, and sometimes that anticipation at the thought of seeing friends and your favourite artists can lead to you forgetting some of the basic things you need to remember to do before leaving.
You need to sort out who is going, then arrange the tickets before they go to someone else at the other end of the country. Sorting out how you and your group of mates are going to get there is the next and potentially largest challenge, and then in the weeks leading up to the event you are thinking about clothing, those essential festival items and how you are going to pack it all and take it with you.
When people tell you that going to a festival in the 20th century is not too dissimilar to going away on holiday, they clearly aren’t lying. It’s not like you do this every weekend, and it certainly isn’t cheap, so you want to make sure everything is perfect; an experience and memories that you and your mates will remember for years after.
The team at Fest Intentions are seasoned festival goers, however we wanted to get a totally 100% subjective view on what everyone thought you should take with you to a festival and also the main things you should be thinking about in the lead up to, and at the festival itself. We’ve compiled 25 top tips, some from the FI Team in the office and fused them with the best tips we got from the public.
These are not meant to panic you in anyway, we still want you to enjoy your trip away, but they are there to act as a reminder. In no order, these are the FI top tips for attending a festival:
1 – Spend a bit of time doing some research.
There are literally hundreds of different types of festivals now. Do your research and use clever tools online to help you and your mates find out which festival out of the hundreds on offer is going to be best suited to your music tastes and location, you’ll kick yourself if the music wasn’t to your liking and you had to travel half way across the country to experience what you think is average music. There are some clever selection tools within our listings pages on Fest Intentions which will help you with this process.
2 – Book your travel and accommodation second.
You might read this and think we are just saying this because it’s what we do, but you really must look at your travel options and where you are going to be staying if there is no camping on site at the festival you have chosen. Chances are if you book this straight after the you have got your tickets then you will get the best options and save yourself ending up being in a situation where you have very little or no options the longer you leave it. The whole idea of Fest Intentions is to give you the chance to get everything you need within one site, taking the hassle out of discovering, booking and attending your chosen festivals, however we there may be some festivals where tickets are not included in our travel packages due to certain restrictions, so make sure you call us to check first. Purchasing one of our travel options is the easiest and least stressful option, ensuring you are picked up, taken to the event and dropped back after, meaning all you must do is work out what you are going to pack!
3 – Figure out who you NEED to see.
You can’t see every artist; you’d need to be superhuman if you did. Having a list of your favourite artists you want to see will mean that you get to see them, then its whether your list corresponds with your mates list ;-).
4 – Download the festival app.
Most festivals create an app which allows you to plan your schedule, look at a map of the grounds, and text you if anything changes, like line-ups or rain delays. They usually include a do’s and don’ts section so give it a quick glance. All this information is available from the Fest Intentions Update Centre for the main festivals, so give it a bookmark and check out the FAQ’s section for each festival on the page for that event.
5 – Plan your outfits.
Based on the number of days you are going to be away give some thought as to what you want to wear, is it high street gear? Do you need to get anything special? Check out the range of online clothing we have in our store. We are growing the products week on week so if you can’t find what you are looking for come back after a week or so. You’ll need an outfit for everyday and then something comfortable to change into at night. Once you’ve planned them all out, try them on in front of your full-length mirror before you leave. Take a picture of each one wearing the right accessories and throw those in a zip lock bag.
6 – Sort out a backpack or bumbag for your trip.
This is the place where you should put all your most essential items which need to stay on you always. Have everything you need at your fingertips. Be sure to include things like sunglasses, hand sanitizer, portable phone charger and cord, etc. Maybe throw in a portable speaker and a towel if possible.
7 – Take only the essentials!
Learn from others mistakes and don’t take anything which is valuable, trust me you will thank yourself when you return home to find your mobile phone on your bed and you aren’t having to put in an insurance claim to your mobile provider on the Monday morning! Who are you going to be phoning in the middle of a field when you are surrounded by your mates anyway? Leave what you love at home (not the other half), and then you’ll be smiling when you get home with everything in one piece.
8 – Invest in portable items.
So, we are talking about portable chargers if you decide to ignore our advice from tip number 7. Browse our festival essentials which list some of the more important essential items you can purchase before you leave for the event.
9 – Pack the night before.
If you are leaving Thursday morning, pack everything the night before. You’ll thank yourself and save yourself the stress by packing your bags, your backpack of important items and the important items themselves the night before, that way you can do a quick check round the morning of your trip. If you are catching a Fest Intentions bus or coach, get someone to drop you to your nearest pickup point if it’s not within walking distance of where you are.
10 – Check the weather!
Even if the weather app says it won’t rain, it’s lying to you. Just to be safe, pack that poncho and place a bandana in the bottom of your cooler to wrap around your neck when you get hot.
11 – Take comfortable shoes.
You’ll be on your feet all weekend, now is not the time to break out the platform heels you’ve been dying to wear. The key is comfort and weather resistant, so Converse or Vans are the pick of those online.
AT THE FESTIVAL
12 – Sort your meeting point.
This is crucial so do this asap. Find the biggest landmark you can and make that the meeting place so no matter how lost in the sauce you get, you can always find your family and head home. Or just hold hands the entire weekend. When going to a new stage, establish a meeting point in the back so that after the show, everyone can meet up and head to the next stage.
13 – Don’t expect to get miracle service.
We’re not talking about the festival staff being rude, what we mean is don’t go downloading movies and endless tracks to your phone when you are there, chances are it won’t happen. Trick is to do the downloading beforehand to play without service. Text your mom as soon as you get to the festival and let her know you’re there safe and before you invariably loose signal.
14 – Keep your fluids up.
You won’t realize how thirsty you are until you’re passing out from dehydration. We’ve all seen that girl getting carried out of the crowd, so don’t be that girl. We advise you investing in a hydration pack, so the water is attached to you. Most festivals offer free water refill stations so plan on stopping by one before heading deep into a crowd. Every night before you go to bed, chug a bottle that you brought with you. When you can’t drink water anymore, coconut water or Pedialyte are hydrating and don’t taste too bad either.
15 – Know your surroundings.
Wander around, meet your neighbours, understand your new home for the weekend, then you can run around like a chicken with your head cut off later. Take note of where important stuff is like the medical tents. When you need one, there might not be enough time to search for it. Same goes for the water refill stations.
16 – Make yourself at home.
Say hi to your neighbours, first. They’ll be next to you all weekend. Buy a balloon to tie to the top of your tent to mark your campsite so you can see it from far away. Add tapestries to block the wind and set up lights so you can see at night.
17 – Be nice!
Event staff might want to be there, but these people are here to help you, not crush your vibe. Don’t be rude if they told you to empty your camelback. Also, don’t be afraid to go to the medical tent if you need help. They don’t care what happened, they just want to help.
18 – Leave nothing but footprints.
Clean up after yourself. This goes for when you’re at your campsite and inside the festival. Before heading into the fest for the day, grab your family and tidy up quick. Throw away and recycle any trash, you’ll be glad you did when you come home to a clean campsite.
19 – Buy your merch on the first day!
You have the most options to choose from in terms of styles and sizes. We recommend getting the one with the line-up on it and you’ll be glad you did. Once you leave for the weekend, the shirt will remind you of all the fun you had every time you wear it.
20 – Stretch it out.
You’re dancing and walking miles every day and your body is going to feel it. Before heading into the festival every morning, have a quick fam stretch sess. Count off and show everyone your yoga skills and your body will thank you.
21 – Live in the moment!
Put your phone away in your backpack, the videos never come out as good as they feel when you’re watching them live. Dance next to a stranger who is jamming out to your favourite song. Don’t sweat the small stuff and enjoy the weekend for everything it has to offer. Take a few pictures to remember the day but don’t make your entire day about taking pictures.
22 – Try something new.
Festivals are known for being care and judgment free places so branch out and try something new. Pick up a flow toy and swing it around. Order something you wouldn’t normally at the food truck.
23 – Get lost at least once.
Wonder to a new stage for 30 minutes in between your sets, leave the group and do your own thing for a while (assuming you’ve already established your meeting point) and make new friends! Don’t get stuck at the main stage all weekend.
24 – Have fun and be safe!
Festivals are your chance to be yourself and let loose for the weekend. Forget about the world outside the festival and focus on the music and spreading positive vibes. These weekends are made for bettering yourself and connecting with and making new friends. But please be safe. Know your limits and lend a helping hand to a friend, or stranger, in danger. Take care of each other and have a kick ass weekend!
25 – Dropbox to ya mates.
There’s only one thing apart from washing your clothes and that’s to setup an online group where you can all pool your images and videos from the trip, you no doubt will make some amazing memories good and not so good and putting everything in a central place to share will ensure you remember those memories for years to come.