Festivals are a great places to be and can be some of the most positive hedonistic experiences providing you don’t get too carried away. We put together our top tips to ensure you have a great time and don’t become a statistic.
1. Be prepared!
It’s not just cub scouts who should pack for all eventualities. Most people stay within the confines of a festival for the whole duration and you don’t want to be faffing about trying to get off-site to buy stuff you forgot to take with you. If you drive to the site you can always leave the less required items in your car to save traipsing them across the festival. Here’s a quick list of some items you really need to take with you-
Tent (unless you’re not planning on getting any sleep…)
Sleeping bag and sleeping mat
Spare clothes (warm clothes and waterproofs, especially for UK festivals!)
Wellies – just in case!
Torch or head torch
Water (most sites have plenty of taps, but it’s been known for there to be issues with them so take some water bottles just in case)
Travel first aid kit (There will be first aid points on site, but these are often very busy so take some plasters and antiseptic wipes for injuries you can sort yourself.)
Battery USB Chargers – Keep your phone charged without needing to traipse back and forth to the charging points.
Toilet roll and sanitary products
Money and cards (be careful carrying large quantities of cash with you)
Sun cream (even if it’s cloudy the sun can cause you some damage, don’t let sunburn ruin your weekend)
2. Pack light. Only bring what you can carry!
Festival sites can be sprawling places and you could be walking some way from your car or drop off point to your final camping destination. Also consider the trip home, too many people abandon stuff they bring to the site because they have overdone it and can’t cope with carrying it home.
3. Be safe!
Alcohol – Pace yourself if you’re planning on drinking all day and keep hydrated with water. Better to be drinking slow and steady than peak too early and miss the fun because you’ve passed out in a pile of your own sick. It’s all too easy to go from having the best time in the world to the worst very quickly, so please take care.
Drugs – BE CAREFUL! Whilst we do not condone illegal activities at festivals if you choose to take drugs, do so with extreme caution! There have been far too many people dying at festivals over the last few years with more recently two deaths this year at Mutiny Festival. Illegal substances can be very dangerous and often not what you expect it to be. Just because it looks familiar doesn’t mean it’s what you think it is. If you’re fortunate enough to be going to a festival who have organised drug testing facilities then make use of them (shame on you Festival Republic for withdrawing your support of these schemes). Just remember if you get a positive test result this doesn’t mean you should overindulge or not proceed with caution. There seems to be an abundance of high strength ecstasy around at the moment along with a strain of fake MDMA which can cause very unpleasant reactions. More info – https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/06/10/warning-potent-fake-mdma-drug-causes-psychosis-keeps-users-awake/ and https://wearetheloop.org/
Sex – I’m still astonished that this is a prevalent as it seems to be! Sadly sexual assault and even rape are not uncommon at UK festivals. Try to avoid being on your own in quieter poorly lit areas. Look out for people who are in a bad way or who appear vulnerable, and seek assistance from official festival stewards if you need help. Read more here – http://aiforg.com/aifs-safer-spaces-at-festivals-campaign/
If you do have consensual sex at a festival please be safe and use appropriate contraception. You’re probably going to have a sore head at the end of the weekend and you don’t want an STD too (or an unplanned pregnancy!)
Crime – Sadly crime is also common at festivals, lots of people holding larger than usual sums of cash on them and high-value mobile devices are attractive to organised criminals and opportunists alike. Take care of your possessions and try to minimise your risks as you would in any high crime area.
4. Be a good festival citizen – Again this shouldn’t need to be said. But be nice to each other. Don’t be “that” person who I’m sure you’ve all met…
These are the people to avoid or avoid becoming yourself –
Stereotype 1 – The angry pissed twat. Don’t be that shouty person trying to cause a drama.
Stereotype 2 – The sick dribbling drunk. Once you’ve reached stage 1 of the angry pissed twat, stereotype 2 is only a few drinks away.
Stereotype 3 – The emotional wreck. Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time, we don’t need to put up with your dramatic hangover or come down, so sort it out and stop shitting on our good vibe.
Stereotype 4 – The litter dropping, tent dumper. Find a fucking bin and take your shit home with you, simple!
Stereotype 5 – The gurning twat. If you get to this one, you will probably be blissfully unaware of the fact that you’re still dancing despite the music having stopped hours ago. Don’t overdo it!
If you can avoid all of these you should be ok!
Stay safe, have fun and look out for one another