Summer really is the best time of the year. If you are a student, you can take some time off and not worry about essays and deadlines for a while. It also gives you a chance to start reading for your next year’s modules. If you have already become ensnared in the world of work, it is the time that you look forward to every single day. When you get up on those cold winter mornings and have to scrape the ice off your windshield, the long, sultry summer evenings are something that you dream of. Whether you just want to kick back and relax at home or you’re planning a trip abroad, you will want to prepare properly.
However, one of the defining experiences of a British summer (despite it likely lasting only a few weeks in which it will rain a couple of times anyway) is going to a festival. While the Glastonbury festival is the biggest event of the year (and certainly the only one that is broadcast on television), there are a lot to choose from. Irrespective of which you choose, from a small, intimate gathering of hardcore fans to being one of an estimated 153,000, there are some things that you will always need.
Here is a list of festival essentials to help you ensure that you are as prepared as possible:
The first part of any festival experience is actually getting to the site. Depending on where you’re going, that may mean getting a coach or driving there yourself. It may be that you’re travelling quite far and you should, therefore, consider investing in something to distract you. An iPod is always good, but since you are going to be partying for at least a couple of days, you should probably think about getting some rest.
Taking a neck pillow is never a bad idea. While it may sound rather dull to just settle down and conserve your energy, one of the things that you’ll find is that travelling to a festival on a coach is not as hectic and loud as you’d expect. While there will likely be a lot of young people with you, they will probably be quite sedate.
You could even think about taking a book but you have to consider that it may potentially get damaged once you get to the festival.
Once you arrive, you will not be heading straight to a stage to see your favourite acts, but going to the campsite to find a good spot to sleep. You will obviously want to take a tent. Opinion is divided on whether you should take a good one though.
Many people invest in a cheap tent and then when they leave the festival, they just leave the tent at the site. However, this is not all that considerate since someone will have to clear it up. While you should leave the place as you found it, you also want to live in reasonable comfort while you are there. You are going to be sleeping on the ground so it will never be as good as your bed at home, but making sure that your tent is good enough to withstand the sometimes capricious British weather is a must.
You should also pick out a good sleeping bag. You may be tempted to get a more modest one, but remember that it will be the only thing keeping you warm and you do not want to get sick and have your weekend spoiled. On the topic of being ill, if you are susceptible, you should double check that you’ve got tablets for hayfever and other allergies.
Not being able to see your favourite musicians because your eyes are watering so much is never a good look.
Once you’ve got everything set up and you know where you’re going to be sleeping, you can start exploring.
However, since there are going to be lots of people walking all over the place, the ground can quickly become rather muddy. Invest in a good pair of wellington boots. It may not pour down with rain the whole time though so you should also get some hiking boots too. They may not seem like the most glamourous, but they are practical.
Going to a festival in shoes that you’d wear on a night out is not going to work because you’ll soon find that you’re rather sore. You need something that will support your feet because you’re going to be spending a lot of time on them.
One of the reasons that a lot of people cannot stand the idea of going to a festival is that you do not have a lot of the comforts on which you usually rely. These may include access to a shower. At bigger festivals, you have to wait for a long time to get into the cubicle, and once you’re there, you may be disappointed to find that since thousands of people have used it before you, it may not be all that clean.
This is why some people choose to take matters into their own hands and wash as effectively as they can with a facecloth in their tent, or use wet wipes. It may not sound appealing but it is the reality of going to a festival. It is better to prepare for it now than be surprised later on. Incidentally, there are often long queues for toilets too so get used to waiting. You’ll be doing it a lot.
For all of the practical considerations that you have to be aware of, festivals are all about having fun. Take a camera so that you can capture what will likely be the best weekend you’ll have all year as well as comfortable clothes that you can dance in until the early hours of the morning.
Since you are at a festival, you cannot go down to the shops if you want something to eat, so take some extra cash to get something there. If you drink, you should also think about taking some of your own since it can be quite expensive.
The most important thing though is to enjoy it. It is a rite of passage at this point and you do not want to miss out.