This is part 2 of the 2016 festival survival guide. You can find part one here.
- Sleeping bag and roll mat: the night is cold and full of terrors, and a beer blanket only goes so far. Ensure you have a thick sleeping bag and a roll mat so you don’t give yourself backache. Onesies are highly recommended for keeping warm and providing comedy value.
- Cash: In the days of contactless payments, cash may seem a foreign concept. I promise it’s not as hard as it sounds. Works like contactless, but they sometimes give you small bits of metal back when it costs less than the paper. Take enough to last you for the whole festival; card payments and cash machines may be hard come by. Ensure you have several places to store your cash in case of emergency; nobody wants a repeat of the “Poo-Girl” incident (Leeds Festival 2009).
- Valuables: your brand new smart-phone is shiny, new and always on hand to fuel your growing social-media addiction. It is your lifeline. Do not take it to a festival with you. It is advised that you invest in an old mobile telephone that will fare better in the mud, rain and is less likely to be stolen. If you’re feeling hipster, take a throw away camera to capture your experience, or opt for an old digital camera so you can edit photos at a later date, risk-free.
- Loo Roll: Take your own, guard it with your life, you have been warned.
- Tools: most festival ushers check backpacks for knives and dangerous items before you’re permitted to enter the site. Take plastic/picnic cutlery just in case. A bottle opener, matches, torch and Swiss multi-tool always come in handy.
- Food: festival food can be expensive. Check what your campsite allows before packing a travel stove. Biscuits, packet noodles, peanut butter, and general cupboard staples are light and will keep you going through the long days/nights, think student food and you’re half way there!
- Beer: check your festival guidelines before packing your own drink, it may be confiscated on arrival, and that’s just sad. Don’t have too much amber nectar should you wish to see your favourite act! Get there early, elbows at the ready to claw your way to a decent spot; nobody wants to get a prime space only to be caught off-guard needing to break-the-seal…
Before you embark on your voyage of musical discovery, there are a few more things you should know:
- Do not camp near the toilets: it is smelly and drunken people may get confused and mistake the side of your tent for a urinal.
- Try to avoid pitching up near the arena, unless you’re an insomniac.
- It may seem ‘motherly’ or common sense advice, but do not take sweets from strangers.
- Try to roam in packs or have a way of assembling your News Team at all times. Take an old mobile telephone so you can contact each other, you’re not Ron Burgundy, shouting will not work. Keep an eye out for landmarks, which you can use as meeting points should you be separated.