How to Avoid THE GERMS at Festivals in 2023

There are so many germs at festivals. All those people gathered together with limited washing facilities and questionable toilet habits BUT don’t let that put you off, here’s how to avoid those festival germs and stay healthy…

Glasto Gastro – I’ve just Googled it and apparently it’s not a ‘thing’ so I’ve coined it first, ok? It’s a bit like Delhi Belly, Fresher’s Flu, errrm, can’t think of any more… basically it’s the gastroenteritis I’m convinced I picked up from Glastonbury. From, THE GERMS.

Reading festival packing list

Avoiding germs at festivals is tough, but if we all work together, along with our anti bac and baby wipes, we might stand a chance. As much as we love festivals THE GERMS love them more. They’re in the toilets, in the food, they’re on other people, they’re in the air with so many people sharing a small space, they’re on the people who don’t wash, on the floor you sit on and in the camping equipment you only bring out once a year.

I’ve never been like this before, Glastonbury’s done it to me, but this is the way my life is now. And if the festival germs scare you too, this is what we can do to battle them.

Obviously since March 2020 we’ve been hot on the trail of germs, wearing masks, anti bacing till our hands are dry and finally learning to wash our hands properly. There are still a few more ways for you to avoid the germs at festivals and give yourself the best chance of coming out as healthy as you went in.

Germs in festival toilets

This is when you’re at your weakest. You need to relieve, you’re desperate, you might’ve been waiting 30 minutes, but do NOT touch the handles or make any kind of skin contact when you’re inside. One of my friends swears by holding baby wipes between her fingers before going in and not touching anything – no doors, nothing. Give the place a good wipe down before you commit, and use those thigh muscles to hover.

germs at festivals

At Glastonbury none of the toilets had toilet roll, so you need to carry that at all times. Drip drying is pretty gross when there’s no way to have a shower in the foreseeable future. There is the SheWee option, but I’ve tried one before and ended up with pee all over my hands. If you’re going down the SheWee route, have a bit of practice beforehand ok?

You can pack a small pack of moist toilet tissue to mop up any sprays, ladies.

And always make sure you have anti-bacterial hand sanitiser with you – don’t trust the festival to provide – and cover your hands with it afterwards. You could give them a little wipe with a baby wipe too.

Always do this before you eat – sometimes you just don’t know when your own hands have been.

Festival germ fighting equipment

Toilet roll
Hand sanitiser
Disposable toilet seat covers
Baby wipes

Personal care at festivals

Dirty you = dirty germs.

Use dry shampoo to keep your hair looking and feeling fresh, use the baby wipes for as much of a shower as you can do every morning and night, and brush your hair too. Feels strange to have to actually request you do that, but sometimes when you’re camping it’s tempting to just give up. You can do this, you can be clean at festivals, you’ve just got to work that bit harder.

Bilbao BBK Live Festival

My hair was disgusting by the time I left Glastonbury. So dry, full of mud and sand and matted – I was appalled at myself.

Brush your teeth with a good toothpaste, and use mouth wash too. Mouths are germy and this is the best way to attack the germs before they even get in your system. Click here for more advice on staying clean at festivals.

This year masks at festivals will be pretty important. It’ll be up to you how and when you wear one, but I’d recommend you do, especially in the inside tents.

Festival germ fighting equipment for personal care

Dry Shampoo
Baby wipes
Good hair brush
– Mouthwash

READ MORE: Beauty Tips for Festivals

Hydration at festivals

Who wants to stay hydrated when you have to go through the rigmarole of toilet time?

Not me.

Well, it might be alright to skip a glass if you’re just at a festival for a day or two but when it’s more than that you really need to keep up with your water intake. Carry a water bottle round with you and use the free water taps to fill up. Treat yourself every so often to some bottled water too – future you will thank you for it.

Avoid festival germs

Dehydration can cause headaches, tiredness and sickness too, especially if the sun’s out. Add some Berocca to your morning pint of water, and rehydration tablets to your afternoon one to really stay hydrated. I swear by Berocca. Honestly, I feel like when I miss days of it, that’s when I become ill, which is exactly what happened at Glastonbury.

If you’re lucky enoughh to be at a hot festival, you really need to consciously drink enough. Heatstroke is not fun.

Festival germ fighting equipment

– Water bottle
Rehydration tablets

Sleeping at festivals

The best way to stay fighting fit and strong enough to take on THE GERMS at festivals is to get enough sleep. Give yourself the best chance possible with a comfy pillow, ear plugs, an eye mask and a good sleeping bag. Go to bed at a reasonable time at least one night and sleep in as long as you can get away with.

If you can get up early enough to find the showers, you’ll feel all the better for it!

Festival germ fighting equipment

– Ear plugs
Eye mask

Skin care at festivals

Looking after your skin at festivals may not really have much to do with germs but it is your wellbeing and it’s always easier to sleep if your skin isn’t throbbing from sun burn, so it’ll help with the other germ fighting points on the list.

Escaping the heat of Coachella Festival

Apply sun cream in the morning, even if it’s looking a bit overcast, and then take a little pot out with you too. Get a small bottle of after sun too – it’s perfect for soothing angry skin.

A few little plasters are a good idea – never know when you might need them, usually for blisters.

If you can, moisturise, especially your face after the day it’s been through. Festivals really challenge the skin so keep yours nice and fresh and soft with a bit of love and care.

Festival germ fighting equipment

Sun cream
After sun
– Plasters

What else do you need for the festival germs?

Wearing different clothes every day will help, and definitely different underwear. All standards of cleanliness can go out the window when it comes to festivals, but have a little respect for yourself and stay clean and healthy to help others stay clean and healthy too.

If you’re ill when you return from a festival

Germs at Festivals

Push Doctor is an online doctor’s surgery, enabling you to talk to a professional GP via video link for expert medical advice in your own home.”

Push Doctor are a new-to-me service that means you don’t have to go to the effort of finding a doctor, or visiting them, and can have an appointment in just a few minutes. The more I look into it, and actually after having a conversation with my friend today about how difficult it is to get referred at a doctors, I think they’re brilliant. The GP comes to you, sweet!

Take a look because the first appointment is only £15, which is pretty much your tube fare there and back if you live in London right? I think it’s well worth it for the time you spend getting an appointment anyway.

Festival germs at home

When you get home, wash everything. Evveeeeerrrrrything. Don’t let those germs in. I hot washed everything I took, cleaned my shoes and baby wiped my wellies. Also sprayed them with Febreeze.

One of my friends said she got in her bed before she showered, and in my head I was like BUT THE GERRRRRRMS.

Also, cut that blummin wristband off as soon as you can. Don’t be one of those people who stacks them up on their wrist. Eugh, eugh, eugh.

“Festival wristbands can contain up to 20 times more bacteria as found on clothes, a study has revealed. The popular trend, in which music lovers wear festival wristbands for weeks, or even months following a music event, can increase your chances of contracting an infection, boils and even food poisoning.”


Germs at festivals

Don’t let the germs put you off going to a festival, just stay clean, stay fresh, and keep that anti bac to hand.


  1. Thanks, Vicky for your wonderful idea to remove the germ from my hand and ensure a disease-free life. Most of the disease entry in our body by hand. I think the best hand dryer and wasing material can protect it strictly.

  2. Eww I am so put off festivals by the germs and thoughts of the toilers! These tips sound really helpful though and the push doctor bits look great. Hope you feel better soon xx

    1. Thanks Rachel. Feeling much better now actually. Yeah, if you really think about it they’re pretty grim, but you should definitely still go! Just need to follow my tips 🙂

  3. Also, put the wristband on the arm you don’t wipe your bum with… don’t buy food from vendors who haven’t cut their wristbands as is dangles in the food…!

    1. Ha, that’s a good tip! That little tasselly bit harbours so many germs, eugh.

      And yes, that’s another brilliant tip actually, never thought of that. Thanks Tamsin!

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