This year I’m hoping some of my festival-virgin friends will accompany me to some of my weekenders. It’s cool going by myself and all but as with anything in life, it’s always better with someone else. So I got to thinking how I could make the festivals as comfortable as possible for them.
Matters of the toilet
I’d buy a stand up toilet / shower tent and a few TravelJohn Disposable Urinal Bags (I should be a rep for these things, I swear). There’d be no point messing with a chemical toilet for such a short time and I used the Travel John bags at Latitude, thanking my friend Jen from shegetsaround.co.uk every time I did. Yes, I thought of her as I weeed. They’re so much easier than any sort of shewee, more private and better for the environment. You just fix them on and let it go, in my experience you can leave it for a bit and fit three in one bag. Make sure to bring some toilet roll and baby wipes too.
I’d get a shower tent between us and then get a portable shower to hang up inside. Even just a quick spritz can do wonders for feeling a bit more comfortable at a festival. Fill the portable shower bag(s) in the morning and leave them out in the sun to warm for the evening, or next morning. Be careful if there are too many of you as the ground will get mushy. Could be good to take a washing up bowl to stand up in and then drain in the bushes.
Make sure to bring something to towel off with, it doesn’t have to be a heavy towel, in my experience just a sarong will do.
A water pistol is fun for keeping your cool when it’s too hot. At EXIT festival my friends and I caused carnage with our water pistol, in fact I think one of them might have got punched for being a bit too trigger happy, so watch yourself. At Sziget festival in Budapest there were so many people with these.
Also bring flip flops, a tshirt to protect from the sun, sun cream and you might as well chuck the after sun in too.
You need a hoody – this is an absolute festival must have. Onesies are a fun alternative and double up as fancy dress. Wether you’re in a hot country or not it can still be freezing at night. I remember going to Dour Festival in July in Belgium and my friend and I had only packed for the warm, I was genuinely worried about hyperthermia in the night. We wore all the clothes we’d bought and were still freezing. Bring leggings, thermals, a hat and socks.
No matter what the weather man is saying you should always prepare for rain at festivals. Even at Sziget in August in Budapest it chucked it down on the Tuesday morning. And at Blogstock Sunday saw the arrival of Hurricane Bertga. Just a simple cagoole won’t take up much space and will be really useful if it does rain – check out my post on festival ponchos for some inspiration.
Food and drink
If yours are the types of friends worried about money you definitely need to advise them to bring some snacks. I was genuinely shocked at how awful the food was at Latitude – you just never know what to expect. It’s always good to have a few snacks in back up. Generally festival food is mega unhealthy too so a few bags of dried food can work a treat. Check out this article for the best food to take to festivals.
Obviously everyone’s happier when they’ve had a drink, and if those drinks are cheap they’re even more so. Check out whether the festival you want to go to allows you to take drink in or not. Then you can either sneak some in, or plan to spend more in your budget. There’s a list right here of the best alcohol for festivals.
To be comfortable sleeping at festival you need a few things.
- These tips about sleeping at festivals.
- A pillow.
- A sleeping bag.
- Something separating you from the ground – either a camping mat, a blanket, a cheapo lilo or an air mattress.
- A tent, obviously.
This one is more complicated than it sounds. I suffer from back ache if I stand up or sit down too much, I’m very fidgety. When I was at Coachella festival my friend told me to try wearing trainers instead of flip flops and it worked a treat. It’s amazing how far you walk at festivals, and you stand around for hours. As old as it may sound some proper support can sort you right out, Footwear is also important for the weather. Any festival goers in England should take flip flops, trainers and wellies as a minimum.
One you can actually stand up in will do wonders for your mental health. Try this one or this one.
Other things to take that will improve the mood of any festival naysayers include: