Surviving the Heat of European Summer Festivals

Cheers for the post Jennifer – great advice! 

Here in the UK, we don’t really need to worry about how to cope with the sun at festivals during the summer – after all, it’s usually disappeared again within an hour or two! However, if you’re joining the many thousands of people that are heading to a fantastic festival on the European mainland this summer, such as Outlook in Croatia or Exit in Serbia, there’s a much better chance that you might be blessed with favourable weather.

Spending a few days in the often-unsheltered conditions of a summer festival can take its toll though, and as anyone who took cheap flights to Spain for Primavera or Benicassim will tell you, you need to be prepared for some unforgiving heat. To make sure you remember your European festival experience for all the right reasons, here are some great tips I’ve learned for keeping your cool.

Eva Rinaldi Flickr

Don’t peak too early

The bands are playing and the booze is flowing, and it’s all too tempting to crack your first beer before the clock’s hit midday. However, if you really want to get through the day, try to leave the drinking until the evening, or you could end up being the star of one of those YouTube videos in which some poor festival-goer is chasing their flip-flop or attempting to dance with a tree. Not only that, but alcohol increases your chances of dehydration and sunstroke, so take it easy for your own good.

Gulp down the water

Hopefully, you’ll take my previous piece of advice about being careful with your drink, but whether you choose to booze or not you simply must – MUST! – stay properly hydrated. It’s good advice anyway, but in hot, sweaty conditions sipping water throughout the day becomes as crucial as choosing the correct factor of sunscreen. Which conveniently brings me to my next point…

Never skimp on sunscreen

Yes, we all love to get a tan, but there’s a fine line between sun-kissed and sun-burned that’s even easier to cross at a festival. You’re likely to be exposed to the sun for far longer than you would normally, so make sure you choose a high SPF sunscreen (or even better, SPF50 sunblock) and re-apply it every couple of hours at the most. Remember that UV rays are most powerful between 10am and 4pm, even if it’s cloudy, so if there is shade make use of it during this time.

Be chic and covered

You’re guaranteed to see lots of people at the festival dressed in bikinis and tiny shorts – yes, maybe even the boys too – but these kinds of outfits will only put you at further risk of sun damage. Without sounding like a nagging parent, it really is a good idea to keep covered, especially on your shoulders. Leave the swimsuits for the beach and pack a few lightweight tunics or kaftans that will look stylish, and protect your skin too.

Pack a fabulous selection of headwear

Not only do hats look hot at a summer festival, they’re an essential for helping you stay cool too, as they provide essential shade for your face, prevent your scalp from being burned and also reduce your chances of sunstroke. A wide-brimmed hat is ideal for providing maximum coverage, but even just a cap will help to keep your head out of the sun and ensure you dance until dark.

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1 Comment

  1. by Arianwen on August 11, 2013  1:39 am Reply

    Great tips! I always peak too soon when day drinking is involved...!

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