Planning your festival choices is super fun but with it comes the memory of last year's hiccoughs and disasters! There's still time to prepare properly this time to make your festival experience the best it could possibly be.
You'll need your train or bus tickets, festival tickets, ID, cash and credit cards, keys and a guide book or map to get you there and back. If you're driving, be sure to study maps well in advance and look up anything you don't understand about the directions on the Internet. Remember to fill your tank with sufficient gas and have a spare tire in the boot.
Prepare for all temperatures and seasons – especially if you’re going to a festival in Europe. Waterproofs, wellies (gum boots), a raincoat and a couple of warm jumpers, sun glasses, a change of socks, shoes, underwear and t-shirts for the number of days you plan to attend. A sun hat or baseball cap wouldn't go amiss either for when the sun starts beating down.
Festivals are usually held in the middle of a field, nowhere near shops, so remember to pack toothbrush and toothpaste, soap, conditioner and shampoo, deodorant and a brush or comb. A camping mirror, towel and face cloth complete the picture. You might also want to pack a packet of wipes and tissues. The people you're sharing your tent with will thank you for your serious efforts at eradicating last year's stinkiness!
You'll also need a first aid kit in case of emergencies, sunscreen with a high factor, any prescription drugs you're taking, insect repellent, contacts and cleaning solution, your glasses and their anti static cloth, a packet of aspirin or paracetemol for the headache you'll be suffering the morning after the big event and, in case you get lucky, contraception.
Apart from a camera, mobile phone, umbrella and torch, you'll also need a tent. Choose a double-skinned one over the cheaper single-skin variety or moisture from condensation will soak everything inside the tent, including your sleeping bag and clothes. If you’re sharing the tent with others, be sure to choose a tent that is large enough for all of you to be comfortable, or you'll end up squabbling over sleeping space. You'll need a sleeping bag and inflatable travel pillow, a mat to lie on, chargers and batteries, bin liners and a laundry bag. Bring a couple of books or magazines and your MP3 Player for the times when you're waiting for your favorite bands to come on stage.
A lighter and matches, a penknife, bottle and tin openers, cutlery, a camping cooker, gas bottle, mess-tin or pot and camping kettle, duct tape in case your tent rips, a picnic blanket and, of course, the food and drink you plan to consume. You may also want to bring additional pegs to secure your tent and a small hammer to drive the pegs into the ground. Disposable BBQs are very cheap and easy to use, if you haven't got a camping cooker - you can always grill a few rashers of bacon or sausages for your breakfast. Also useful to have is a large water container. Most tents come with a hook where you can hang a camping light, which makes life easier.
People who say they don’t enjoy music festivals have usually not embraced the whole ethos of such events. A festival is a community – albeit short-lived. It’s a time to have fun, let loose and enjoy all the sights and sounds. Don’t go expecting comfort, being able to sleep soundly and high levels of personal hygiene. That isn’t what a festival is about. If you always wanted to be a boho chick – now’s the chance to rock it – with style!
Which festivals are you going to this year?