Words by Izzy Semley
Now that the glistening light of summer 2021 is shining through at the end of the tunnel, it seems the one thing on everyone’s mind, is festivals. Be it Leeds, Parklife or Creamfields, for the majority of us the only thing we’re hanging on to is the thought of being covered in mud alongside our friends in a crowd full of music-lovers as the sun sets over the main stage, anticipating the first blare from the speakers as the headliners walk out into the lights. In honour of 2021 being saved by the summer, here’s the ultimate ‘top tips’ list to surviving any UK festival…
Forget fashionable footwear
If you’ve been to a festival in the UK before, you’ll know it's nothing like the fashion show that is Coachella. Regardless of it being July, it's almost guaranteed to rain in typical British style and, unfortunately, those brand new white trainers aren’t going to get you very far through the boggy fields. Wellies are your best shout, but make sure to get a pair that don’t rub, and a pair of thick socks for when the water inevitably leaks in! Alternatively, a pair of walking boots (or any old chunky boots for that matter) will serve you just fine, but be prepared to scrape the mud off your calves before crawling back into your tent at night…
2. Baby wipes are your best friend
Unless you’ve chosen the luxurious life and are staying in a campervan with a shower, you’re not going to feel (or probably smell) your best. And unless you want to brave paying extortionate prices for the showers, you’ve got to be a bit DIY with keeping clean. Bring a good supply of baby wipes, and carry them EVERYWHERE. You can buy multiple little packs that can squeeze into a bum bag, because you really just never know when or what they could be needed for.
3. Food from home
Don’t get me wrong, bring money for the odd greasy hot dog van, but bare in mind how expensive festival food can be. It's much more cost effective to bring food from home, think small but filling things. You need to soak up some of that alcohol, so bread, bagels, crisps are your winners. Also, if you bring pot noodles people on site are often more than happy to supply you with the boiling water. However, don’t overdo it! Food takes up room in your bag making it heavier, and you usually end up eating way less than you expect. But on the same note, don’t go hungry the whole weekend, you need to line that stomach to avoid complete disaster!
4. Staying safe
While festivals are all fun and games, unfortunately things can go wrong if you don’t take precautions. If you’ve ended up in a situation where you’ve been separated from your friends, portable phone chargers will be your lifesaver; you can even buy a few disposable ones for emergencies. Things that seem obvious can quickly go out the window when you’ve had a drink, so it’s important to stay with people you know and never take alcohol or any other substances from a stranger or someone you don’t trust, in the moment it might seem like the best idea ever, but we all know that things can take a turn very quickly…
5. The actual camping bit
Often we get so caught up in being drunk and listening to live music with our friends that we leave the thought of anything practical until the last minute, resulting in you attempting to sleep on the hard ground in a flooded pop up tent. While you don’t need to spend hundreds on a five compartment, all-weather tent equipped with a stove, it’s definitely worth spending a bit more to guarantee at least a couple hours of decent sleep. And if you don’t feel like buying a blow up mattress that’s impossible to blow up on top of that, an old lilo can do the same job!
Most importantly, enjoy yourself! Even though you’ll be freezing cold and exhausted half of the time, it’s so worth the memories that get made, especially after the year we’ve all had!