Living on the Isle of Wight has its perks, we are treated to two of the best UK festivals, and with the Isle of Wight Festival drawing to a close today, we say goodbye to all of the festival go-ers that double our population for the weekend (yes really).
I go to Bestival every year when I can – it’s such a magical fairytale world full of fantasy fun times. Some of my best memories are shared with this festival… from my fiance having to disrobe in front of an audience at Gay Bingo, to getting down to Karauke, it just never disappoints, but there is no denying that a festival takes up so much effort in the build up, so I thought I’d share my best hints, tips and tricks for the festival virgins amongst you!
First up is the prep… considering it’s only three or four days of your life, the preparation required is insane. From pruning to packing, there’s plenty to think about, so read on for my best tips to prepare for your festival weekend!
1. Write lists… and lots of them!
Who doesn’t love a good list? I ALWAYS make sure I work from an essentials check list when I’m packing – there is little room for error as most festivals are slap bang in the middle of nowhere, and the last thing you want to do is shell out at Festival prices for essentials! There are some great festival checklists online – check this one out for a starter. Organise all of your stuff together before buying your rucksack to make sure you buy the right size. Don’t forget you’ll need to get your sleeping bag in there too. It’s also worth bearing in mind that you also only have two hands!
2. Pack light.
This may seem contrary to my above point, but seriously, do NOT underestimate the amount of walking and carrying you will need to do – most festival sites are a couple of miles across. If you can afford to, buy your meals on site and just pack high energy snacks (I’d advise Bounce Balls or Trek Bars), avoid an air bed, and for god’s sake please check how much alcohol you’re allowed to take in! Lots of festivals this year are limiting you to 1 crate per person (lol), so don’t waste your energy lugging a million crates in the queue just to have to abandon them at the gate. Also please bear in mind that once you enter, you’re not allowed to go back in with more booze – rubbish!
3. Be Realistic.
Are you really going to care how your make up looks? NO ONE looks their best at a festival, so keep any cosmetics to a minimum if you can, you don’t want to risk losing it all or having it all smashed up in your bag! My advice is to just go bare faced the whole weekend, bar face paint of course!
4. Plan Ahead.
4 days in a field with no showers makes shaving a lil tricky. My advice would be to get pruned before you go and get waxed. You’ll feel cleaner and it’s one less thing to worry about! If you’re London-based hit up Ministry of Waxing! Otherwise, just let yourself not care – no one else does!
5. Do not even consider a pop-up tent.
We all love to think that we’ll be chilling in the sunshine with a pint in hand, but if the worst happens and you’re stuck in quagmire the whole weekend, the last think you want is a pop-up tent. Trust me. They aren’t double lined so the rain just flows freely though them. Invest in a tent with a little porch for muddy wellies to keep your sleeping area clean, and with a separate little sleeping pod – something like this. This is going to be your home for the weekend after all. If there’s a big bunch of you going, I’d suggest clubbing together and getting a huge tent with a communal area that you can stand up in for comfort. ALWAYS read tent reviews before you buy.
6. Ditch the designer.
I know all of these fashion websites try to sell you all of this ‘festival chic’ style, but really, try not to give a crap. Accept that the clothes you take might get ruined if it’s muddy and rainy. Just be comfortable. I recommend leggings, t-shirts and hoodies. NOT JEANS. Seriously if they get wet you will regret that decision – I learnt the hard way.
7. Don’t underestimate how cold you’ll be.
Beer jacket dependant of course… the nights do get very cold at festivals. Bestival 2012 was around 30 degrees in the day, but come the night time freezing fog set in and we ended up going to watch a fire show just to keep warm! Denim hot pants might seem like a good idea, but think about having to party all night outside!
8. Stay street smart.
Although festivals seem cuddly and friendly, crime does still exist. I remember being sat in the welfare tent once and someone came in with like a bin bag full of wallets that had been gutted and dumped. Most festivals have lockers, and I highly recommend this if you’ve travelled a long way to keep your train/ferry/bus tickets in – especially if it’s rainy! Always leave your tent in a mess so it’s harder for any burglars to steal from you.
9. Think about your return.
I always make sure I make my bed and tidy my house before I go to a festival. You are SO exhausted when you get home, the last thing you want to worry about is a messy house. Always make sure you’ve got food in and a clean bath to jump into!
10. Get a shit phone.
iPhones are not your friend. Get a £10 phone on a contract – the battery lasts for like 2 weeks and you never know when you’ll need it. If you’re worried about taking pictures, just take a cheapo digital camera or disposable ones, they’re just as fun! Or just don’t be a tool and take pictures at gigs, everyone hates that 😉
11. Bonus tip… pack LOADS of glitter.
Need I say more? It’s the best. Mix it with your suncream and it stays on all day and you look like a beautiful fairy.
Although I am pretty sure I sound like a fun ruiner, these are all things I have learnt from experience! You will have the most amazing time if you’re well prepared – festivals aren’t like holidays, it’s completely possible to forget about the real world for a whole weekend.
Next weekend I’ll let ya know my best tips and product recommendations for the weekend itself!
What festivals are you off to this year? Share your top tips too!