A guide to surviving your first festival

A guide to surviving your first festival

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Lots of people are packing and getting ready to head down to Leeds & Reading festival this weekend. I’ve been attending Leeds Festival since I was 18 years old…I don’t even want to admit how many years that is! And over the years have been to festivals all over the country. Festivals are amazing fun but quite tough going too. Going to your first festival is so exciting but can be super nerve wracking too as you don’t know what to expect. I have lots of experience and a festival essentials pack from Push Doctor to help me out this year. But for anyone with no experience, here is my guide to surviving your first festival.

A guide to surviving your first festival

A guide to surviving your first festival – planning

Proper planning has to come in to a guide to surviving your first festival.

All of the festivals have different camping zones and each zone has a different atmosphere. Some are the party hotspots, some quieter, some near the stages and some are for families. Work out where you want to be before you get there. It is much easier to get to your camp if you know which car park is nearest. The walk to the site from your car is usually long and your bags are heavy!

Print out a copy of the stage times and sit with your group to work out who everyone wants to see. There is a distance between stages and you don’t want to spend the whole festival running between stages. There will be clashes and you will all either have to compromise or split up. The tents often get full for the headline acts so if you want to see that band get in the tent a set or two earlier. There’s nothing worse than hearing your favourite band start whilst you are stood queuing to get in the tent. The right timing means you can get front of stage if you are lucky.

A guide to surviving your first festival

Have a list of essentials and work out who is bringing what. It saves everyone packing the same things when you can share. Less things = lighter bags.

When you are tent planning choose the right tent. The small pop-up tents look really cute and seem a brilliant idea. They are small, light and super easy to put up. But, from experience, they’re not very good when you realise you AND all your stuff has to sleep in them. And trying to dress yourself laying down just isn’t the easiest thing to do.

A guide to surviving your first festival

A guide to surviving your first festival – packing

What you pack can be the difference between loving your first festival or hating it and never going back. So packing is another important part of my guide to surviving your first festival. Apart from the obvious clothes, tent, sleeping bag, dry shampoo and beers there are things you might not think of.

You WILL need clothes for all weather. This is the UK so sure that pretty, short playsuit and gladiator sandal outfit will look cute but make sure you can add layers. Leggings, long socks, and long sleeve shirts are all great for adding layers. You will need hoodies and thick PJs, even if you are lucky enough to have gorgeous weather it still gets cold once it’s dark. Pack more socks than you think. Wellies will rub, you will get a pint spilt down your leg and you will get muddy. Wellies are not optional. No matter what the forecast is like for the weekend the ground still gets muddy. They also protect your feet from the crowd too.

A guide to surviving your first festival

Roll a waterproof raincoat / poncho up in your bag it doesn’t take up much room or much weight. It’s a lifesaver once the heavens open.

Take a bottle of sun cream and aftersun. If the sun does come out there isn’t any shade.

Pack plenty of bottles of water. Whilst yes you can drink beer for breakfast at a festival you still need to get your 2 litres down you. AND you can brush your teeth with it too.

Hand sanitiser gel and baby wipes are essential. The toilets are disgusting. You will get sticky and dirty and you can’t wash. Just go with it.

Glitter is mandatory at a festival. Take some with you and you will save a fortune not buying it from the stalls there.

Make sure your group has at least one torch. It is such a pain going to the toilets in the middle of the night trying to guess where all the tent ropes are.

If there is a group of your going club together a buy a gazebo. Arrange your tents in a circle with the gazebo in the middle. You now have a sitting area protected from the rain and wind….you’re welcome.

A guide to surviving your first festival

A guide to surviving your first festival – general tips

The battery on your phone won’t last the duration no matter how little you use it. Just enjoy the break from it.

Because of the phone problems ^ have a meeting point with your group. It’s so easy to go to the toilet or bar and not be able to find where everyone is stood again.

If you have time between seeing your favourite bands check out the smaller introducing stages. You can see some amazing bands that you wouldn’t hear otherwise.

As boring and mum-like as it sounds try and pace yourself. You have at least three full days and nights of drinking. Going too hard the first day spoils it for the rest of it.

Festivals are hard work. There is a lot of walking, standing around and little sleep. Everyone is cold, wet, tired and hungover. Moaning about it will just annoy whoever you’re with.

It more than likely will rain. It will be muddy. Slosh through the mud and just take it as part of the festival experience.

A guide to surviving your first festival

You will feel dirty, you’re hair will be a mess and you’ll think you look like s**t after the first day. Everyone feels the same so just forget about what you look like. Glitter and sunglasses do hide so many sins though.

Make friends around your camp and get in the festival spirit and join in with the activities away from the music. Decorate your face and do buy the flower garlands for your hair.

A guide to surviving your first festival

Finally, most importantly, have THE best weekend with your friends and with the music.

If you like my guide to surviving your first festival, Push Doctor have their own brilliant guide. Do head over to read that here.

*I received a festivals essentials kit in exchange for mentioning them in this post. This has not influenced my post or my thought and opinions.

A guide to surviving your first festival

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22 comments on “A guide to surviving your first festival

  1. You look absolutely fab! xx I’ve never been to a festival, but the leeds festival really is sounding amazing! xx Water is so important no matter where you are and I bet it can be hard to remember when there’s so much on, so I’m glad you included that. Yasss, forget what you look like and have fun! x
    Marina xx

  2. I’m going to Leeds Festival this weekend and I’m so excited. Definitely agree on the tent front, I had exactly the same tiny pop up tent for years but this time we’re taking a 4 man tent for two of us so we have a bit more space. I actually need to pack considering we’re leaving tomorrow…

  3. I honestly never been to any festivals before. It seems that you’re in a camp base from your pictures. And if I am going to a festival soon, I’ll keep your tips in mind. Thanks!

  4. This was fascinating to read, though I will never be a festival goer, I love reading about what people did, saw and best of all took with them x

  5. What a useful post with so much good advise.I have never been to a festival but they certainly sound fun although camping is not high up on my list unless its glamping.

  6. I went to V Festival at the weekend and it was so much fun all the crowds were crazy and it was a nightmare trying to find our way out LOL!I agree that printing a copy of stage times would be so helpful!

  7. I went to my very first festival aaaaaages ago (at the age of 13, with my dad, in a car full of my 13 y o friends) and I absolutely loved it, spent the next 10 years going to at least 3 festivals each summer… and it was the times when your giant Nokia actually did last for 5 days with no charging… unless you played the Snake 😛 I have to say one thing though- I wish I was able to read your post back then, it would save me lots of surprises, well done! x

  8. Absolutely glamorous. I’ve heard about the festival earlier but I didn’t get a chance to visit it. It seems like you are enjoying it a lot. Thanks for sharing the joy with us.

  9. Fantastic tips, I remember going to my first festival I had no real idea of what to expect and I went about 8 year’s before investing in an air bed and it’s the best decision I’d made x

  10. I’ve never been to a festival but I know you do need the important waterproof coat and wellies! I would deffo plan who I wanted to see so I didn’t miss anyone! Great tips with the water and baby wipes (they are always super handy to have)

  11. I have never gone to festivals and I want to, so much! The muddy mess, not going to lie, is not my favorite part, but it looks like you had fun!

  12. I just don’t think I could do festivals! I don’t like feeling dirty! I think the baby wipes would be a must for me! I think the only extra things that I would take is anti-bac gel and toilet roll! And some paracetamol!

  13. Oh my god i LOVE to go to festivals…. normally i laugh so hard on fashion blogger’s post who posted “festival outfit ideas” with fancy clothes and accessories…. i bet they never went on a festival 😀 This is the real festival outfit! You rock girl hope you had a great time!

  14. I’m going to Reading festival for the first time, tomorrow!! I’m excited and nervous. This post really helped. 🙂

  15. I’ve been to one festival in my life, I was lucky that it was dry the whole weekend but I wish I’d read something like this before I went. It was definitely a learning experience!

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