15 festival tips to get you through the festival season

As the years go by, more and more outdoor concerts and festivals are happening around the country. While these music festivals sound like all fun and games, they involve being outdoors for long periods of time, having limited access to toilets and food, and usually having nowhere but the ground to sleep on. A little bit of preparation can make or break your music festival experience. After all, nobody wants to spend hours waiting for their favourite band only to be drenched in sweat, covered in sunburns, and being too tired to sway to the music. To set you on the right track, we’ve come up with 15 festival tips to survive the festival season.

Whether you’re camping or a day-goer, here are some of the best recommendations and tips that we here at Great Outdoors think you need to consider in order to survive the festival season:

1) Enough tent for you AND your gear:

If you can, try to bring a slightly bigger tent than you think you will need. This is an easy mistake to make, a 2-man tent is designed for two people lying side by side in sleeping bags, and it doesn’t account for the mountains of stuff you will be bringing with you. Always go 1 person bigger as a guide – after all you can never have enough room! Also, before you leave home, check that you have all the bits and pieces you need for putting up your tent. You don’t want to arrive and realise you left the bag of pegs on the kitchen table. Tents can get very warm and stuffy during the day -a reflective emergency blanket is an easy way to keep them cool – drape one over the top of your tent to avoid it overheating.

2) Become hands-free:

Don’t be carrying that Chanel bag to a music festival. Things will get lost and/or stolen. Instead carry a belt pack, or lightweight backpack; these are much easier on the shoulders and more secure than a handbag. A money belt is nothing short of essential for festivals. Shove in your cash, phone, valuables, hand sanitiser and packet of tissues. You won’t lose a thing and your hands are free to hold your beer and/or shwarma, (or whatever it is that takes your fancy). Your phone could easily fall out your back pocket, and you won’t even feel it if someone helps themselves to your phone when you’re in the middle of a crowd, dancing your butt off.

3) Prepare for UV

Now, even though we’re in Ireland, be aware of the fact that it’ll probably be a wash out, doesn’t change the fact that whether it’s rain or shine you are still going to be exposed to the sun’s rays. Bring sunscreen, and always remember to reapply throughout the day! Don’t just put it on in the morning and think you’re set.  Also, include sunglasses to add extra protection (and score extra brownie points for festival fashion). 

4)Keep Cool 

Soak a Buff in cold water and wrap it around your head before heading for the main stage. Instant cool-down and bohemian festival vibes.

5) Rain Jacket

Don’t forget to also bring along a raincoat; it’ll keep you dry and you won’t be using your hands to hold something over your head. If you don’t feel like splashing out on a rain jacket, a waterproof poncho is very handy – you’ll more than likely end up needing something to fend off the rain, and they’ll try to charge you a small fortune on the site if you don’t have your own. Make sure to bring clothes for all weather, it is probably best to wear lots of layers that you can take off if it gets too hot, and put on if it starts to get too cold.

6) Comfy Footwear

Bring comfortable footwear as you will be on your feet for most of the day. Also bring wellies for the festival famous mud! Flip-Flops are a must when attending a sunny festival and also can be used for shower time.

7) Keep your stuff dry

Drybags – this might seem a strange recommendation, but if things end up being a wash out, they will be great for keeping your wellies/wet clothes separate from the rest of your tent’s contents over the weekend.

8) Keeping clean!

There will only be portable loos available, so remember to pack proper toiletries like hand sanitizer, gel or wipes.

9) Seating Arrangements

You’ll be doing a whole lot of standing and dancing so bring along something to sit on that won’t take up too much space and is waterproof. A foldable mat is your best option for this. It’ll keep your clothes clean and keep you off your feet when you need it the most. Also, nobody likes sitting on the grass, mud, or concrete at the campsite. Camp chairs are relatively cheap and can be easily strapped onto a backpack.

10) Snacks all day long!

Food at festivals is expensive! Bring plenty of snacks like energy bars with you to help keep the hunger at bay. They are ideal if you are stuck wasting a lot of time in long queues.

11) Hydration

There is nothing worse than waking up the morning after the night before gasping for water and having to trek around the campsite in search of drinking water and then having to queue up for some. Stock up on some bottled water before arriving. It will be worth it.

12) On the grid

The only way of getting hold of your mates is your phone so ensure you have something to recharge your phone while you’re there. You don’t want to spend the majority of your weekend queuing with ten thousand people to recharge your dead phone, so why not avoid the fuss? Solar power chargers are now much more affordable – and there are other charging options available as well.

13)Sleeping in and sleeping on

A good sleeping bag and a good ground mat are the difference between a hellish night and a blissful one. Think of these items as investments rather than unnecessary splurges.

14) Lights out

Some campsites can be badly lit so it’s worth bringing a small head torch for those early morning trips to the toilets. Also handy when trying to find items in your tent at night – unlike your phone’s built-in torch – they won’t use up valuable battery life.

15) A sound (or no sound) nights sleep

Earplugs at festivals perform two functions – they’ll help you sleep if it’s noisy around the campsite at night, and also protect your ears from the loud music during the day. Your energy will flag if you don’t get any sleep, so invest in some earplugs to keep out the noise.
Finally – always keep a fresh pair of socks for the journey home. Pure heaven.

One last thing…

Most importantly in our 15 festival tips, have fun! Before going you have to realise that you can’t possibly do everything at the festival; so plan ahead and you’ll get to do what you want to do most, and maybe have time for some other things as well, and all the while you’ll be kitted out in everything you need to keep warm, dry and comfortable.