First Time Festival Fails That You Can Avoid This Summer
Don't be that guy
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Your first festival experience is kind of a big deal. Arriving at the gates feels like Christmas - except with more beardy men, more warm beer and some really weird toilet set ups.
But for any newbie who's yet to set up their own tent in a giant field, it’s SO easy to get overwhelmed by the glitter, the short shorts, the 80’s reunion bands and sleeping under the stars as soon as you take your first step into the mud.
Make sure you don’t end up a broken, wellie-less shell of a human being by avoiding these classic rookie festival fails, and you're guaranteed to make some of the best memories of your life.
Not drinking enough water
It's highly likely that you're planning on not being sober at any point during the entire festival - but we're sorry to break it to you that this is a truly terrible plan in reality. You don't realise how much energy (and sweat) you're losing when bopping to your favourite bands all day - so you need to drink a LOT more water than you normally would.
Festival pros recommend drinking twice as much water as you think you need - carry a reusable water bottle wherever you go. Unless you wanna be the one who faints, complains about a banging headache and is perpetually hungover, stay hydrated fool.
Bad footwear choices
If you're staying on UK soil for your first festival experience, it's pretty much guaranteed that you'll be battling the elements and of course, the mud. Flip flops, cute sandals and teeny tiny ankle boots might look cute af, but they will fail you in anything less than L.A. sunshine. Wellies are the one to go for - always.
Your feet will get stepped on in the crowd, you’ll be dancing for hours and walking for actual miles, so they need to be comfy and practical. Oh, and the blisters will be real, so stock up on plasters and ALWAYS wear long wellie socks with your boots.
When the lineup is lit, it can be tempting to try and plan to see a different band on the hour, every hour - no matter which stage on the enormous campsite they're performing at. It's inevitable that some of your faves will overlap, but if you try and get to them all then you’ll spend more time travelling between stages than you will having a good time.
Instead, be brutal and make a realistic list of your must-see artists, allowing lots of time to make it from stage to stage. And remember that, at places like Glastonbury especially, there's loads more going on aside from just the main performers. Try to explore a little bit rather than sticking to the main stage.
Neglecting the sun cream
Everyone wants to get tanned shoulders at a festival, but your entire weekend could be totally ruined if you neglect the suncream. Imagine sleeping on a tent floor with a burnt back or mixing the glitter with a burnt nose? Nuh uh honey.
You are literally outdoors in the sun 12 hours straight, all day every day. Even if it doesn't seem super sunny (cloudy days are the worst for unexpected burn), whack on the high factor, waterpoof SPF to make sure you avoid disaster.
Forgetting loo roll
It's something that a festival newbie can easily forget, but loo roll is NOT provided at festivals so it's down to you to bring enough toilet paper to keep your dignity over the weekend.
Actual loo rolls can take up a lot of room in your backpack (always a backpack, not a suitcase btw), so opt for packets of tissues instead which can easily fit into your pocket or your bum bag. There also won't be any soap or sanitiser after the first couple of days, so stash one of them in your bag too.
And this might be a bit TMI, but you'll love yourself if you take toilet wet wipes as a special pamper treat - just make sure you're not chucking them in the compost heaps.
Choosing terrible meeting points
"Guys, if we get separated then I'll meet you at 9pm by the Pyramid Stage, alright?" Erm yeah, this won't work, don't do it.
You do need a meeting place, but make sure to pick a way more specific location which won't have about fourty thousand people at that exact point heavily populated. Maybe arrange to find each other at a specific food vendor, a particular smaller tent or a giant (permanently there) flagpole.
Don’t pick an entrance, exit, bathroom or stage because they will all be crazy busy. Oh, and wear a watch just in case your phone dies and you have zero idea what time it is.
Sacking off the camping essentials
It's fine to have a bag that's 85% full of glitter, glowsticks and novelty hats - but don't sacrifice the important essentials to make more room for the cute stuff. You will hate yourself later down the line.
You DO need a tent. You DO need a lantern, a torch or a headlamp. You DO need cereal bars, toilet roll, a sleeping bag, and an extra charger for your phone. Make sure you pack all of these things first, and then see what else you can stuff into your backpack for lols.
Camping at the bottom of a hill
Arrived a little bit later than planned and struggling to find a good place to set up camp for the weekend? There's a reason that people have avoided this giant, grassy paradise right at the bottom of the hill.
The slightest amount of rain and this mini meadow reserved especially for you will become a legit swamp when the water travels down. Your belongings will be ruined, your tent will collapse, and you will be left wondering why the eff you ever came to this godforsaken place. It's worth walking a little bit further and working those glutes to head a little higher up.
Relying on your iPhone
Your usual phone might be your BFF in day to day life, but it's almost certain to let you down in festival circumstances. A day of Snapchatting, taking photos, sending videos and bragging on Facebook will kill your battery, and leave you with no way to contact friends or check for secret sets for the rest of the weekend.
To avoid all of that, either arm yourself with a selection of fully charged, portable chargers to see you through the whole festival, or take a much more old school model. Old phones have WAY better battery life (because there's no apps eating it up), and it'll stop you living the entire festival through a Snapchat filter.
Zero rest time
It goes without saying that you don't want to waste a single second of your first festival experience, but it's SO important to look after yourself while you're there. The golden rule to remember is that a festival is a marathon, not a sprint - so make sure to get some decent rest time in each day, even if it's just for half an hour.
You'll have WAY more fun if you've had a decent sleep to reboost your energy, eaten a decent meal to soak up the booze and sat down for a chill out sesh each day.
- Words by Lucy Wood
Now that you're ready to go, how about a catch up with Sophie Kasaei on the whole Marnie/Casey thing?