With this year's festival season heating up I thought I'd share my past experiences and advice with you. Having been to 5 festivals now, I'm not exactly a veteran at the art of 'festival going' but I'd still like to consider myself not far off. So for all of you who haven't been, or just haven't got the hang of it yet, here's some wisdom to action at your next festival.
It's important to do a bit of pre-festival research. Know the bands and the lineup and for the ones you're going to see learn the words to their song. This is something you can't lip sync your way out of, so get onto it. Managing to get a ticket to begin with can be a bit tricky, with a lot of festivals selling out in a few minutes. I haven't to this day missed out but I become a bit mental come ticket release time. Make sure that your computer is fully functioning and isn't likely to crash on you as soon as you click 'buy tickets.' It may sound excessive but I've usually had my computer and laptop going, just in case. check that you have all the information to fill the form out in front of you. Lastly, if you do miss out on the first release, they usually have a second release during the morning and a ballot you can enter. To get there try to avoid driving, finding a park will be near impossible. If you are catching public transport, know the times and where to go. Or if in doubt follow the mob of decked out festival-goers.
On the day, dress to impress but also for convenience. I always try to wear strong comfy ankle boots, to help cushion that foot-stomping moment that is destined to happen. Wearing thongs will leave you in immense pain. Also wearing something with pockets is a wise idea, you can stuff any invaluable things in there, old tickets, set list, the map you name it and it saves bag space too, which is always a plus. Now this isn't a necessity but I have a thing for hats, mainly because I always end up getting my scalp burnt. But if you can manage a hair-do to prevent this, I advise you do so.
I think the worst thing people can do is bring big, heavy, bulky bags that they have to lug around everywhere and get in the way of getting close to the action. Boys this is where you are lucky. I like to bring a small cute bag that can fit the festival essentials, which are;
1. Drink bottle - keep in mind they won't let you in with one that is full with the lid open. So either opt for an empty drink bottle or buy a new one and don't touch it until you're inside!
2. Small handy tube of sunscreen that will save your life.
3. Disposable camera - it's not the end of the world if this beauty gets broken or lost and the photos turn out pretty cool.
4. Your I.D/Ticket
5. Cash - Try to accommodate for the very expensive food and merchandise.
6. A pen for marking all the bands you want to see on the set list.
7. Your phone, obviously.
The main thing to remember is stay hydrated! You never realise how much fluids you lose when you're sweating it out to your fave band. And no one wants to be the girl that fainted during Foster the Peoples set. Getting enough sleep beforehand is also a biggie, because it is a long intense day. Take breaks when there's no one you want to see and have some food. But steer clear of the nachos, I have never had a good lot to this day. And if a guy offers to put you on his shoulders, take it, it's a godsend and you feel king of the world.
But most of all enjoy it, make the most of it because you will remember it for a long time.
For more tips and pointers there should always be some on your festivals home page.