How to Survive a Summer Festival


So you’ve woken up early to try and get tickets to your favourite festival… you’ve collected all your mates’ details via WhatsApp and Facebook and organised them with military precision… and you’ve hammered on your keyboard so hard that the F5 button is now in intensive care. But it’s all been worth it – you got the tickets!

After the trauma of purchasing a ticket – not to mention shelling out a fair bit of cash – you’re probably thinking the hard part is over, right? Wrong.


There’s still a lot to do before you can be let loose in a field with a crate of beer, an unbelievable line-up and (hopefully) scorching heat: from packing the necessary provisions and deciding how many glittertastic outfits you can squeeze in your rucksack, to planning where you’re actually going to camp, there’s a plethora of things to bear in mind. But fear not! We’re here to see you through with our handy festival survival guide…

What shall I bring?

Whilst the temptation will be to pack all your creature comforts and live it up like this guy, believe us when we say you won’t appreciate lugging your entire wardrobe (or *shudder* an acoustic guitar) up and down the campsite when you’re coming off a long coach trip. It’s best to pack light and keep to the essentials. Glastonbury’s packing list outlines the basics, although there are a few necessities they’ve missed off…


1. Wellington socks

Top of the list has to be super long and comfy socks. If you’ve never been warned about the perils of wearing wellies and shorts without having some form of woolly defence, take heed now and grab a pair. In fact, make that three. I made the mistake of wearing ankle socks to my first muddy festival and returned home missing most of the hair on my calves, my legs looking like they’d gone ten rounds with the Hulk. You have been warned.


2. Inflatable chair

Another issue to bear in mind is the lack of seating on offer. By day three, actual chairs are like gold dust. And once the site has become a muddy wasteland you’ll see fully-grown adults engage in combat just to claim an inch or two of picnic mat. So why not guarantee yourself your own personal throne by bringing an inflatable chair or lounger? They’re incredibly comfortable, ideal for all weather conditions and, best of all, will barely take up any space in your bag.

power bank

3. Portable phone charger

If you thought finding somewhere to rest your weary legs was tricky, try meeting up with your friends at 3am without any phone battery. It’s like finding a needle in a haystack. Put those worries behind you with a rechargeable power bank that’ll keep your phone juiced up! Long gone are the days of needing to take an old skool ‘disco phone’ with a battery that would survive the apocalypse, but sadly no camera for you to get that Instagram-worthy shot. Although the option of playing Snake on the journey home is tempting…

loo roll

4. Toilet roll

Last but not least, loo roll. While Glastonbury’s packing list does say ‘toilet roll’, it doesn’t say ‘a supply of toilet roll that would last a family of six in the aftermath of nuclear war’. That might seem a tad excessive, but with tent spillages, copious amounts of mud to clean and face paint to remove, you never know when it may come in handy. Plus, you don’t want to get caught short at the festival toilets…

More importantly, what shall I wear?

It’s time to strut your stuff on the grassy catwalk! Whilst festivals offer a temporary escape from reality, that doesn’t translate into a complete and utter negligence of your personal style. And boy do people let go! We’ve seen it all; from hair-raising fluorescent mankinis to those hideous Kanye West shutter shades. As it’s not 2007, we’ve got a few suggestions to help you steer clear from these classic festival fashion faux pas


1. Rain coat

Be ready for the inevitable British summer downpour! No one likes getting sopping wet, particularly when you don’t have the luxury of drying off at home. But whilst we’d recommend investing in a coat that’s actually waterproof, that doesn’t mean sacrificing style. You may be wearing it day-in-day-out so your dad’s old hiking jacket just won’t cut the mustard.

Instead, think bright and bold parkas, patterned ponchos for full-coverage, or colour clash macs in acid hues. Check out our lightweight festival jacket that comes in six different designs for inspiration!

acid wash

2. Denim shorts

A no-brainer festival essential. Rain or shine, these little beauties will see you through the weekend. Pair with a glitzy bralet and denim jacket for instant cool vibes, a graphic tee and Doc Martens for that rock-chick look, or a simple leotard when you’ve overslept and need a quick-fix look.

head chains

3. Head chains

When you have to carry everything you pack on your own back, accessorising is key. So forget less is more, it’s all about accessorising EVERYWHERE this season. Whether it’s the new craze for thigh jewellery, belly chains or even arm bangles, there’s not an inch of your body that can’t be jazzed up!

Festivals are all about letting your spirit run free, so get that boho-chic look down by injecting some individuality into your look. You’ll be dripping in glitz with one of these head chains. Team with a sparkly jacket, a colourful bumbag and a pair of dangly beaded earrings, and away you go!


4. Rainbow highlighter

Get your mitts on one of these magical rainbow highlighters that didn’t become an internet sensation overnight for nothing!

This iridescent mermaid luminiser is the answer to all your festival fashion dreams and, quite frankly, redefines the meaning of #lifegoals. With the magical ability to turn your face into a glittery rainbow in just one swipe, you can now be whoever you want to be in an instant! Work that unicorn space queen, dainty glitter fairy, or mystical mermaid look with this wonderfully shimmery palette that lights up your features in a dazzling spectrum of colour. Let the multi-coloured mayhem commence…

And that’s all there is to it! A sprinkle of glitter, a splash of colour and just a dash of decorum, and you have the perfect recipe to look festicool this summer.

Group Of Friends Relaxing Outside Tents On Camping Holiday

Last but not least, a few handy tips:

  • Leave as early as possible. Whilst the idea of waking up early is positively loathsome for all of us, it’s a great way to get ahead of the crowds on the road. Last year, the journey to Glastonbury from Leicester took nine hours – and that was with the help of a dodgy shortcut suggested by our Satnav. Not everyone has a machine telling them where to go in a questionable Australian accent, so it’s best to get a head start just in case.
  • Plan where you want to camp. There’s nothing worse than walking round with five days’ worth of living provisions on your back like a confused, sunburnt tortoise. And it’s even worse when you don’t know where you’re camping. Our advice is to find somewhere near enough to the stages, on a hill in case of flooding, downwind of the toilets, and as far away from the bins as possible…
  • Scout your water sources early. Whether you’re planning on showering or braving a weekend of “field washes”, you’ll need a steady supply of water. Ideally you want this to be no more than two minutes’ walk away – particularly if you’re prone to waking up feeling thirsty in the morning.
  • Prioritise which acts you want to see. For most people, seeing loads of incredible acts in one place is the whole reason for breaking the bank and trekking across the country (or even the globe) in the first place. So it’s well worth not only having a look at the line-up schedule for each stage, but also working out how long it will take to get to each band. If you’re at one end of the festival and the band you want to see starts at the other in five minutes, depending on the size of the festival you’ll be lucky to make the encore.

So there we have it, an exhaustive guide on how to survive the best weekend in your calendar. Not got anything in the diary yet? Or perhaps you’re itching to try a new festival this summer? Check out the Wowcher Guide to Summer Festivals for some inspiration!

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