WORDS BY SIMON E. SMITH
Summer is upon us, sort of, and the festival season is well under way. Whether it’s T in the Park, Reading & Leeds, V Festival, or Beat-Herder it would be unwise to head past the gates like Bez at the Hacienda. Some preparation is in order gents.
We spoke to a whole host of festival experts – each donning their scruffy, frayed wristbands from over the years – to find out what items are key for any one going to a festival this summer.
TIP 1 – Ticket to ride
We’re going to start slow. The first essential you must remember to take is a giant bag of condoms. No, silly, it’s your ticket. You may have everything else but without your ticket you’ll be up screwed to say the least. Before you start filling your backpack with anything, pin your ticket to your forehead. Not literally, that would be hideous.
TIP 2 – Walking on sunshine
By medication, we do mean medication. This isn’t a ploy to promote the use of recreational drugs. We’re talking of any specific prescriptions you may be taking. Other useful drugs include paracetamol, indigestion tablets or perhaps a necessary EPIPEN for those with allergies. You may think it’s a little OTT to be walking around like a portable pharmacy but if you eat a dodgy burger, get stung or wake up with a hangover from hell, then you’ll be glad you stocked up on supplies. Just don’t become a dispensary.
TIP 3 – Keep it down will ya
Earplugs are a must-have at any festival where camping is involved. For two reasons really; first to cut off the noise from the ubiquitous Coldplay and second to muffle the moans of your mate and “the one” he met outside the sausage van. In all seriousness, a decent pair of earplugs can protect your ears from developing tinnitus. Ding ding, moving on.
TIP 4 – When you got to go, you’ve got to go
We’ve all been there; awoken in the middle of the night in a/your sleeping bag and had the urge to go. Apart from losing half your chocolate digestive biscuit to a cup of tea is there a more frustrating feeling? Remedy that situation by purchasing peebags and relieve yourself in the warmth of your cocoon. Make sure you tell your tent buddy you’ve found a Tesco bag and have to decided to take a chance as to whether it has a hole or not.
TIP 5 – A wipe down
Festival showers aren’t known for being palatial. One festivalgoer we spoke to described those push-wash showers as similar to be urinated on by a giant with prostate issues…and “fucking freezing.” One alternative would be to stay in a nice hotel near by and stroll into the festival each morning with The Guardian and a pain au chocolat. However, skipping the showers and using wet wipes or baby wipes is probably a better way to go. You’ll get the authentic festival experience that way. Great.
TIP 6 – I’m losing you
The importance of having a charged mobile cannot be understated. You may have lost your friends, or worse still your mind, and are in need of help. And it’s not good in any of those situations to have to stumble round asking strangers to borrow their phone. Prevent this from happening by packing a phone charger or power bank. Here’s a list of the top 20 as rated by pcadvisor.
TIP 7 – Suncream
As Brits we like to think that we’ve become immune from the sun as it seldom makes an appearance. The last time the sun shone for a prolonged period of time in the UK was back in 1976. Since then it’s been so intermittent that we often forget to put on sun cream while we stare at the sun shouting “BURN ME”. For a refresher course, here’s Sid the Seagull providing some words of wisdom from down under.
There are probably a few more that are missing from this comprehensive list of seven. Things like don’t forget to bring booze (tins and cans not bottles) and boots over wellies anytime. So, if you know some essentials that didn’t make it tweet us yours.