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How to inject a bit of luxury into your festival experience

17th September 2014

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After camping at Latitude, in some of the heaviest thunderstorms known to man, I admit I wasn’t relishing the prospect of sleeping under canvas again at Reading Festival last month.

Which is what led me to investigate how different the festival experience would be, if going down the ‘glamping’ route.

So, along with five friends, I booked a Podpad – erected on site before your arrival. With no need to carry a heavy tent miles from the car and battle to put it up, that’s a fistful of Brownie points alone!

But there’s more. The Octopad (which sleeps up to 6) is not only spacious with solid walls and a carpeted floor, it comes complete with beds and mattresses (no damp, hard, bumpy floor for us) along with lighting and electricity to enable you to charge your phones or any other devices.

But the key feature for me was that the Octopad is lockable and is situated in Podpads’ 24-hour security-monitored designated area (accessed only by wristband) meaning all of our belongings were safe.

Podpads also provide private toilets and showers and trust me, if you’ve camped at a festival before you’d pay a lot of money for that alone!

There was also free tea or coffee whenever we wanted it as well as full-length mirrors, hairdryers and straighteners in the ‘beauty bar’.

Because we were travelling with a group of friends who were going down the traditional camping route, we decided to arrive by lunchtime on the first day to enable them to get good camping spaces. To our disbelief the majority were already taken and even out in brown camp (about 30 minutes walk from Reading’s main arena) the tents were virtually on top of each other. At this point the ‘Podpad six’ were feeling pretty smug that none of that would be a problem for us!

The Podpads team are lovely and so helpful. No request seemed too big or too small. What’s more the facilities made the whole festival experience so much more comfortable, and after a long day getting beaten up in a mosh, standing waiting for bands and walking miles it was great to know that we had a proper bed to go back to (especially when it rained).

At £975 an Octopad might seem on the expensive side but that’s just £162.50 each which, if you’ve got to buy camping gear (and I’ll be honest mine was pretty wrecked after Latitude alone) is not bad value. Podpads also offer smaller and/or cheaper pods including cute little Wendy house-style homes for two at £475 and the very reasonable Bellepad (based on the traditional bell tent) which comes in at just £91 per person for six sharing.

The fact is, Reading is a huge festival and sells out most years meaning not only the camping, but the toilets and other shared facilities are, I’ll be honest, a little on the grim side. I’m willing to save that little extra on top of my ticket price to turn the one star tenting experience I had before into festival luxury. have accommodation at all the major festivals including Glastonbury, Latitude, Rewind, V and Bestival. See the website for details or call 01454 218560.


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