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Top ten tips for the perfect festival experience

22nd May 2013

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Your first festival is always an amazing experience… well, usually. Take it from a festival veteran, though - the perfect weekend requires a little bit of forward thinking!

Tip 1: NO Bottles! Seems an obvious one to some but I myself was that kid that smugly arrived at the minibus with 60 bottles of lager, only to be told that festival grounds are cans only.

Tip 2: NO £9.99 special offer tents! For the love of god, invest in a double skin tent-even if you aren’t planning on sleeping. Believe me, at some point in the weekend, it will rain and if your tent isn’t up to standard then your stuff will get ruined. If you are planning on some sleep then a double skin will keep you warm, protect you from the rain and ensure that you wake up not covered in condensation (which is basically going to be your own alcohol infused breath dripping back onto your face).  

Tip 3: Get a decent sleeping bag! Even in August it gets ridiculously cold - don’t forget that these festival grounds are in the middle of nowhere and temperatures do drop. Go for a three-season sleeping bag - you won’t be too warm. A friend of mine turned up at his first festival without a sleeping bag, and got so ill that he left without seeing a single band.

Tip 4: Lock your tent! There are normally a few looters bumbling around, usually looking for alcohol, and at £4.00 a pint in the arenas you don’t want to be losing yours.

Tip 5: No Smart phones! Okay, that one probably induced a few stroke like symptoms, but seriously, your battery will die and you will loose people. The best thing you can do is dig out your old 3210 or buy a £4.99 special festival phone. The battery will last all weekend and they’re usually pretty weather proof.

Tip 6: Waterproof clothing. They don’t look pretty but after 18 hours of solid rain you will be grateful for a raincoat when you look around at all the fools that thought “we’ll be fine, it’s summer” - and are now drenched through four layers of clothing and as pale as snow.

Tip 7: Disposable BBQs. Food in the arenas and even on the campsites is very expensive and not exactly nourishing. Take a load of tins and a disposable BBQ and you will save yourself a small fortune.

Tip 8: Only take what you can carry. Some camp sites are miles away from car parks and drop-off points and you don't know where there will be space - so don't bring the kitchen sink and four crates of cider as it is likely that you will end up leaving things behind.

Tip 9: Disposable Cameras. Old school I know, but digital cameras are easily broken and expensive to replace. Disposables do the job at a fraction of the cost.

Tip 10: Baby wipes and dry shampoo.There are showers on the grounds, but few self-respecting people would use them after the first day. Inside these showers is the combined urine of hundreds of people, the mud of a thousand wellies and a mess not for the fain hearted. You really will be cleaner if you stick to baby wipes and dry shampoo!

That’s about it for forward thinking, other than taking a she-wee - but I said top ten tips and that would be 11.  So other than that lot just go in and have the best weekend ever, and have designated meeting points... oh no that's 12...

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