Woes of a first-time festival goer
Festivals are the one time a year where you can let your hair down and forget about the stresses of work. This year was my first experience of festival life as previously I would settle for the festival highlights wishing I was there. I decided this summer was time to step out of my comfort zone and sleep in a tent for a weekend in the middle of nowhere to find out exactly what festival life is all about.
As I had not been to a festival before I had no idea of what to pack. This meant that by the end of the weekend, I had a long list of things I, in my mad rush to pack had forgotten. So if you are attending a festival this summer here are some things that you might want to pack that will make festival life a bit more easier. Each festival is different, but it doesn't matter what festival you end up going to these are some things you might not want to forget.
1. Blow-up mattress or roll mat
Now a blow-up mattress may sound a bit to boojie to take, but surprisingly I saw that a lot of people had one. If you do decide to take one, the main thing to remember is a pump and spare batteries. You don’t want to have carried it all the way to the festival only to find you can’t use it. The alternative is the good old trusty roll matt which will protect you from the often uneven campsite floors. I stupidly decided not to pack a roll matt because I didn’t want to carry too much to the festival. Therefore I had to sleep on the rock hard campsite floor which meant my sleep suffered!
2. Bring clothes for all weathers.
Even though temperatures may hit the late 20's in the day, it can still get quite cold at night, especially when you are sleeping outside. I learnt this the hard way as after it got dark the temperatures would plumate. I had only packed a cropped hoodie and so I was left freezing in my tent until morning when it would get hot again. To prevent yourself shivering yourself to sleep, remember to pack a small coat or a jumper. I recommend something that will keep you warm like a teddy bear style coat.
3. Remember where you pitched your tent.
Festival campsites can look totally different at night time, especially when more people have set up their tents around yours. You will be surprised at the number of people that have the same tent as you; which can cause problems when you are trying to find your tent at 3 am. Make sure to pitch your tent in an area close to memorable landmarks such as the toilets or near a food van. This will then make it easier for yourself to find your tent after you have had one too many drinks while dancing to your favourite artist.
4. Portable charger
This goes without saying, but there will not be plug sockets available for the public to use. Therefore if you want to capture festival life all weekend, a portable charger is a must. But make sure you bring one that will last you through the weekend and don't make the same mistake as me who didn't check if their charger worked before they left! This resulted in a disappointing surprise when my phone popped up with the low battery notification. At Latitude festival Duracell offered to charge your portable charger for free whenever you needed if you bought one of their portable chargers which were about £24. This service was a lifesaver as you could hand it in to be charged as many times as you needed. So if there is a service like this at the festival, you're going to want to take advantage of it.
5. Disposable camera
To save your storage and more importantly, the charge on your phone why not take a disposable camera. Yes, it's annoying that you can't see the image straight after it was taken, but it can be better that way as you can continue to relive the festival weeks after when you get the film back. You might even have captured things you had forgotten, or some of your friends might have hijacked it taking funny photos. Having a physical copy of the weekend can prove to be better than any souvenirs from the festival as it captures the festival in your own way. The main concern though is to make sure your finger isn't in front of the lens when you take the image, which was the mistake I made meaning all but a few photos have my fat finger in them!