Festivals are a time for us to let our hair down, enjoy some live music and have a good time. However, as you’ll know if you’ve ever been to a camping festival, there are many risks to be aware of.
Last weekend, I attended Truck Festival in Oxfordshire and I absolutely loved it. I had never been to a camping festival before but had always had the desire to go as I have always been a fanatic for live music and partying so it’s fair to say festivals are definitely my idea of a perfect summer.
Though this doesn’t mean I wasn’t overwhelmed with stress while I packed and prepared for the trip. I needed to make sure I had enough clean clothes, water, snacks, over-the-counter medication such as paracetamol and indigestion relief – I mean there is so much stuff that you could potentially need when you don’t have access to the normal facilities we do at home.
Eventually, I settled on the fact I probably wasn’t going to have everything I would need and what would be would be. Here are the most important things I discovered for keeping yourself safe at festivals.
1.The first and biggest tip to keeping yourself safe is keep yourself hydrated.
There are always water points at festivals to fill up empty bottles and festival organisers have signs everywhere to remind us to stay hydrated. I took my own supply of water, but keep in mind you typically aren’t allowed to take liquids into the arena and especially in heat you want to save yourself from making unnecessary trips back to your tent!
2. Make sure to protect your ears.
I always forget earplugs when I go to gigs and I normally suffer from tinnitus the night and morning after. Honestly, I did forget to pack earplugs this time but fortunately my ears didn’t suffer too much. If you like to get there early to stand right at the front, earplugs are definitely recommended to protect your hearing. Small children specifically have sensitive ears so if you’re a parent taking your child, make sure they have ear muffs. There was a lot of families at Truck Festival and I never saw a child without ear muffs which was great to see.
3. Don’t rely on chance, protect yourself from the elements
Luckily for me but not for a lot of pink people at Truck Festival, I had sun cream! The last thing I wanted was to suffer from sunburn at a festival so I made sure to pack a suitable cream (waterproof factor 30 at least, it was 27 degrees in Oxfordshire!) and t-shirts to protect my shoulders, back and chest which are typically the most sensitive areas. On the other hand, don’t rely on the summer months to provide lovely dry weather either! It’s always very likely to rain and you don’t want to be going back to your tent with soggy clothes, damp skin and wet hair. Pack a proper waterproof (I took a pac-mac that definitely wasn’t fully waterproof and I got soaked!) and wellies.
4. Have fun, but pace yourself and know when to go to bed
I went to the festival with my partner and he said when he went to the festival in 2019, he normally stayed up until 2am when all the DJ sets ended. I think we probably had one late night purely because I was woken up every morning by the sunlight at 7am so I would be on my feet dancing, drinking and eating for almost 15 hours! Of course we’d have rest breaks and sit in the shade around mid-day but it is so easy to distract yourself from tiredness when you are having fun. There is absolutely no shame in having a nap through the day either!
5. Finally, make sure you take care of each other
Make sure that everyone gets home safely at night and people are not left to walk back to camp on their own. It is hard to save battery on your phone let alone find signal in the middle of a field but it is always handy just in case you get lost and do manage to send a text to your pal. Otherwise, arrange a meeting spot in the event of someone getting lost in a crowd or going to the toilet. Our meeting spot was the big Truck sign I’m stood in front of in the photo at the top of the page – hard to miss and easy to find, even in the dark!
There are so many more ways to stay safe at a festival, these are just the top five things I did that worked for me or what I learned from my experience. You can find more about staying safe at a festival through Festival Safe, a really useful and resourceful website that doesn’t cost a penny!
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