Our top festival tips is probably one of our most frequently asked questions. We’ve become a bit of an authority over the years, both from our own experience and feedback from guests, so it’d be rude not to share – plus we’re kind kinda people so, in no particular order:
1. Appropriate clothes packing is a very popular topic. Some of it is obvious but, if you’re a first time festival goer then, some of it isn’t. The great British weather in June can be anything from ‘heatwave’ to ‘downpours’ and everything in between. Never pack according to the day you leave as things can change pretty quickly. The key items to include are:
- Good, worn in, footwear. Wellies are great, and sometimes needed in the event of the dreaded Glastonbury mud but they’re not so good for covering miles of walking. Good walking shoes seem to cover all eventualities and usually end on on year 2 packing lists. If they’re not cool for your festival photos then just crop them out.
- Waterproofs – the one item that you hope you’re taking and won’t need.
- Layers – because the temperature can differ over the course of the day and into the evening and won’t be just ‘hot’ or ‘cold’.
- A sun hat and long sleeved ‘lite’ top because sun burn is not cool and won’t look good in your photos.
- A ‘nighttime / early morning facilities visit cover-up’ (snappier description on a post card please) – be it a onesie or a trendy changing robe – you’ll be glad of it when you’re dashing but not, thankfully, flashing.
- Warm bed wear (including bed socks) – even the warmest days can be chilly nights.
2. Plan your journey carefully. If possible travel on the Tuesday evening and stay in a hotel or B&B near to the festival (or book Tuesday night if you’re staying with us at The Pop-Up Hotel). Download a festival playlist to get you in the mood and keep an eye on travel reports if you are travelling on the Wednesday morning.
3. If you’re pitching a tent on the festival site then, firstly, make sure that it’s a good one. The cheap ones are cheap for a reason and you’ll be miserable if you’re wet and cold. Decide where you’re going to camp before you set off – never near the toilets, a footpath or at the bottom of a hill. Park your car at the nearest point to your identified spot – dragging your ‘capsule wardrobe’ (which isn’t very capsule at all) any further than you need to will not be fun. If you can capture the exact position of your tent by using something like What3Words might help but make sure you all do it and try to capture some landmarks too. Oh, and don’t forget your torch.
4. Keep your festival ticket on you at all times. Wearing and showing your wristband is not enough to re-enter the festival once you have left, even just to go to the car. Keep your paper ticket, ID and wristband on you the whole time.
5. Have a plan but also be prepared to be flexible (if that makes sense). The festival site is big so it’s a good idea to move strategically so that you’re not zig zagging all over the place and end up being exhausted before the main event. Build in rest stops so that you don’t peak too early in the festival timetable.
6. Keep an eye out for secret sets. Glastonbury has stages which host secret sets and these are shown as ‘TBC’ on the Glastonbury program or online. Also keep an eye on @secretglasto on twitter as they announce the acts just before they take to the stage.
7. Pay attention to self care. This might sound a bit woo woo but, put simply, if you don’t take care of yourself then you won’t enjoy the festival. If you’re not staying with us at The Pop-Up Hotel in a comfy bed with proper bedding them make sure that you prioritise the items that will equal a good nights sleep. Warm layered bedding with a ‘keeping it dry’ strategy, appropriate clothing (see above), nourishing energy snacks, a refillable water bottle, sunscreen, pain killers, ear plugs and plasters.
8. Explore new things. It’s tempting to plan to tick of all of the main acts and must sees but we regularly have reports that the best festival experiences are had when you try something new and explore things you wouldn’t usually consider.
9. Always stay in contact. Now this one might feel a bit ‘give me 3 rings when you get home’ but, particularly if you’re in a group where you might have different start times, festival plans etc, staying in contact is key. Firstly, it’s a good idea to have an alternative number as your screen saver should you lose your phone and someone else finds it. Alternatively, stick a sticker with the same info on it so that one of your festival friends can be contacted to collect it. Secondly, it’s good to have a pre-agreed meet up plan. Phone batteries die quickly (which reminds us – take battery packs that you don’t mind leaving to charge) when you’re taking lots of photos – plus the mobile signal for, pretty much every network, is rubbish when the festival is on. X hundred thousand people all in one geographical area means no communication. You might be lucky and that message may pop through but, just in case it doesn’t, have pre-agreed meet up points and times for if modern communications fail you.
10. Always plan ahead. No-one wants to think about returning home before you’ve even set off but it’s good to plan. Leave clean, dry clothes and shoes (and maybe some long life snacks) in the car whilst you’re in the festival. A long journey in wet, muddy clothes should be avoided if you can. Remember to take everything home with you and try to be patient with the traffic. Everyone leaving at the same time means that the roads can be a challenge.
All that remains is for us here at The Pop-Up Hotel is to wish you THE very best festival.