Going to a Festival
If you’ve been thinking of taking the plunge and going to a festival with your family, here are our tips on how to make sure you have the best time ever.
Dip a toe in
Festivals are pricy, there is no doubt about that, with the often hefty price of a ticket, travel costs, and the money you’ll spend while there. So you might want to think about buying a day ticket. You can see how the kids react, check out the camping facilities, and know that you have your own comfy bed to go home to at the end of the day.
Only buy festival tickets from official outlets, preferably via the festival website itself. Never buy from a third party that may be selling tickets at a higher price. Many festivals now offer ‘early bird’ tickets at a discount.
The bigger the festival, the more people will be trying to get there. Expect traffic and queues around the festival site. Many festival sites open the day before, which is great because you can settle in, with the best choice of where to camp, before the place fills up.
Bring on the camping
Unless you are taking a caravan or camper van, you’ll probably be camping and that means lugging your stuff from the car park to the designated camping area. So if you’ve got loads to carry you may want to take a trolley. At festivals the camping is normally basic ie a field, probably a tap, and portaloos. There may be a family area to camp in, which should in theory be quieter. As well as a tent and sleeping bags, an airbed or inflatable mattress will make a massive difference to your comfort.
Although you don’t want to be too weighed down (see above about walking with your stuff!), it will add to your enjoyment of the festival if you take: folding or blow-up chairs, bin bags, head torch or a LED lantern, water bottles and snacks, a basic first aid kit. You’ll need toilet paper, and wet wipes, a travel-sized bottle of anti-bacterial hand sanitiser and a small mirror can all be useful. Zip locks plastic bags are handy for keeping things dry. A recharger pack means you can easily charge your mobile phone (some festivals have charging stations but may ask you to pay). Ear protection for the smaller children, for loud music. It’s a good idea to take snacks and picnic food as feeding everyone from the food stalls all weekend can be really expensive. But don’t bring glass bottles, as they will probably be confiscated as you go in.
Sunny D bottles are perfect. Put a couple in the freezer and take them along in an ice box. They’ll double up as ice packs and provide delicious icy drinking when they melt.
Whatever the weather
You’ll have seen the photos of Glastonbury mud baths. Hopefully your festival experience won’t involve quite so much rain but it is best to be prepared for all kinds of weather! For that Sunny D sunshine, bring plenty of sunscreen, sun hats, sunglasses and long-sleeved tops, you can easily get burned when you’re outdoors all the time. Just in case you’re not so lucky, take along wet-weather and warm clothes.