How to Prepare for a Music Festival
Heading off to a music festival this summer? If so, you're in for a wild time. Some of my best experiences ever have happened at music festivals. The atmosphere. The music. The lights. The fun and sense of community. Seeing some of your idols in the flesh.
What an experience!
However while this is the case, there are a number of preparations you should make in advance to fully enjoy the music festival you are going to attend.
Firstly, if it is a multi-day festival (as so many are these days) are you going for the whole thing? If the answer is yes, then the next question is where you are going to sleep.
Most festival goers, if they are allowed, camp on site. It is the cheapest and most fun option. You are surrounded by other festival goers and is the ultimate experience. In this case you will of course need to own (or borrow) a tent together with a sleeping bag and something to lie on. Food can generally be bought from stalls at the music festival unless you think you're going to want to brew up some coffee in the middle of the night.
There are also downsides to camping though which leads other people to either stay in hotels or only visit for a single day.
The camp sites can understandably suffer from petty crime sometimes as things get stolen or damaged by overzealous (and drunk!) festival goers.
Also worth mentioning is the inevitable mud that accompanies such a field. With thousands of people trudging around a field for a weekend - often during rain - the camp sites can often turn into a swamp. Wellington boots are often necessary to walk around safely and people in unsuitable foodwear suffer every year.
It's not just your footwear to be aware of though. The mud can get everywhere - on your clothes, in your hair etc. So take at least one more change of clothes than you think you will need just incase.
Also bear in mind the noise. This is a music festival after all - a field full of drunk fun-lovers listening to loud music. Unless you are a very deep sleeper, some people find they don't manage to drop off to sleep at all overnight, meaning they are too tired to enjoy the following day. So either take ear plugs or consider alternative accommodation.
The last, and possibly most famous, thing to consider are the "facilities". In other words, festival toilets and showers are notoriously bad. The clean-freaks among us have difficulties coping with such conditions and make the thought of a comfy hotel room just that little bit more welcoming.
The long and short of it is this. If you want the full experience and you don't mind roughing it (to put it mildly) then consider camping at the festival. In contrast, you you like your home comforts (even just a little bit!) then I would recommend finding alternative accommodation. Then you can lie in your clean, peaceful hotel room after a lovely hot shower and think about everyone else lying in the mud trying to sleep with rock music pumping through the air just next door!
Richard Adams - Find out about the annual Reading music festival at Reading Berks.