With the ever popular Beatherder festival starting today (12.07.19) Here at Inspire felt it was important to give out some festival Advice and how to be safe! Whether you’re a battle-hardened festival-goer or this is your first foray into the mud and music, you’re always on the dos and don’ts learning curve of a successful festival experience. To get you off to a good start, we’ve put together a collection of festival tips in an Festival Survival guide.
Festivals really aren’t as scary as your older relatives might tell you, but do make sure that you are aware of the horrors that can happen. However, it’ll only be a success if you’ve prepared accordingly…
Tickets – Your entry into the campsite and the arena often relies on two separate tickets, sometimes with a wristband, so it’s best to take everything that was sent out in the post just in case. For festivals that have areas where you can collect pre-ordered tents or alcohol, you’ll probably need a printout of the details.
ID – Don’t just rely on your charming smile. You will only get served if you can prove your age!
Cash – Make sure you take some out before you go, and keep it stowed away somewhere safe and on you at all times. Don’t leave your wallet or purse lying about or in a pocket that’s easily accessed in crowds.
Phone and Portable Charger – When you’re camping, you just can’t have one without the other. Make sure they both have a full battery before embarking on your festival venture and leave some charge in case of emergency.
When camping at a festival, you should aim to arrive as early as possible in order to get a good spot in the campsite. Pitch up with pals and create a circle if there are enough tents, and you’ll have your own communal area. Once everything has been set up, including camping furniture, locate some memorable nearby landmarks. Funky tents will also make it easier to spot where you’re based in the off chance you get lost.
Don’t leave any valuables unattended in your tent when away from the campsite. Always keep your cash, ID, phone and tickets on your person in a Bum Bag.
Torches! Whether it’s a head torch or a classic lantern, this will come in very handy when getting back to your tent in the dark, and to see when getting changed or as ambience when winding down.
Stock up on food and drink so you don’t spend a fortune at the burger vans all weekend. Remember not to litter, and bring a few bin bags to keep your rubbish in, dropping them off at the bins either every day or at the end of the festival.
We’ve already had a quick chat about your valuables (bum bags!), but there are another few things to go through quickly.
Drinking can be a big part of festivals worldwide – but in the UK, this is even more so. Be aware that you are in a new environment surrounded by new people and always keep your wits about you. Travel in pairs, ask your friends to hold drinks instead of putting them down and remember to regularly re-hydrate with water. Overdoing it isn’t fun for anyone, and you don’t want to put yourself in danger or be a burden on your campmates.
If you’re part of a big group, make sure to have everyone’s number saved so you can get in contact if anyone gets lost or there’s an emergency.
Being exposed to the sun all day with little-to-no shade means sun cream will be your best mate. Put it on every morning and re-apply to any exposed areas when you can throughout the day.
Baby wipes will also become a good friend of yours, as they come in handy for so many things – spillages, dirt, scrapes and even as a make-shift shower.
Hand sanitiser is another must-have for festivals. Bring two, as this way you can keep one in the tent and one in your bum bag, so your hands stay clean on the go.
Don’t forget your toothbrush and toothpaste either. You never know who you’re going to meet, and all you need is a bottle of water to keep those teeth clean and your breath fresh!
Going to a festival in Recovery
It’s one thing to talk about how great music festivals are in recovery- it’s a whole other thing to successfully stay sober once you’re in that mix. Going to a music festival in recovery and without a plan or preparation is a relapse waiting to happen. Here’s a few tips if you plan to go to one:
- Bring sober friends. Camping with other sober people adds some accountability and gives you some people to lean on if you’re tempted, and it also makes the whole experience more fun.
- Consider sober or family camping. Most festivals have “family camping” sections where drug use and alcohol isn’t allowed. This makes for a more relaxed camping “neighbourhood” and less temptation. Some events, like Aura Music Festival in Florida, have designated sober camps. Some groups at festivals and burns even hold twelve-step meetings for attendees. No matter the event, check out your sober camping options.
- Stay in touch. It’s important to keep in contact with your sober supports and sponsor while attending any event that’s heavy on the drug and alcohol use, especially music festivals.
- Make a plan. If you feel like you’re at risk of relapse, have an exit strategy, and be prepared to leave if necessary. There’s no shame in taking care of yourself, and no experience is worth more than your recovery.
If you’re not yet in recovery, the idea of attending a music festival without using substances may sound ridiculous or even boring. However, people in recovery have stated that they have had more fun experiences than when drug use/Alcohol use was consumed as they were able to fully take in the whole atmosphere and the talent on stage avoiding any tragic consequences to deal with either. If you’re interested in getting help or starting a journey in recovery, please fill in our referral form and we will have someone contact you.