A Summer of Festivals and what to do next…

As the nights begin to draw in, the temperature drops and we all start needing that ‘extra layer’ – we look back at some of the highlights of 2013 summer of music festivals and forward to the autumn. Plus we answer the nagging autumn question on every festival goers lips: ‘what do I do with that pile of outdoor gear now my summer of live music fun is over?’

Summer 2013 certainly wasn’t the wash-out that 2012 was. It stayed (mostly) dry and – for the first time in yonks – you could say that July was actually hot. Looking back at the main festivals of  2013 we think it was a year genuinely worthy of that overused-but-often-exaggerated of terms: Vintage. Memories really were made of this….

Glasto – Every June sleepy Somerset comes alive for possibly the biggest and most famous of all UK festivals – Glastonbury. 2013 saw a performance by one of the most hotly anticipated acts ever to grace Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage. In what was arguably their biggest ever Coup de Grâce – Michael and Emily Eavis had The Rolling Stones headlining their famous fest.  The reviews of those who were actually there were unanimous in their praise – but we think The Telegraph’s Neil McCormick nutshelled it in one:  “It was a rip roaring, uplifting, inspiring and quite sensational show, one that will go down in Glastonbury history, when a 50-year-old band played a 40-year-old festival and were given a heroic response…

If you were there you can relive some of the best bits on the Stones’ official YouTube Channel

If you weren’t – have a look anyway, you’ll wish you had been.

V-Festival The twin venue V festival has always been a bit of an eclectic mix of something-for-everyone mainstream music. That’s what makes it one of the most  family friendly events on the festival scene. 2013 didn’t disappoint. Jessie J rocked the afternoon slot whilst headline act Beyonce proved that just because it is pop, it doesn’t mean second rate musicianship. Her band were the standout summer hallmark for everything musical performance should be.

Wireless (Queen Elizabeth Park). For two wonderful fortnights in 2012 it was the centre of the world and in 2013 the former London 2012 Olympic Park played host to Barclaycard Wireless festival. And a good gig it was too. Sunday’s stellar finale of 2 1/2 hours of Justin Timberlake & Jay-Z was a match made in Stratford.  Of course, you wouldn’t have needed wellies or your tent at Wireless as it was scorching hot and you could get the tube home afterwards.

British Summer Time (Hyde Park) Almost slap-bang between our three  London Storage Locations – London’s Hyde Park plays host to perhaps our Capitals most authentic and biggest music festival – well, authentic in the sense that in the middle of London there’s actually some green open space and grass. Lasting a whopping 10 days, with 6 ticketed and 4 ‘open access’ days the  list of acts read like a who’s who of popular music. Once again though – The Rolling Stones were the headlining – and whilst they were run close by the likes of Bon Jovi and The Beach Boys – they proved they are the true definition of a Rock-and-Roll Band.

Want more in 2013…  if you still haven’t had enough festival experience this year there are a handful of autumn events that you might grab tickets for. If you’re getting the urge – The Looe Music festival down in Cornwall features southwest favourites Reef, plus Dizralei and the Small Gods, The Darkness, The Damned… oh, and cockney stalwarts Chas and Dave!

Festival kit – storage and checklist

For most people, the festival experience doesn’t usually extend to leaving a £40 Argos Tent, two pairs of wellies, an empty beer cooler and (to quote Pulp) an important part of your brain… somewhere… somewhere in a field in Hampshire.

Now the time has come to put the gear away for the winter you might be pondering where exactly you’re going to stow all that Festival paraphernalia. If your dome tent, sleeping bag and layroll won’t fit under the bed, a storage locker with us might be just what you need.  It’s somewhere safe and secure where – just like the standout Festival act of 2013 – it will gather no moss.

And for all the folks who never got to experience kit inspection on Scout camp – here’s the ABC Selfstore Festival Goers essentials checklist. Check it off into storage this autumn – and you’ll be ready to make a dash for the first of the festivals next spring.

  1. Tent (unless the weather forecast is brilliant and you fancy sleeping under the stars).
  2. Sleeping Bag
  3. Layroll (you’ll be freezing without one of these) or an airbed for more comfort (don’t forget the pump).
  4. Waterproofs + a brolly (don’t use it while watching acts though)
  5. Boots – wellies and walking
  6. Thick socks (to go with the boots)
  7. A camping stove, saucepan, water carrier, tea and coffee (whilst most festivals have round the clock refreshments available – there’s nothing like a nice cup of tea without having to get out of bed!).
  8. A Rucksack to put it all in/strap it to.
  9. Toiletries and a First Aid kit (don’t forget: wet wipes, insect spray, suncream, bite & sting cream and the all important paracetamol).
  10. Torch (preferably a wind-up one – then you won’t run out of battery – some even have an output to charge your phone)
  11. Waterproof gadget bags ( you don’t want your iPhone of Galaxy to get wet).
  12. Solar charger (most festivals have charging stations/lockers that you can put your phone) so you’ll be able to Tweet across the whole event.

And on the day – whatever you do – don’t forget your tickets, identification, cash, cards, keys and sunnies.

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