Advice for festival first timers…

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Festival season is in full swing and it seems more people than ever are venturing to open spaces, camping, glamping and generally hanging out for an extended weekend in the country, backed by their favourite bands and artists. With 2014 shaping up to be a vintage summer (looks like our complimentary biscuit crumbs were right) you might be thinking about joining the masses and enjoying one of the many festivals. If it’s your first time you’re probably wondering what to expect, and – more importantly – what to take, wear and eat. So here are some top-tips, to ensure your experience goes swimmingly, even if the current climatic events mean you don’t need wellies and an umbrella – ella – ella – eh – eh – eh …

Safety first

At the top of our list – for obvious reasons – is your own safety – and starts with your own personal safety – particularly at large events where you’ll be up most of the night. You don’t need SAS style close proaction training, but these basic rules should help: at the very least try and stay in twos. If you need to rush back to your tent because you forgot your Wet Wet Wet T-shirt and they’re about to take the main stage – take a friend with you. Certainly don’t go wandering off into dark corners of the festival site on your own.

Think about security for your possessions too – if you’ve prepared in advance you’ll likely have cash on you (festival cashpoints tend to have large queues and extortionate fees for withdrawing money). A money belt can help keep it secure and out of sight.

Then there’s the health side of safety. Most important is to keep yourself properly hydrated. If you’re having a beverage or two match each alcoholic drink with a small bottle of water. Balancing your drinking might mean you have to make one extra visit to the festival porta loos, but 1:1 fluid management will avoid you ending up with that killer dehydration headache and nausea. If the heatwave sticks with us (and there are no signs of it leaving anytime soon) then – as Baz Luhrmann once said – Wear Sunscreen. Get a routine for putting it on – first thing in the morning, after lunch and following an afternoon nap. We’d recommend factor-as-high-as-possible because it may just keep you protected a little longer if you forget to reapply.

Finally, take insect repellant and a first -aid kit including bite and sting cream. Whilst all good festival sites have comprehensive First Aid and Paramedic services, having your own will save you the bother for any little nicks, blisters, bites or stings.

Gadgets

Smartphones have become a de facto necessity for every festival goer. With onboard high quality cameras they’ve become the only gadget you really need. There will almost certainly be a festival app to help you keep up to date with everything that’s gone on, is going on and is due on. Make sure you have everyone in your party’s number and (if you have similar devices) you might consider enabling “Find my Friend” type geolocation services – so you can always find each other in a crowd.

Smartphones are only useful if they have power, so make sure you’ve a full charge before you set off. The more you use them (for example posting essential shots of you and your mates on social networking) the quicker it will be used up, and whilst most festivals have charging stations or lockers – but these can be extortionate in cost. A better and cheaper alternative is an external battery backup. You’ll likely get two or three recharges out of one of these. Something like the Anker Astro should just about keep you going for a full weekend.

Personal Hygiene

It’s not glamorous, but it is important. All that rocking, bopping, jumping, drinking and sweating – along with the healthy dirt of the great outdoors – mean that after a day or two things might get a bit ripe. If there aren’t showers (or there are – but the queue is just too mammoth) then a stock of disinfectant and sterile wipes, dry shampoo and loo roll will all help you stay fresh. Some nice smelling stuff with which to spray yourself is a good idea.

If you’ve never been in a festival toilet, trust us. The disinfectant and sterile wipes, along with the loo roll really are an absolute must.

Morning hands in the air

Festival Fashion 2014

So, what’s catwalk in 2014? How do you blend in, or stand out? The word is that bright colours and/or floral patterns are in for the ladies. On a practical side, we’ve already seen plenty denim shorts (and we mean short) paired with a Boho floaty top and wellies. Of course you’ll need a pair of shades too. Whether you plump for the full top-gun mirrored Aviators, or some Audrey Hepburn Breakfast at Tiffany’s elegance is up to you. Just don’t forget you’ll have put them up on top of your head once the sun goes down.

For the fellas, life is a little easier. Combine knee length shorts (light denim or cotton) with a sleeveless Tee or cotton shirt. Both tight-fit if you’ve got the figure to carry it off. Wrap around 70s style shades with a thicker arms and a Gold or Silver frame are a safe bet on the eyewear.

And when you get back – if you’re hooked and you find yourself in need of storage for all that festival gear, don’t forget we can help with one of our storage lockers – might be just what you need.

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