the dorset cereals complete festival survival guide: part 1 – before you go
Planning on going to a festival this year? Don’t attempt it without first reading our complete survival guide. Part one gives you essential tips for planning your blissed-out weekend – including the ten really useful items you almost certainly didn’t think of…
look beyond Glasto
These days there are literally hundreds of festivals to choose from, including several near you. The trick is to choose one that suits you and your tastes. So if you like chilling in the grass listening to the gentle acoustic strummings of a singer-songwriter, avoid a hardcore dance festival. Or if you’re planning a fun glamping adventure with the kids, make sure you choose a suitably family-friendly event.
As we’re in Dorset we have to recommend Bestival, which is taking place at Lulworth Estate (7-10 September).
And we’re also very keen on Cornbury in Oxfordshire (7-9 July), at which we’ll be appearing to dish out free breakfast goodies – sort of like Easter bunnies, only in July. And with cereal.
make a camping checklist
The time to be carefree and spontaneous is when you’re at the festival. Before you go, it pays to plan with military attention to detail. Make lists!
Obviously you’ll need all the camping essentials – tent, head torches, sleeping bag, loo roll, sun cream, some basic first aid things, a massive water bottle etc.
A good basic checklist is provided by Go Outdoors here.
…and include the following ten essentials you almost certainly didn’t think of:
Here are the ten things that seasoned festival-goers know to bring:
- A trolley – this helps you get over the first major hurdle of festivals: the epic walk from the car park to the camping fields carrying all your stuff
- A good handful of spare tent pegs – it’s amazing how they get lost, or bent during hammering. Loaning out your spares is also a good way to make friends with your new neighbours!
- Duct tape – allows to you fix almost any camping gear malfunction, at least for a day or two.
- Portable phone charger – there will likely be a phone charging point, but why pay and/or queue?
- Baby wipes – because unless you’re really glamping, you won’t be showering for a few days.
- A small, handy backpack – allowing you to carry your daytime essentials around, because you don’t want to spend hours walking to and from the tent
- An umbrella seat stick – an ingenious device that enables you to keep the rain off, or sit down (although if you want to do both at the same time you’ll need two).
- Bin bags – for taking your rubbish home, and in extremis, wearing.
- Earplugs – if you’re over 25, you’re probably going to want to get some These will help you survive alongside those youthful types who don’t seem to need any shut-eye at all.
- A distinctive flag – so you can find your tent when you struggle back to camp at 4am.
dress for survival as well as style
Although you will of course want to look good for your Instagram selfies, the reality of festivalling in Britain is that there may be some Weather. So you need a sun hat, shorts, a raincoat and something for unexpected chilliness.
You may well regret high heels but never a good pair of sturdy boots or even wellies.
Above all, you need lots of pockets for all your bits and bobs.
and finally – don’t forget the golden rule of packing for festivals
Try not to take anything that you couldn’t bear to lose!
Coming up in Part 2: How to survive during the festival – and how to bring the vibe home.
Fancy putting the theory into practice? Come and see Bryan Adams, Kaiser Chiefs, Jools Holland, The Pretenders and us – at the Cornbury festival, England’s most civilised gathering!
7-9 July at The Great Tew Park in Oxfordshire. Full details here.