the dorset cereals complete festival survival guide: part 2 – during (and after)
Planning on going to a festival this year? Don’t attempt it without first reading our complete survival guide. Part one gave you pointers for planning your weekend of freedom, now Part 2 provides the essential tips for during and after the festival…
Many festivals allow you in a day early (i.e. on the Thursday for a three-day festival) – so if you can take the extra day off work this enables you to extract maximum value for your ticket money and get the best camping spots.
And if you wish, you can sneak off early on the Sunday evening and beat the Monday-morning hungover traffic jams, without feeling you didn’t get your money’s worth.
pitch your tent and mark your territory on arrival
Unless you’re a well-practised camper, pitching your tent is usually the most annoying bit of the festival, so get it done straight away while you’re still fully compus mentis so you can enjoy the rest of day without worrying about it.
But remember that when you come back in the evening you will face a sea of near-identical tents that seems much bigger and more confusing than when you left it, so (very important this) make sure you mark your territory with a large distinctive flag, banner or other visible novelty item.
And as you wander off towards the fun, make a mental note of landmarks that will help you find your way back home.
prepare to go analogue
Even in 2017, phone signals and the internet tend to go awol at festivals – especially remote ones. So be prepared to use retro ‘analogue’ methods of coordinating with your pals, like prearranged meetings at particular times and places! (Top tip: if your child/nephew/other young relative owns a walkie-talkie set, this can be a lifesaver when the phones let you down.)
befriend someone tall
Tall people are incredibly useful in festival crowds as they become your own personal mobile landmark and meeting-point. Especially if you can persuade them to wear a funny hat.
don’t leave drinks unattended
Obligatory sensible safety advice: don’t consume anything offered to you by a stranger if you’re not sure what it contains, and don’t leave your drinks where something might be added to them.
let it go…
Having done all the sensible things above, get out there, stop worrying about rules and lists and the time, and enjoy the festival spirit. That’s the whole reason you came, after all…
Postscript: Keeping the festival vibe alive
There is a well-known phenomenon known as ‘Post-Festival Blues’ – whereby you experience a terrible comedown after three days of fun in which you lost all sense of time and responsibility.
Most people seem to deal with the comedown by lying on the sofa watching children’s television, eating comfort food and sobbing gently. But there are better ways to readjust to reality while retaining some of that lovely festival feeling of freedom, music and love for humanity. Here are three:
1) Rewatch the highlights – if your festival is a big one the highlights may well be on BBC 4. So, as long as you remembered to record it (or can find it on catch up) you can relive the best moments on your sofa and keep the vibe alive.
For smaller festivals, try Youtube – there’s often an ‘Aftermovie’ to enjoy. Failing that, you can always just play the greatest hits of whatever bands you can remember seeing.
2) Be nice to your body again – sleep well and deeply, give your liver a break and get some vitamins. Your body will thank you and you’ll soon start feeling good about life again.
3) Appreciate the good things about civilisation – as fun as festivals are, reality does have a lot going for it too. So you may as well enjoy things like a lovely long hot shower, a comfy bed, healthy food, and of course, a proper loo. Then when you feel better you can start planning for next year…
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.
At Dorset Cereals we believe that all Britain is there just waiting to be explored, and that adventures can be had every weekend. Find more pocket adventures here.
Image credit top: Eva Rinaldi via Creative Commons.