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Festival survival guide


New to the world of festivals, and yet to hone your game? Read on for some in-the-know tips for festival survival.

Photo by Ashton

You’re tired, covered in mud, there’s ringing in your ears – but you feel surprisingly happy… In that case, you’re probably at a festival.

Nowadays there’s an incredible abundance of festivals spanning the summer – for families, moshers, folksters and groovers alike. But whatever type of affair rocks your world, has some handy hints which just may enhance your festival experience, or safeguard against disaster.

What shall I pack?

There are a million and one lists on the web advising what to pack for an outdoor festival, with all the usual suspects – bottle opener, toilet paper, sunblock, wellies if it’s raining, a torch, a tent… But here are a few cunning festival items you may not have thought of:

  • Wet wipes! If it’s an outdoor festival, be sure to have these. Either that, or resign yourself to muck.
  • And, still on the subject of cleanliness, antibacterial hand wash.
  • If you need to travel light, spirits will be easier to carry than crates of beer*.
  • A Tupperware container with your ideal proportions of coffee, sugar, and powdered creamer will save on space, and obviates the need for milk (which you may not be able to keep fresh).
  • A wind-up or battery-powered phone charger.
  • A helium-filled balloon. If you meet someone you like, ask if you can tie the balloon to their wrist. Then you’ll be able to easily identify them in a crowd. Don’t assume that you’ll have data or mobile reception.
  • Many mark their camping areas with flags. If you're going to do so, go for something distinctive.

  • String and bin bags. Can come in handy for all sorts of things. You can even fashion them into a stylish makeshift cagoule.
  • Dioralyte can be used to re-hydrate yourself. Handy if you’ve been out in the sun all day, or enjoyed yourself a bit too much.
  • Mini Cheddars. Needs no further explanation.
  • Take a Break magazine! For a bit of hilarity and ludicrousness during wind-down moments.
  • Someone to share your tent, so you can cuddle up if it gets too cold.

* obviously encourages you to enjoy your drinks responsibly.

Home insurance away from home

If you’re taking any items of value, they may be insured if you have personal possessions cover on your home insurance – or on a parent’s policy (if, for example, you’re a student).

Obviously you should check the policy and exclusions before acting on this. But it may well come in handy if something like a phone or portable speaker gets stolen.

There’ll usually be an excess to pay. So if your £50 watch is stolen, but your excess is set at a hundred, then c’est la vie. Some policies may even cover you for lost cash – but again check the terms to be sure.

The value to which you can make a claim on your personal possessions cover will be capped, so do check your policy so you know the maximum.

However, bear in mind that going to a festival with high-value items is asking for trouble. If something is expensive and you really don't want to lose it, don't take it.

Do I need travel insurance?

If you find that your personal possessions aren’t covered by your home insurance policy, then getting travel insurance mightn’t be the world’s most terrible idea. There are plenty of single-trip policies that should cover you in case things go belly-up.

That said, if you’re travelling anywhere else this year – be it an international or domestic holiday, or indeed to more than one festival – then it’s worth checking if you get more pow! for your pound from an annual policy.

Should I go by car?

Unfortunately, it’s a sad fact that if you park your car on a festival site in an unattended field, then it won’t be the biggest surprise in the world if it gets broken into. Plus it’s worth bearing in mind that where a window is smashed in an attempted theft, but nothing’s taken, it's likely to be seen as a windscreen/window claim rather than a theft, and as such won’t be covered on a third-party, fire & theft policy.

What if I break down?

When travelling anywhere by car, having breakdown cover may well provide peace of mind. This writer’s own first trip to a festival was blighted by the camper van breaking down before the travellers had even escaped their home town. That’s when breakdown assistance can prove really handy.

And’s final top festival tip…

Have an awesome time!


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