How to get back on track after a festival
If things went wrong here’s how to make them right again
Written by spunout
Fact checked by experts and reviewed by young people.
Festivals can be one of the highlights of the summer season, but there are also certain mishaps which can come with them. Not everyone’s festival experience is ideal, and in some cases, you might lose your belongings, end up sick or make some decisions you may later regret. Here are some tips to deal with what may have gone wrong on your festival weekend.
How to look after yourself after a festival
Losing your personal belongings
In large crowds or when you are drunk, it can be easy to lose personal belongings. If this happens to you, there are a few steps you could take:
- If you lose your phone or if it is stolen, you will need to contact your phone/network provider to cancel your number and any bills and report it missing if you have to claim from your insurance
- If your wallet is stolen or lost, ring your bank as soon as possible to cancel any cards (AIB, BoI, Ulster Bank, Permanent TSB)
- If you’re abroad and have lost your passport, you will need to contact the nearest embassy or consulate for support
Try to prepare for your festival weekend by thinking about how you will keep your belongings safe.
- Before going to a festival it’s a good idea to invest in a secure bag or jacket
- If you are wearing a backpack, buying a lock for the zips will insure that no one can open it when it’s on your back
- When choosing a jacket, if you can bring one which has zipped pockets on the inside you will be able to keep your valuables close
- If you are staying in a tent, bring a lock for the zip so you can lock it when you are not there
How to help a hangover
A weekend of little sleep mixed with alcohol and fast food can leave you feeling drained. While at the festival, it will make a big difference to your health if you try to continuously drink water and bring healthy options with you to snack on such as fruits and nuts. Once home, continue to keep hydrated and try to get a full night’s sleep before you have to head back to work or college.
It can also help to do things that make you feel good, such as watching movies you enjoy or being around friends. Hangovers can make you feel often cause feelings of anxiousness, so it is good to stay somewhere you feel safe while you get back to feeling yourself. If you are feeling down after a festival and want to speak to someone, our free, 24/7 text support service Text About It is there to help. Text SPUNOUT to 50808 to speak to a trained volunteer.
What should I do if I had unprotected sex?
It’s always a good idea to carry some form of protection, such as condoms or dental dams, if there’s a possibility of sex. If you’ve had unprotected sex over the weekend, there is a risk you could have a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI). It’s a good idea to get an STI test as soon as possible. Find a list of free STI clinics across Ireland here.
If there’s any possibility that you could have become pregnant after unprotected sex, you may want to take emergency contraception, especially if you used no protection. Even if you used another form of contraception other than a condom, such as the pill or bar, if you had sex with a new partner it’s still important to get an STI check.
How to care for sunburn
Even at an Irish festival, it’s important to wear suncream. Spending whole days standing at festival stages mean you will be exposed to sun, and even if it is raining in the morning the sun may be shining in the afternoon. Before you leave your house/tent in the morning, apply a high factor to anywhere on your body that will be exposed to the sun. Bring extra suncream with you so that you can also top it up during the day.
If you do get burnt try to use some aftersun or lotion with aloe vera and drink plenty of water. If the burn is very severe you may need to visit your GP or go to the first aid tent at the festival.
Navigating social media
Over the course of the weekend people may be taking photos and videos and posting them across social media. If you have posted anything that you now regret remember you can always take them down. Similarly if a friend or someone you know has posted a picture of you online which you don’t feel comfortable with you should ask them to take them down. Most people have been in the situation where a photo they don’t like of them has been posted online, so they should understand where you are coming from. If there is photo from the festival of you or someone else on social media which you think is inappropriate you should report it. Visit our online safety hub for more information on reporting or blocking someone online.
It is completely understandable to feel down after a festival weekend, especially if you drank a lot. Alcohol is a depressant and mixed with a lack of sleep it can leave you feeling drained and not yourself. Catch up on your sleep and get back to eating normal and healthy foods and you’ll notice a difference in no time. If the comedown from the excitement of your festival weekend is lasting longer than you think it should, it might be a good idea to talk to someone.
Need more information, advice or guidance?
We offer information, advice and guidance about the issues that matter to you. Our online Youth Information Chat service is for 16 to 25 year olds and is available Monday to Friday, 4pm to 8pm (excluding Bank Holidays).