SpunOut.ie’s top 10 festival tips
Check out our tips for all things festival this year!
Written by spunout
Fact checked by experts and reviewed by young people.
This year there has never been more outdoor concerts and festivals happening around the country. Whether you’re camping or a day-goer, there are some very important things you need to consider.
Top ten summer festival tips
1. Toiletries and suncream
There will be lots of mess and a lack of clean facilities so there is no excuse for not being prepared. Make sure to bring baby wipes, toilet paper, dry shampoo and anything else you will need to keep yourself fresh over the weekend. Festivals aren’t always the cleanest of places. Anti-bacterial hand gel is a great way to keep clean after a portaloo or before eating food from a food van.
Even though the chances are high that it will rain the entire weekend, in the off chance that it doesn’t you need to be prepared with a high factor suncream. Applying it before you head to the stages in the morning will mean that if that sun does come out you will be protected and won’t have to worry about serious sun damage. Remember to apply it to places like your neck, ears and hairline as these are places that are easy to forget but meet the sun first.
Everyone going to a festival should be prepared and bring condoms. When drunk finding a condom may not be easy so it is better to come prepared. Always practice safer sex and use a condom during sex. Remember that you can also catch STIs from oral sex.
3. Dress appropriately
Bring clothes for all weather, wearing light layers means you can stay warm in the wind and rain and then peel off when the sun comes out. Bringing shoes that are waterproof and comfortable will ensure that you can make the most out of your festival weekend. A raincoat or poncho is also a great investment.
4. Black bags
Might seem strange but if things end up being a washout, black bags will be handy for keeping your wellies/wet clothes separate from the rest of your tent’s contents over the weekend.
5. Bring food and snacks
Food at festivals is expensive. Bring plenty of snacks like cereal bars with you to help keep the hunger at bay. It will save you a fortune and save you from wasting a lot of time in long queues.
If you’re camping, it’s a good idea to get there early to get a good spot to pitch up your tent. Try to avoid camping near the toilets as after a day of thousands of users, they’ll start to stink. Also, before you leave home, check that you have all the bits and pieces you need for putting up your tent. You don’t want to arrive and realise you left the bag of pegs on the kitchen table.
Remember to bring a torch as it will be helpful for navigating your way around the campsite late at night. Even if you have once on your phone your battery might die early in the weekend so having a backup is always helpful
7. Leave the valuables at home
Although you may want to bring a speaker or camera it is probably best to leave them at home. It will not be safe to leave anything in your tent or even carry them with you into the festival. Some festivals may have locker facilities but even then, what is the point of bringing something you will then just have to lock away.
8. Choose a meeting point
In the not-so-unlikely event that you get separated from your friends, have somewhere picked before hand to meet. Preferably somewhere identifiable such as the first-aid tent or a specific bar or stage.
9. Fully charged phone and power bank
Make sure you have a full battery on your phone for the day in case of emergencies and if you’re there for the weekend, find out where there are phone-charging facilities around the camp. Make sure you have all your friends’ contact details written down somewhere in case you lose your phone or your battery dies. Get your hands on a power bank and have that fully charged too. They’re a cheap way of keeping your phone charged for longer.
10. Pace yourself
Alcohol will more than likely be consumed so pace yourself. It’s going to be a long day/weekend so take breaks and drink plenty of water in between alcohol, as it will keep you hydrated and prevent a hangover. Remember, there’s no point spending a fortune on the festival experience if you can’t remember any of it the next day. Besides, drinking too much will mean you’ll spend too much time queuing for the toilets and missing out on the music. Generally, drunkenness can mean missing the music as you may make yourself, get lost or not be able to remember it the next day.
Safety and help
Alcohol and drugs
Never leave your drink unattended, or accept a drink from someone you don’t know, as it could be spiked. Do not mix drugs or drugs and alcohol as you do not know how they will interact with each other. If you have taken drugs and feel ill, make your way to the first aid area, and tell them what you’ve taken so they know how to treat you. Check out our information on alcohol and drugs.
If you fear for your safety or a friend’s, don’t be afraid to talk to the stewards and security on site or members of St John’s Ambulance service.
I’ve been assaulted
If you have been a victim of rape or an assault it is very important that you report it immediately. It is also important that you get checked by a medical professional, so make sure you visit the first-aid area and let someone know what has happened.
I’m feeling really down
The combination of too much rain or sun, or alcohol and drugs, can be enough to make anyone feel miserable. If you do need to talk to someone, remember that there is always help out there. Make your way to the first-aid area, or talk to a steward and let them know how you are feeling.
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).