Festival season is well and truly underway but if Standon Calling is anything to go by, the English weather is making things pretty tricky for festival goers. Not only do they have the normal issues to contend with – going to the loo in a dirty whole in the ground, waking up with a wet tent in your face, and having to trudge round fields for hours on end – they also have rivers of mud to navigate.
Standon Calling was so bad that they had to call the whole thing off. So if you’ve got your calendar full of festivals (and, if not, here’s a list of the ones that are on throughout August and September – oh, and some family-friendly ones too), then here’s how best to prepare.
1. Pick the right people to go with
When purchasing your tickets you might think that you’re doing a good deed when you buy a ticket for what’s-her-name because she’s been whining about it for ages and doesn’t really have anyone else to go with. Well, you’re wrong. Because whiny and clingy are just not what you need when you’re trying to listen to the dulcet tones of the XX or navigate treacherous mud slides. You need to go with a group of calm, rain-loving, groupies who could think of nothing better than diving into puddles head first… like this guy…
You need to go with a group of calm, rain-loving, groupies who could think of nothing better than diving into puddles head first... like this guy...
2. Pack for comfort not for style
So you think that Sienna Miller looks cute in her little floral playsuit? She does. But she also stays in five-star luxury accommodation. This means that instead of struggling with mud baths and long drops, she can take a pee on a loo that actually flushes and undress in the privacy of her fancy yurt. No matter how wonderful it makes you look, a playsuit is never going to be a good idea. Even if you justify it to yourself and make the same mistake year after year. Trust me, I’ve learnt the hard way.
3. Pack enough waterproofs to protect you from Niagara Falls
When we say pack waterproofs, we don’t mean a pac a mac. We’re talking army defences against rain. Wellies, waterproof trousers, hardy anoraks, umbrellas – you name it, you pack it.
Alternatively, you can embrace millennial living and swap all of this attire for a simple bikini and some glitter. It seems a popular way to go.
4. Invest in a sturdy tent
Pop up tents are a great invention. They come in a nifty carry case and you can put them up in seconds. Which is perfect… if you live in Egypt, which has the lowest rainfall of any country in the world. But it just so happens that we live in England, seemingly one of the wettest. So instead of floating off on a tsunami of dirt, invest in something that’s going to last. Who are we kidding? Book yourself into a luxury yurt immediately.
5. Pack for all weather
Here we are rabbiting on about torrential downpours, when we all know that once you’ve packed everything to keep the tsunami at bay, there will be a heatwave. You could be clever about it and pack those trousers that zip off into shorts, but you’ll obviously look like a dweeb. Instead just make sure to take suncream, hats and sunglasses with you as well. Then it will definitely rain.
Make sure to pack suncream, a hat and sunglasses. Then it will definitely rain.
6. Bring bumbags back from the 90s
Back in the day, you used to wear bumbags to the airport to keep your passport safe. Nowadays the kids wear them to festivals to keep their MDMA safe. Whatever you might think of them, they are very practical and for someone who loses their belongs on an hourly basis, they’re quite useful at a festival. Plus, every brand you can think of is bringing one out, from Sports Direct to Moschino. I just draw the line at the cross-body ones.
7. Make wet wipes your friend
Forget showers, clean water and feeling fresh, as you might have gathered festivals are all about getting reacquainted with dirt. Which is why the trusty wet wipe is going to be your favourite companion. Not just for spillages and hand sanitising, wet wipes also double up as your daily shower. A quick clean under the armpits and your ready for a day of raving. There are even some designed just for this purpose – try these shower sheets from Yuni.
8. Invest in earplugs and a pillow
You might think we’re being a bit extra, but you’ll thank us when you’re trying to sleep through the person vomiting against your tent. Earplugs help to cut out the noise and a pillow will give your head some welcome relief and the false belief that you’re sleeping somewhere comfortable.