The 13 Most Essential Festival Tips For a Top Weekend

Have a great time, whatever the weather

Written by: Dave Owen

Music festivals are one of the best ways to spend a long summer weekend: good friends, good bands, and good times. What’s not to like?

Actually, quite a lot. A festival can quickly turn into a miserable experience if you’re not properly prepared. That’s why we’ve put together our top festival tips to make sure you’ll have a weekend to remember – for all the right reasons.

Check the weather…

Festivals are famous for their mud – in the UK, at least – but it’s no good just assuming it’s going to be wet, only to find yourself totally ill-equipped for a weekend of blazing sunshine. Check the weather regularly before you leave home so you know what to expect.

Music festival mud

…and pack accordingly.

If it’s going to rain on your parade (er, festival) make sure you pack the requisite wellies and a good waterproof raincoat. Nothing will ruin your weekend like being soaked for the duration. You should also take a pair of hiking boots to help you get around when the mud turns sticky.

If it’s going to be dry, you need to prepare for dust. It will get everywhere. For many this is merely an annoyance, but anybody suffering with asthma or similar conditions should carry their inhaler with them at all times. You might also consider taking a face mask (which has the added bonus of protecting you from the pervasive stench of body odour).

Pitch your tent uphill

It’s worth arriving early on the first day of the festival to secure a good camping spot. Pitching uphill means you won’t end up sinking into a bog if the rain gets really bad. It might also stop other fluids running downhill and into your tent…

Take a roll of bin bags

Whatever the weather, the humble bin bag is central to so many festival hacks. You can load your possessions into one to keep them dry inside your tent, wear one as a makeshift raincoat in a pinch, and use them to keep your campsite nice and tidy.

Take wet wipes

Wet wipes are one of the most versatile festival items: freshen up your pungent armpits, clean mud from your phone screen, wipe down a toilet seat before use, clean your hands off before eating… carry them with you at all times and you won’t regret it.

Empty campsite festival

Take sandwich bags

You probably won’t have a packed lunch with you at a festival, but re-sealable sandwich bags are an essential item for keeping your possessions safe and dry. At the first sight of rain, just seal your phone, money, and anything else important inside a bag and pocket it. Sorted.

Wear sun cream

Standing in an open field for hours on end is the perfect way to get sun burn. Beside that being bad for your health, it can also make the rest of the weekend utterly miserable. Even if the weather forecast is for rain, wear sun cream (preferably factor 30 and above) just in case the cloud breaks.

Camp near a recognisable landmark

The field might be nice and empty when you arrive, but it’s soon going to fill up with near-identical tents. Setting up camp near an obvious landmark – like a path or a toilet block – will make it much easier to navigate home when you’re a little worse for wear. Remember, you need to be able to find it in the dark.

Carry a torch with you

A landmark is no good if you can’t see it. A pocket torch (or even better, a headlamp) will make finding your camp significantly easier. It’s also useful for going to the toilet in the night, or just for finding things inside your tent.

Don’t rely on your phone light – chances are you’re going to run out of battery at some point.

Music festival friends sitting

Pack a portable phone charger

Most festivals these days offer on-site charging points, but it’s not worth queuing for hours just to be able to update Instagram. Packing a portable travel charger means you can keep your phone alive without missing out on any fun.

Don’t do drugs

We’re not your parents, but there are so many reasons to avoid drugs at a festival. If you’re buying on site, you really have no idea what you’re getting. It’s incredibly easy to get separated from your mates and lost in the crowd. And if something does go wrong, you might be a long way from medical help.

This is one of our most important festival tips. It’s just not worth the risk.

Leave early or late

By the end of a festival you’ll be exhausted, filthy, and smell like the underside of a camel. The last thing you want is to be stuck in the inevitable bottleneck of people desperately trying to return to civilised society. Get up early to avoid the crush, or sleep in a while and wait until the masses have thinned out.

If all of the above sounds like a nightmare…

…consider staying in a hotel instead of camping. Yes, it’s not the complete festival experience. But if you just want to enjoy some bands without the deprivation, it’s worth spending a little more for a quiet, secure room and a clean, soft bed.

Check out these top travel experiences


Oktoberfest – All Inclusive Camping

from £60.00

2 - 20 days

Oktoberfest is the biggest beer festival in the world and Stoketoberfest is the biggest party outside the beer halls. Includes...

Finance Internship in New York

from £4,965.00

42 - 180 days

New York City is a global financial hub that will leave you wanting more. Current student, recent graduate or professional...

Combined TEFL Course Seoul

from £1,011.00

10 days

Join our 10-day combined TEFL course in Seoul and become a TEFL/TESOL certified teacher of English as a foreign language.

Southeast Asia’s Biggest Adventure – Do the Lot!

from £1,620.00

40 - 365 days

Do the Lot! The ultimate flexible hop-on, hop-off guided travel pass offering a fun and hassle-free way travel to Thailand,...

Philippines – Island Hopping Adventure

from £1,682.00

28 days

Spend 4 weeks on some of the remotest islands of the Philippines to explore and contribute whilst being immersed in...

Land of the Northern Lights

from £836.00

5 days

A tour to discover Iceland’s nature and cultural life, with two nights in Iceland’s vibrant capital Rykjavík and two nights...

Eco-Building Project

from £845.00

10 - 84 days

On this award-winning project, you will help develop the local town of Livingstone with innovative and self-sustaining structures, using innovative...

New Zealand’s Ultimate Road Trip

from £760.00

31 - 360 days

Discover the real New Zealand from the far North to the very far South. Experience all the hotspots as well...

Homestay Programme in China

from £550.00

30 - 90 days

Placements in Beijing, Tianjin, Chengdu, or Shenzhen, gain tutoring experience & live with a Chinese family, learn Mandarin.

Chinese State School Teaching Placement

from £549.00

330 days

Teach in a Chinese state school for a year and get a taste of what life is like in this...

Check out these top travel tours


Italian Espresso

from £849.00

7 - 7 days

So damn bellissimo is this country that you may never want to leave. We'll see you oohing and aahing over...


from £365.00

3 - 4 days

Scotland for New Year's: now THIS is a thing. One of the world's biggest parties, your Hogmanay hiatus comes complete...

Nicaragua & Costa Rica

from £488.00


Whether it’s the twin volcanoes reflected in the water of Lake Nicaragua, the smell of rich morning coffee in the...

China Real Food Adventure

from £1,715.00


Welcome to enigmatic China, where culture, history and cuisine all combine to create a truly mesmerising travel experience. Taste the...

Iguazu Falls

from £340.00


Straddling the border of Argentina and Brazil, the Iguazu Falls stretch almost 3 km and this short tour provides opportunities...

The Best of Brazil


From the heat of Rio’s nightlife to the chilled out atmosphere of Ilha Grande, discover the treasures of Brazil on...

Burgundy by River Barge


There may be no more beautiful way to explore the countryside villages of timeless Burgundy than from a river barge...

Antarctica Classic in Depth

from £4,899.00


Like our "Antarctica Classic" tour, this 13-day expedition introduces you to the magic of the South Shetland Islands and the...

Tehran to Tashkent Overland

from £3,558.00

Iran, Islamic Republic of

Exploratory Trip Warning - this is a new trip for us! Please note that all or part of this trip...

Best of Italy

from £2,095.00


La dolce vita - the good life - is exactly what the Best of Italy trip is all about. Starting...

Find more articles about festivals

[contact-form-7 id="4" title="Contact form 1"]