August bank holiday just gone a friend and I went to the Leeds tangent of the Reading & Leeds Festivals. It was our first time at any type of camping festival ever. Now that I have experienced it I bring to you the TRUE first timers guide to festivals and camping…
Take on board all advice given on official websites and from people who have been before. I was told to bring lots of pillows, blankets and/layers of clothing. Instead I brought just one pillow, one thin sheet and pyjama SHORTS. This meant I ended up freezing and sore all over from lying on the cold, hard ground with just a tent and tiny sleeping bag separating my skin from the grass.
Listen to hints, tips and horror stories but don’t be freaked out by them. Me and my friend were told about tents being set alight and wee bombs flying through the air…whilst we were doing everything we could to make our tent flame retardant we didn’t see the huge cup of warm fluid come flying our way and land on our heads whilst raving to Chase & Status. So be wary and keep your eyes open but- most importantly- be ready for anything and learn to tolerate it.
REALLY don’t expect to shower. Seriously. All of the advice says it because it’s true. The girly girls that we are, my friend and I washed on day two in the muddy communal showers and became instantly dirty again on the trip from the shower back to our tent alone so it was pointless. Just as pointless as the trickle of water coming out of the ‘shower’ head in the first place.
Don’t worry, be happy. Maybe I shouldn’t tell you this but…Don’t feel like you have to bring loads of money. Depending on how you’re getting there etc. it’s possible to feed yourself using a mini cooler and disposable barbecue (one guy in my camp made himself a fry up every morning!). It’s possible to sneak your own drinks in so you don’t have to pay arena prices. You could have a pretty cheap weekend if you wanted to, you’re not supposed to be naughty and will be searched but there are ways around that which I shall leave you to figure out for yourself.
Finally, a personal tip from me. If you really don’t want to get wet, muddy and smelly then TOUGH, it will happen but you can be less wet and muddy and smelly by not standing right in the crowds. Taking a step back means less gunge but there’s still the atmosphere around you, the loud music and big screens for you to see the artists on.