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Festival Survival Guide

Posted by Ceri Heathcote Oxfam Fashion blogger

22nd Jun 2016

Festivals are fun but surviving and enjoying the whole weekend to the maximum is much easier with a little forward planning.

Whatever the weather!

Check out the weather beforehand but be prepared for any weather. It is the UK after all! A lightweight waterproof jacket may not be the height of fashion but you will be glad you brought it if there is a torrential down pour. A sun hat and sun cream could be just as essential if the temperatures soar, helping to avoid sun burn and sun stroke. Even in the height of summer, temperatures can drop at night so don't forget to take a warm jumper and socks wrapped in a plastic bag to ensure they stay dry.  A few spare plastic bags may also come in very handy for transporting muddy shoes or clothes home.

Festival Fashion

The great thing about festival fashion is that, style wise, almost anything goes but practicality is also an important consideration. Most festivals take place on farmland and moving around the festival site can involve lots of walking on uneven ground particularly if the weather is wet. Comfortable boots and socks are a good choice and no one will bat an eyelid if you choose to wear them with a delicate floaty dress. Don't wear your best clothes or anything too expensive though as traipsing through muddy fields is likely to take its toll. Checking out your local Oxfam shop for a fun and colourful outfit or unusual and eye catching accessories is a good way to create your own unique and eclectic festival look without spending too much money.

Food and drink

Eating and drinking at festivals for a whole weekend can be an expensive business so save a bit of cash by taking some food with you. Check out cooking arrangements on the festival website in advance. Many festivals won't allow BBQ's, but you may be able to take a camping cooker to prepare yourself hot food and drinks. Go for simple food options as chances are you won't feel like cooking a gourmet campfire meal. Pots of instant porridge, cereal, granola bars or bagels are great for breakfast to help give you lasting energy. Packet noodles, pasta and couscous are also filling and quick to prepare. Tinned foods such as meatballs and spaghetti can also be convenient especially when the weather is hot and it is difficult to keep chilled foods cool: don't forget a tin opener. Whilst out and about flapjacks, dried fruit and nuts and biscuits are all easy to transport and eat. A refillable water bottle can be refilled on the campsite to reduce the cost and environmental impact of buying disposable bottles of water. Glass bottles are also usually a festival no no and will usually be confiscated on arrival.

Stock up on cosy colourful handmade blankets from Oxfam to keep you extra warm at night!


Try putting up your tent before you go the festival to avoid hours of frustration trying to figure it out when you could be having fun listening to the music. Don't forget to bring pegs, a mallet, a torch, a sleeping mat and sleeping bag to ensure you are nice and warm at night. A few don'ts for your tent include wearing shoes inside, leaving valuables inside when you are out (some festivals have lockers or property storage tents, but if you don't need it leave it at home to be safe ) and forgetting where you pitched your tent. A flag or solar powered fairy lights can be a good way to help find your way back to your tent amongst a sea of tents in the middle of the night but it is also good to make a mental note of where you are.

Other Festival Essentials

Other things that you will find really useful if not essential for a festival include toilet paper, hand sanitiser, face wipes and dry shampoo.

Keep Safe

  • Don't under any circumstances cook or BBQ inside or in the entrance to your tent or in any enclosed area. Carbon monoxide can be produced by any burning fuels; it is highly poisonous and can kill in minutes. Even smouldering coals or embers can release carbon monoxide.
  • Stick with your friends, be especially careful not to lose each other in very crowded places and have a pre-agreed meeting point in case you lose touch. Look after yourself and look out for each other.
  • If you are feeling unwell, head for the festival welfare tent where there will usually be first aiders to hand 24 hours a day. Familiarise yourself with its location when you arrive onsite.

Which festivals are you going to this year?

Have Fun!

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Blog post written by Ceri Heathcote

Oxfam Fashion blogger

More by Ceri Heathcote

Ceri Heathcote