Only a few more sleeps until Glastonbury! Going to Glastonbury Music Festival is a wonderful and brilliant experience, and with the right knowledge and preparation you can have fun whatever the weather. I have written this guide on festival advice for surviving Glastonbury for festival newbies who might not know what to expect.
If you’re attending other music festivals this year, you may find some of this information relevant for you too, especially the keeping dry, staying warm and toilet situation sections.
Waterproof trousers, an anorak and wellies are essential, not optional in my opinion. Every year I have gone I have taken all three and as soon as the clouds have broken quickly whipping on the waterproofs means you can continue as you were. Whilst everyone else is having to dive under a crowded tent to wait for the rain to stop, you can keep on dancing. Waterproof trousers are also super for when it comes to trekking though mud. You can just wipe them clean, so you don’t have to fret about getting your clothes muddy.
It gets to single digit temperatures in the evenings in the fields. Even on the hottest of days you are going to need to wrap up warm as soon as the sun goes down. Prepare some time to go back to the tent and change or take extra layers with you in your rucksack.
If you feel the cold like I do, thermals are a lifesaver. We always take ours and put them on under our clothes before we head down to the stages for the final acts of the day. I also sleep in mine as it can get freezing in your tent, and being tucked into a warm long sleeved thermals keeps you toasty. You can also roll up the sleeves if you get warm.
I also wear a fleece. Yes, I know they’re officially the most uncoolest garment ever but I would rather be cosy and warm than freezing my butt off.
You will not need to bring your own food. I’ve seen many campers take a stove, pan and cook themselves a cooked breakfast in the mornings, but it really is more hassle than it is worth. If you’re in the camping fields chances are there wont be enough space for you to safely cook anyway.
There are so many great food stalls. My favourite areas for food is the Greenpeace and Green Futures fields. There are food stalls for everything, from toasties to Indian street food.
Food can cost from £5-£10, and sometimes more depending on where you go. If you are going with a partner or bestie I would suggest sharing meals, particularly lunch as the portions can be generous.
The atmosphere at Glastonbury is amazing, and sometimes overwhelming. I have never personally gotten drunk at a festival, mainly because I find the atmosphere enough as it is, but also because I don’t want to loose control. It is very easy to get separated from your party if you’re not totally with it, which can leave you and your friends in a scary situation.
You will find the heavy drinkers may not make it to the headlining acts. They will have passed out in their tents by then. Make the most of the festival by pacing yourself and you’ll have an unforgettable experience.
I find I’m quite happy with just one or two drinks in the evening, and never drink during the day. It is very easy to get dehydrated at a festival, and the toilets aren’t pretty so you don’t want have to go to the toilet every 5 minutes if you’re heavy drinking. Or even worse, throwing up in them!
If you don’t take drink with you, you can get a drink from one of the many bars. The drink stalls sell everything from craft beers, local ales, specialist ciders, cocktails, and even fine wines. Some people find the drink prices very expensive, especially if you’re a student, but I’m use to Brighton and London drink prices, so they actually seem fairly reasonable to me. I think you can get a Pimms for £7, or a glass of wine for £5 as a guide.
Instead of drinking alcohol, I will often get a Coca Cola to keep me going throughout the day. There is a lot of walking required at Glastonbury and you need to keep your blood sugars up. A bottle of soda will set you back £2.50 from one of the ice-cream vans located in and around the stages, or from a food stall. Having a bottled soda also means you can just pop it in your bag when you go to the toilet or have to trek from one stage to the other, not risking spilling it, getting rain in it or having to down it.
You can get light weight stainless steel bottle from WaterAid, who offer free water refills at many of their water kiosks across the festival. There are also 400 taps on site you can refill you bottle from. The bottle costs £10 and its a good way to give to charity while keeping yourself hydrated.
The toilet situation
The first time I went to Glastonbury I had nightmares about the toilets. Lets just say the mobile loos were unusable in the mornings, with a 30 strong queue for the last remaining loos that weren’t completely unusable (but quickly filling up!).
My first piece of advice is hold it in if you can until you can get to some drop toilets. The drop and compost toilets do not fill up over the sides like the mobile loos do, and although they smell terrible you’re still at least a good few feet away from the sewage.
My second piece of advice is get a Shewee. It is literally the best invention ever for female festival goers. The toilets are not a place you want to spend sitting on the toilet if you don’t have to.