Welcome to Your Summer Festival Guide! It’s not ‘ours’ it’s definitely ‘yours’, as we asked the ASone community to share their tips and advice on going to festivals. We had such a great response we thought we’d publish it in two parts.
Read all the info on the festival’s website. Most festivals will have a facility to store medication that needs to be refrigerated, you may have to contact them before arrival though to organise this. Also, if you are worried about losing your tablets or having them stolen, you can usually hire a locker at festivals too. Some festivals even have a pharmacy onsite nowadays.
Juggle your meds dates around beforehand so you don’t have to remember to take them during festival or find a fridge for your biologic. If that’s not possible big festivals may have a fridge to store meds, check in advance.
The festival’s website is where you want to start getting ready for your trip. Check the facilities, services and disabled access info. In most cases, even if you don’t intend to stay at the accessible campsite you still have to apply beforehand to get access (to the medication fridge for example). It’s better to let organisers know beforehand rather than struggle later. While an onsite pharmacy might be a lifesaver, keep in mind they probably won’t have much more than an ibuprofen.
Tent you can stand up in, may be better than a smaller one, so you can have more room to manoeuvre around easier. If you can afford it you could always just buy arena only tickets and book a nearby hotel or opt for a VIP package if the festival offers that for more comfort.
Invest in a good portable or inflatable mattress if your camping in a tent. Don’t forget to try it out before you go!
Take a trip to the camping shop and check available tents, even if you plan to buy one online. This will give you a better idea of the size and save from possible disappointments. Also try to put it up and down before you go just to know how much hustle and tools it will require. If you’re not really a tent person there’re other options like lodges, caravans or local B&B’s, however, keep in mind those are usually quite pricy and get sold out very quickly. Inflatable mattress is definitely a must and will save your spine from cold and rough ground.
Take enough changes of clothes in case you get drenched. Take good quality waterproof wellies and waterproof poncho (worth investing in as the cheaper ones will leak or rip as I’ve found out over the years!).
Bring prescriptions of your meds with you, keep tablets in the original box with the pharmacy label on, otherwise they may be confiscated by security.
Get hydration pack, do super easy meals, get a dog-tag necklace with your medical info, always bring a cane or chair.
Start preparing a full week before you go! Bring ice packs everywhere and if there’s electricity available heating pad should come too!
Try not to over-pack (you want to travel light) but at the same time make sure you take enough things, especially when it comes to warm and waterproof clothes. We all know how great British summer can turn out to be, so ponchos and wellies are a must! Make sure your medication is organised, in original packaging and together with prescriptions. In general, try to make a list of things you might need if everything goes wrong (aka flare) and make sure you pack them.
Create an emergency plan ahead of time just in case, rest way before you need it, invite people to your space with pillows more than going out to others.
Pacing yourself is also important, even if you don’t feel like you need a break take one anyways, make sure to do some stretches. When you take long road trip, stop every hour or so for a little gentle yoga and to walk for a few minutes.
Plan what you want to do ahead of time and then evaluate how you are feeling on the day, and throughout the day to see if you can still do it – you don’t want to wear yourself out on the first day!
Make a plan for your time at the festival. Roughly figure out what you want to do and see, but be realistic about it. Try to figure out the distances to: your campsite, the medical tent, the accessible campsite, stages, toilets and showers. It might seem quite straight forward but it’s good to know where’s what and how far when you actually need it. Reserve times for breaks and a wee bit of stretching, remember pacing is crucial and festival can be a very tiring experience. If you have to travel far to your festival, apply the same rules.