Welcome to part two of our guide. We’re not going to tell you here to eat regularly, practice safe sex and use sunscreen. Even though you actually should use the last one if you’re on the biologics therapy to decrease risk of skin cancer. We will focus largely on technicalities, you can figure out the rest by yourself. At least we hope.
Ensure you arrive with plenty of time on the day it starts. It takes ages to find a spot and with all the queues it’s so tiring. It’s a good idea to take a little wheelbarrow/trolley to load all your stuff, it’s easier to push or pull than carry a large camping back pack. Make sure your medication is in pre-pack days to ensure it’s taken.
Always try to be a bit ahead of time. This will help you avoid the crowds queuing and give you enough time to get ready and rest before the shows begin. Carrying aids are fabulous idea but keep in mind they can turn out to be useless when it gets muddy. Feel free to nominate some of your friends to help you carrying stuff, we should help each other, right?
Regular sleeping patterns promote good sleep. Whatever time you drop, try and get in at least 8 hours before you need to get up. Take a sleeping blindfold and earplugs with you. Don’t be tempted to stay up really late, the heat of the sun will wake you up early.
Trying to get enough sleep in a camping situation with loud party people around can be challenging. Make it a priority to have a good nap, even if you have to miss some acts. It will be worth it if you don’t feel horrible and tired for the rest of the festival.
Mosh pits are not your friend when you have AS!! They get pretty rowdy but if anyone falls, they’re always pulled back to their feet because everyone looks after each other.
Take a camping chair to the arena with you, otherwise you’re on your feet from 9-12, unless you are able and feel comfortable to sit on the floor. Sounds stupid, but take a mini kettle and hot water bottles to shove on your back every night to loosen you up. And booze. Lots and lots of booze to numb the pain!
If you’re all about sex, drugs and rock’n’roll festivals are definitely a place for you. However, even if you plan to ‘let it go’ more than Elsa in Frozen be careful and take it easy. Getting into a massive mosh pit or jumping up and down in a dancing tent till dawn on the first night might not be the best idea. Avoiding dodgy people with dodgy substances and going easy on alcohol is just a common sense. Keep yourself hydrated as well, especially if the weather is hot and you’re having some pints. This will save you not only from a hangover but can reduce muscle pains and fatigue.
Everyone has different levels as far as stamina goes. Most festivals will have seating available away from the stages so you can take a break, or take a picnic mat or foldaway chair if you think you may need one. If you have very severe AS and are registered disabled you should be able to access the disabled viewing area and the disabled camping area.
Give your back a break regularly. Standing for a long time can cause fatigue to your pelvis and core muscles resting the stress from standing in your lower back joints. Do some stretches every half an hour or so; bring a foldable chair or even better: a laysack and sit or lay down when you need to. Even if endorphins caused by seeing your favourite band for the first time keep the pain away, for sure you will feel it later.
If towel is the most massively useful thing when hitch-hiking through the galaxy, blanket is the same for festivals. It can keep you warm, provide comfy sitting space and protect form rain. Invest in one with the water-resistant plastic backing, it will stay dry for longer.
Some boutique festivals often organise walks, yoga classes, meditation sessions and even spa treatments. Keep in mind it all probably will cost extra money, but could be a good way to take a break from festival’s hustle and bustle.
One of the most important advice we can give is: plan your festival comedown. Don’t lie to yourself, you won’t come back fresh, rested and full of energy, you will be absolutely knackered. Take one or two days off extra from work and responsibilities, plan something nice, relaxing and good for your AS. A day in Jacuzzi? Sorted.