UK Summer Festivals Guide 2015


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A guide on everything you need to know about surviving the UK music festival experience.

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UK Summer Festivals Guide 2015

  1. 1. UK Festival Guide2015
  2. 2. Introduction.................................................................................... What are the main festivals?........................................................ What to pack................................................................................. How to look your best at a festival.............................................. Safety and Security........................................................................ Staying Festival Fresh................................................................... Personal Hygiene........................................................................... Slip, Slop, Slap.............................................................................. Money Guide.................................................................................. Top 5 Apps for a Festival............................................................... 3 4 5&6 7 8 9 9 9 10 11
  3. 3. The great British festival. Undoubtedly your visit to the UK will leave you hankering for cultural and life-changing experiences, and nothing quite comes close as hitting one of Britain’s best music festivals. Glastonbury. Reading. Download. If you’ve not heard of any of these, you’ve been living under a rock my friend. There is a reason why UK festivals are so popular. They’re not just a place to see your favourite band live, but they have over time become cultural institutions in their own right. With such an eclectic mix of people coming together to share their love of music, you are sure to meet quirky characters, individuals with amazing stories and, possibly, your next best friend for life. And then let’s not forget all the added extras. Whether it is partying the night away at one of the onsite nightclubs, relaxing in Glastonbury’s legendary Healing Fields, or merely sitting back with a can of chilled beer with your pals, you will soon find yourself in a bubble removed from the rest of the world. Now, we know what you’re probably thinking: where do I even start? Well, at Western Union, we try to make life easier for our customers, so here is an indispensable guide to all things festival-life. 3
  4. 4. Choosing which festival you head to is always the trickiest part, because there are so many in the UK. However it all depends on what it is you are looking for from a fest - and your music tastes, of course. This may help you out a bit: What are the main festivals? Festival Glastonbury Pilton, Somerset June Rock, Pop, Indie, Electronica, Dance, Folk, Acoustic - basically anything! Bestival Robin Hill, Isle of Wight September Dance, Synth, Pop, RnB, Soul, Funk Download Donington Park, Derby June Rock, Heavy Metal, Punk, Thrash Leeds/Reading Leeds or Reading August Rock, Indie, Britpop, Alternative Isle of Wight Isle of Wight June Rock, Pop, Indie, Electronica, Dance V Festival Staffordshire or Chelmsford August Pop, Chart, Dance, Indie, Commercial Creamfields Daresbury, Warrington August Chart, Dance, Pop, Electronica Secret Garden Party Mill Hill Field, Abbots Ripton July Rock, World, Electronic, Reggae, Folk, Dance, House, Alternative Where? When? Music Genres Best for First- Timers Best for Inner Hippies Best for City Slickers Best for Hard- Cores Best for Out of this World Experience 4
  5. 5. Ok, so you have decided where you are heading off to, or you might’ve even bought your tickets already. Your next major worry will be what to take with you. Everyone will undoubtedly tell you something different, and considering that you’re going to have to make your own way to your campsite, you don’t want to be lugging around huge amounts with you. Plus, you’ll need space for all that booze too! WHat to pack The Essentials Camping is part of the charm and appeal of UK music festivals, and it is those stories of trying to handle your torch in the dark as you aim to take off your muddy wellies that you will be laughing about in years to come. Like any normal camping trip, there are essentials you will need. You don’t want to take too large a tent, but always aim to pick one with capacity for one more person than you’ll have - so if there will be three of you camping, purchase a four-man tent - this means you will have space for your bags, belongings and breathing room. For sleeping bags and camping mats, nothing too fancy is needed, unless you are ‘glamping’. ID if you want to buy alcohol A torch Loo roll Bottled water Gumboots (in other words wellies) Sun block Wet wipes Plastic bags - loads of plastic bags! Rain jacket THE MUst haves 5 THE ISLE OF WIGHT RUNS MORE FESTIVALS PER CAPITA THAN ANY OTHER PLACE IN THE UK!
  6. 6. The Others 6 IF EVERY TWO PEOPLE WHO WERE AT GLASTONBURY SHARED A TENT, THE 88,500 TENTS WOULD STRETCH FOR 123.7 MILES - THAT’S TWICE THE LENGTH OF WALES! Food served by vans at festivals these days is top-notch, with street food stalls and multicultural dishes being the norm. However, you may be on a budget and want to cook yourself. If this is the case, make sure you bring with you a gas cooker, as fires will not be permitted onsite, or just your entire weight in Pot Noodles! In terms of drink, different festivals will have different rules, but most will let you get away with as much booze as you want in the camping section - there is often a designated arena area where the stages are and you won’t be able to bring drink in there. Either way, glass is banned anywhere on the site, so don’t take the risk and always decant your spirits into a plastic bottle beforehand. Always check the specific rules of the festival you are going to. Clean socks for every day Flip-flops Dry shampoo Mirror Mouth wash Bug spray Plasters - no one is a fan of blisters Portable phone charger Electrolytes - for those nasty hangovers! Bring a spare tent - if you can. UK festivals are known for rain The Nice-to-haves Avoid taking gazebos - they’re going to get trashed or blown away. Wheelie suitcases. Anything you don’t want to get ruined or stolen. Fireworks. And of course, items that may be used in an illegal or offensive manner. What not to take
  7. 7. You can certainly handle a weekend in the cold and mud, and you can cope without access to your wardrobe or shower, but you’re still not going to want to look your worst over the weekend. Make sure you’re not one of *those* people - don’t take a huge bag or suitcase, and your clothes should be flexible outfits that will be appropriate for sun, rain and wind. If you have a zip-lock plastic bag, pop all your essentials in one as they’re waterproof. Good makeup items to bring include a tinted moisturiser with UV protection and everything waterproof; eyeliner and mascara. How to look your best at a festival Our makeup tips: Be mindful of tan lines when choosing your outfits. Swap moisturiser for sun block. Fragrance-free baby wipes should do the job of replacing your face cleanser for a few days. Dry shampoo is perfect for keeping your hair looking clean. Practice your top-knots before you go - that’s for you too guys. Mini toiletries will not only save your life but will save space in your pack - We love the minis from Boots. Big sunglasses and a hat for the last few days. Powder or hairspray to set your makeup. THE ISLE OF WIGHT FESTIVAL IS THE OLDEST OF THE UK’S LARGE MUSIC FESTIVALS! 7 Here are a few of our favourite instagram accounts to follow for festy inspiration: Girls Alexa Chung (@chungalexa) Kate Moss (@katem0ss) Millie Mackintosh (@camillamackintosh) GUYS Nick Grimshaw (@ nicholasgrimshaw) Harry Styles (@harrystyles) Alex Mytton (@alexmytton)
  8. 8. 8 THE READING AND LEEDS FESTIVALS TOGETHER PRODUCE 300 TONNES OF RUBBISH EVERY YEAR! Safety and security As a rule of thumb, festivals are not dangerous places, and particularly at the likes of Glastonbury and Isle of Wight, there is more of a ‘community feel’ to it all. However, like anywhere, make sure you have your wits about you - it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you have parked your car onsite, make sure nothing valuable has been left in the vehicle or is visible for all to see. A handy tip is to empty your glove compartment and leave it open; this will deter thieves who may think you have pricey belongings in it. Finally, double-check that all doors are locked, windows are closed and lights are off. All in all, if you don’t want to lose something, don’t take it with you in the first place. Scout out an old rubbish phone you won’t mind losing, or take a camera that takes good-enough pictures but won’t cost you an arm or a leg to replace. If the worst does happen, report it to the patrolling stewards or police as soon as possible and then also check out lost property - you’d be surprised at how honest people can be. When camping, theft from tents can be prevented by: Camping as far from the central area as possible. Not leaving anything valuable in your tent. Don’t use padlocks. They may seem safe but it’s essentially telling a thief you’re hiding something - and remember, they can just slash your tent, making the padlock pointless. Make friends with your neighbours so they can look out for your stuff. Never tell anyone you’re camping alone if you are. Sleep with valuables under your head. Roll with thepack - trynot to getleft alone!
  9. 9. Staying festival fresh Baby wipes, baby wipes, baby wipes... make sure you pack baby wipes. When packing, make sure you have all the medication you would need, and each tent should have a first aid kit for themselves. Keep an eye out for medical centres. Reduce the risk of picking up germs that can cause diarrhoea or sickness. Wash your hands after handling rubbish, after going to the toilet and before you eat. This doesn’t mean you have to queue up for the taps every time - antibacterial hand gel and wet wipes will be your friend! Personal hygiene Sun cream should be applied, even if the sun is not too strong. Using a minimum factor of 15 and applying it regularly will offer protection from harmful UVA and UVB rays. You don’t want bad tan lines and no one wants to be rocking the sunburnt lobster look... dancing away from the crowd in agony. Add further coverage by wearing a hat and cover your back and shoulders at all times. If you have been unfortunate enough to get burned... maybe remember what momma told you! THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE AT GLASTONBURY EVERY YEAR IS EQUIVALENT TO THE POPULATION OF NORWICH OR SUNDERLAND! Slip, slop, slap 9
  10. 10. How much is it all going to cost you? Come on, we know that this is the question you’re all asking. Festivals, if you’re smart about your budget, don’t need to be costly things - if anything, they’ll be much cheaper than taking a city break to Europe, for example. Presuming you’re looking at three meals a day, you can either bring cans of soup and pot noodles to really do it on the cheap, or check out the fantastic food vans on site. If you are doing the latter, put aside around £100 extra for food over the five days. Money guide Be sure to also have a budget for emergency alcohol - we would all prefer that crisp, cold cider in the sun over the lukewarm vodka in our pockets. How much you put aside, well, depends on how much you’re planning to drink! Make sure you also have an emergency card topped up with funds in case anything unexpected occurs. It’s always worth using a pre-loaded card, such as Western Union’s TravelWise card, and then withdraw cash at one of the site’s many ATM machines. Here are rough estimates on how much you can expect the below festivals to cost you* Festival Glastonbury £225 £110 £120 Bestival £195 £110 £120 Download £205 £80 £100 Leeds/Reading £205 £100 £120 Isle of Wight £195 £100 £120 V Festival £200 £60 £80 Creamfields £220 £60 £120 Secret Garden Party £190 £60 £120 £100 £100 £100 £100 £100 £100 £100 £100 £555 £525 £485 £525 £515 £440 £500 £470 Ticket Price (with camping) Meals Drink Emergency Fund Total Things to consider PLAN, PLAN, PLAN! Internet may be bad, reception might be patchy, you might run out of charge - what’s the back up plan? Zip-lock bags with maps and timetables in! 10*Ticket prices were correct for 2015 events, so expect a slight change for subsequent years, and meals are based on three meals a day
  11. 11. 11 If you have decided to take your smartphone to a festival, then you might as well make use of it when you’re there. Here are some handy apps to download on your device before you depart. Top 5 apps for a festival Drink Tracker While festivals are all good and fun, remember that you must drink responsibly over the weekend. A great way to keep track of how much you’re consuming is the Change4Life Drink Tracker App. You can record your drinking over the festival, calculate the units in your drinks, and get daily tips and feedback. TentFinder Can you remember where you pitched your tent? Did you not pitch a flag so you can easily find it next time? Well, you don’t have to rely on “finding that tree” anymore. This app uses GPS to allow you to mark where your tent is, or anything else you want to pin down, and then it will guide you back with directions. Find My Friends! How about finding your friends? That can often be a pain, and all those location spots you’ve agreed to meet only to find one not turning up. Yes, you have your phone, but what if you can’t hear them? This app locates people using GPS - perfect. Virtual Lighter It’s Saturday night on the Pyramid stage and a legendary act is in full force - it’s time to wave that lighter. This app opens with a flick of the wrist and the flame even sways as you move your phone, without fear you’re going to set someone’s hair on fire. Battery HD All of these are sure to put a strain on your phone’s battery, and while festivals have recharging facilities, they can be pricey and have huge queues. This app tells you what functions you can perform and how long for with the power you have left. Glowing at Glastonbury. Dancing at Download. Booty-shaking at Bestival. Wherever you choose to have the ultimate UK festival experience this summer, make sure you are safe and well prepared. But most importantly, have fun. You are surrounded by like-minded individuals having the time of your life in what is essentially a field in the middle of nowhere. Meet new people. Make treasured memories. This is what the great British festival is all about.