What are the main festivals?........................................................
What to pack.................................................................................
How to look your best at a festival..............................................
Safety and Security........................................................................
Staying Festival Fresh...................................................................
Slip, Slop, Slap..............................................................................
Top 5 Apps for a Festival...............................................................
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.
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
June Rock, Pop, Indie,
Folk, Acoustic -
Bestival Robin Hill,
Isle of Wight
September Dance, Synth, Pop,
RnB, Soul, Funk
Download Donington Park,
June Rock, Heavy Metal,
Leeds/Reading Leeds or
August Rock, Indie, Britpop,
Isle of Wight Isle of Wight June Rock, Pop, Indie,
V Festival Staffordshire
August Pop, Chart, Dance,
August Chart, Dance,
Mill Hill Field,
July Rock, World,
Where? When? Music Genres
Best for Out
of this World
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!
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
Gumboots (in other words wellies)
Plastic bags - loads of plastic bags!
THE MUst haves
THE ISLE OF
THAN ANY OTHER
PLACE IN THE UK!
IF EVERY TWO
PEOPLE WHO WERE
SHARED A TENT, THE
88,500 TENTS WOULD
STRETCH FOR 123.7
MILES - THAT’S TWICE
THE LENGTH OF
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
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
Avoid taking gazebos - they’re going to get
trashed or blown away.
Anything you don’t want to get ruined or
And of course, items that may be used in an
illegal or offensive manner.
What not to take
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
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
IS THE OLDEST
OF THE UK’S
Here are a few of our favourite instagram
accounts to follow for festy inspiration:
Alexa Chung (@chungalexa)
Kate Moss (@katem0ss)
Millie Mackintosh (@camillamackintosh)
Nick Grimshaw (@ nicholasgrimshaw)
Harry Styles (@harrystyles)
Alex Mytton (@alexmytton)
THE READING AND
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!
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!
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
OF PEOPLE AT
YEAR IS EQUIVALENT
TO THE POPULATION
OF NORWICH OR
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.
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*
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
£190 £60 £120
(with camping) Meals Drink
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.