With Electic Picnic kicking off today, we’re bringing some last minute tips for the less organised festival goers who have yet to get their shit together…
Back up your back up outfit
You’ve thrown some shorts, a few tops, some warm clothes just in case, and one or two spares to be extra sure. Within 48 hours they will all be ruined, trust us. At the bottom of your backpack, in the protective embrace of a waterproof plastic bag, the smart ones among you will have reserved a not-to-be-touched-until-you’re-off-the-campsite outfit for going home. You’ll thank us when you’re the only one in warm, dry, clean clothes on that long bus journey back.
Location Location Location
Get to the campsite as early as you possibly can to get the best tent spot. The ideal tent location is on high ground (no flooding), away from a path (less drunk shouty people passing by), nowhere near a fence or wall (pee soaking through the groundsheet, ew), and if possible, somewhat sheltered from the elements. Remember at least a few hundred people will have the same tent as you, so mark it spray paint or some kind of distinctive banner or flag.
It’s not a good idea to bring too much fancy pants technology with you because chances are only half of it will come back in one piece and the rest won’t come back at all. However, it’s definitely worth bringing; a head torch for finding your way back to your tent without tripping over guylines; a solar charger so your phone won’t run out of battery half way through the weekend; a back up, cheap phone with your friends’ numbers already saved; and for the brave, a pee bag.
The secret to seeing all the best acts at any festival is this; pick ONLY a small handful of bands that you really have to see no matter what. By a handful we literally mean no more than five or six acts – unless you have some odd deformity where you have extra fingers. The rest of the time, wander from stage to stage as you please, and you’ll find a whole load of great music you never knew you were into.
Hide them Cans
There’s always the smart one who manages to sneak their own drink into the stage area. You can be that person. Wear jeans with big back pockets. Tie a flag around your neck so it hangs down over your back. Wear a backpack with only the non-alcoholic essentials and stick a can in each back pocket behind the flag. Security will search your bag but most likely won’t be thorough enough to do the rest of you. Hey presto, two free cans.
You WILL somehow lose everybody you have ever known at a festival, and you will probably be very drunk when it happens. Before the first sip of drink hits the back of your throat at the start of the weekend, agree on a meeting point for when this inevitably happens. The first aid tent, the ladies portaloos, anywhere distinctive and easy to get to. Remember it’s not the end of the world when this happens, you all know where your tent is and will end up back there eventually.
These boots were made for walking
There’s nothing worse than wearing wellies all day and getting hot sticky feet when the sun decides to spite you and shine all weekend. Bring two pairs of shoes, because we all know an Irish summer is now alternate intervals of blistering sunshine and absolute monsoon showers. Hiking boots for the start before the downpours, and wellies for when the ground turns to mush. Changeable weather be damned!
A small minority of people turn up at every festival with the sole intent of causing trouble. Security in your tent and your pockets is important. One handy trick is to set up a homemade alarm system; use a spare guyline to form a rope spanning the inside of the door of your tent. Hang some tent pegs from it and set up an army of empty cans below. If anyone tries to get in, it’ll be noise central. Don’t forget to do this AFTER you’re all inside the tent.
The Boring Bit
We hate to come over all parent-y on you, but there are certain things that need to be said. Pace yourself with alcohol, drink plenty of water, for god’s sake wear sunscreen and a hat if the weather is decent, have safe sex, don’t forget to eat and try to keep your wits about you as best you can. And once you’ve done all that, don’t be afraid to have some fun.