A Guide to Festivals: Everything a Student Needs to Know

Festivals are fast becoming a must-do in the summer months, and not only because they are a great way to see multiple of your favourite artists in just one weekend. From single days to full on weeks, there are so many different festivals to try. Here is a guide to finding the right festival for you, as well as tips and advice for how to make the most of it.

How to choose a festival

With so many festivals available, it can be hard to choose which to go to. Most often, the obvious choice to make is based on line up – you have to be liking the artists you would be paying to see or you would be wasting your money. There are many music website that detail which festivals are on that year and show the line ups to help make this choice.

How long to go for

The next decision comes down to how long do you want to spend there. If you’re not a fan of camping, and hotels are all booked, then you may be able to buy a day ticket and just go for the day your preferred artists are on. Going for a day does not mean that you will miss out on the atmosphere and you can have just as much fun.

The most popular choice is to go for the full weekend, which means camping. This can also influence your decision as big festivals like Glastonbury can last nearly a full week, whereas smaller festivals like Barn on the Farm can be as little as two nights.

Volunteering

There are many organisations that offer ways to get into festivals for free in exchange for working some shifts. Charities like Oxfam or companies like Hotbox just require a deposit that is the price of a festival ticket, and you get this back after completing all your shifts. Whilst it’s risky in that you may get a shift in the same timeslot as your favourite artist is on, it is a great way to access a whole new side to festivals, as well as make lots of friends.

What to take

Less is most definitely the best. More often than not, you will have a long walk between the car park and the campsite, and so you want to avoid either lugging lots of heavy weight or doing multiple trips if you can.

You will need the essentials such as a tent, sleeping bag, camping mat, and clothes, but try not to over pack. More often than not you will not wear too many outfits, so reserve packing space for warm clothes that you can either wear at night or if one of your outfits gets too muddy.

Other key items are wet wipes, portable chargers, torches or lanterns, earplugs, bin bags, a raincoat, tissues, and lots of hand gel.

How to make the most of your time

As boring as it may make festivals sound, planning is key. Make note of what times the acts you most want to see are on and make sure you get there in plenty of time if you want to get a good crowd spot. It can be easy to be lounging around your tent and lose track of time, so sort a system to help avoid this.

Additionally, don’t only make time for the artists you already know and love. Festivals have such a variety of artists on across the days that you may well discover someone you never knew about. If there is a particular genre of music you like, often stages and tents are organised into similar types, so look out for what may appeal to you the most.

Tips

Look out for secret appearances – many artists may not be billed to play but might suddenly get announced as a special guest

Get something to make your tent distinctive so you don’t forget where it is

Pack a mallet to help hammer in tent pegs

Make friends with your tent neighbours

Hide your valuables when you sleep

Take snacks and drinks to help spend less on food vendors

If you can, take an older phone with you – you don’t want to be victim of the dreaded long-drop

Don’t take anything you’re not prepared to lose or have damaged in some way