Festival Survival Guide: 12 things you need to know

Music all day erryday, mud for days, afternoons spent crafternooning and food trucks to satisfy your festival foodie cravings… is it almost time for you to start preparing for your favourite festival?

Your count down has started and it’s a race to get your roadtrip playlist and the rest of your shizz sorted! Not sure what you need to get sorted or what to expect? Here are the tips you’ll need to get yourself #festivalready 😉

#1 It could be a mudbath out there

The rain gods seem to have a thing for festivals, there’s a very high chance you’re going to NEED gumboots like a donut needs cinnamon, a piña colada needs pineapple and Eric needs Ariel.

The mud will swallow everything – it’s a shoe graveyard out there. You start off wearing suede boots and you end the day wearing socks (if you’re lucky). Don’t have a pair of gumboots? Stop what you’re doing and get them stat! Gumboots become an endangered commodity the week leading up to festivals, finding them is like finding a $50 note in your jeans pocket when your bank balance is $0.01 (it’s a magical moment). If you’ve left gumboot shopping until a few days out, you’ll be faced with the sold-out gumboot epidemic, true story.

Gumboot hack: If you’re in a desperate sitch and you’ve got small-ish feet, you may be in luck, go and check out the kids shoes. I was just able to squeeze into the largest kids sized gumboots, but that should really be your last resort!

#2 You’ll need these to keep you going

Unlike new gumboots, donuts are usually easy to find at festivals! Find yourself a donut stall (or other stall pumping out wickedly delicious treats to the festival tribe) and cram your mouth. Be warned, it may become a daily addiction, but there’s nothing wrong with being high on sugar, in fact you’ll need it. Trudging through mud can be an epic thigh workout and they’ll give you the sugar hit you need to keep you going into the early hours of the morn. Also a great way to eat your feelings if you’ve lost your fave suede shoes in the mud pit!

Totally rate these: The fluffiest, most delicious cinnamon donuts I came across by the good folks at Byron Bay Organic Doughnuts.

#3 You’re going to see some crazy shizz

There may be mud people sliding down the hill, and then there may be one naked mud person rolling down the hill. Watch, snapchat, youtube. If that’s not enough and you feel the urge to lose your clothes and your shizz and be one with the mud, be prepared for the fame that will follow.

#4 Your phone battery is going to run flat

All that Instagramming, checking your festival timetable and snapchatting the naked mud person is going to use up all your battery and there’s a 90% chance that at some point you’re going to lose your friends to the festival mosh pit or stampede.  You could spend your hard earned cash (some festivals it can be $10 a pop!) every time this happens at one of the charge stations (they must be making a killing) or you could smugly walk past the recharge tents with one of these great gadgets in your bag:

Portable phone charger

It may be a little OTT but trust me, that’s more $$ to splurge on donuts and it’ll also save you trying too hard to make new friends with everyone in the port-a-loo lines.

#5 You won’t want to slide around in a port-a-loo without these

Festivals are fun except for those moments you’re cramped inside a very (muddy?) port-a-loo (#ew). You’ll want to pack these essentials: tissues and hand sanitizer.

#6 When you’ve left getting digs to the lastminute…

Current sitch: got festival tickets (woohoo!), ditched the camping idea (#portaloosuckers) and forgot you were sorting out the digs/left it to the last minute (#woops). Don’t panic, go here for last minute deals. If you can’t get a room in the town the festival is held at, search the towns within 30 minutes drive, there’ll often be shuttle buses you can get. They’re worth checking out even if there are rooms left, chances are you’ll probably get a sweeter deal at the lastminute.

#7 Creating your festival style

If you’ve been hanging out to do something bold that’s out of your comfort-style, festivals are the time to do it! They’re a great excuse to do something a little YOLO with your style, like dying your hair a rainbow colour. The bathroom may never recover and your BF or housemate might think you’re having an early mid-life crisis but it’s totally worth it!* Not only is it a fun bonding sesh with your festival bestie (aka home hairdresser) pre-festivities, it’ll get you excited and prepped! Plus you’ll be far easier to spot when you’ve lost your friends (super unlikely to happen if you follow tips #4 and #9). It’ll also help you deal with the post-festival blues thanks to rocking the festival hair for days after.  *I take no responsibility for your hairdresser screaming in your ear, “No, no, no, what have you done? Zeh packet job just won’t do!”

#8 Prep for the wetness

When was the last time you wore a garbage bag? Me: at a festival in 2015.

Don’t be that girl or guy dressed in a garbage bag, take a poncho or two! You didn’t spend hours getting your festival outfit ready only to get drenched by the rain gods or end up rocking a garbage bag 😉 Even if the rain gods take a rain check, that poncho will come in super handy when you want to sit and vege out on the hill without being slathered in mud.

#9 Losing your friends in the festival mosh is real

Get your emergency lost friend meeting spot sorted when you get there (in case of losing your friend to the mosh/flat battery/friend wandering off to feast on donuts without telling you). Best spot: somewhere uncrowded (you don’t want it to be everyone else’s lost friend meeting spot) and next to something that’ll stand out.

#10 Here’s where you can escape the mud…

If you’re not doing Tough Mudder every other weekend you may find yourself longing for solid ground and somewhere to relax before you plod to the next act. Festivals often have plenty of other non-music things happening like henna  and face painting, craft making tents and fab clothing stalls. Make the time to go there, if not for the rugs beneath your feet (what did that feel like again?) or stools to sit on and plush pillows to sink into, then for the pretty henna art that will live on post-festival. It’ll be a reminder of that time you sat for an hour and got your hand, arm, foot, leg, arm painted and almost snuck out with a rug or two.

#11 Sometimes you can wine and cheese! #fancy

For some this may not be a necessary survival tactic but for others who are going a little crazy from all the mud trudging (see #3 for possible side effects) you could benefit from swapping mud for sipping bubbly and nibbling on a cheese platter. Yes this is possible at some festivals, check their website before you go or ask around when you get there. You’ll be feeling fancy AF (or at least as fancy as you can feel wearing gumboots) and very civilized with a wine in hand.

#12 Pack for warm days and freeze-your-booty-off nights and mornings

Depending on the festival, location and time of year, don’t be surprised if it feels like summer during the day and winter at night. Pack all the layers!

Hot tip: Stockings are great, you can ditch them in your bag when you don’t need them and they take up hardly any space.

What’s your top tip for surviving a festival?

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