altrocklife’s Top 10 festival dos and don’ts

So, if you haven’t already worked it out from my Twitter, I’m going to be attending Leeds festival this year.  This will be the first time I’ve ever attended a festival for the entire weekend, so I’m really looking forward to it!

If you’re going to be attending, whether you’re a first timer or a R&L veteran, here are some dos and don’ts which, if you follow them, will ensure you’re a dream festival attendee.

DO – wear sensible shoes

Make sure your shoes are comfortable and practical in wet or muddy weather.  I recommend Doc Martens that are already broken in, hiking boots, combat boots or sturdy trainers.  Flip-flops, sandals and high heels are a BIG no-no.

DON’T – complain constantly about your aching feet

I get it, you’ve been waiting for the main stage headliner for hours now, and standing in a field to keep your spot secured isn’t the most pleasant way to spend a day.  However, everyone else is in the same boat as you – if you really dislike standing that much, buy a seated ticket at a gig next time.

DO – take more money than you think you’ll need

Budgeting is difficult at the best of times – even worse during festivals due to inflated food prices.  It’s far better to come home with some spare change instead of run out of cash on Sunday morning.

DON’T – spend all of your money on alcohol

Festivals are a great way to kick back, relax, and have a laugh with your mates whilst watching some awesome bands.  However, getting completely bladdered before midday and spending the best part of the evening – when all of the best bands are playing – throwing up or sleeping off a hangover is a serious waste of time and money.  Plus, if you’re drunk, all of the sober people around you in the mosh pit will hate you.

DO – keep an eye on your drinks and belongings

Nothing will put a dampener on a festival more than your phone, iPod, or wallet being stolen.  I even heard of a girl whose brand new £99 Doc Martens were stolen when she left them outside her tent overnight.  Keep your valuables in a rented locker or on your person at all times.  Not only that, but having your drink spiked is always a possibility, especially for girls, so never leave your drink unattended and keep your hand over the top of the cup or bottle to avoid something being slipped in.

DON’T – be a shover

Unfortunately at every festival there will always be those awful people who barge through the crowd to get as close to the front as possible, even if there isn’t a clear pathway though.  Everybody wants to get as close to the stage as they can, but forcing your way through everybody else is a bad choice – getting to the stage early and picking your spot always pays.

DO – stay hydrated

You don’t want to flake out halfway through the day due to dehydration, especially if it’s a hot day.  And no, drinking cider does not count as keeping yourself hydrated.

DON’T – spend all of your time taking photos and videos

If you’re going to watch the entire festival through the screen of your phone or camera as you take photos or record videos, you might as well have stayed at home and watched the festival highlights on the telly.  My advice is to snap your photos during the songs you don’t know or like, or during the opening and closing song, so you can spend the majority of the set enjoying yourself.  Plus, unless you have an extremely high quality camcorder or camera, recording videos is usually pointless as the sound quality will probably end up terrible.

DO – bring plenty of hygiene products

Nobody wants to be shoulder-to-shoulder with someone who stinks of body odour and mud.  Wet wipes, deodorant and fabric freshener for your clothes are must-haves, along with plenty of clean clothes.

DON’T – forget to be prepared for every type of weather

Over the course of a weekend – or even longer if you have early entry tickets – the good ol’ British weather can change dramatically.  Remember to take something for every type of weather: sun cream; wellies; a sun hat; a waterproof; a thick coat or jumper for the cold; and airier clothes for warmer weather.

Can you think of anything I missed off the list?  Let me know in the comments or on Twitter!

Currently listening to – Brothers and SistersTwin Atlantic

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