Thursday, 12 June 2014

Pitching your tent at a festival

So, you have a tent, you have your tickets, you are festival ready! (it's like oven ready but you still have your giblets) Now, where to pitch your tent.

If you have never been to a festival before prepare for a surprise! There is a chaotic free for all when it comes to pitching a tent. No rows, no marked pitches, no 'regulation 6m fire gaps' (oh how I laugh now at how that used to worry me)

There will be walkways and these must be kept clear, they are clearly marked but otherwise you pitch where you can (unless you are are the sort of posh person that paid extra for a marked spot in Camping Plus). So for new festivals try and check a map to get a rough idea of what's where before you go.

Weigh up the pros and cons of different spots, eg

Near the loos - handy if you need to make nighttime or early morning trips, but might leak, can smell, the toilet trucks that do the cleaning may rumble up to work very early
Near the main festival - quick to get to the action, usually a long walk from the car park with all your stuff (use a fesTaxi?) can be noisy, but also you can hear lots of acts from the comfort of your sleeping bag!
Near the car park - Easy to get your stuff to your spot and quick to get pitched, might be busy with families that are too tired to lug everything further, close to the car if you need to nip back, can be a long way from the festival and food stalls.
Near a food stall - great for eating early and late, can send kids as you can watch from the tent, bacon arrives back at the tent still hot, can be smelly, noisy and may be a hangout spot late at night.

So check out the lie of the land, the earlier you arrive the more choice you will have, don't be too picky. Maybe take just the tent on your first trip, lay it out and peg it (pitch it if you can) then go back to the car for the rest of your gear.

If you camp with mates consider using bunting and windbreaks to make a small shared area, but no huge gazebos and don't try and 'own' more than your share, space is at a premium, be nice.

Don't panic if other tents pitch so close they touch yours, it happens, as long as everyone can get their tent pegs in it's all good. Be polite.

I'll see you there, I'll be the one pitched early, drinking beer, midway between toilets and food stall, near the main festival....just past the bottom of the hill.

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