Camping isn’t my usual topic when it comes to writing blog features, instead opting for beauty, lifestyle and parenting features over on my blog, Tattooed Tealady, but today I’m quite looking forward to being able to share something different, and what better place than here!
Today I’m going to run you through my Top 5 Tips for Camping at Download Festival, a metal festival held in the East Midlands at Donnington Park and the festival I have frequented the most over the past 8 years.
First things first, plan where you’re going to camp. Of course, you can’t guarantee you’ll end up in the camp site you want, but Download Festival does have a handy map which shows all the campsites and the earlier you get there, the more likely you are to land the spot you want. There’s different areas for different campers including standard camping, quiet camping, family camping and disabled camping, all situated generally in the same area, whilst disabled is right next to the arena. The space for Download Festival is huge, so you’re best off aiming for a camp which is closer to the arena and won’t take as long to walk back to after a long day of mosh pits. Blue Camp is a firm favourite, right near the walkway to the arena and next to the village and food stalls; it’s also one of the loudest and busiest camp sites at the festival, so don’t count on getting much sleep.
They don’t call it Brownload for nothing. Download Festival is becoming notorious for heavy rain and flooded camps over recent years, mainly down to the time of year the festival takes place and I don’t see the organisers changing the dates any time soon! Be prepared. Take waterproofs, take extra waterproofs, get your tent and belongings as secure as possible and be prepared to get wet. The last thing you want after an entire day in the arena standing in the rain, is to go back to a wet and soggy tent.
Whilst we’re on the topic of being prepared to get wet, make sure you pick a decent tent that will survive the weekend, because you don't need a collapsed tent and nowhere to sleep. As well as the rain, you’re set to have a windy few nights, with most of the main camps set out on open fields. Trust me, I’ve tried the bargain tent buys that I told all my friends would save me so much money to spend on alcohol, food and merchandise, to have it be completely useless at keeping me dry, keeping me warm or even keeping upright! Go for something that’s going to stand up to a bit of wear and tear; when festival season rolls around all the big brand names reduce prices and put on amazing sales, so you can always pick up a bargain buy.
Follow the rules. Oh, I know, rules were meant to be broken, right? Some are there for the benefit of everyone though and there are certain items, objects, drinks and whatnot that Download Festival simply won’t allow. Yeah you could risk it and see what you can sneak in, but it’s better to go with the guidelines and don’t risk taking anything you wouldn’t want to be confiscated or thrown out.
Always check the rules for any festival, as they usually have a full list and all the information you need about what you can and can’t take, which is particularly handy if you’re planning on providing your own food over the weekend.
Finally, make a tent a home. I’m not saying take the kitchen sink and your favourite childhood teddy, but festivals can be exhausting and sometimes making things a little cosier inside your tent and a nice little area to sit and relax before heading out to see the bands can make all the difference when it comes to the experience you have at a festival. Some of my fondest memories are sitting around a (safe and contained) camp fire with friends, drinking and getting ready for that night’s line-up, or coming back to the campsite after the bands have all gone home and having starting a party with all your neighbouring campers. Your camp is your base, your home for the weekend, so make it count.
If you’re heading to a festival this year I hope you have an amazing time! In the meantime, you can catch up with me over on www.tattooedtealady.com as well as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, all under the username ‘TattooedTealady’.