Showing posts from May, 2014

Festival Memories

A lazy post today, a bit of a trip down memory lane. A few festival pictures to show you what you've been missing and/or to get you in the mood for festival fun.

Eating 'out' at a festival

As I said yesterday, you should take some snacks but you won't get a full festival experience eating back at the tent each day! Festivals need grub!

Take a while to look around and see all the food stalls there are. You won't be able to eat at each one! There are too many and Camp Bestival is too big. At a smaller festival you may have less choice.

Why not let the kids plan at least one of your meals? I tend to snack at breakfast (I may be lying...The Grill does rather fine bacon rolls) then have a light lunch (or a massive plate of pasta) and then a medium sized tea ( a huge pie and mash plate from PieMinister) sometimes I have afternoon tea at the WI tent (every day).

Cost varies, remember that small kids can share a portion to save money (though you may be surprised at how hungry the fresh air will make them!) Check out where the best bargains are to be had. I'm a fan of the Soup Library.

Just have a look at some of the great food Camp Bestival has on offer

Last year D…

Festival Food

Food at a festival

First thing to remember is that most times you will have no fridge. A cool box lasts only a day or two at summer heat, so don't take anything that will go off that you can't eat on day one.

I like to take prepacked (individually wrapped)  pastry style snacks like Pitch or croissants for breakfast.

 I take some eggs if I plan to cook, also soft noodles to stir fry with sauce. Baked beans of course, soup, chilli and packs pouched rice.

Not everyone wants to cook of course, although Camp Bestival does allow small stoves.

"Are Chinese lanterns, flares, fireworks or campfires allowed? No, we have a no naked flame policy at the festival and in the campsite. Fires, flares, fireworks etc will extinguished by our festival fire service. HOWEVER, there are designated cooking areas in the campsite where you'll be able to go to use small BBQs and stoves to cook food."
You might want to plan and take a packed lunch for the first day, a great idea while y…

Basement Jaxx at Camp Bestival

A bit about an act which is actually on the lineup at Camp Bestival this year (2014) . And what better than the rather fab, and quite raucously fun Basement Jaxx.

Basement Jaxx hale from Brixton and have been around for an amazing 20 years (really I thought they were a 'new' group....I think I'm showing my age!) so DD was not even born when they started belting out music.

Thought it was the very year of her birth that they went mainstream when Red Alert made it to the top 5  in the charts.

Never having seen them live, I am quite keen now that I've read what CampBestival describe as an

"unstoppable live proposition as their Latin influenced vibes became an epic onstage extravaganza worthy of the streets of Rio at Carnival time."
They have even headlined Glastonbury! (2005)
Can't wait!

Festival Sleep (adults)

So you're at a festival and you've finally staggered back to you tent. You've taken your wellies off, crawled in, knocked over a can of something that you hope was stale beer. Your tent chum is snoring in the corner and your bed looks more deflated than you remember. The lamps that light the walkways in the camping field suddenly seem over bright and you appear to have pitched right under one. The tent next door is filled with crying children and there is a loud beat drifting across the field from the all night party tent.

Sound familiar? Sound scary (if you've never been to a festival)?

Well fear not! You can and will sleep!

Top tips for a good festival night's sleep.

Leave the tent relatively tidy when you go out. Yes you are keen to pee, yes you want a bacon sandwich and who cares where you flung yesterdays jeans and your warm sleeping bag? Well, you as it turns out, when you stagger back later tired out. So leave the tent - or at the very least the bed area - re…

Festival Crime

Festivals are filled with awesome people that like festivals.

People like you and me that love to have a dance and a laugh in a field. People that have a drink and become friendlier, that migh laugh and giggle, hug you and fall over.

They may fall onto your tent at 1am and spend 35 noisy minutes apologising.

People at festivals are the best people.

But like anywhere in life there are some exceptions, there are some twats, there are some people that can't hold their drink or become nasty on it. There are people that do illegal drugs, that like a fight...there are even ...thieves.

So take a few precautions and stay safe. I tend to expect the best but plan for the worst. Don't keep all your money/cards etc in one place. If there are a few of you in group ensure you all carry some of the valuables. Maybe leave an emergency fund hidden in the car? Don't leave valuables in your tent. This includes cash, cards, electronic games and phones. At  night put your cash and phones etc …

Festival Toilets


If I talk about festival toilets now, maybe you'll have forgotten about them by the time the festival swings around. No I'm kidding they are not that bad.

Festival loos are something that all non-festival goers cite as reason they can't do festivals. And I'm sure some festival goers have horror stories too (I know I do) but with a little planning and some ability to be a bit more relaxed around poop than usual (more parents can cope with poop in my experience) the festival loo experience can be fine!

Camp Bestival has two types of loo (well actually it has three but the last I haven't experienced...more about them later)

The first is the old faithful, the portable chemical toilet. Most festival have them cleaned and emptied fairly regularly - don't camp too close to them or the 4am hose down and pump may wake you! They can get gruesome but it's down to the festival goers themselves being disgusting and drunk rather than the toilet itself! They will r…

Festival Rain

Rain Rain go away

Today it's raining, so while I did talk about festival weather already I thought I'd do a few specific rain tips today.

Hopefully you have a waterproof tent or camper van. But just in case of leaks take a roll of black bin liners. Pop all your festival clothes into one, and each day pop your sleeping bag into one too, lay one over anything that won't fit in a bag ... now all your stuff is at least protected from drips, and even if you get wet you'll have a dry change of clothes and a dry sleeping bag.

Just because it's raining doesn't mean it will be cold. Summer festivals can be showery but spells of sun can dry you (and your wet clobber) out very quickly. Don't be disheartened at the first drop of rain.

If you have kids plan a few things that you might do if it rains, meet up with another family? Games in their tent? Or in the rain! Look for events happening inside big tents at the festival (though they will fill quickly if it pours)


Festival Sex

Let's talk about festival sex!!

Well if you are a parent with some excited toddlers sharing the tent I doubt there'll be much! Ha! (though you never know, good luck and all that)

But if you are travelling solo or with mates or are a teen liable to wander off to the woods of an evening...well it might crop up!

First things first. Let's ensure no one has sex they don't want to have! All be on the look out for 'enthusiastic consent' that means not just not hearing a no, or being too drunk to really care one way or the other, it means both of you are really really keen! (and trust me, that's the best kind!)

Take some condoms if you have even a glimmer of hope there will be sex. Especially if you plan that sex with someone you just met. Personally I like to get to know someone I'm going to have sex with, but it's a festival, there's love in the be prepared!

Remember that most festivals have a first aid or pharmacy tent. If your condom breaks…

Festival Weather

What about festival weather! Well it's time to talk. It may rain. If it rains you will need wellies, so take wellies.

But it may be sunny. If it is sunny you will need sunscreen and sunglasses and hayfever meds. So take them.

But hang on, how will we know what the weather will be like? Why not bookmark Festiweather keep an eye on things and you can think about what you'll be wearing.

But still, take wellies and sunscreen.

Your tent & getting lost at a festival

Today lets talk about tents. How to find them and how to make them unique. Also what to do when you get lost.

Festivals can be big, very very big and if you have kids that can be scary, for them and for you!

There will be a sea of tents at a festival

How will you find yours? Well here are some ideas.
If it's canvas you can paint it, like I did!you can buy a long pole and a flag or spinner - but be aware that as lots of people do this you may need to fly a couple of things together to say unique!You can add bunting, anything from plastic 99p Store bunting, via home made cloth scraps bunting to something posh from Cath Kidson or some lovely home made crocheted bunting. You can even make bunting out of knickers!You can use ribbons on the guy ropes But if you just can't consider the outlay or the horror of packing MORE stuff, why not pitch near a tent that is overly flamboyant! And when you walk to and from the tent don't forget to talk to the children about what you see. We he…

Buying festival tickets and getting prepared

Buying your tickets...for some festivals like Glastonbury ticket buying is beyond complicated and you have to buy before you know who is headlining, for smaller festivals ticket buying is usually easy. And some festivals let you pay weekly to spread the cost. Camp Bestival and Bestival both do weekly scheme.

Why not start preparing ... do you have a tent? well now is the time to check it, with 74 days to go there's lots of time to sort out anything that needs doing. I pitched mine and found some of the rubber bands that secure it had perished and needed replacing. I was missing a guy rope (how that went missing while the tent was in storage is anyone's guess) and I seem to have misplaced my duct tape!

So get it out (!) erect it (!) and see if you need any new rubbers (!) etc

And if you have no tent there is time to look around. Check out some of the things to think about on my tent buying advice post.

Choosing which festival is right for you

It's time to decide what sort of festival you'd like to go to? Are you going alone? with friends? with children/ If you are taking children how old are they? Do you like music? comedy? food?

As usual I'm setting more questions than answers! But so many festivals! And so many great acts too, from Sir Tom Jones to Mr Tumble, from Chas and Dave to Burt Bacharach, from Metallica to Dolly Parton! So have a hunt around, see what your mates are going to, think about the music you like, some festivals concentrate on one style of music while others have a more varied musical menu.

And some, like Camp Bestival, have all sorts of other things to do too, with themed shows and entertainment for the children.

For young children especially I would recommend Camp Bestival as a top festival to go to. It's got so much to do, it's friendly, set in a lovely area and for the last 5 years that I've attended the sun has shone every day of the festival.

Barry the Tent's Erection

I realise that I have blogged about how to put up my Cabanon Pyramide IV tent (known to his friends as Wilfred) but I haven't really given as much time to Barry (my Bari3) although Barry did get the thrill of being painted (by me and DD! See that story here) and he stars in many festival blog posts and pictures. He is a little trickier to erect as he has an internal horizontal pole and I'm never sure if I should erect the inner first...I bough Barry on ebay and he has no instructions!

So here are pictures of today's garden erection as a test before festival season kicks off.

 First, Barry has his own canvas holdall

 Inside the outer is wrapped in the inner so that the groundsheet is on the outside, the poles are around the bundle, in the bag. All is tipped out onto the grass.

 The poles are numbered, they are sorted and slotted together, except for the long horizontal pole, I tend to add that and then connect it up. It seems easier if you are putting the tent up on your ow…

Deciding to go to Camp Bestival or any festival

The first in a series of short posts about Camp Bestival and festival season. To prepare and excite the reader. Choosing your festival. So you want to go to a festival. Maybe you've been to lots, maybe you've never been. How do you decide which one to attend?

Budget - no matter how fabulous and good value a festival maybe you are probably constrained by a budget. See what you can afford. Take into account how many people will be attending in your party. Will you need to buy any extras? (eg tents, extra sleeping bags etc) Are there ways you can save such as taking your own food?

Festivals vary in price from the extremely cheap (I'm off to Wadfest this year £25 for a weekend of mayhem! and kids go free!) to the very pricey. They are usually great value and the more expensive festivals are jam packed with free things to do and great bands. Some people combine the festival with the rest of the week at a campsite and make it their main family holiday.

Check out eFestivals online…