Coping with weekend after weekend of festivals

People have asked me how I cope with so many festivals in such a short space of time each summer. Is it amazing advanced planning? Spending loads of money or a wild and carefree attitude to life?

I'd say it's a mix of all of those. Most summers I do four or more festivals and as summer is fairly limited in the UK, in practice this means I usually have little or no time between the festivals. Every year there are festivals I can't go to because of clashes...choices must be made. This year the top picks are Camp Bestival, Cornbury, Boomtown Fair, and England's Medieval festival. (I also squeezed in a one day festival and ComicCon)

I have managed to get a week between some of the festivals I'm going to this year, so I can get the washing done! But what planning do I do?

First I plan what I (and my daughter)  are going to wear. I tend to take a fair bit of 'fancy dress', underwear, a pair of jeans, some T shirts and a jumper, fleece and waterproof coat. Wellies and a pair of trainers. The fancy dress might include a onesie so I'll probably wear that in bed, if not then leggings and a T shirt will keep me decent if I need to leave the tent in the night for any reason (to fix a tent peg on a windy night, or to straighten a guy line after a drunken loo seeker falls over it for example). I tend to take a different set of clothes to each festival - that means I don't have to worry about washing and drying it all in the brief time I'm home between them, I do however, have the added bonus of having Mr TS who is not only fully licenced to do the washing but he doesn't do festivals!

  • Plan clothes, separate piles for each festival.

Food. I buy some food in advance, and also plan to buy some food there. Breakfasts and coffee are big costs at a festival for little real gain, so I take coffee bags and cereal bar type snacks. Also bananas. This year will be a challenge as DD has recently become vegan, so I'll have to take that into consideration when buying, sadly she will no longer be able to share my favourite breakfast, the potato and bacon fry up in a pouch! I might take some tinned new potatoes to slice and fry in oil instead.



Tinned meals, chilli, hotdogs, new potatoes, baked beans. spaghetti hoops, all day breakfast etc. Snacks and breakfast foods, protein bars, cereal bars, nuts, dried fruit, bananas, individually wrapped croissants and cakes. Instant type meals are good too, cup-a-soups, instant noodles, and instant potato. Drinks, NO GLASS, cans of ready mixed alcohol, beer, bags of wine, cartons of juice for children and hangover cures. (No need to bring water as there are lots of water points at all festivals - and this year Camp Bestival is cutting down on single use plastics by having ice cold cans of water for sale on site) Plan some money for food. kids might share but look at spending £6 - £8 per adult per meal. Make at home and take the first nights meal with you - you can freeze it and use it as a way to keep your cooler cool.

  • Food - buy in advance.

Prepacked boxes. I keep all my camping stuff packed away in 2 large Really Useful Boxes. One box has all the camping essentials and the other has the fun festival extras! So in the essentials box I have things like cooking stuff, pots and pans, matches, cutlery, penknife, tooth brushes and toothpaste, medicines (hay fever medicines and paracetamol and plasters), sun cream, and in the fun box I have bunting, flowers, fly spray (yeah not really fun but also not essential) masks, game stuff, books, pens. I also keep all the washing and washing up things in a flexi trug ready to pop into the car. Having the boxes ready to go at the start of the festival season means they don't need any unpacking or repacking between festivals. So I just need to grab clothes, tent, chairs, wellies and the boxes and we are good to go.
  • Plan - pack basic bits and pieces for camping/festivals in advance. keep them in a practical easy to transport container.
 
Dog's are not allowed at most festivals - although England's Medieval Festival welcomes them
Have more than one tent. OK This bit isn't essential but if it rains it's nice to be able to leave the wet tent at home and take a new dry one. If you don't have that option then just take the wet tent to erect at the next festival as long as it's less than a week away. Over a week and a packed tent will start to get mouldy , so unwrap and spread it out to dry at home if you have the time.
  • Own multiple tents (not really essential)

Buy all the tickets you can online, if there are various options get them in advance. Pay for your parking, get your theatre tickets, pay for any extras you can because you'll find otherwise you might miss them due to over booking or worse...you run out of money!
  • More planning!
Take things for the kids to prevent the whining and begging for you to buy them things. Now we are all thinking of the environment more, I'm no longer sure that glo-sticks are a sensible buy, they are fun and the kids will love them, but they are essentially a single use plastic full of chemicals and glass. I'm fairly sure they can't be recycled. Maybe look for some funky colour changing torches or wands instead, they will last for a few festivals so you might even save money! For little kids the 'squeezy' torches are a great idea, they won't run out of battery! Take some face paints, and some bright and sparkly Eco (biodegradable) glitter, great for everyone to get into the festival spirit (save on the queues and save money!) Circus toys and flower crowns/silly hats are also popular.


  • Take extras
When I get back from a festival I have ensured I packed the dirty clothes last, so I unload them and then if the next festival is less that 5 days away, I don't even unpack the car! Kiss Mr TS, pat the dog, shower off the mud, throw the clothes into the washing machine, pop to the supermarket, pack the new clothes and off we go again...

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