How to Survive a Festival

Let’s face it – your typical British festival might as well be an endurance sport. You want to see the Arctic Monkeys? Fine, but you’re gonna have to crawl through mud to get there. (Tough Mudder had nothing on T in the Park.) If you’re a regular festival-goer you’ve no doubt seen your fair share of miserable campers dripping into their five quid pints. You’ve probably been one yourself. And while this summer has seen a break from our regularly scheduled dreariness, the heatwave is sure to take its toll. Well I’m here to tell you that you don’t need a Duke of Edinburgh Award to make it out alive. So, if you don’t plan on hearing the headline set from the first aid tent, here’s some things to bear in mind.

By Laurie Clarke – 3rd Year Comparative Literature and English Literature student at the University of Glasgow



While bar prices tend on the extortionate, festivals like Glasgow’s Transmt have encouraged festival-goers to bring empty water bottles to stay hydrated on location, and on the cheap. After all, if you aren’t struck down with heat stroke, the sunshine just might take the sting out of paying six quid for a Smirnoff Ice.

“Taps aff” weather is sure to mean casualties – and not just your dignity. So take a lesson learned the hard way, swallow your pride, and crack out the suncream. If it’s not factor 50 now, it’s aloe vera later. And peeling skin on your Instagram? Not a good look.


Obviously you want to be at the front when your favourite band comes on, but it’s not going to do you any good if you end up being passed over the barrier. Don’t be a hero. Take a breather every now and again to cool off in the shade. If you can’t find a shady spot, why not stand in the shadow of a helpful friend? You may be a die hard fan, but fainting before the encore probably won’t make a great impression.


At the risk of sounding like your Gran, have you eaten? Festival food is not to be missed. Who wouldn’t want to try an ostrich burger next to a van that only sells creme brulee? Even if it’s more fast food than food festival, the promise of chips and cheese after two hours in a sweaty crowd might just be the only thing that keeps you going.


Travel in packs. Sure, when you arrived you all agreed to find each other at that specific bar. As if you didn’t have enough trouble finding your tent. And while it may seem hard to conceive of anything worse than a portaloo in the rain, just wait until you’ve experienced a portaloo on a hot day. Yes, it may be tempting to let your friend make that particular journey alone, but you’re only going to end up tracking them down on Snapchat.



So, if you’re a first timer or a festival veteran, here’s to keeping your cool this summer – with or without the fanny pack.

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