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Thursday, 26 May 2016

LIFESTYLE | Preparing for a music festival

I'm kind of a newbie when it comes to camping/music festivals, which might actually come as a surprise to most of you considering I love music, festivals and camping.

Even though I once travelled around the UK/did an epic UK road trip to see my favourite band on their UK tour, I've never really gone to a proper music festival or camped. I've been to day music festivals many a time and I went camping once as a teenager, but this weekend is finally going to be my first proper time!

I suppose I could say this weekend's camping at Lost Village is a bit like a trial run for Reading Festival later this year. Lost Village is a lot smaller, independent and boutique so I'm easing myself in slowly before all the big crowds and inevitable mud!

It's safe to say that when preparing for this weekend, myself and my bestie have focused more on the non-practical stuff as in buying nice outfits, getting our hair and nails done, buying tons of festival accessories. But over the past few weeks we've put our heads together and managed to actually sort out a tent and stuff.

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THE BORING STUFF
So we went for a four man tent which is bigger then we need, but considering this festival is quite arty, we're going to need space to get ready in the mornings and style our hair and stuff. Whereas at a  festival like Reading, you kind of just rock up and pitch a tent without much thought to getting ready or choosing a theme for your outfits.

But tents in general can be super cheap, we found two-men tents for £20 so unless you're going somewhere that's guaranteed to rain a lot, you don't need to spend a lot of money going all out on a tent.

There's little point spending extra money on finding a tent that looks cute or has an arty design, either. Yes, they look so pretty, but unless you're going to festivals all year and using the tent every other weekend, you probably won't let your money's worth.

It's very easy to make tents look homely, also. I bought some cheap battery operated fairy lights from Primark to string around the entrance, and a bright coloured quilt or blanket and some lanterns will transform a tent into looking boutique in no time.

I'd also suggest investing in an air mattress and bringing a spare cover, just to keep warm (British weather is so unpredictable) and to make sure you have a good night sleep.

THE (SLIGHTLY) FUN STUFF
Once the necessary basics are out of the way, it's time to start planning for the actual journey. Tonight, we're going on a quick shop around Tesco for some last minute bits like face wipes, sun screen etc.

I'd also definitely recommend checking with the festival what can and can't be taken in. Some festivals don't allow any food or alcohol whatsoever, whereas some do. Lost Village allows a pack of beer/cider or a bottle of wine per person, which we think is fair. What I'm saying is, don't buy tons of beer and food and rock up on the day only to be told you're not allowed to take it in.

If you have your car, it can be kept in there but sometimes things get confiscated and it's worth just checking beforehand so you don't waste money or have to faffabout at the gate.

Start comprising a list of things you need to take, and perhaps search Google for ideas too. There's always going to be plenty of things you'll forget to add. Things like shampoo or dry shampoo, tampons just in case, your ID etc.

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 Bright & funky accessories never go amiss...

THE REALLY FUN STUFF
Choose your outfits! Look up the weather and pack just enough stuff for one outfit per day (things like shorts or skirts etc can obviously be worn more then once) and then maybe just a spare nice top or playsuit just in case. Remember to pack pyjamas, underwear and a jumper and jeans/jogging bottoms for at night or if it suddenly does get cold or start to rain.

The day before, meet up with whoever you are travelling with and pack the car ready so you can leave first thing in the morning. The night before, have one last pamper and do everything that needs doing, whether that's curling your hair, using a temporary hair spray to dye your hair a funky colour or even just having a long soak in the bath.

Put together a playlist for the journey! And maybe start thinking about what you're going to do when you get there. Are you going to play it by ear? Are there certain bands you're desperate to see and need to put together a set list? Or are you more focused on just chilling out and socialising?

It's always good to make a general plan so you don't arrive there, get set up and then suddenly find you want to rush off to make one band's set which is about to start whilst your friend wants to grab a couple of drinks and get settled in first.

But I think more importantly the two things to remember are to just have fun and be safe. Protect your skin from the sunshine, make new friends and just enjoy it!

Are there any tips I've missed out on, preparing for my first music festival? Let me know!


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