The plan was for Luke to write a load of tips for going to Glastonbury this year, but seeing as he knows literally nothing about the festival, he has asked Glastonbury-regular, me, to do it for him. I have been going to Glastonbury for a while now and as I prepare to head there for my third trip, I have got a game-plan in the back of my head. I know where I have slipped up in the past and I have heard enough horror stories to know what to outright avoid. Today, I thought I would share some of this game plan with you guys.
6 – PUT UP YOUR TENT BEFOREHAND
Tents can be tricky. Anyone that has been drunk camping will tell you that the simple task of putting up a tent can be a lot harder than anyone has planned. But even if you are a tent pro, your tent might let you down. Tents are the kind of item that you don’t seem to use that often, but they still find a way of breaking, when they are locked in your attic, sitting neatly in a corner. Sometimes, one of the poles snap and the entire tent becomes worthless. They can be a hassle and when it comes to setting up for a week at Glastonbury, you need that tent to survive.
So what I do is buy or find my tent beforehand and put it up in my back garden. Or anywhere: if you don’t have a garden, make a day of it and go to some field somewhere for some pre-tenting. The simple act of putting your tent up in a scenario where you don’t have the pressure of needing it to shelter yourself for the night is a life-saver. You can locate any damages and fix them in time for the big week. And if the tent is fine, you can get to Glastonbury with that little peace of mind and a little tent-assembling practice, so you can get to the drinking part of the afternoon quicker.
5 – BRING A PEBBLE
For those of you that do not know, a Pebble is a portable phone charger. There are other brands, but I am recommending this one, as it has never let me down in the past. I know people who like to rough it, throw themselves into the festival life completely, by getting rid of their phones and living free from the hassle of the outside world. Those people are morons. Anything can go wrong at Glastonbury: you could get robbed, lose your group or simply overlook something in packing and need to make arrangements. Your phone will save your life at some point in the festival. A week is a long time, so you need to bring a charger device of some kind. And for those people, who think they can just go minimalist and conserve their battery for the entirety of Glastonbury, don’t risk it. When you are drunk, you will either film a terrible video of a band with awful audio and bad visuals, or call the one mate who couldn’t get himself a ticket and scream down the phone at him, when the Rolling Stones come onstage. Don’t deny yourself that privilege. Bring a Pebble.
4 – CLASHFINDER IS YOUR BEST FRIEND
The Clashfinder is a website, run by Glastonbury that tells you when and where all of the gigs for the week are. There are maps on site, but for first time festival-goers, they can be pretty confusing, especially if you are under the influence of strawberry cider. If I were you, use the Clashfinder website. Even if you do not have an internet phone, pull up that tab right now and make an itinerary. Sure, unplanned festivals are fun, but when you could miss your favourite bands (this is a one-time offer with the Rolling Stones, people!), I wouldn’t recommend risking it. Get a step-by-step plan of the week, so you have a vague idea where you are going to be at all times. That way, you can squeeze the most out of the festival, without the fear that you are missing something awesome.
3 – PREPARE FOR ALL WEATHER
OK, this one is a little obvious, but I feel that it needs to be stressed fully here. Glastonbury is famous for usually getting really shite weather. Sure, once when I went there it was really sunny and the perfect, summer festival, but then there was this other time, where the rain and constant trampling from people turned the fields of Glastonbury into miles and miles of muddy sludge. Sometimes, that can change in day. You cannot predict the weather, so don’t try to. Bring clothes for every kind of occasion, even if it means taking three times the amount of luggage. Bonus tip: ponchos are available in Poundland. I suggest investing in a couple.
And keep the tent free of said weather. If someone complained about the mud in Glastonbury, 95% of the time I would tell them to man up and get with the festival spirit. Mud is part of the fun. But, when it comes to crashing in your tent for the night, it is the one spot that you want partially clean. You need a little bit of escape from the carnage that unfolds.
2 – BRING EAR PLUGS
Even heavy sleepers might want to invest in some form of ear plugs. Glastonbury is such a huge event that there is always something going on. Sure, you might have scheduled three in the morning until seven for your sleeping time, but that is also the time that some of the more Indie bands are playing. Don’t let your precious few hours of sleep getting ruined because some drunken idiots are stumbling home from the flute metal concert (is flute metal a thing? Gap in the market?).
1 – LOCK-UPS WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE
However, the biggest tip I can give you is to use the lock-ups. Plan out how much money you need each time, keep that on you and lock up the rest of your belongings for the rest of the week in the Glastonbury lock-ups. They are free, so there really are no excuses. One of the greatest things about Glastonbury is that it is a friendly atmosphere, but crime is common. Some of the younger lot that haven’t planned their week out too well, may find themselves out of cash by the first two days. Maybe even you, too broke to afford a meal, will be tempted to try breaking into a tent for some rations, after you’ve had a few too many. Sadly, things happen, especially when desperation kicks in. Don’t be fooled by the fun and games; keep your money locked away safe, unless it’s in your pockets.
Also, if you have a spending problem when you re drunk, it might be a good idea to lock most of your money up, away from you, anyway.