Nobody wants a glass of lukewarm white wine on a lovely sunny music day out in the field do we?
Which is why I recommend buying a box of wine of your choice then freezing it prior the festival. Then, just pop it in a cool bag when you are ready to go and you will have chilled white for two days.
When choosing which booze to fuel your festival festivities, forget the heavy warm cans of non-enviromentally friendly lager and instead opt for a box of wine.
"A box of wine?" I hear you say. Trust me, besides feeling a shade more sophisticated than your cider swilling neighbours, when it's empty simply remove the foil inner bag, blow it up through the plastic wine pump and you have a handy pillow!
The wine can be found in any supermarket, the festivals in various fields and the Big Chill at Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire
General festival tips
1. Music can be better appreciated from a great height. Make friends with tall men next to you in the crowd (girls and guys) so they can put you on their shoulders.
2. Try and drink spirits rather than beer if you are deadly keen on getting a decent spot in front of your favourite band. There’s nothing worse than having to leave to pee right before they make their entrance.
3. Construct a timetable of all the bands and acts you want to see before leaving home.
4. Use Spotify to check out and listen to every band playing at the festival. Chances are you’ll be madly in love with at least one band you haven’t already heard of this time next year.
If you're over 25 and like to party hard (festival starts at 8pm, winds up around 5am with the main acts on at 1am) but still value a few good hours shut-eye do yourself a favour and rent an apartment. They're not cheap for what they are - approx 200euros each for a week in Beni for a two twin bed, one lounge apartment with sofa bed and a balcony. However you won't regret it because;
1) day time temperature regularly tops 35/38 degrees. No one can sleep in that, especially under canvas in the sun.
2) In said temperature, a proper and private shower is a wonderful thing (albeit camping showers are remarkably good too).
3) you can chill your beer/water in the fridge/freezer.'Nuff said
4) you can relax in your own personal shade between festival/swims. If you camp, you need to find any bit of shade in town you can - you will see campsite refugees scattered in any bit of shade around parks/beach town.
5) you can make your money go further by cooking at home
If however you do decide to camp, bear in mind the following:
1) Buy a beach umbrella on the first day - approx 10-15 euros on the beach and will be a godsend - it can be errected by your tent for daytime snoozing, or on the beach to prevent sunstroke.
2) Campsite toilets are cleaned frequently and excellent compared with UK festivals
3) Take a couple of decent swimsuits/bikinis - easiest to have a shower in, and you will wear nothing but this in any daylight hours you're awake in
4) ear plugs. Get them free from the festival or bring your own unless you want Surrey's finest students keeping you awake all night
A final word on getting out of Benicassim. You need to fly into Valencia, Barcelona or Alicante and train/bus down. Highly recommend Valencia as closest with best connections. If you can, ensure you have one night in valencia on the way back. The bus (most reliable) is notoriously packed and it can take literally four hours to queue up to get on a bus to make the 40min odd journey. Don't even think about getting the train no matter how early - it's a massive crush, desperately hot and uncomfortable.
If you have to camp on a hill at a festival, try and remember to sleep with your head at the highest point and your body pointing down hill. This will help you sleep better - you may need all the help you can get to achieve a good nights sleep!
I always used to take far too much food to Glastonbury. This was heavy to carry the long distance from the car park to the campsites, and only lasted a day or so. My advice is to take only enough food for the first day and then sample the fab food on offer all around. If you do need to take lots of food and drink, invest in a wheelbarrow or small trolley to help cart it from car to tent.
Finally my festival essetials: very good walking boots (they keep your feet dry, and are better than wellies), wet wipes, and a couple of bottles of water to glug after a heavy cider/Perry session at the Brothers bar. A hat and sunscreen are good to have. And don't forget to have a warm jacket, as the nights can get chilly.
all uk festivals
If you are going to get a new tent for Glastonbury festival season, I would recommend getting one with a porch. This extra room will give you a place to shed all your muddy gear, so you can crawl into a lovely dry nest when it's finally time to sleep.
Glastonbury Festival, or any festival.
To fancy dress or not to fancy dress?
Some people just aren't that into fancy dress. As one of those people, I didn't see why I should do it at Bestival. Yes, it's a festival that celebrates one of the largest fancy dress parades in the country, but once a disbeliever in stupid outfits, always a disbeliever.
As one of only three people at the whole of the festival sporting normal, casual attire, I can honestly say I've never felt like a bigger idiot, ever. Bestival is a time to supress your dislike for the 'wacky', it's a time to swallow your misplaced pride and adorn something stupid. You'll feel much better for it ...
Robin Hill, near Newport, Isle of Wight
Everyone knows one of the worst things about your favourite festivals are the toilets, right?
One way to avoid the greatest extent of such a problem is to consume an entire block of cheese immediately prior to going to said festival, slowing down certain aspects of the digestive process in such a way as to give you greater toilet freedom.
But this is not for the faint hearted, and is not without its unpleasentness when the chickens come home to roost a few days later. Be cautious!
When you have children and your portable hotel, it is essential to find the best camping spot on site and the last thing you need is to walk to your car/van a thousand times. Further to this, the barrow doubles up as a push chair for those late night walks around the site with sleepy children or fill it with goodies that you want to sell or what you have bought. The barrow is an esential.
I recommend taking a portable or throwaway barbeque with you to a festival. It is a great way to cook your own food outside your camp in the evening, you can choose what you eat, but - best of all - you have your own mini camp fire to sit around as it gets dark. You can have burgers or sausage in a bun at a fraction of the cost and the children love toasting marshmallows as dessert.
Any decent supermarket sells cheap portable BBQs during the Summer months. Pack a few firelighters and a box of matches.
Everyone knows wellies are essential, but your toes will be freezing come night time. You can never bring too many socks and finding a clean pair at the end of the weekend will feel better than you could imagine, honest!
Glastonbury festival or any festival.
Festivals abound these days, but most of them cost lots of mone. This one is free. Held in a beautiful field surrounded by the River Evenlode (great paddling for the kids), some great bands play in an idyllic and completely chilled out setting. This year it is held on Saturday 20 (12-10) - Sunday 21 June (12-8) 2009.
Two minutes from the Charlbury train station - which is north of Oxford on the Paddington-Oxford-Hereford line operated by Great Western. For more information: www.riversidefestival.charlbury.com/Home.html
Leave a cool box of food and drink treats in the boot of your car.
Suggested contents: bottle of rose wine/beer/cider, a selection of west country cheeses & biscuits, quince paste,
cherries, avocado, pittas, fresh fruit juice, chocolate digestives, other more toxic treats.
Why: On Sunday afternoon you can return some of your camping load to the car so you'll have one light and easy trip on leaving on the Monday. The treats are an incentive and a quick decadent foray out of a festival near the end makes you want to return and party harder than ever before.
A few essentials to help festivals be more comfortable:
Take some tarpaulin to sit on in case its muddy and a blanket for warmth in chilly evenings or to act as a roll matt.
Mobile phones are useful for locating lost friends and also take an old handset for when the battery dies to avoid queueing for hours to charge it up.
Most festivals have good food stalls (Glasto' green fields have great healthy options) so don't bother with a stove. Nuts, fruit cereal bars and chocolate are good to keep you going though - and a three litre box of wine!
If you need a tent, its worth getting a three man for two people, as there's room for all your other stuff and get one with a porch to keep muddy boots away from your clean stuff but in a dry area for the next morning.
The obvious tip is toilet roll, baby wipes, bin bags and antiseptic hand gel.
Comfortable wellie boots (see the funky wellies website) and a good rain jacket for bad weather - shades and suncream just in case you get lucky with the British weather.
And don't take anything you value too much in case of loss, theft or weather damage - I lost a great pair of shoes to the Glasto flood of 05!
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