Rave like a champ with our survival guide to the 2018 festival season

You’ve kissed Mummy and Daddy goodbye, made a faithful promise to ‘not drink too much’ and screeched off in your mate’s buggered Honda Civic for an alfresco weekend of sun, song and shagging. It’s time for the great British festival experience. We’ve got some seasoned advice on how to have it large without dissolving into a self-loathing pile of tears and chin-spots.


Festival toilets are the stuff of legend. Anyone who’s experienced the Arthurian majesty of the Glastonbury ‘long drop’ will know this. But when you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go. For the squeamish (or anyone with a sense of smell), most festivals will service their bogs between 6am and 9am. If you can’t move your bowels unless some filth has been smeared around with a fetid cloth and replenished the paper, this is your dump window.

Always take your own toilet roll-you’ll be able to wipe with wild abandon and it can be used as makeshift currency on Sunday afternoon. For the faint-hearted, Amazon sell vapor masks for under a tenner, which will negate any toxic stench you might encounter. FYI, that box of sawdust by compost loos is there for a good reason. Use it.


If you’re camping with other people, try and think about how all your tents are positioned. Done cleverly, you can divert people from walking through the middle of your patch, which legally enables the declaration of an autonomous state on Sat afternoon. Pitch so you sleep up any sloping

ground – a hangover is much worse when blood has been rushing to your head all night. Padlocking your tent is pointless, people will just slash their way in and it’s probably worth more than any contents.

Unless they’re an integral part of your tent’s structure or you’re in a hurricane, guy-ropes are for pussies. The only purpose they serve is rousing you every time the neighbouring ketamine kids return to their pitch. Conversely, if you’re lost, you can always pass time pretending those ropes are lasers and you’re Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible. Loudly humming the theme is optional, depending on how much you want nearby people to know what you’re doing.

Take your tent home with you. Dumping your gear at a festival puts prices up for next year and marks you out as a massive cockwomble.


There’s a discussion to be had about the value of on-site food against the hassle of dragging your own eats across the fields. The former will certainly open you up to a world of gastronomic delights, expense and servile queuing. Although taking a stove and pans will elevate you amongst your fellow campers, it is a massive arse.

Whatever you do, please attempt to eat some fruit and veg whilst keeping properly hydrated. It’s not much fun being epically constipated with a head full of mandy. You can easily live for three days on bananas, cereal bars and water. Just saying.


It’s a festival. Everyone is getting bang on it. Fair enough. However, don’t be that knob who needs medical attention because he’s mixed uppers and downers, and now wants his lick of anything staying still. Be sensible about dosing – if you really must. Once you get locked into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can. But, you’re not Hunter S Thompson – you’re studying geography at a plate glass university. Don’t get so caned it interferes with reaching for the laser or compromises bowel control.

Do be careful what leisure-time pharmaceuticals you buy on-site as well. Ask any dealer for their EU Drug Traceability Certificate. Ideally you should be looking for fair trade or artisanal narcotics from a sustainable source, where a larger proportion of profits return to the producer.


Go get yourself a brick phone – the sort of prehistoric technology your dad used in 2002. The battery will last for two weeks and thieves will only laugh when they see it. Clothespegs and duct-tape are useful items.

Don’t take anything with you that is too valuable to lose. But do bring interesting toys, clothes you can layer, antibacterial gel, sunscreen, a torch and as much fun as you can carry.

But no matter what you do – don’t take one of those 80L top-loading backpacks. Nothing screams “rob me” more.

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