Last year I took my daughter and her BFF to their first festival. I’m not professing to be a seasoned festival goer. I’ve been to Glastonbury twice, the first time was AMAZING. My BFF was performing, we had AAA / VIP access, the weather was glorious AND it was my birthday weekend. It was the perfect first festival experience. Some may say it’s not genuine because of the perks but that’s the life I live babe! My second Glasto experience was actual hell! It was muddy AF, wet AF, dirty AF and just awful! The mud killed the vibe and I was there for less than 12 hours.
Last year I went to Camp Bestival with a friend, daughter and god-daughter (they were 8 at the time) and we had an awesome time! The weather was wonderful and there was a lot to see and do but it was DAMN expensive! Knowing what I know now I thought I would share some tips for anyone planning to parent whilst festivalling!
I highly recommend Camp Bestival the music line up is not the greatest but there is loads to do and see for children of all ages. It is safe for sensible 13+ to go off and explore without supervision, however you know will know the children you are with and whether or not they can be trusted to behave responsibly. We felt very safe and the activities for the children were really well thought out. There was something for every child to do, see and get involved in. There were also cool talks and activities for grown ups too.
We arrived on Friday morning and left on Sunday early afternoon. In that time we spent about £800 >_<.
1) Hand Sanitizer, toilet roll, kitchen roll, shower gel, baby wipes, travel-sized bottles containing shower gel and a torch are actual life. Oh and a few cheap 5 ltr bottles of water for cooking and hand washing.
At a festival shower gel is washing up liquid and hand wash as well as shower gel.
2) Buy a camping grill/ burner you can get one for £30 in Halfords and hire a gas cylinder. It will save you a LOT of money!
3) Take small cartons of long life milk and cereal for breakfast. Buy food that keeps well and can be cooked on a stove e.g., potatoes, baked beans, eggs, tinned sweet corn, tinned fish, bread for sandwiched. Tuna is your friend. You are not aiming for peak health, just being full! We didn’t take food and spent about £350 on meals, if not more. TAKE SNACKS, LOADS OF SNACKS! Fruits like tangerines, apples and pears are good. If you drink alcohol take your own booze. Water bottles that you can refill are also a must. Buying one meal a day and eating food your have prepared is probably the best way to do it.
4) Remember when you went on day trips with your family, church group etc when you were younger and each family had a blue cooler with ice packs in them? You’ll need one of those so check if your mum, grandma, aunty or grand-aunt has one. I f you are lucky you have a good friend called Andrea who has EVERYTHING you could ever need for a camping trip. Avoid buying one as who has time or storage space for something that will be used annually! If you can’t borrow one go to the market or eBay. Some families had frozen things like chilli and let defrost in the cooler overnight and heated it up the next day on their stove and had with boiled potatoes. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it or spent £350 on food in one weekend!
5) You can never have too many blankets. The nights can be literally FREEZING and they double up as good picnic/ rest blankets, and a lot of rest is necessary to avoid whinging, sulking and falling out! Although the weather last year was beautiful one night was like the arctic and the other night was damn cold! We slept in sleeping bags within sleeping bags AND blankets. If it is muddy just forgerrabourit no blanket, standing room only, (tbh if it was raining and muddy I wouldn’t go #justbeinghonest).
6) Bring clothing that can be layered and double up as something else e.g. a long cardigan or light jacket will serve as a dressing gown. Bestival has decent showers but they are often a bit of a walk from your tent.
7) Wellies, waterproof jackets, hats, scarves, #thisisEngland! Need I say more?
8) BRAID YOUR CHILDS HAIR. It does not matter a damn if your child looks like Worzel Gummidge by the last day, you do not do hair at a festival. If your child has fine hair or a loose curl pattern STILL BRAID IT! Four plaited/ twisted bunches will suffice. Bring coconut oil and water spray to freshen. Messy hair means enjoyment, life is not that serious to be wasting time making clear partings and laying baby hair (don’t forget your bonnet/ head scarf!).
9) Bring a mini first aid kit with pain relief, plasters, antiseptic wipes, safety pins, small scissors and a thermometer; kids try to be ill at the craziest of times. For anything more serious than headaches, coughs, cuts and bruises there are first aid huts dotted around with trained medical staff.
10) Buy some wristbands that cannot be removed easily, put your name and mobile number on the band with permanent marker. Tell your child to find a police officer, security or festival staff if they are lost. The number of crying children walking aimlessly was a joke! Make sure you have a in the event of someone getting lost/ an emergency talk with your crew.
11) A large Rucksack and smaller ones for the children, everyone for themselves! LOL ok not really but you cannot carry everything all day.
12) Hire a trolley/ buggy thing if your children are under 10, with some blankets they can be pretty cosy and allow you to stay out that little bit longer instead of having to go back to your tent when the DJ starts a dope House N Garage set because little people were tired.
Have you been to a festival before or are you a seasoned camper? What would you add to the list? Let us know in the comments below.