Best festival tips from South Western Railway

Top 10 festival tips

15 July 2021

As the world opens up again and things get back to normal, that staple of British summers comes back too - festival season. And while many of you we know will be old hands at surviving Glasto or Reading, there's always room for new faces. So here's our top ten festival hacks to make your first time at the festival go smoothly.

  1. Pitch up before you drink up
    Let's face it, putting up a tent feels like it needs an engineering degree sometimes. So it's probably better to tackle it whilst you're still sober, rather than waiting for the end of day one to arrive before you attempt to set up camp.
  2. Pack an external battery
    Losing that last bit of charge in your phone is nothing short of devastating - so make sure you're packing an extra battery pack. Fancier versions can include solar chargers, making you one of the most valuable people in your local camp…
  3. Take a bigger tent than you think you need
    A two-person tent tends to sleep just that - two people. It's always worth remembering that you're almost certainly going have backpacks and supplies - so add an extra person to your headcount to make sure you're not cradling your gear overnight.
Field full of tents at a festival
Remember to pitch up early - and head for the high ground if you can
  1. Pack as light as you can
    Day one seems fine, full of energy and happy to lug everything up to the kitchen sink to the campsite. Heading back to the train station, though…more like Sisyphus. Think carefully about what you need, and who is going to bring what in a group - because you'll have to bring most of it back with you!
  2. Book your train tickets early
    It sounds like simple advice, but booking early really can save you money on your train tickets. Advance tickets can sell for 50% cheaper than tickets bought on the day at the station - and you can save another 1/3 if you have a railcard! With concert tickets not being cheap, it'll save you enough to pay for the posh loos.
  3. Hills are your camping friend
    Head for the top, not the bottom - then lord it out over the rookies who risked the floods when the British summer gets really British and empties it down.
  4. Be sensible with your food
    You're going to have a heavy night at some point, let's face it - so bananas and water are a must for managing that hangover. Cereal bars are a great cheap and compact breakfast - and save you paying £7.50 for a suspiciously anaemic bacon roll.
  5. Leave early - or stay late
    Queuing for the exit, and then again for the train, is nobodies idea of fun after a tiring weekend. Pack up and be out early doors to beat the rush - or leave it until late in the day and amble back, letting the rest stand around in the queues. The big rush is normally between 7 and 9am - particularly for longer-distance travellers.
  6. Duct tape fixes everything
    You don't need to take a roll, but taking some is a huge bonus. Water bottle leaks, tent tear, tying your mates together when they're asleep…
  7. Prepare for all weathers
    It's Britain - we couldn't not include this one. That means sunscreen, a hat, and wellies - but it's worth taking a pair of hiking boots too. You may look silly, but when the wellies start to sink hiking boots are your best friend.