Festival guide

Diamond's essential festival guide

Who doesn't love a festival? There's music, dancing, loads of new friends to be made and fun to be had at all times of day and night.

Festival girls

If you're a festival first-timer then you probably can't wait to get there, set up camp and see what all the fuss is about. However, if you've never done it before you may be feeling a little bit confused over what to pack or what to wear, you may just be a bit nervous about camping surrounded by thousands of other festival goers.

Well fear not, because we here at Diamond have been in your shoes, we've made festival mistakes so you don't have to. We've put together this handy guide to answer all of your festival questions and to help you pack a bag full of things you actually need.

From the patronisingly obvious, your tickets, to the totally obscure, Bog in a Bag anyone? There are plenty of lists of festival essentials out there, some so long you start to wonder why you'd leave home at all.

We've whittled them down for you and come up with the most important things you need to know before you pack up the tent and sleeping bag and head off to make some fab festival memories.

  • 10 things you need, no explanation required. Toilet roll, sun cream, socks, a torch, a refillable water bottle, deodorant, toothpaste and toothbrush, sunglasses, a decent sized rucksack and finally (we can't stress this enough) hand sanitiser.
  • You don't need. A portable table, three different clothing options for each day, your full make-up bag (you'll only need the essentials), any footwear which isn't wellies or flip-flops, expensive jewellery or anything you'd be devastated to lose. Finally, if it's too heavy for you to carry alone you don't need to take it.
  • Wet wipes and dry shampoo. Trust us when we say festival showers are not pleasant. Imagine the changing rooms after a rugby team have left, chances are you'll leave dirtier than when you get in. If you do brave them make sure you have a pair of flip flops to wear while you wash.
Wet wipes
  • Wellies. You'll have undoubtedly seen Rita Ora and co strutting around the festival circuit, think back, have you ever seen any of them without their wellies or hot-pants? Probably not, that's because the only thing predictable about British weather is the fact it does what it wants, when it wants.

    So, as unusual as shorts, wellies and a waterproof poncho may be, they form an outfit which means you'll be prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws at you. Believe us, towel drying damp legs is preferable to wearing soggy jeans for four days.
  • Layers are essential. Following on from the need to wear wellies at all times, you'll also need to pack clothing you can basically take off in stages. A heavy winter coat is useless if it's raining and warm, a vest top, under a light shirt, under a hoody, under a waterproof mac however, will be ideal.

    If you want some ideas on how to layer up without looking like a frump then try New Look's festival range for inspiration.
Layers are essential
  • Cash for food. You should take some food with you, maybe some breakfast bars, a few bags of crisps and some dried noodles if you intend to take a stove, but chances are you'll probably be eating on the go.

    Food at festivals is pretty good these days and there's so much choice you'd never have to eat the same thing twice but it's not cheap. Set yourself a limit for each day, try not to overspend or you could end up in a mile long queue for a cash point and that's never fun.
Festival money
  • Pick the perfect camping spot. If you want a good spot the best advice is to get there early to give yourself as many options as possible.

    When it comes to being close to the toilets, you want to be close enough that it's not too much of a trek if you get up in the night, but far enough that if the wind changes direction on day 2 you can't smell them constantly.

    Your best bet is to visit the festival's message boards beforehand and get some tips on the best fields to set up camp.

    If there's a group of you try to set your tents up in a circle with the openings facing inwards so you have your own little spot to chill out in.
Camping girls
  • Stay safe. Try not to take valuables with you but if you do, keep them with you at all times. Take a small bag which zips shut and preferably has lots of zip compartments inside; don't make it easy for pick pockets.

    When you do finally get back to your tent put your cash and phone in an out of the way spot like the bottom of your sleeping bag, that way you can sleep safe.

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