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Aug 15, 2016

Festival Survival Guide 2016

Festival Survival Guide 2016


The summer is here and the festival season is well underway.  At Y-Smart we work with lots of young people who go to festivals and have a great time.  We also work with those where they have a terrible time.  Some of the terrible stuff can be avoided with a bit of preparation.


Get your kit sorted.  The likelihood of it all going wrong when you rock up to a three day festival wearing a t-shirt, shorts and flip flops and bringing nothing else with you is pretty high.  Here’s a list of things to pack:-


A day bag

Tent – If you haven’t used it for a while check you’ve got all the poles and pegs before arriving 

Sleeping bag

A main backpack for all your stuff




Wallet –

Money –  Budget for food. Festivals are expensive so make sure you take at least £20-£30 for food.

Check your ticket again just to be safe

Clothes (be prepared for it to get dirty, lost or stolen so don’t bring your best togs)


Plastic bags to put dirty stuff it when leaving

Medication if you are taking any.

Toilet Paper (You’ll thank us for this one)

Water – You will need to stay hydrated


Optional – Blow up mattress

When you get to the festival the first thing you must do is find where you are pitching your tent and then pitch it.  Every year we speak with people who turn up and get carried away with all the events and forget to pitch their tent.  This usually dawns on them when they are under the influence and often results in them just wrapping themselves in their tent rather than pitching it…This doesn’t make for a very restful sleep and you are more at risk.

Pick a place that is big enough for you and all your friends.  Avoid camping next to the toilet.  Once your tent is pitched it is time to head out and look around.  If you are unsure of anything you can ask the event staff.  It is a good idea to agree a meeting point with your friends if you get separated.  Usually a big landmark that is easy to find in the dark.  Remember that mobile signals are often rubbish in the countryside so having a plan if you split up is sensible.  If your phone is anything like mine then the battery will be dead before the sun goes down.

Sex, Drugs and Rock n Roll

People hook up at festivals so be prepared and take condoms with you.  Take more than one as you might need to give a spare one to a mate.  Abstaining from sex is the best way to protect your sexual health.  A cute smile is not a guarantee that they don’t have Chlamydia so take precautions.  Your sexual health is with you for the rest of your life so look after it.

Festivals are attended by a wide range of people.  Not all of them have your best interests at heart.  Be very careful when accepting something from a stranger.  If you aren’t sure what something is then don’t take it.  If you decide to take a pill or a powder use a small amount and wait to see how your body reacts before using any more. 

Don’t mix drugs and remember Cannabis and Alcohol are drugs.  Often the deaths at festivals that are drug related see the person has used a range of substances.  Drugs stay in our system for a long time so leaving it a couple hours before using a different drug is not going to keep you safe as your body will be still breaking down and processing the first drug.

Don’t leave your drinks unattended and don’t accept drinks from other people.

If you are the driver remember that alcohol and drugs will stay in your system for a long time after you take them.  If you have to leave the festival the next day take care to ensure you are sober to drive.  Your body breaks down alcohol at one unit per hour on average.  1 litre of 40% vodka has 40 units = 40 hours….nearly two days!  Do the maths.

MDMA users need to take breaks from dancing.  You can over heat.  Drink water but no more than a pint of water per hour.

If you see someone having a bad experience try and remain calm.  Help them to the medics tent.  Make sure you know where this is.