Ten Things We Wish We'd known as Festival Virgins

Follow these to avoid me saying 'I told you so'  when you come home whining. 

sunset at Womad festival UK

Womad Sunset

1 Check the camp sites  There's often sections for families, campervans, even park and camp where you can take all your stuff in the car. Oh and Glamping for a lot more. 
2 Check the timetable  and plan your day. You won’t stick to it but it helps find a good spot for the best bands.  Beside the sound deck if you’re there to listen, right up front for the full experience.
3 Take a water bottle  and find out where to refill it.
4 Take sunscreen or cover up clothes and one proper waterproof (even a binliner’s better than nowt)
Only dry stuff inside the tent sleeping area. Have a place where you take off wet stuff before you go in.
6 Take a torch. A head torch is great – no one will see you looking daft in it because you’ll be shining it right in their eyes! Helps with finding your tent and saves tripping over guy ropes when stumbling back to it
7 Sound travels at night Womad’s checklist of things to take used to say something along the lines of  “Earplugs if you need your beauty sleep, condoms if you don’t” ​
Portaloo practical (girls)
It helps to wear something practical.  Jeans or long pants will touch the floor when you’re in loo action, and the floor may be a little damp at best.  A skirt can be hoisted up and held under your arms or shorts work too – as long as they don’t  slip (see jeans
Or – Check if they have  posh loos that charge a small fee for a whole weekend of luxury.  Flushing toilets! Hairdryers! Loo roll!  Products to try out
9 Stash your valuables. Stuff happens. Festivals are like small towns. Use the secure lock ups or leave stuff at home. Wear fun festival jewellery - bright as you can get! 
10 The big one – Enjoy yourself! That’s what it’s all about

More Mature festival goers

Notes from three festival veterans

Anne was 50 when she started going to festivals . The first was because she wanted to see a Rock legend live. She didn’t fancy camping so she checked into the local Holiday Inn with friends then  commuted in. “The unexpected bonus was when I was enjoying a quiet drink in the bar another Rock Legend checked into the same hotel” (she's in the hat, above. The tent was for beer.)

The food is part of the experience and there’s an amazing range on offer. You can always bring your own like Brian. “I took the makings of a full English breakfast for three days, my mates did homemade pies, cake and  stuff you just add boiling water to. We had a camping stove”.  How did they keep the sausages fresh? Easy – they used two coolbags with icecubes in between and a towel to help evaporation (Science!).​

Lizzy had a post-festival recovery plan - she booked into a local budget hotel for the night after a festival 300 miles from home. It felt like luxury.