Where you camp at a festival can really make or break your whole weekend. I wanted to give some helpful tips about how you too can make the most out of your festival experience and secure yourself the best camping spot possible! Whether you are a festival newbie or a regular festival fanatic, knowing the best and worst places to pitch your tent is always a good thing to know.
1 – The early bird catches the worm!
My biggest piece of advice is to be early! If the gates open at 9 don’t get there for 9, get there for 7. Those that get there early always get the best spots to pitch their tents as they get the pick of the bunch. If it means a really early start it’s worth it! Just get in, pitch your tent and have a nap if necessary, but getting there early and securing a good spot will set you up for a much nicer festival experience. Getting there early also means, if you’re a bigger group, you are almost certain to be able to camp together. If you arrive later in the day a lot of people will have secured the best spots and even saved places for their friends, meaning there will only be small patches dotted about to pitch your tent in.
2 – Closer isn’t always better.
The first mistake most people make is that they chose to camp as close as physically possible to the entrance to the main arena thinking its a clever tactic… It isn’t! Being super close to the entrance means you have people walking past your tent constantly at all hours of the day and night. This creates not just a lot of noise but also churns up the ground very quickly due to the high traffic. If you add a couple of rainy spells to the mix you end up camping in or next to a bog which is not fun at all.
3 – High means dry.
Camping on a hill or any slope isn’t ideal as it isn’t the most comfortable, however if you have to, make sure you camp at the top of the hill not at the bottom! The law of gravity people… If you get a rainy day (unfortunately it’s highly likely at a UK festival) all of the water runs down the hill, leaving those at the bottom swimming into their sleeping bags. Camping at the top of the hill, although means a slightly harder walk back to your tent, does mean that you will stay high and dry if the heavens decide to open.
4 – Toilet troubles
Camping close to the toilets and showers seems like a logical thing to do, and its fine as long as you keep your distance a bit. You want to be close enough that you don’t feel like you have to embark on an expedition in the middle of the night just to use the loo, but you want to stay far enough away that you don’t notice them.
After the first day, the toilets are always a sight for sore eyes (and nose) and camping near them can be really rather disgusting. As well as the smell, think about footfall… the amount of people that use the toilets and showers at a festival is crazy and so like with my first point, all those people just make the ground into soup within a day or so.
5 – Paths, friend or foe?
There are usually designated paths snaking through the campsite at a festival, and although it seems a good idea to camp right next to one, it isn’t! The paths are always really busy, noisy and due to the constant footfall, get muddy and soggy very quickly. There are also a few people who believe in the mantra that ‘eating is cheating’, get too drunk and can’t walk straight enough to stick to the designated paths. Your tent, if pitched too close to a path, will be a prime target to be tripped over or fallen on at all hours of the night.
My rule is normally to pitch my tent one or two tents away from the path. This makes it not too difficult to find but also means it isn’t going to get flattened by an intoxicated festival goer.
6 – Hedge your bets
Camping near a hedge or near the edge of the campsite can be a great spot. It’s quiet, people don’t walk past your tent all night, and you have some shelter from the elements. However, hedges are also a second toilet for many people. A lot of people after the first day, chose not to use the festival toilets as they really can be quite vile, choosing instead to go in the bushes which means… you guessed it…. right next to your tent! EW! So, pitching your tent next to a bush or hedgerow can be a gamble which can pay off, just be aware that some people live by the saying ‘when you got to go, you got to go’.
I hope you find my tips and tricks helpful. I have always gone to a festival and learnt, sometimes the hard way, what is best to do to secure a great spot. Use my helpful hints to make sure you can make the most of your festival experience. If you have any of your own tips that you think I can add please comment!