Is it possible to sleep well in a tent at a festival?
Sleeping at a music festival can be challenging. Loud music & lots of people make it hard. Thanks to my vast festival experience and making festival mistakes in the past I have come up with 10 tips for How To Sleep Well At A Festival so you can catch some zzz’s over your festival weekend!
Sleeping at a festival to some feels like cheating and if you do catch some kip, you are somehow missing out on a vital part of the festival.. You can’t see and do everything at a festival! This is especially true with festivals like Glastonbury or Tomorrowland – they are just so huge that it’s impossible to see everything! I’ve done Tomorrowland 4x and still haven’t seen and done everything!
Sleeping at a festival is vital to make sure that no matter what day you are on, you have just as much fun, and although right now I probably sound like a party pooper, I will be the one smiling, laughing and still dancing into the early hours on day 5!
#1 Choose the right festival camping spot
Choosing where to camp at a festival can be the difference between a decent nights sleep and a tent that vibrates all night with the bass of a nearby stage. I would always advise that you look at a festival map before you arrive to figure out where you might want to base yourself. Nearer to the arena/music means less walking but more noise… I always prefer to be a little further out and walk a bit further to make sure I can sleep and escape the festival mayhem when I want to!
This is especially important at festivals like Glastonbury, where knowing where to camp at Glastonbury can make or break your whole festival experience!
Choosing the right spot also means not pitching your tent or Caravan / Campervan on uneven, lumpy ground, or on a slant! If you can, make sure you choose a spot as flat as possible with no uneven lumps and bumps. If you do have to sleep on a slight gradient, make sure your feet are pointing downhill!
#2. Take earplugs
These will be your best friends at a festival. Get soft earplugs that you can sleep comfortably in. I have several pairs so that if I lose one, I’m not back to square one!
#3. Pack an eye mask
I use these ALL THE TIME at a festival! Sleeping in a tent in the middle of summer means that sunlight will start streaming into the tent from as early as 5am! I use a domed sleeping mask which is far more comfortable and it works wonders.
#4. Opt for a blackout tent
If an eye mask isn’t your thing or you want to go one step further, use a blackout tent! These things are AMAZING! After seeing a friend take one to a festival, I went and bought one for myself. They block out the light and are amazing at making sure you are able to get good sleep. Not only that, they keep the tent cooler during the day, so if you want a mid afternoon snooze – you can comfortably!
#5. Take a decent sleeping mat and pillow
Packing light is always a good idea, but taking a pillow and a decent sleeping mat will honestly be worth the extra bulk! I use a self inflating sleeping mat which is about 3 inches thick, and a mini pillow – which I took from a long haul flight. They have honestly made festivals SO much more comfortable.
#6. Pack ‘Tent Only’ Clothes/PJs
I always make sure that I pack an outfit for a festival that NEVER leaves the tent! Even for an early morning trip to the toilets or to get a coffee, I will change out of that outfit and into something else. When I am not wearing it, I keep it in a plastic bag inside the tent. This way, there’s always a dry, clean outfit which I can sleep in every night. There is nothing worse than coming back from a night of dancing, drinking, singing or getting rained on and not being able to get into warm, dry, comfy clothes.
#7. When you’re tired – Sleep
Festivals are a marathon, not a sprint. If you are knackered – SLEEP. Don’t feel that by just getting a little shut-eye, you are going to be missing out. In the end, you will last longer and be able to enjoy yourself a whole lot more if you are not a walking zombie fueled by Redbull and Pro Plus. Have a nap during the day, find a tent playing acoustic music just to lie down and unwind… However you recharge your batteries – do it!
#8. Take a big enough tent
This was one of the very first festival mistakes I made. I took a TINY tent to share with a friend and we both regretted it instantly. We barely had enough room to put two yoga mats together, let alone sleep comfortably in there. We had one of our bags as a pillow (to share) and another that propped our feet up. Safe to say Reading Festival 2010 was not my most comfortable camping experience and intro into the festival world. Now, I always take a 4-man tent for 1-2 people that has a separate sleeping compartment and porch/entrance area. This way there is plenty of space to sleep properly and keep wet, muddy boots and bags out of the way!
Drink plenty of water! A day of drinking, dancing, sweating and walking around means that you will loose a lot of fluids throughout the day. At night, make sure you drink plenty of water so you don’t wake up with a mouth that feels like a dessert at 4am. I fill up a Chilly or Frank Green water bottle before I head off for the evening. Not only is it a great way to be more eco-friendly at a festival, but it also means that when I get back from a night of dancing and singing, I have a nice bottle of cold water ready & waiting for me!
#10. Stay warm!
Wearing enough layers at night is a must! During the day it might be lovely and hot, but at night temperatures drop MASSIVELY! When I went to Wilderness Festival with a friend, we were freezing at night, so much so that we had to buy coats to sleep in from a vintage stall! Make sure you pack and wear enough layers when you go to sleep so that you are not waking up shivering at 5am!
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