The 2016 Glastonbury Festival line up has just been released, I’ve paid my balance and am now on a massive count down to the big weekend. This is my second time going to Glastonbury and after trying desperately to get tickets last year and failing, I am not taking my spot for granted.
My first Glastonbury was epic – I had such a good time (despite being ill with a bladder infection and having to visit the festivals makeshift hospital). There is a lot to take in though with tens of thousands of people crammed into one place, a massive site to navigate, more on offer than you could ever possibly fit in to a weekend and, of course, the unpredictable British weather.
1. Improve your chances of getting tickets
If you are about to fight for a Glastonbury ticket, improve your chances as much as possible. You can buy up to 6 tickets so find 5 other people who want to go…that means you have 6 chances instead of 1 (if you don’t have friends interested, find people online). Make sure everyone in the group has everyone else’s details and registration number as they will need that to book the tickets.
Base yourselves at 6 different locations using different internet networks. As soon as the site is up for tickets click through and you will join a queue. Don’t keep refreshing, it will do it automatically. If you are lucky and one of your group gets through. Buy the tickets asap.
2. Bring your own drinks and snacks
Glastonbury is one of the few festivals that let you bring your own supplies. There is a ton of great street food available and you won’t want to miss out on that. But sometimes you just want a snack without queuing for 20 minutes. Equally, it can be annoying queueing for an overpriced drink. You’ll save a small fortune, hassle and time by bringing your own.
When packing my drink stash I ran out of space in my bag so with the spares I used duct tape and put them together with a handle….it worked really well and loads of people told me they would steal this idea. It’s a solid system:
3. Do what you want
I couldn’t believe how many people were giving me unwanted advice and telling me how I should ‘do’ Glastonbury. A young guy camping next to us told me I was sad for looking at the schedule to see when a band was on that I wanted to see, “Just chuck it away and just go have fun. That’s what Glastonbury is about”.
Well, I think his advice is crap. He got so wasted on the first night he spent the rest of the weekend ill and in his tent – waste of a ticket!
The thing I love most about Glastonbury is that there’s so many different sides to it and so many different people there that you can completely make what you want of it. Personally, I wanted to see a handful of my favourite bands. I wanted to see all the different sections of Glastonbury and was way more interested in enjoying the live music in the tents in the day time than seeing DJ’s and clubbing at night. It’s personal preference. Early riser, late night partier, want to see the big acts, more interested in watching the circus all day…it’s all available.
Decide what you want out of it and ignore everyone’s advice.
4. Grab some freebies
There are loads of information points in Glastonbury that give out free recycled toilet paper so you only need to take a small amount with you. Also, make sure you check out the Free Press. They print a free Glastonbury newspaper (using traditional print methods). It’s fun to read and is the best souvenir you can take home from the festival.
4. Pitch your tent smart
There are loads of places you can camp and each area has a different vibe. There’s a field for families, noisy party areas and quieter spots a bit further away. Check out this handy site for information on all the available fields.
When camping the golden rule is camp high and away from the walking tracks. After half an hour of rain I saw loads of tents flooded and ruined by having hundreds of people trample over them because they were on the edge of the field. Over time crowds start to avoid the muddy mess that the paths turn into and start to push closer and closer into the tents on the edge.
It’s also important to remember the name of your site in case you get really lost.
5. There’s so much more than just music
I wasn’t expecting it, but Glastonbury has loads of art, dance, drama and circus performances. One of my favourite section was Green Fields which is full of workshops, crafts and healing tents. The festival site is huge. It takes ages to get around, especially when you get caught in a crowd leaving a big stage when an act just finishes. It’s well worth setting aside a bit of time just to wander and see what’s there.
6. Pack for cold, rain and sun
Good wellies and a decent waterproof are essential and most people don’t forget this part. (although I saw so many crappy abandoned broken wellies). What you see loads though is people who are really cold, because they don’t have enough warm clothing, and people who are bright red from sunburn.
It’s worth taking a cheap blanket to throw in your tent for chilly evenings.
7. The loos…
The toilets are seriously gross. They start off ok but end up so disgusting it’s almost enough to put me off going back. The worst is when the it’s hot….eww! The best toilets on site are the long drop ones that are maintained by water aid. They’re very clean. Second to that are the compost ones. The compost helps hide the smell.
Girls, you will not regret taking a SheWee (you can get them on Amazon). It was the best purchase I ever made for festivals. It takes a little practising so try it out in the shower a few times first. The trick is to lean forward slightly and make sure the end is pointing down.
This device will save you having to go any where near the dirty crap covered disgusting toilets. The festival now have she wee stands for women (so much faster than queuing for the regular toilets) although I even spotted some women bravely using their she wee in the mens urinals.
8. Embrace the dirt
You are going to get muddy and dirty and unless you know someone famous or are going to fish out for a luxury camping area, you won’t wash the whole time. I saw lots of campers desperately trying to sort their hair out and apply make up. I even spotted a girl fighting her dirty hair with battery operated straighteners – lol. Baby wipes and deodorant – it’s all you need!
What to pack for Glastonbury Festival
It takes ages to walk from the car/bus point to the camping fields. Its a long walk – don’t underestimate it. So rule number one is pack light.
There’s a good chance that what you take will get ruined or lost. So rule number 2 is don’t take too many nice things or valuables.
– main pack (nothing with wheels – they don’t work on grass)
– small bag (for taking items you need in the day)
– 4 tops
– warm fleece
– flip flops for around camp
– tent (I use a Vango Banshee 300, 3 man tent or 2 with lots of space. It’s a little pricey but is amazing. Guaranteed not too leak and can withstand extreme rain and wind conditions. Cheap tents will leak and you will be cold and miserable. The investment is worth it)
– sleeping bag
– roll mat
– pillow (take a cheap one you can throw away after – so worth it!)
– cheap fleece blanket
– earplugs and eye mask (essential)
– toothbrush & paste
– 1 toilet paper
– basic first aid kit
– antibacterial hand wipe
– Petzl head torch (take this with you for the day if you might be back late – you’ll need it to find your tent. Petzl are the best brand and won’t eat your batteries)
– thick bin liners (for rubbish and keeping things dry if you have a flooding problem)
– small dry bag (amazing for your phone and valuables so you don’t need to worry about them
– drink and snacks
– phone (better to take an old one if you have it. There were lots of times when signal was down because of overuse on the network meaning we weren’t able to meet up with friends so make a plan beforehand and don’t reky on phones)
– Cash (£40 a day was plenty for me – bearing in mind I took my own booze. Keep it with you and not in the tent)
– Running belt (amazing, easy, safe way to carry your cash and phone without having to worry about a bag. Turn the belt so the zip is on the inside to make it extra safe)
– ID (places will ID you)
– Festival ticket (important!)
For more information, check out my write up on Glastonbury 2016; the festival that almost got ruined.