Festival Survival Guide

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The Dos and Donts of the Ponty Weekend

muddy field

…whatever the weather

We found this handy survival guide on MSN and reproduce it for all you fashion victims out there!

Before You Go

Spare no expense on a good tent.
Make sure it’s in good condition. If at all possible, practise putting it up (is there anything worse than having no idea how to erect your tent?). Check that you have enough poles and tent pegs. If necessary, buy extra tent pegs – you can never have too many. A rubber mallet is also very handy.

Get Packing

Pack Light.
Don’t be a diva – there’s no need for matching Louis Vuitton luggage filled with designer gear. Only take what’s absolutely necessary. A pair of jeans, a couple of T-shirts, a jumper and warm jacket (just in case. This is the UK after all, not the Caribbean), underwear and something to sleep in; that’s it. Take comfortable shoes (stilettos have no place at festivals) and always pack a pair of wellies. Even if it doesn’t rain, wellies will give you the confidence to go anywhere.

Be prepared for the unpredictable UK weather.
Pack for rain or shine; take an umbrella, sunglasses, sunscreen, light coloured T-shirts, wellies and waterproofs too. Essentials that you mustn’t think twice about taking include: toilet tissue, jumbo-sized packs of wet wipes (trust us, wet wipes are your best friend at festivals), deodorant, sanitary towels/tampons (even if you think you won’t need them, one of your mates might).

Also take carrier bags and bin bags, contraceptive pills and condoms (just in case) and a small first aid kit (put in the basics: plasters, antisceptic, paracetemol and aspirin). It’s not easy to keep clean at a festival but make the effort; your friends and fellow festival goers will love you for it. There are washing facilities but there will probably be queues. Best to rely on a combination of wet wipes and deodorant.

Until you perfect the ‘tent peg dance’, a small torch that you can fit in your pocket is a must. Finding your tent in the middle of the night is a treacherous business. There are a million guide ropes just waiting for an opportunity to trip you up. Never use candles or flares or any other fire risks as a means of lighting.

Money, Money, Money!

This cannot be stressed enough – use cash points on the way to the venue. Don’t assume that you can get cash there. For starters, the queues for cash are likely to be very long (that’s if there are any facilities at all). Or, they may have even run out of cash. At Pontardawe, the nearest ATM is a ten-minute walk from the campsite (Tesco). Think carefully about how much cash you’ll need – try and take the minimum amount necessary. If possible, only take one credit/debit card with you. If you lose it or if it’s stolen, you’ve only got one card to worry about cancelling.

Don’t be tempted to take too many valuables. Yes, it’s a good idea to take a camera or mobile phone (get them insured before you go!) but there’s no need to walk around looking like Mr T from The A-Team – leave all your bling-bling at home.

Arrive Early

The roads around the area are likely to be congested with festival goers so be prepared for that. Secure your car and take all valuables with you. Do not leave anything on the car seats, in the footwell or the centre console (remove all the junk you dump there such as your small change, half-eaten packet of Polo mints and chewing gum). Remember – restrictions on space mean you won’t be able to park your car next to your tent.

Tent Matters

Choose the location to pitch your tent wisely – and remember where it is!
Avoid bushes (people tend to use them as toilets) and don’t erect it near a toilet (for obvious reasons). Think about putting a flag on your tent. Failing that, take a good look at your surroundings – there will be other tents with flags to help you get your bearings.

Staying Safe

With regard to security – there are two schools of thought. One says, put a padlock on your tent. Another says, if you do, you may increase your chances of potential tent theft. A padlock, to some thieves, screams “This tent is full of wonderful, shiny things to steal!” Ultimately, it’s a tent – if anyone wants to find a way in, they will. Thefts are relatively isolated but you should always take your valuables with you.

Get a site map sooner rather than later. Find out where the first aid and information services are and arrange a recognisable meeting point with your friends just in case anyone gets lost. Choose somewhere sensible that’s likely to be less crowded. If you have children with you, keep a close eye on them. Make sure they know what to do if they get lost. It’s a good idea to put a mobile phone number on the child somewhere (on their wrist band for example – every child at Pontardawe gets a special one with space for the purpose), so that if (big ‘if’) they do get lost and are found, it is easier to contact you.

NEVER accept an open drink from a stranger (no matter how friendly they appear) in case it has been ’spiked’. Always make sure you’ve got plenty of bottled water. This isn’t just for the day’s festivities but for night-time too. Waking up under canvas can feel like waking up in a small oven and a dehydrated crawl to the nearest tap is no fun at all.

As It All Gets Underway…

Keep your camp site clean and tidy. Always place your litter in tied bin bags and dispose of in rubbish bins.

Always allow plenty of time to get from one stage/place/event to another, especially on days that are more crowded – at Ponty that’s Saturday afternoon.. Once again, try and arrive as early as possible so that you can get a prime viewing spot.

Finally – have a good time!

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