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If you’ve been to Glastonbury Festival before then you’ll know that pre-Glasto excitement is a real thing. That feeling of not being able to concentrate on anything in the run down to the festival, finding yourself daydreaming about sitting in a field on Worthy Farm, cider in hand, looking out over the vast expanse that is the world’s biggest and best festival – it’s making me emotional already.
If you haven’t been then not only am I exceedingly jealous that you get to experience the sheer wonder of seeing it all for the first time, but you’ve probably also got a lot of questions. Is it really as massive as everyone says it is? YES. Are the toilets really that bad? NO – just avoid the portaloos and use the long drops – you’ll be fine. What do I take?!! Well….that’s where we’re here to help!
Packing for a festival is always a toughie, but packing for the mother of all festivals is even harder. You’re going to be there for a minimum of four days, maybe five or six if you head down when the gates open, the weather is always unpredictable and you’ve also got to make sure that you you look semi-presentable after several days without a wash. I won’t promise that this is the most comprehensive Glasto guide in the world, but in my experience, these are the essential things you need to know!
What to take
1. A decent tent – Yeah, yeah, it’s obvious, but don’t think your cheap £15 Tesco pop up tent is going to keep you, or your stuff dry if the heavens open. If you can, aim to get a tent which is bigger than you need – that way you’ll have plenty of space for your stuff, and you won’t have to share your bed with a pair of muddy wellies!
2. BOOZE! Glastonbury is one of the only festivals who will still let you take your own booze onto the festival site, so make the most of it! There are more bars than you’ll ever have time to visit on site, but they can be pricy, and hey, if you can take your own drink why not?! Make sure you don’t take any glass bottles (you’ll have it confiscated) and make sure you take something you don’t mind drinking warm, as if it’s hot nothing stays cold for long. Warm cider is obviously a classic, but we discovered last year that Jaegermeister and Red Bull is just a drinkable at body temperature – highly recommended!
3. Baby wipes – Pretty self explanatory really! You’re going to get well grubby, and you won’t be able to have a shower, no matter how much people tell you there are showers on site – I’ve sure as hell never seen them! Take more baby wipes than you think you’ll need – trust me on this.
4. Pro Plus – Unless you’re planning on getting well and truly out of your tree for the whole weekend you’re going to need something to help you stay up until the early hours, especially after a day of walking and dancing! Pro Plus and cider is the breakfast of champions – don’t you forget that!
5. Snacks! Take as many non-perishable snacks as you can lay your hands on – there’s nothing worse than waking up in the morning with a hangover and then having to trek a mile down the campsite to find a burger van. A fist ful of Pringles will sort you out, and give you the energy you need to reach said burger van and treat yourself to a bacon bap and a full fat coke – YUM!
6. Bottled water. Very important! We’ve all had a hangover where you have a waking dream about how thirsty you are – make sure this doesn’t happen at Glasto by taking bottled water with you. Without wanting to sound like your Mum you don’t want to get dehydrated, and with all the boozing it’s very easy to do so – DRINK LOTS OF WATER KIDS!
7. Money! No matter how organised you are, or how much booze you take, you’re still going to need to buy food and drinks, so take plenty of cash. Yes, there are cash points on site, but who wants to be queuing with 300 other people when you could be raving to Dolly Parton instead?
What to wear
1. Wellies! Obvious item number two, but I cannot stress the importance of a good pair of wellies. You don’t need to spend a fortune unless you’re particularly fussed about having Hunter’s, but just make sure you have a pair – if it rains the ground turns to mush, and you ain’t going to last five minutes in flip flops!
Another good wellie related tip is to take a big plastic box with you to put in the entrance of your tent – think the kind of thing you used to put your toys in as a kid. When you get back to the tent you can just step straight into the box and leave your wellies there – that way you don’t need to worry about tramping mud through your tent, or getting soggy socks!
2. Knee high socks -these are a life saver, as if you end up wearing wellies all weekend they’re going to rub your calves to pieces if you don’t have knee high socks! I learnt this the hard way in my first year at Glasto – ouch!
3. A bum bag! Or fanny pack, if you’re that way inclined! Put your valuables, like your phone and your cash in your bum bag and not only do you have your arms free for dancing, but it means they’re much safer and less likely to get nicked than if they were in your rucksack. Make sure you take a good rucksack too – for putting your cider in!
4. A good (actually waterproof) waterproof. Don’t do what I did the first year and think a cag-in-a-bag from Primark is going to cut the mustard. It’ll be fine for a shower, but if it really rains you’re going to be seriously soggy. Invest in a good waterproof coat, with a hood, and you’ll be forever grateful. Topshop have a great range of proper waterproof macs that don’t look like something your Nan would wear, and they won’t cost you a fortune either.
5. Layers. I promise I’ll get past the practical stuff in a minute, but no matter how hot is is during the day it can get bloody chilly in the evening. Take a couple of warm hoodies, jumpers and jackets and just shove them in your rucksack for later – you’ll be glad you did when you’re shivering at the Stone Circle waiting for the sun to come up at 4am!
6. GLITTER! Now onto the fun stuff! If there’s anywhere in the world you can get away with caking yourself in glitter it’s Glasto, so get into the spirit. You can get some wicked glitter on ebay and it’s dirt cheap, so go mental! Be warned though – you’ll be finding it in places you never knew existed for weeks afterwards!
7. Flowers! Every girl worth her salt with have picked up a flower crown or two for festival season, and as much as I’d normally say don’t follow the crowd it’s so much fun to adorn yourself like Carmen Miranda for a few days! To save hat awkward “Oh – you’ve got the same headdress as me” moment buy individual flowers and just shove them all in.
8. LYCRA! Don’t underestimate the importance of being comfortable (sorry, Mum alert again!) but that tailored playsuit you thought was going to be soooo practical when you tried it on is probably going to chafe like hell after 12 hours! Kit yourself out with some leggings, leotards, catsuits – anything that’s going to be stretchy and comfortable – you can get some amazing festival lycra from our friends Burnt Soul!
What to do
1. Explore! Obvious one, huh? But the beauty of Glastonbury is discovering all of the hidden areas, so don’t get too hung up on seeing absolutely every act you wanted to see and spend a bit of time exploring.
2. EAT! You can literally get ANYTHING you want to eat at Glasto – think of any cuisine, and dish – you can get it. Festival food at Worthy Farm is so much more than the burger vans you get at other festival, so make the most of it and try something different.
3. Don’t spend too much time at the Pyramid stage! Maybe I’m just being snobby, but you’ll find so much amazing unknown music away from the main stages that it’s well worth making a concerted effort to find it.
4. Go to Shangri-La! And the entire afterhours area! I can’t stress how utterly mind blowing Glastonbury is after dark, and if you follow the railway track you’ll find yourself in the dark, dystopian playground that comprises Shangri-La, The Common, Block 9, The Unfairground and the rest of the afterhours areas. Go with an open mind, as they can be pretty bizarre, but it’s an experience you won’t forget in a hurry! If you find yourself there on Saturday night come and see Frankie and I (@duchessdjs) DJ a The Rum Shack – we’ll be on at 4am!
5. Visit the Green Fields. After a night in Shangri-La chances are you’ll need some R&R, so head over to the green fields and have a mooch. From yoga to massage, amazing vegan food to beautiful live music you can get it all in the Green Fields, just at a much slower pace to the rest of the festival.
6. Go to the Rabbit Hole! This is top of my list of things to do, as I’ve still never made it! Tucked away in The Park area, The Rabbit Hole is famous for being a bit of a celeb haunt (last year Prince Harry was raving it up with Cara Delevigne!) and it’s got an amazing reputation for Alice in Wonderland-esque parties!
I’m sure there’s loads more that I’ve forgotten, but whatever you do – soak it all up! Whether it’s your first time or your fourteenth time no Glastonbury is every the same, and personally I think it’s the most magical place on earth – just enjoy it!!