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Duncan's Festival Survival Tips

Duncan's Festival Survival Tips

Duncan Leighton | 12 Aug 2022

The Glastonbury crew may think festival season finishes in June, but with Reading & Leeds, Creamfields, Boardmasters, Camp Bestival, All Points East and plenty of others on the horizon there’s still some serious planning to do! Here’s my absolute essentials list on what to pack for overnights and what to expect from yourself - note from a nutritional standpoint I wouldn’t recommend most of this for daily life, but festivals are a different world entirely. Please take into consideration your own needs, this is just what works for me.

Rehydration tablets


Phizz is top of the list for this - they taste good and feel like HEALTH as well as being a good way to consume some much needed water in the morning and before bed (which, coincidentally, might also be in the morning).

Protein bars & Protein Drinks

I’m not a day to day fan of replacing meals with packaged blends HOWEVER if you need sustenance in a pinch then this is a good option. I don’t believe Huel need to be refrigerated, so they make a good lunchtime / breakfast option if you’re bouncing around between stages. Dry protein bars are ok as long as you’re not already parched, at which point they will become unpleasant to try and swallow.


I promise this isn’t all about food, but it might be true that eating is the main focus of any day, festival or not! Take a few bags, put them in your bumbag, someone is bound to get a sugar low so you can play hero, or just enjoy some Fruit Pastilles while watching Disclosure (they stick together less than Wine Gums in the heat).

Water bladders

You need the option to have water at all times but carrying a massive bottle around is a non starter. Grab two cheap 500ml screw top water bladders from the camping shop, fill it from the tap, drink it, screw it up when it’s empty and put it back in your bumbag. Job done. The second one? Fill it with vodka and decant it into a cup with some squeezy squash and water - did you even need to ask?

Medicine and blister plasters

Paracetamol, Imodium, indigestion pills. Don’t try and save money buying cheap plasters, they aren’t as good and if your feet start bleeding you’ll be done for. Don’t push your body to the limit without a bit of backup!

A hand held fan

- the traditional kind, not battery operated. When it’s hot you’ll love it, and everyone around you will love it - also works as a fun dance accessory (don’t hit anyone in the face).

Portable phone chargers

I usually take a big fat beast for the tent and a little cutie to keep in my pocket during the day.

Your own bedding and pillow

Chuck an outfit out of your bag if you need to make room for this, it makes a massive difference. Don’t be tempted to buy a blow up pillow - putting your weary head on something familiar will hugely help your sleep quality, even if you’re not getting that much of it…

Have a healthy, restful week the week before

If you arrive already 50% depleted then you’re going to be running on empty pretty quickly. Also, avoid the temptation to smash extra workouts in the couple of days before you go, save your legs for dancing!
Make sure you have a little sit down, hug your friends and enjoy the time with them - don’t get too upset that Emma wants to go to the toilet after you’ve all just been, or that Ben left his jumper in the tent after you’ve just left. While the stragglers do their thing, use the extra time to get some sun on your skin (with sun lotion of course), or take your shoes off and get some grass (or mud) connection for a couple of minutes. We waited through a LONG winter to get here, so take it in and enjoy yourself.
Duncan x