Dig out your denim shorts, crop top and Instagram-ready flower headdress – it’s festival season baby! From V Festival to Wireless, Bestival to T in the Park, fields across the country are about to be swamped by music-lovers looking to dance their hearts out in the sunshine. But often the reality doesn’t quite live up to Pinterest dream of the perfect festival – and more often than not you crawl home with aching legs, blistered feet, indigestion, sunburn and a rotten hangover brewing.
Following my triumphs and failures at Lovebox this July, I decided to use my experience to create a fool-proof guide for surviving a festival. Follow the steps below and you can spend the day after your festival reminiscing and posting sun-soaked photos online, rather than hiding under your duvet:
Obviously you want to look super cool and super summery at the festival – but keep in mind that the weather doesn’t always deliver. By all means opt for your dare-to-bare denim, but for the love of God bring layers in your bag because, you know… England.
And rain leads to another festival hazard – mud. As much as you might feel like a bohemian goddess, the floor-length white maxi dress might not look so great after an Annie Mac mosh-pit. Similarly – think long and hard about your footwear. Don’t wear your brand new shoes. Even if it isn’t muddy, new shoes can cause blisters that could ruin your day – go for your old faithful Converse and you can’t go wrong.
Alcohol is a staunch element of any decent festival – but it doesn’t take a genius to know that too much can turn a great day into a disaster pretty quickly. You don’t want the day to pass in a blur of lost posessions and unpleasant encounters with the porta-loos. Make sure you’re taking breaks on the drinking, and taking on plenty of water – when you’re out in the sun all day it’s so easy to get dehydrated, and that’s when things can get dangerous.
Another bonus of easing up on the drinking is the cost – at Lovebox a single gin & tonic would sting you £9 – that adds up quickly over a whole day! Give your bank balance a break and down some H20.
Festival food is also a bit of a minefield for your health – but if you’re smart about it there are plenty of guilt-free options to choose from. Have a big, nutritious brunch before you go; stock up on protein, vegetables and foods with low GI for slow-release energy. (Sweet potatoes, eggs and salmon will keep you going for hours). When hunger strikes make sure you fuel up, otherwise you’re going to crash. Dodge the greasy pizza and soggy chips for something more interesting – from dim sum to Thai noodles, there are plenty of more virtuous food stalls that will fill you up.
Spending a day at a festival can be more of a workout than hitting the gym. Trekking from stage to stage, working your quads as you hover over the loo, getting your cardio fix as you throw some serious shapes – you’re likely to wake up the next morning feeling like you’ve done a triathlon. Embrace the movement – throw yourself into the atmosphere of the day and dance as much as you can! That way you don’t have to feel guilty if you skip the gym the next day.
No matter how careful you are – you’re still likely to feel slightly fragile the day after a festival. Drinking, dancing and excessive sunshine will all take its toll on your body. Don’t hibernate in a darkened room – wallowing is sure to make you feel worse. If your festival is anything like Lovebox, you will be finding dust in every orifice for days. Indulge in a long bath and scrub every inch of you clean – you’ll feel like a new woman.
Your recovery day is the perfect time to start your detox – glug some green tea and plenty of water to flush out any toxins, and make sure your catching up on your vegetable intake after surviving a day on nothing but curly fries and warm white wine.
The most important element for recovery is sleep. If you can book a morning off work and sleep until noon – I would definitely recommend it. Your buzzing ears and aching calves will thank you for it!