This time in 28 days where will you be? If you are like me, you will be at the greatest festival on earth, Glastonbury.
Here’s 10 questions Glastonbury newcomers often want answered:
1/ When should I arrive?
The car parks for Glastonbury open at 9pm on the Tuesday night so you can arrive anytime from then onwards. Be warned – if you arrive on the Tuesday, you will be sleeping (or partying!) in the car park until the following morning when the gates open.
If you are planning on arriving later than Wednesday afternoon, bear in mind that the popular campsites do fill up quickly. Pennards in particular, seems to be a very popular camping spot due to its reputation of being the ‘party field’. Other fields are just as fun so don’t blindly head there, especially if you are arriving a wee bit later.
2/ What’s it like camping in the car park on the Tuesday night?
It’s fun but don’t expect to get much sleep! Turns out the car isn’t the most comfy place to rest your head if you are a fully grown adult- who would have thought it aye? Consider the fact that you are going to have quite a wait in the queue before you get in on the Wednesday and if you haven’t really slept, you will find it tiring. That said, arriving on Tuesday definitely has its advantages. The ability to get set up early on the Wednesday is brilliant and allows you to maximise your festival time pre-music.
That really depends on what you are looking for in a campsite. Pennards may be one of the more popular sites but it tends to get pretty rowdy, cramped and it always seems to me like it is the first place to get hit by pickpockets. Whether this is true or not, I’m not sure, but I can see why a field known as being the place where all the drunk party goers sleep would be appealing if your looking to steal things at a festival!
At the other end of the spectrum are the family camping fields. These have extra security so that those who have children can camp feeling that little bit safer. These fields tend to fill up pretty quickly though so if you have children, aim to get there early.
There are loads of other fields in between the two extremes. We opt for Park Home Ground which tends to have a great atmosphere without the drunken silliness of Pennards and with a bit more space to move around.
4/ I’m bringing children. Will I get a spot in family camping?
As mentioned above, the family camping fields do fill up quickly so if you want a spot, I suggest getting there early. Perhaps send one adult in ahead to queue while the other entertains the children in the car park.
If you don’t manage to bag a spot in the family camping fields then please don’t worry. Glastonbury is generally pretty safe. Try some of the fields away from the centre of the festival such as Dairy Ground if you would prefer somewhere a little less cramped but don’t feel that because your outside the family camping area your family will be in danger. In general Glastonbury goers are a happy bunch who are happy to help reunite a child with its lost adults.
5/ Is there anything to do on the Wednesday and Thursday?
Yes! There is so much to do from yoga classes through to drinking Pimms at the Pimms bus. In many ways Wednesday and Thursday are my favourite days because you really get to explore the site, soak up the atmosphere and get your bearings before the music starts on the Friday.
That really depends on your spending style. Are you bringing food with you? Do you want to buy alcohol? Are you hoping to pick up some bits and pieces from the markets? These are all things you should ask yourself when deciding how much to take with you.
As a rule of thumb, I budget £5 for breakfast, £7 for lunch and £8 for dinner so a total of £20 per day for food. I tend not to spend all of this but it is good to know it is in the budget if I need food.
If you are planning on buying drinks at the festival, think London prices and you can’t go wrong. It is about £4.50/£5 for a glass of wine, pint of beer or a cider. How much you’ll need in total for drinks will depend upon your own drinking habits.
I love shopping at the markets. There are usually some nice dresses or trousers at a very reasonable price. For example one year I bought some lovely silky harem trousers for about £12, while another year my husband treated me to two new dresses for about £8 each. 7/ Do you have any tips for doing Glastonbury on a tight budget?
It is easy to do Glastonbury on a tight budget, just don’t give into peer pressure or the temptation to spend.
If you like a tipple, bring alcohol with you. Glastonbury is one of the only mainstream festivals in the UK where you can bring your own alcohol with you anywhere on site. The supermarkets usually start their summertime deals around about the start of June so look out for them.
Cereal bars, peanuts, sweets and crisps are all good snacks to bring with you to keep you going in between meals. If you have access to a gas camping stove then you may like to consider bringing that with you too although remember that once the music starts you probably won’t be at your campsite much around meal times.
In the past, my husband and I have taken a disposable BBQ with us along with some sausages, burgers and rolls. This can be great for getting you through the first day of the festival, without spending any money at all.
Finally, make sure you bring a water bottle with you and use the drinking water taps to fill up. At about £2-£3 a bottle for water, if the weather is hot then this will save you a lot of money.
There really isn’t a great deal you can do to keep your tent secure I’m afraid. There isn’t any point using a lock. If you do you are just advertising to any potential thieves that you have something of value in there and they will just slash your tent if they want it that badly.
Some people say ‘don’t bring anything you aren’t prepared to not go home with’ which personally I think sounds like something a teacher would say before a school trip! My own attitude is bring what you like but don’t leave anything of value in your tent.
In the past, I have left money in my tent. I’m pretty clumsy and my thinking has been that it was more likely I’d drop my cash than that someone would steal it. When I have left money, I have spread it around and my tent has been a complete mess making it tricky for anyone to find it if they were looking. This is a pretty haphazard way of doing things and using the property lock ups, which are free of charge and are stationed all round the site, is a far safer approach.
The one thing I strongly advise to leave at home is valuable jewellery. My husband’s wedding ring fell off on the first day of the festival last year and we were both devastated. Lesson learnt there – I shall be leaving mine safely at home this year.
10/ What time do I need to leave on the Monday?
The official line always seems to be that everyone should be off site by 5pm on the Monday evening but I have known people who have stayed later.
Although there are all sorts of graphs around about the busiest time to leave the site by car, I have always found it to be pretty hit and miss as to whether we get straight out the gates or if we have to queue.
Whatever time you leave, please, please, please make sure you are sober. For many, Glastonbury is a time to indulge and little sleep is had between the Tuesday night and the Monday. That’s fine but the combination of lack of sleep mixed with alcohol can make for some very nasty accidents. Be careful and if in doubt, don’t drive.