Wednesday, 26 August 2015

The Ultimate Reading Festival Guide

This year will be my 10th year at Reading Festival, so I think I can class myself as pretty experienced with how things all work - and as it's right around the corner, I thought I'd post some festival survival tips to get you all through the weekend!

Festivals are unforgiving on the clean freaks (despite going to so many, I've gotten worse over the years!) so always bring hand sanitiser with you, and baby wipes if you have room!

Be prepared for the toilets - they're not too bad at first, but people at festivals suck and they only get worse (I'm talking turds everywhere, no joke).  Make sure you bring your own toilet roll/baby wipes as there usually isn't any, and I wouldn't advise playsuits!  A relatively new feature they've brought in is female urinals - sounds rank, but it means you can bypass the huge toilet queues, and shewees are pretty fun to use!  There are curtained cubicles for privacy, and you just throw away the cone after using it.  I always take some for everyone at the campsite so you don't have to walk 10 mins every time you need to pee, or squat in some stinging nettles.  I didn't know whether to address this point as it's a little TMI, but everybody pees - come on guys!

There are showers available to use in the campsites, but from my experience they're far to walk to, and the queues are ridiculous - to be honest I've never showered at a festival before and I'm not in any rush to, a baby wipe rub down works fine for me!

At the end of the day, everyone's in the same boat when you're at a festival, and you just have to deal with being dirty!  Whether you're covered in mud, have gross hair or smelly pits, no one will notice - trust me!

You obviously need an ID if you're over 18 and want to be drinking - you can then use it to get an over 18 band so you don't need to carry it around with you, don't want to lose your passport!

I usually take around £50 for food, and £30 for drinks (try to pre-drink as much as poss!) - I do sometimes buy from stalls while I'm there, but could probably survive on £100 for the weekend.  Do take money out in advance though, or face a £2.50 charge if you withdraw at the festival!

Obviously you want to look fab at a festival, but try not to bring anything you treasure too much, as it'll most likely get pretty dirty!  As Reading is one of the last festivals of the summer, it gets pretty chilly so bring lots of layers, and a proper waterproof, as it's looking like it'll rain!  I'll probably be wearing my Docs or CAT boots, but I will be bringing wellies in case the mud gets too much to handle, and I'd advise doing the same - make sure you also bring blister plasters, nothing ruins a festival more than cut-up feet!  Sunglasses are also very necessary - whether you're shielding from the sun, or too hungover for light, try to get a pair with actual UV protection.

Although cringey and overdone, I seriously stand by bumbags for festivals, they're great for keeping close to you, and less annoying than shoulder bags that get caught under layers, or rucksacks that get bumped in crowds.  My essentials include money, hand sanitiser, disposable camera, portable charger and phone.  I'll be taking my iPhone as a camera for blog posts, but I'd advise a cheap Nokia if you don't want it to die on you.  I also have a floppy water bottle that I clip to the strap to keep hydrated (or for sneaking in wine).

Lastly, know what you don't need at a festival; suitcases are not made for dragging through grass/mud, opt instead for a wagon for your bags or a big camping rucksack - they sell them in Tesco for £20!  Speakers are also unnecessary - it may be fun to have a bit of music in the campsite, but realistically they'll waste your battery, and die on day 1, plus I've had people around me playing some seriously awful music, just go to the arena and find some music there!  Also, don't be that guy who holds up an iPad at a gig, they're big, unnecessary and you'll probably get it nicked and last of all, the thing that annoys me most - don't bring an acoustic guitar.  One of the things I hate most is people who can only play Wonderwall or some Tenacious D but think they're a musical genius - unless your skills rival Hendrix, leave it at home.

I've camped in green, yellow, and orange before and all have been good, so I can't recommend any in particular - but I can tell you where to avoid.  It goes without saying to not camp too close to the arena or silent disco if you want a proper sleep, also the pathways get pretty muddy so try to go a little more to the middle.  Avoid the toilets at all costs - bushes too, unless you want your camp to reek of urine, and water reservoirs also get very muddy, so be aware of that.

As Reading is at the end of the summer it's the perfect time to get a heavily discounted tent - Halfords was selling a 2 man tent for just £5, so don't spend £200 on one because you got excited when you bought your ticket!  Also do bring it home afterwards, I know it's a chore to do when you have the hangover from hell on Monday morning, but you'll get loads more use out of it in the future - mines been to over 5 festivals with me and is still in top condition!  A tip I learned this year, is pick up some disposable gloves from a food seller - they'll be happy to spare a couple and it means you don't get disgusting muddy hands from rolling your tent up.

I've had many different sleeping arrangements at festivals, and all are good in their own ways - it just depends whether you have the capacity to carry it all.  Of course a sleeping bag is a necessity, and a roll matt is essential if you're just going with the basics.  In the past I've brought a double duvet with yoga mats underneath which worked great, or you could go all out and bring a blow up mattress.  Double air mattresses tent to slope in in the middle, so I got two singles that clip together which was perfect!  This may be bad advice, but I've taken to not bringing a pump - firstly because mine sucks, but also because so many people bring them that you just need to borrow it, that's what I've found anyway!  Pillows aren't essential - I've just rolled up clothes in the past or used an inflatable one from Poundland, but if you have the room, it's a nice luxury to have one.  One thing I would never go to a festival without is a sleep mask and ear plugs - seriously if you want sleep, get some!

A camping chair is a definite essential - when you're camping with others it's nice to chill around a campfire, and you're not going to want to sit on the floor, do recommend!

If you really can't hack camping, Pink Moon offer premium camping for a great price, you don't even need to set your tent up - it's where I'll be!  There are still tents available to buy if you're looking for a last minute glamping experience!

- Tent
- Sleeping bag
- Roll mat
- Pillow
- Binbags/carrier bags for rubbish
- Duct tape, idk why, always comes in handy
- Towels for spillages/rain
- Torch/light
- Baby wipes
- Toilet roll (I use baby wipes in the toilets, but toilet roll is great for mopping up inevitable spillages, just make sure it's kept try!)
- Warm PJS (it gets seriously freezing at night!)

I try to keep it light with toiletries, bringing as many travel sized items as possible so it's less to carry - my essentials include:
- Eye make-up remover
- Micellar water
- Make-up wipes
- Face moisturiser
- Body moisturiser
- Suntan lotion
- Toothbrush & toothpaste
- Dry shampoo
- Hair oil

Make-up-wise, I really recommend a foundation with SPF - I saved the pot I was given with a foundation sample and use that to take 3 days worth with me, means less to carry, and my expensive make-up won't be ruined due to drastic temperature changes!  I like to bring glitter with me to create fun festival looks, but if make-up isn't your thing, don't bother - would be a lot easier!

As for medicine, I always bring Ibuprofen and Tums (antacid tablets) to cure my hangover, and reduce the acidy of my stomach, wine is so bad for it!  It might also be a good idea to bring something regarding toilet habits - you never know if your food might be dodgy!  Lastly, be prepared for any lady problems - I've been unpleasantly surprised at a festival before and it was horrible, heat pads are great for the pain (instead of a hot water bottle), and if you are taken off-guard, you can buy everything from festival supermarkets no problem!

I have done cooking at festivals and honestly I don't think it's worth it - you're not allowed gas cookers so you have to use a campfire or disposable barbecue. This means it takes like 45 minutes to cook the sausages that have been sitting around for 2 days unrefrigerated, or you could buy one from a food van, which takes 5 minutes.  Boiling water is also a chore, boiling enough water for 8 pot noodles with a tiny pot takes forever - instead just go to the Samaritans tent and they'll fill you up for a donation!  I know it's unhealthy and expensive, but I've taken to eating lunch & dinner from food stalls - I'm at a festival I can treat myself, plus fatty/stodgy foods help alcohol absorb slower.

I do still bring some food, as it's important to stock up on energy - I have breakfast bars for the morning, and crisps if I need a snack.  I also bring a large bottle of water that I fill up at water points, so you don't always have to keep going back once you finish your small bottle.  For drink, I just bring 2 or 3 boxes of wine which sorts me out - nicer than warm cider!

I would recommend bringing in your own alcohol as it is pretty pricey in the arena/festival supermarkets, but you'll have to pre-drink as it's not allowed in the arena.  Also decant anything in glass bottles into plastic, or you'll have it taken off you!

Festivals exist for a fun escape, but you can't deny that they can be dangerous too.  By all means have a blast, but be aware of your surroundings.
- Never drink on an empty stomach
- Keep hydrated - extremely important!!!!
- Always zip up/fasten bags properly
- Keep drinks covered if you can - I've been spiked before and it's nasty
- Drink a bottle of water before bed to ease your hangover
- Keep location services on - it may waste battery but I've found my lost phone with it before!
- Avoid dodgy food - nuff said, don't want to miss your fave band because you're stuck in the toilet
- Look out for others (people too drunk to know whats going on, or people who fall in mosh pits)
- Practise safe sex, and keep in mind that the person you're getting with may have not washed their junk in 4 days (gross but true).
- Don't buy drugs on site - there have been so many festival deaths that I shouldn't need to make a point of this.  Drugs are taken very seriously at Reading and they have a zero-tolerance policy - possession equates to ejection; it's honestly not worth missing your favourite bands because of some crappy pills.

Sunday is the night to go crazy and finish off your booze to celebrate the end of the festival, but that doesn't mean you're allowed to be a dick about it.  Be considerate of others that might want to catch up on sleep rather than party, and be careful of those that might be taking things out of hand.  People do try lighting tents on fire, but luckily security is hot on it and it'll be put out straight away, and wrong-doers ejected.  Last year the people camping next to us set their tent on fire in the morning just before they left and there was an aerosol can inside that exploded, we were lucky that my boyfriend told us to stand back - leave your aerosols at home kids!

Back in the day I used to buy a lanyard with the stage times to write a schedule on my leg, but there's now a handy Reading Festival app you can download instead, which will notify you 15 minutes before each act that you 'star' - will be a lifesaver!

Expect the phone signal to be terrible.  Having so many people in a small area plays havoc with signal, and I often don't have it at most festivals.  There is sometimes wifi points, but I wouldn't expect much, so keep that in mind.  I know friends that have taken in walkie-talkies before if you wanna go all out!

Before you go into a band with your friends, identify a meeting point for afterwards, so that if any of you get lost, you'll find each other again.  There are so many times where doing this would have saved ages trying to find everyone!

Partying hard means you pay for it the next day, but don't let that hangover ruin your weekend - go see the band you've been obsessing over for ages - don't just skip it because they're on at 12 midday and they'll 'probably be doing a tour soon'.  I had to basically force my friend to come to Kasabian one year because she was tired, and she was so happy I did!

It's inevitable that there'll be some bands that you love, that your friends might not be too into, or have an act that clashes.  I really encourage you to go see who you want to see in these situations - yeah you might be on your own, but everyone at festivals is super friendly, and you'll definitely meet some buddies, you can always find your friends later!

Most of all - make the most of your weekend.  Don't just spend all of your time at the campsite, explore, discover new bands and make some friends, so that you can look back at your weekend as an incredible experience!

I really hope these tips helped you out with Reading & Leeds Festival, or in fact any festival, I guess it applys to them as a whole!  Make sure to leave any of your own tips in the comments below - and keep an eye on my social media to follow my festival journey!


  1. So much work. Everything seemed easier when we were children.

    / Avy

  2. Great tips, I'll have to remember this for Leeds Fest this weekend!

    Anika |

    1. تعتبر العاب فلاش دادي من العاب البنات الجديدة 2017 ومنها العاب الطبخ وباربي والعاب حرب وتلبيس و العاب سيارات من اشهر الانواع في هذا المجال وهي بدورها تتضمن عدة اصناف جميلة وجديدة من الالعاب ويعشقها الكتير وخاصة البنات والصغار والاولاد منها العاب تلبيس ومكياج التي تمزج بين العاب تلبيس وكذلك الميك اب في آن واحد هذا الامر الدي يزيد من جمالها وتجعل كل من يلعبها يستمتع بذلك زد على ذلك العاب تلبيس باربي ودورا و العاب طبخ التي تعرف شعبية كبيرة لانها شخصية مشهورة ويعرفها الصغير والكبير ولهم ذكريات جميلة معها لانها اشتهرت في عالم الكارتون والان اصبح الامر كذلك في مجال الالعاب وغير هذا هناك كذلك نوع آخر مميز ايضا وهو العاب تلبيس عرائس والعاب تلبيس فساتين جديدة 2017 و العاب حرب فالجميع يحلم ان يقوم بتلبيسهما لانها تذكرهم بهذه المناسبة الجميلة الا وهي الزواج التي تعتبر اهم مرحلة في حياة الانسان وهناك انواع مغايرة لها جمهور كبير في كل انحاء العالم وهي العاب قص الشعر ومكياج وتنظيف البشرة ليس هي فقط بل توجد ايضا العاب طبخ التي يمكن للجميع لعبها سواء كانوا اولادا او بناتا وهي الاكتر طلبا في النت ويحبها الجميع ومعها ايضا العاب باربي التي تكلمنا عليها بكل انواعها تتنوع العاب فلاش وذلك على حسب كل شخص ورغبته فهناك عدة انواع منها وهناك من هي خاصة بالبنات واخرى للاولاد وتعتبر العاب تلبيس من اكتر الالعاب انتشارا في الويب وهي محبوبة عند الجميع ولديها جمهور واسع كما انها سهلة اللعب والجميع يمكنه لعبها بسهولة تامة بدون صعوبات تذكر كما ان هناك انواع اخرى متل العاب طبخ والعاب اكشن ومكياج و سيارات الى غير ذلك فلك صنف جمهوره ومحبيه ولكن تبقى العاب بنات الاكتر انتشارا وشعبيتنا في عالم العاب الفلاش كما انها تحتوي على شخصيات معروفة وغنية عن التعريف متل باربي و سندريلا وشخصيات اخرى تركت بصمتها في هذا المجال لهذا اصبح يعتمد عليها كتيرا في صنف العاب تلبيس بنات الدي تحبه البنات بكترة خاصة في العالم العربي مما يجعل المواقع الخاصة بهذا النوع تزداد يوما بعد الاخر فذلك ليس عبثا ففي الحقيقة نوع العاب التلبيس من اجمل اصناف العاب فلاش العاب بنات بصفة عامة و والعاب بنات جديدة جدا

  3. This makes me wish I was going to reading so bad.

    Olivia // BLONDE LA MODE

  4. Loved this post, everything is so true. I cannot wait for Reading this weekend although I'm dreading having to experience the toilets yet again aha. Hope you having an amazing time! :) x

  5. I loved reading these tips, im not a festival-goer but i can surely pass these on to my friends :) (ps. i have getting muddy and dirty, id rather stay in a hotel if i had to go to a weekend long fest lol!)

    Leanne's Lifestyle Blog

  6. ahahah I love this, that is so true... that even if gotten dirty and messy, no one else at the festival will notice. :)


  7. Great photos! I don't do camping at festivals anymore (too expensive for me now!), but absolutely agree with taking your own camping chair (keep it in your tent when you're not using it, they get stolen so fast), and be wary on Sunday nights as it's kind of terrifying having people set things on fire when all you want is to sleep.

    Have a great time :)

  8. Great advice! I wish I was heading to Reading this weekend <3

  9. Great post, i hope you have fun at Reading! So jealous!

    Emma at

  10. Thanks for your sharing the tips. Have a great weekend!!

    Shay | MissyDress

  11. This is such a great, comprehensive guide. Definitely bookmarking this.

    Rachel |

  12. This is so helpful, I will definitely be going to Reading next year
    Thank You Amy x

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  15. Nice one Amy!
    I enjoyed reading your blog. We're off to Reading for the first time this year and, although we're in the Campervan field, a lot of your advice was very helpful so thank you!

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  20. Awesome and handy guide! I can't wait to hit the festivals this summer! x

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  23. Found your YouTube channel, which led me to this! Definitely found this helpful. I'll be traveling from NYC for the Reading fest this Summer and I couldn't be anymore excited!!


  25. Great info, thanks a lot! It's my first time going to Reading this August, was desperate for some tips...found a lot here! cheers! :)

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