I just got back from Boardmasters Festival in Cornwall with some friends from college, and it was absolutely incredible! I had such an amazing time and I made so many new friends; I can’t wait until next year.
It was my first festival, and I had been really excited about it for months. I spent months listening to the artists on the lineup and buying everything I would need for the 5 days I would spend there. The artists I was most looking forward to were Two Door Cinema Club, Alt-J, Becky Hill and Youngr. Somehow, I still managed to forget things that I really wish I had taken, so I am going to write a kind-of survival list of things that I would recommend taking. Just the basics though, because the list is endless!
Make sure you have something that not only will be cool if it’s really sunny and beautiful weather but if the weather turns nasty, you need clothes to keep you warm and dry. You might think that shorts and a crop top will be fine with a rain coat on top, but bitter winds coupled with cold rain is not nice on bare legs. I recommend a pack-a-mac and a jumper, long trousers, like jeans, and long sleeved t-shirts. Just generally, something that will keep you warm and things you can layer together.
Shoes are the same, but I wouldn’t recommend taking summery sandals or anything similar, as it can get pretty muddy even if it isn’t raining, so trainers and wellies are my staple festival footwear choice. To add some luxury, add wellie boot socks that will act as an extra layer of warmth on your legs!
Makeup & Toiletries:
I took minimal makeup, so no foundation, concealer, contour etc. I took plenty of highlight and glitter, in fact probably enough glitter for the whole campsite, but you can never have enough! I also took things like colored eyeliner from NYX.
For skin care, I took moisturizer, face wipes, extra sensitive baby wipes, deodorant, hand sanitizer and dry shampoo. I didn’t shower whilst there because the queues are crazy long and they are probably more dirty than clean! A baby wipe and deodorant is perfectly acceptable at a festival because everyone is the same, so don’t worry! And of course, I also took 50+ sun cream, but somehow managed to burn myself anyway so I would say to take after sun just in case.
Comfort & Sleeping:
My biggest lesson learned from this experience; take a tent that is designed for more people that you are putting in it. I was in a two man tent with two of us, and our luggage and it just did not work. Luckily there was a backup plan, but it would have been uncomfortable otherwise. I took a self-inflating matt rather than an air bed, as then I didn’t need a pump, a sleeping bag, and a blanket which I doubled as a pillow at night. Another huge regret? I didn’t take a chair, so I either sat on someone else’s whilst they queued for an hour for the portaloos or I sat on the floor, which was no fun at night or in the rain! It might seem a hassle to lug around a camping chair, but it will be your best friend by the end of the weekend!
Food & Drink:
This has to be one of the things I struggled with packing the most because I wasn’t sure what I would feel like eating. I took cereal bars, rice cakes, and pringles. It doesn’t sound appealing, but when I had had a few drinks, that’s all I really fancied. My friend also brought Chocolate Soya Milk and Coco Pops so we could all have a half-decent breakfast and I’ve never been so excited to eat cereal out of a cup with a plastic spoon! There are so many different foods stands there too, and yes it might be slightly more expensive than a McDonalds, but it’s hot food. When it’s raining and cold, a greasy burger is heaven. They even had a halloumi stand and I fell in love with the veggie burgers they were selling too.
I drank a lot of water (and maybe a little alcohol too!) but I made sure to stay hydrated in general, mainly because I didn’t want to ruin my weekend with headaches and sickness. It’s obviously up to you how much you drink, and whatever else you do, but just remember that there is the morning after and all you have is a portaloo and maybe a dirty shower to help your hangover!
I don’t think you can ever plan perfectly for these things first time, so mistakes are bound to happen, but preparation is key and I was really glad about the things I did remember to take. Make a list the week before, and make sure you have everything you need from the shops etc. and you don’t leave it to the last minute.
Mainly though, have fun and go to artists you might not normally listen to because I can guarantee you’ll enjoy yourself even if you don’t know who they are! It was honestly one of the best weekends of my life and I can’t wait until next summer when I do it all again! I hope every body that went had an amazing time too, and I might get to see some of you there next year!