Festivals are so much fun, and a staple of the summer calendar - but it's important to stay safe and not have your festival experience ruined. If you're not careful, you could lose your belongings to thieves or put your safety at risk. But all it needs is some simple precautions to help you stay safe. Here's how to stay safe at festivals while still having fun …
1. Safety in Numbers
There's safety in numbers where there's a crowd, so try to stay with at least one of your friends. Stick to busy areas, particularly after dark. If you need to go to the bathroom at night, get a friend to walk with you. It's easy to get lost in the dark, and you don't want to be wandering around on your own looking for your tent.
2. Avoid Drinking Too Much
Good weather isn't always guaranteed at festivals, but if the sun's shining you can quickly get dehydrated. This is more likely if you're drinking alcohol. So stay hydrated with plenty of water and limit your alcohol intake (better still, avoid it altogether). And don't touch drugs - aside from the legal implications, you could be thrown out of the festival. You're also risking your personal safety.
3. Be Vigilant
Most people at a festival are there to have a good time, but crowds will always attract those with less honest aims in mind. Always prioritise your own safety and that of your friends and fellow festival-goers. Avoid anyone who's drunk or appears intoxicated, and report any suspicious behavior to security.
4. Cover up
You're likely to be out in the open much of the time, so make sure you don't get sunburned or heatstroke. Protect your skin with a high factor sunscreen and wear a hat. Cover your shoulders when the sun is at its strongest and don't forget to reapply sunscreen.
5. Only Take What You Need
You don't need expensive belongings and gadgets when you're at a festival. Only take what you really need, so that you're not worrying about theft. Your phone will be useful, but keep that on you. You can leave any valuables in the secure areas provided by the festival organisers.
6. Meeting Point
If you're going in a group, you may want to split up and watch different shows. It's useful to have prearranged meeting points during the day, so that if you can't get in contact with each other (such as your phone battery running out), you can find your friends. Also make sure you've memorised their numbers in case you lose your phone.
7. Looking after Number One
Don't let having a good time make you lose sight of the most important issue - staying safe. Exercise reasonable caution with strangers, and be wary of accepting drinks from people you don't know. Always keep an eye on your drink, to avoid the possibility of someone spiking it. And again, don't risk your safety by getting drunk or taking drugs - you'll be less able to look after yourself or spot dangerous situations.
Taking some simple steps will ensure that you stay safe at the festival while still having a great time. Most people are also there to have a good time, so don't let the small minority spoil your experience. What would be your perfect festival line up?