Hands up who's going to Reading festival? (Meeeee!) Although we're almost at the end of the Summer and the festival season, my favourite part of the year is just rolling around. In 3 weeks time we'll almost have day 1 under our belt, ready for the first day of music on Friday. I'm the type of person who has to plan ahead, and I already have a mental list of things I need to do before we go. This mini-series will let you all see inside my festival preparations as I get ready for the best weekend of my year! This Reading will be my fourth, Ash's fifth, and we learn a bit more each year. Read on for my 3 week festival countdown tips!
Do you know how you're getting to Reading yet? Although now isn't the best time to book train tickets - we booked ours back in June - it's not the worst time, either. The worst time will be at the train station on the day you want to go. Try not to do that. O2 have an app (called O2 Trains) where you can book your tickets without any of the booking fees. Once you get to Reading Station you could take the shuttle bus to the site, or you could do what Ash makes me do every year, and walk! It's really not that far, but it feels farther when you have a weekends worth of camping supplies and clothes on your back. If the trains to Reading are still too expensive, have a look at travelling up the night before and staying in the Travelodge on the Wednesday. We got our room for £31 this year, it would have cost us double that just to travel up from Bath Spa the next morning by train, so well worth planning ahead.
After two years of camping in a 2 man tent (which in truth is only really big enough for 1 man and his things), we splashed out on a 3 man tent with a porch (a porch, you guys!) This was the best festival move we have made yet. No more sleeping with our heads on our beer crates, and no more muddy wellies inside the tent. A couple of weekends ago in the sunshine, we unpacked our tent, put it up, hosed it down removing last year's Reading evidence and allowed it to dry out. When we arrive at our campsite in 3 weeks time we will now we have a clean tent, ready to go. Plus we've had another practice of how to put it up - last year it took us HOURS. I'm still keeping an eye on the Travelodge prices for the Sunday night as it can get a bit hairy in Green Camp, but it's over £100 at the moment. Boo!
This is the best time to get all those little things. We picked up some emergency ponchos from Asda for 85p. We got soaked watching Florence and the Machine last year, and our ponchos were the only things stopping our skin from getting wet too! Plus they look super cool...
Make sure you've got roll mats, sleeping bags and a camping light. The bare minimum to a good tent set up! Some of our friends take air beds, but for me that's just one extra thing to carry and I'd rather have a lighter load. Also, make sure you know exactly where those things are. You don't want to be stressed out about missing your camping pillow whilst running late for your train!
Pop back next Thursday to see what preparation I'm doing 2 weeks before!
PS. All these photos were taken at Reading 2009 using a disposable Kodak. Check the blonde hair!