Here's a cliché for you: time flies. But like all cliches, it's true. You might be huddled in your gorgeous Hippy Clothing Store woollies right now, unable to imagine what it feels like to be warm, let alone what it's like to wear a flimsy T shirt and feel the warm summer breeze in your hair. But give it a couple of months and you'll be right on the brink of spring... the time of year when we're on the cusp of the festival festival season and the fun's about to begin.
How to plan in advance for the best festival season EVER!
If you've ever missed out on your favourite festival because you've left it too long to buy tickets, you're not alone. Glastonbury tickets usually sell out within literally a few minutes of going on sale, and the same goes for a bunch more of the best-loved British music festivals. We thought it'd be useful to take a good look at festival preparation, to help you get ready in good time.
Know when festival tickets are due for release
Whoops... you blinked, and you missed it! Use an online calendar or put the dates when tickets are due out into your phone or diary, so there's no way you're going to forget and miss the boat. If you're going with a gang of friends, make sure they're all aware of the ticket dates too, or designate one person to collect cash and buy everyone's tickets at the same time so nobody misses out. Some festivals are so popular they restrict the number of tickets per person, but you can still bulk-buy for friends at the less-well-known events.
Get your bank balance in good shape and act fast when tickets come out
There's nothing worse than being unable to afford tickets for a festival you've been dying to go to for months and months. It might sound obvious, but if you start salting away readies now, you'll be in a much better position than leaving it to the last minute and hoping you'll have the funds. You can even set up a special festival savings account. Then the second tickets become available you can go ahead and buy yours before they go.
We know a few people who save their spare change all year, especially for festivals. When you throw all your 50ps, 20p, 10ps and so on into a bowl or jar every day, it's amazing how fast it stacks up. Apparently it's surprisingly easy to stash a couple of hundred quid in just a few months, a handy amount in anyone's book.
Organise your mates
There's nothing worse than trying to organise a gang of friends at the last minute. Make sure you all know which festivals you want tickets for, and the dates they take place, and send out reminders well in advance. You might want to appoint a festival organiser for the season rather than letting it all happen organically and randomly.
Get your tent and camping gear out early and test for damage
Last summer you left the season's last music festival exhausted but happy, simply stuffing everything into bags and heading home. You meant to get it all out, clean up, and re-pack it properly... but hey, life intervened as it has a habit of doing, and it's still there. It's one thing living wild and free. But it's never much fun trying to get a decent night's shut-eye in a smelly, mouldy tent that's half falling down and delivers very little in the way of comfort.
You might have rammed a slightly damp tent into a bag and left it over the autumn and winter. Will it be OK when you finally take it out again at the first festival of the summer, or will you be faced with a dead tent, full of holes or rotted through with mildew? It isn't exactly the kind of thing you want to discover when you're in the middle of a field. So bite the bullet, get your camping kit our, unravel everything and fix any damage. Check you have enough tent poles and that your guy ropes are all present and correct. Check your sleeping bag for holes and mould. And get out the rest of your kit to check you've got everything you need.
Get your festival clothing stash sorted early
Now's the perfect time to fight your way to the back of your wardrobe and check out your stash of festival threads. Do they still fit? Are they falling apart? Are you bored of last year's look? Do you fancy a new festival wardrobe? Here's a quick festival clothing checklist:
- This is Britain. You're just as likely to need sandals and flipflops as you are wellies and boots, so make sure you have the right footwear for every occasion
- Have harems? If not, why not? Harem pants are one of our biggest music festival favourites and we sell literally thousands of pairs every year. They come in a splendid multi-coloured multitude of colours and styles, from high waist to low riders, hugely baggy and patterned to slim and plain, some even in combat style. They're practical, comfortable and like all our hippy clothes, they're as unusual and funky as a funky thing from an extremely funky pace. You will stand out from the crowd! Many of them pack up really small, too – perfect when you're short on space and don't want to cart massive pieces of luggage around with you
- You need hats, day and night. In daytime you might want to keep the blinding sun off, at night you might want to keep your ears snug. Either way we sell a supreme collection of fab hats for every occasion and every climate, and some of them are supremely, wonderfully silly
- T shirts are a huge festival favourite, and we have a gorgeous range of tie-dye tees and other tie dye classics, created in rainbow colours by our very own Brighton-based tie dye elves
- Summer isn't always summery. For those times when there's a whole lot more more mud than grass, you need a woollie pullie. Our legendary boho and hippy jumpers have made many a festival go with a swing when it's chilly
Grab a practical, hands-free festival bag
Got a decent bag? The last thing you want is to spend the entire time wondering where to put your bag, and paranoid about leaving it somewhere. We stock a range of fabulous bags, many of which are beautifully colourful and interesting as well as practical. Our backpack range is very popular for festivals, as are our bumbags, all hands-free and convenient as well as beautifully made and easy to wear.
Can you find your tent?
You are having the best time.... ever. But you can't really remember where you pitched your tent and the venue is absolutely HUGE. Our tip is buy a flag to fly above your camp so you can find your tent and get a good snooze in between acts. It's a whole lot better than stumbling around in the pitch dark falling over people's guy ropes and ending up sleeping in a ditch or under a hedge.
Shades 'r' us
You need shades. Don't leave home without a pair or two. We sell some brilliant ones, with decorative frames and coloured lenses, all providing the essential UV protection your eyes deserve.
Hoodies and ponchos – Your festival best friend
You can't go wrong with a hoodie, and our enormous collection of colourful, practical hoodies is unbeatable – if we say so ourselves! Actually it's our customers who say so. They love our boho-style hooded tops, some zipped and others that pull over your head, with plenty of handy pockets and snugly linings. The same goes for ponchos, one of this season's biggest high street fashion stories. We stock ponchos with a twist, from soft knit turtleneck versions to knitted hooded capes featuring stunning Aztec designs.
More hippy-style music festival classics from our massive boho clothing collection
Dungarees and playsuits. Beautiful gypsy-style dresses and floaty tops. Grandad shirts, another huge fashion hit this season. Plus trousers and shorts. If you want to wear it, we stock it. Everything you could possibly need to make up a splendid festival wardrobe to get you in the party mood.
Think about transport early on
How are you going to get to the festivals you've booked? The trend is for public transport. If you book train, coach or bus tickets early enough you can get some exceptional bargains, and it's often a lot more fun travelling together in a gang that way than sitting in a boring car. The trick is to make the journey to and from a festival part of the experience, enjoying the journey just as much as the destination. Check out your options online instead of automatically reaching for your car keys and you can extend the enjoyment far beyond simply being at the festival itself.
Too many pockets... and you can't find a thing!
Is this familiar? You leave your tent to go to the stage. You've stuffed your money, festival ID, programme halyard, phone, shades and cash in your pockets. And you spend the rest of the day rummaging fruitlessly, unable to remember what you put where. Get clever instead and designate a pocket for each item so you don't spend the whole time trying and failing to find your stuff.
Be happy and happiness follows
Our final tip? Here's an old hippy trick. In our experience happiness is within your control, not something external that happens to you. There's no need to wait for circumstances to make you happy. Be happy first and you'll feel fantastic automatically. It's a great way to get your head pointing in the right direction for the time of your life.
All that remains is to wish you the best ever festival season, the best music, the best mates, the best fun. It's going to be a monster of a summer. And we'll help you make the most of it. Happy shopping!