When C came home from the Reading Festival last year it seemed like a great idea to plan going this year en famille. How wonderful it would be to do something all together, listening to music, sitting around a camp fire in the evening drinking hot chocolate and laughing about what fun we have had. How very Enid Blyton.
We bought five tickets as soon as they were released and felt smug that it didn’t matter who was going to be playing, we had tickets and would be going regardless. I didn’t care who was on the line up, it wasn’t about the music, it was about participating, about going to my first ever Festival.
I also insisted on paying for a camper van space as all I know about festivals are that when 80,000 have used the same loos for four days you can smell them a mile away. Literally. No, if we were doing this, I wanted my own loo.
Fast forward 51 weeks and panic set in that this was actually happening, the tickets arrived and we should really start thinking about it seriously. <Gulp>
C had decided she no longer wanted to come so set about selling her ticket. Oh so not quite en famille but at least she could dog sit.
I set about trying to find a camper van. The joy of Twitter is that I am followed by @Horizon_RV_hire who just so happen to hire out camper vans. A plaintive Tweet to Dave was met with “sure we can help, call me”. And 48 hours after that Mr B and I drove (I say we drove, we didn’t Mr B did, I ate Wine Gums) up to Shropshire to pick it up.
So now we had our own loo. And beds.
I had to think about what else was necessary. Loo roll and wet wipes I knew about. I am taking eight for us and I am planning on taking another pack of 48 to sell. This will surely refund us for the cost of the van.
I decided to take a look at the Reading festival site for some helpful information. They indeed had a “First Timers” section. Perfect
Our campsite has a bar. Excellent. Apparently for the first time this year it will be serving Ale. Er…. is there going to be a Pimms tent too? I cannot see it marked on the map. <note to self to ask on arrival>
Oohh there is a cinema tent. That would be fun, I haven’t been to the cinema in ages. I quite fancy seeing One Day. Oh but hang on, that doesn’t appear to be on and it says the tent opens at midnight until 4am. That cannot be right. <note to self to ask on arrival about correct timings>
There appears to be an over 18s wrist band so those looking younger than that don’t need to keep providing ID. <Flicks hair back and pouts lips> That always drives me nuts EVERY TIME I buy
knives and glue alcohol. <note to self to ask on arrival about having one of those. Definitely>
It says “don’t bring excessive amounts of food”. Define excessive. I have enough biscuits and cake for us for the weekend. Along with bacon / sausages / eggs and buns. Some may term this excessive, I think it essential. Same with beer for Mr B. <note to self to ask on arrival, having hidden half the biscuit stash>
Scrolling through there is a link headed “sex”. I am too scared to click on it. So I have no idea if this is essential or we are warned not be excessive. Or if indeed it is banned entirely <note to self to ask on arrival, praying its the latter>
Footwear. Everyone knows that you need wellies for a Festival. Have you ever tried to get a 15 year old boy to understand that trainers are not suitable? J is not convinced that three days of rain has caused the site to be a swamp and is not grateful about the £20 purchase I got up early to make this morning. Here’s hoping he might be this time tomorrow.
So I think we are just about set. If you happen to be attending, I will be the one at the back mouthing “this tune would be so much better if I could just hear the words”.
(If you want to read our review that I wrote when we got home, it’s here: Reading Festival, a Review)