With record high temperatures at festivals predicted this summer many of us will struggle with kids out in the sun. Essential festival kit for little ones included hats, water bottles, practical clothing and oodles of sunscreen. But did anyone think about what to pack for man’s best friend?
More and more events are welcoming our four legged friends, but are festivals really the right place for dogs?
This really depends on the animal, the festival, and of course, YOU. Responsible owners need to carefully consider the festival they are taking their dog to and what sort of weekend they are hoping for. Baking in the midday heat with a pint, or 2am sweating in the dance tent may be perfect for you, but it’s no place for anyone wearing a fur coat.
A few questions to ask yourself:
- Have you been to this festival before?
- Has your dog camped before?
- How will your dog cope? (Loud music, crowds, crazy people, sun, mud, litter, being left).
- Would you leave your dog in the tent / car / van and how would they cope?
- What would you do in an emergency? A little dramatic I know, but if you don’t have transport or are incapable of driving, it’s unlikely the festival paramedics will deal with Fido if he accidentally swallows a chicken bone or cuts his paw on glass.
There are many other considerations like food, water supply, sleeping arrangements and doggy toilet duty that will all need some thought.
Ultimately, the question for us is, WILL MY DOG ENJOY A FESTIVAL?
We have listed some festivals who allow dogs below. We are in no way endorsing these as ‘dog friendly festivals’ as we have not attended all of them. We would love your comments below if you have been to these or any other festivals with your pet and how it went. Although a festival may allow dogs, this does not mean that consideration has been given to providing facilities, space, shade and anything else they may need. Let us know if you how found these or other events really dog friendly festivals?
6th - 8th September 2019
Malvern Showground, WR13 6NW
24th - 26th July 2020
Nash Street, Chiddingly, East Sussex
- Curious Arts Festival
19th - 21st July 2019
Pylewell Park, East End, Lyminton, Hampshire, SO41 5SJ
- England’s Medieval Festival
28th - 31st August 2020
Herstmonceux Castle, East Sussex
- Farmer Phils Festival
9th - 11th August 2019
- Fairport Convention
8th - 10th August 2019
Cropredy, near Banbury, Oxfordshire
- Green Gathering
30th July - 3rd August 2020
Piercefield Park, Chepstow, NP16 6BE
- Good Life Experience
- The Lancashire Festival
1st and 2nd August 2020
Avenham and Miller Park, South Meadow Lane, Preston PR1 8JP
8th - 11th August 2019
Eastnor Castle, Ledbury, Herefordshire HR8 1RN
- Lechlade Festival
22nd - 24th May 2020
Riverside Park, Lechlade, Gloucestershire
- Maverick Festival
- Neverworld 30th July - 1st August 2020
- Puffin Festival
- Standon Calling
23rd - 26th July 2020
Standon Lordship Manor House, Hertfordshire
- Upton Festival
23rd - 25th August 2019
Upton upon Severn, Worcestershire, WR8 0PB
Do you know any more dog friendly festivals? Please comment below.
FestivalKidz spend our summer at festivals across the UK checking out the facilities and experience on behalf of families so we can help you make informed decisions. We believe that a dog is very much part of the ‘family’ so we welcome advice and tips below. As with children, we feel that some festivals are completely unsuitable for even the biggest ‘party animals’ however much they love to get down to gabba techno at home.
Note 1: I decided to write this article after seeing several dogs locked in cars and campers on ridiculously hot days at festivals this summer (both those that welcomed dogs and those that didn’t). My kids and I found this really distressing and twice we reported incidents and the security broke in to the vehicles.
PLEASE – IF YOU ARE GOING TO BRING DOGS TO FESTIVALS, DON’T LOCK THEM IN HOT VEHICLES. We wouldn’t leave our kids on their own so let’s not do it to our pets.
Note 2: To any festival organisers reading this who promote their events as dog friendly festivals. If you allow dogs, please add some brief guidelines or information to your website to help owners. Example at Cropredy:
‘Pets – Bring your dog by all means but be sure you have some plastic bags in your pocket so that you can clear up any mess. Suitable bags can be obtained onsite; a note in the programme will tell you where. If you bring a pet, keep it under control in public areas. Keep it on a lead if you’re on the arena field or on the road. Make sure your pet has plenty of water available and somewhere to shelter from the sun. Never leave pets shut in vehicles in the heat of the day – if people see a pet in a distressed condition, the RSPCA will be called and you may face prosecution.’