Just like anywhere it pays to be mindful and aware of your surroundings and potential risk. In everyday life we are more on our guard but when away in a field with loads of colourful, chilled people and wonderful things going on you tend to let that guard down and be more relaxed (which is the point right? It’s a festival!)… indeed yes but sadly less pleasant things do happen and we are here to give our advice from experience of many combined years of festivalling.
- Leave valuables at home. Do you really need your laptop? tablet? Or smart phone? No, unless like me your only camera in on your phone! With this in mind check out the secure locker facilities at the festival you are attending; some charge a small fee and some are free but it is well worth looking into if you really can’t be without your smartphone!
- Keep everything on you. And no I don’t mean going round like a pack horse with your belongings on your back, I mean keep all cash stashed on your person, and be inventive with hiding places. I stash different amounts in different places so if one lot got stolen or lost I would still have some. Also I take the minimum of cards, I even have a festival purse (yes really I do) and only take a debit card, car recovery service card (if driving), and ID card. Money belts are a good idea, for ladies small cross carry bags or festival pockets are great. Funky Leisure have some well priced solutions. My husband favours trousers or shorts with zipped pockets. When you sleep keep your stuff with you – either in your pockets or in the bottom of your sleeping bag. It has been known for people to steal easy to reach stuff out of tents at night – so don’t leave your wallet in your jeans at the end of your bed.
- Trash your tent! No, no, not literally trash it rock star style, keep it messy. Luckily my husband and I are naturally messy when we go away and within minutes of arriving at a hotel we empty everything out. You might not be able to find your tea bags or baby wipes though but thieves are less likely to rifle through a big mess!
- Avoid security tags on tents and bags. Putting a padlock on your tent only invites thieves in and won’t deter them, it will make them think you have something in there worth nicking!
- ID wristbands for your child. (See also our other articles on keeping your children safe)… Most festivals offer special children’s wrist bands that you can write your contact details on. You can however buy your own by Infoband. Some people suggest writing your phone number on your child’s arm with permanent marker but this is not something I am keen on due to the fact my daughter has sensitive skin and have reaction
- Be aware and be discreet. Don’t be too obvious with pulling a wad of cash out or taking pictures on your brand new tablet. I’ve heard stories about items being lifted out of backpacks in crowds after they have been observed by a thief.
- Make friends with your neighbours. Always worth it, not only to make new friends but so you can look out for each other’s setup. Also you can have amusing stories to tell like swapping duct tape for bin bags with the girl in the tent next to us at Glastonbury so we could waterproof our feet after our wellies leaked!