Festivals are as much an endurance test as they are a drunken weekend of frolicking to your favourite tunes. Charukie has some suggestions to help you ensure that you keep some level of humane conditions through your experience...
Food - Embrace the Indigestion
Don't try and take food to make a gourmet meal every night. Just accept that you will be frequenting dodgy smelling burger vans for the duration of the festival, consuming your years allowance of cholesterol, salt and processed meat within that short time. If you are going to do this then I would suggest you take some Rennie or Gaviscon with you, you will probablly experience severe heartburn at some point. If you don't fancy shelling out £5 for a burger, then just take stodgy junk food. You'll be suprised how long you can survive on tesco value custard creams. Baked Beans are just standard. I don't even like them, but they are an absolute festival essential.If you get the ones you open without a can opener then just take a fork and eat them cold straight out of the tin. Good for breakfast.
Alcohol and Hangovers- Just keep drinking
Obviously your going to take a good supply of beer. It is by far the most cost effective option. Get premixed drink cans, such as G and T and Vodka and Coke. These are extremely cheap from the supermarket, and offer a much needed alternative to constant beer drinking. Also wine in boxes is quite a good idea, if you drink it in the evening it might even be slightly cold. Also treat yourself to a couple of nice drinks a day, maybe a Pimms and Lemonade from the Pimms bus, or a Mojito here and there.Most important do not get too wasted. Sustain a pace, you dont want to be the loser that voms in a bush and has to be put to bed at 8o'clock while all your mates rave it up till 6 in the morning.
Hangover cure for festivals- Alka-selzers or Berocca is something you could probablly get past security. Paracetemol and Neurofen might get confiscated. You may also find that a nice greasy burger might sort you out. But really the best solution may be the problem itself. It might not hurt to just get straight back on it. Keep a sort of regulated level of intoxication throughout the whole festival and confront the hangover once you've left and you're back home where someone may take pity on you, bathe you and give you a bowl of tomato soup.
Hygiene - Please Brush Your Teeth, and make the most of nature
Get used to the fact that your going to look, smell and feel like a skank at some point. People who attempt some level of hygiene maintainence are admirable, but most people just let themselves go. Do brush your teeth though, I don't care how drunk you are, chatting to somone in a crowd who's breath smells like they've just eaten a lump of poo is not favourable.
Porto-loos- don't bother with these find a friendly looking bush
These are perhaps the most horrendous aspect of the entire experience, and in some instances are enough to put you off going to a festival entirely. Whilst you will probablly need to pee regularly I would suggest if the circumstances are right you avoid the queues, the feaces ridden cubical, and the thigh-tensing hovering over the seat and instead go and use all that nature has to offer. Be discreet and never do it in a lake, river or anything that would be considered festival property. Most importantly, the age old festival dilemma. You've waited all day to see this band/Dj/Act. You've found a spot where you can see, and your not being squished. But you need to pee. Dare you leave you're position to go to a nearby porto-loo? No! If you havent got a She-Wee make sure you bring with you a long cardy or hoody tied round your waist. Stand to the side of the barriers and get a trusted mate to shield you while you relieve yourself. Not always appropriate, and make sure you're not seen by anyone official, but if the sitaution is right it could save a lot of to and fro-ing. Always have Loo roll on you.In terms of the um other excreting need...I would suggest you eat high protein based food, stay away from mints and gum (they have laxatives in them) and try not to eat anything too fibrous and you should be fine.
Stuff- put things in your bra and get a scary looking padlock
Don't take anything valuable obviously. Disposable cameras are good. Don't leave anything in your tent once you've left the campsite. People might toss your tent over and try and steal your stuff, or if you're really unlucky will slash your tent. Girls, I understand that walking around with a big gammy bag could ruin the whole festival chic vibe, so if you dont have a willing boyfirend who will carry all this stuff for you try stuffing money, phone, car keys down pockets, in wellies and socks and the best place of all, your bra, hopefully no one will go there.... Get a massive looking padlock, it may deviate the stealing away from your tent to someone elses. At night put your valuble belongings in a bag and sleep with them under your head.
Essentials apart from all the obvious stuff are rubber bands, like 50 empty carrier bags and plastic cups. Try and take an extra sleeping bag if you think the weather is a bit precarious,yes its extra crap that you have to carry but trying to sleep in a wet sleeping bag is impossible.
A torch, many a time I have tripped over tent leads, falling face down into mud or worse, collapsing into somone else's tent.
Hand sanitiser. Seriously you will end up leaving this festival with either diahorrea or gastorentritis if you dont use alcohol gel to kill of germs before you eat or drink anything.
Take about 10 lighters. Even if you don't smoke they come in handy for everything
Security - make sure you have put all alcohol into plastic, sometimes gas cannisters are allowed and sometimes they aren't so if you want to cook then check this before hand.
Don't actually make yourself a really strict schedule though, aimless wondering around is always best.
Get there early! other wise the only spot left will be downhill and you'll wake up every day to a river of urine, vomit, spit, drink and other toxic chemicals floating at the door of your tent. Go in the middle and stay away from the aisle's otherwise you will have people tramping near your head all night.
People give away free stuff at festivals. One year Gordon's were promoting sloe gin, and we just drank free g and t for a couple of hours. Other free stuff could be cereal bars, shots, or socks!
Usually there will be welfare tent. Find it. You might get really unlucky and may need to stop off there for blankets, socks, hoodies. There might be a Joe Bannanas who should have most festival essentials if you forget something, but be prepared to pay the price for your disorganisation think £30 quid for a pair of crappy wellies. Don't buy band t-shirts here, get them half price online. No one should have to pay £40 for a shirt with Calvin Harris' face on it.
Sleeping can be difficult if your not at drunken passing out stage. You could take a pillow but it takes up alot of space in the car, and I think sleeping on your clothes in a bag works. Also, I would suggest holding out till maybe 6/7 in the morning and then sleeping till about 1/2pm. It is warmer to sleep during the day and nothing much really happens before 2/3.
Don't try and get to the front - whats the point, its really not that much better. In fact you're continually being rammed against the barriers, the bouncers will be watching you like a hawk, and beacuse you won't be able to get out by walking back through the crowd you will have to be hauled over the front barriers by some burly bouncers in a not particularly glamourous fashion.
In fact, if its not a dj that you're dying to rave to or a headlining band I suggest just finding a patch of grass with some infaltable furniture and taking a distanced view of the mainstage
Make friends with randomers
Make friends with people in the tents next to you, offer a cig, or a beer, and maybe they'll keep an eye on your tent, or offer you a cup of tea when all your stuff has got rained on. Don't piss them off, otherwise they will probablly kick your tent over when you've left.
If you get lost - don't waste your whole time trying to look for your friends. If your standing in the crowd you could probably make friends with people next to you. Or, strike up a chat with people in the loo/water/food queue. During the day this philosphy is fine. At night this can be a little dangerous, especially as everyone is highly intoxicated at this point and you could get yourself into a sticky situation without any friend backup.
Fashion - Avoid Trench Foot...embrace the Ponchos
Don't take your Chanel sunglasses. This is why Primark was invented. Denim shorts and loose dresses are also really comfortable when your baking during the day, but never underestimate the power of the ol'jeans and hoody combo for night when your freezing your Cojonas off... Girls don't bother with proper underwear, just take like 5 bikinis with you. This is far easier and if your really desperate then you can whip your top off during the day without looking like a hoe. Long wolly socks to avoid welly rash. If its really hot take stockings or leggings. Hairwise, it will look great the first couple of days, and then resign yourself to putting it up. Luckily the pineapple look is in fashion. If it rains change your socks like 4 times a day, otherwise, you will get gangreen. Fancy dress is sometimes good. If you really make an effort people might love you, and you may get a free can of beer. Embrace the Rain Ponchos!!
Weather- Stop Complaining
Look, we've all been there. You were looking forward to lolling in the sun, and working on you're tan, and next thing you know your so deep in mud you're swimming your way to the mainstage. But really, don't moan, in fact learn to expect a thunderstorm and when its actually sunny you'll be pleasantly surprised! If you really can't deal with the rain, then just go abroad. Benicassim,Eurikeenes or Oxygen. If you really don't fancy camping, try city festivals like Camden Crawl or SXSW.