From indie and hip hop to house and reggae, a music festival has something to suit everyone so it’s no wonder thousands flock abroad or across the UK to spend the weekend in a field.
The anticipation and excitement are heightened by companies only releasing teaser information about the headline acts, ticket sales and locations in the months prior to the main event. So, where do you start when it comes to planning your festival holiday?
Not a fan of travelling or standing in endless airport queues? The UK has plenty of music festivals to offer including: Download, Glastonbury and Wireless, all taking place over the summer – you will just need to contend with the British weather.
The Best UK Music Festivals:
Download ¦ 14th June – 16th June ¦ Donnington Park ¦ Buy Tickets
Glastonbury ¦ 26th June – 30th June ¦ Pilton ¦ Register for Tickets (Re-Sale Taking Place April 2019)
Wireless ¦ 5th July – 7th July ¦ Finsbury Park ¦ Buy Tickets
Creamfields ¦ 22nd August – 25th August ¦ Daresbury ¦ Buy Tickets
Some festivals provide pre-booked transport, usually a coach, from certain locations, so if you are trying to keep the cost down this may be an option to consider. Alternatively, if you are planning to drive to the destination make sure you check the venues facilities and enquire about whether you need to pre-book a car parking space. If you are travelling in a group, why not take one or two cars and split the fuel and parking costs?
Festivals around the world
If you do fancy heading further afield, here’s our top five music festivals across the world:
Coachella ¦ 12th April – 14th April and 19th – 20th April ¦ Empire Club in Indio, California
Primavera Sound ¦ 30th May – 1st June ¦ Barcelona, Spain
Hellfest Open Air ¦ 21st June – 23rd June ¦ Clisson, France
Tomorrowland ¦ 19th July – 21st July and 26th July – 28th July ¦ Boom, Belgium
Sziget Festival ¦ 7th August – 13th August ¦ Budapest, Hungary
When booking a music festival abroad, be sure to do your research beforehand. You will need to make sure there is an available plane ticket for the dates you need. If you are staying in accommodation, as opposed to venue facilities, surrounding properties will be in high demand so you will need to get in quick to avoid disappointment.
Also, it is worth checking the location of the venue in respect of where the airport is. Most countries have more than one airport so you may need to do some research into the one that would be most suitable for your holiday.
What Travel Insurance to Purchase for Festivals
We know that researching and buying travel insurance is hardly the most interesting part of your trip but nevertheless it should be at the top of the list. Even if you’re staying in the UK, it’s best for your music festival insurance to be purchased shortly after you have paid for your tickets and, if required, your flights and accommodation.
It is important to note, there are only a few travel insurance policies that will offer to cover pre-paid non-refundable festival tickets if you need to cancel the trip or are unable to make the event due to illness. As this cover is not routinely available you may need to go directly to the travel insurance provider and not through a comparison site. Also, make sure the cover limit is enough to cover the cost of the tickets so you are not left out of pocket.
As it’s likely you will be taking your gadgets, such as your mobile phone, camera or video recorder, you will need to make sure these are covered too! Travel insurers will either cover gadgets as standard or offer gadget cover as an extension for you to add on, but be sure to check the policy wording carefully as most policies will have a single item limit. Some cover can be as low as £500 – not quite enough to cover most smart phones, but you can get policies that will give you a single item limit of £2,000. Also, make sure you check the age limit criteria too, some policies won’t pay out if the phone is more than 24 months old, however some will pay out for a phone up to 48 months old. You can read more about gadget cover here. Alternatively, check if your gadgets are covered under ‘worldwide personal possession’ cover on your home insurance.
As mentioned, even UK festivals require travel insurance. Yes, we have the NHS here but what if you need to cancel your holiday? Or your bag and wallet are stolen? The majority of travel insurers will provide cover for holidays in the UK as long as the trip is a minimum of two nights and three days, however there are a few that do not have a duration limit. You can find more information on UK holidays <here>.
Let’s be honest, whilst you are at the festival you are likely to be enjoying an alcoholic beverage or two. If this is the case, be sure to check the alcohol clause on your travel insurance policy as cover for claims whilst under the influence of alcohol differs greatly between insurers. For more information on alcohol limits and alcohol abroad, <click here>. As for street drugs, they are a big no and will not be covered under any travel insurance policy.
Top Tips for Surviving Festivals
If you book your tickets online (e-tickets) make sure you print off a copy as well as the confirmation email to take with you; the last thing you want is your phone not working when you reach the entrance.
Pack for all weathers, especially if you are going to a UK festival! Sensible footwear and a rain mac to throw on if the weather changes could be your saviour; likewise pack plenty of sunscreen and apply regularly throughout the day.
You’ve seen the diagrams for a two-man tent right? Both of you sleeping arms by side with no room for movement – it’s unrealistic, so always take a bigger tent than you think you will need and if there’s two of you opt for a three or four man tent instead.
Don’t keep all your cash in one place; most eateries and stalls are not likely to take card payments and you don’t want to spend all weekend queuing for the ATM. Stash some money in your wallet, pocket, and phone case and remember keep a close eye on your possessions.
Following on from the above, do not leave any valuables in your tent – keep them on your person at all times. Your travel insurance will not cover items that are lost or stolen if they are not on your person or locked in a safe place! Some festivals provide a lock-up for important items.
Pack wet wipes, particularly if you are staying in a tent. The showers at festivals aren’t the best and rather than spending your morning queuing to stand under dribbling cold water you can get by with an infamous wet wipe wash.
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