A friendly guide to help you have a good festival experience!
We are big, big festival fans and we are always looking at many ways to help make the festival experience a positive, safe and fun one. This year, we have teamed up with the Good Night Out campaign to collaborate and offer you these tips on being secure and staying safe ahead of the festival, and at the festival.
Great festivals create community. We believe that when you rock up to a festival. You have a unique chance to have an amazing experience to be part of something bigger than yourself.
We want to make sure that your festival experience is brilliant from beginning to end so we’ve put together some friendly guidelines for you. We hope they help you help yourself to have the best possible time.
Before the festival:
- Always buy tickets from an official and credible ticket seller. Festicket ONLY works with our festivals as an official ticketing partner so you can always be confident that your tickets are genuine
- When making the booking, check the payment pages are secure by looking for a padlock symbol in the address bar and the website address begins with ‘https’. The ‘s’ stands for ‘secure’.
- If it is an overnight festival, make sure you know where you are sleeping - be it camping, onsite accommodation or hotel. After all the fun, it’s better to know that you have a safe and comfortable place to stay. Just so you know, all of the accommodation on our site has been checked and verified by our experts for your safety.
- Travel safe; a journey to the festival can be fun with your mates. But be sure you plan your journey well. Include stop off points so you have a break to refresh and plan your time so you get to the festival in good time. No one wants to be wandering around in the dark looking for your camping spot.
At the festival:
- Upon arrival, get familiar with your surroundings. If possible, get a lanyard or pocket/downloadable map with the site locations. Festival sites can be huge and easy to lose your bearings. It is good to know where all the essentials are such as toilets, water refill taps (bring your own bottle), phone charge points, information points and where the First Aid spots are
- Stay connected. It is definitely wise and very useful to agree meeting points with friends and family for the duration of the festival. After all, you want to spend your festival time having fun not being lost and feeling vulnerable
- Medical and emergencies. Approach a festival steward/security/member of event staff or police officer who will be able to call the medics for help. It is more effective to stay on site and seek their assistance rather than leave to go to hospital and calling 999. Calling 999 should be reserved as an absolute last resort
- Festivals should feel like happy, safe and exciting spaces but they can also sometimes be overwhelming. Getting enough sleep, eating regularly and pacing yourself are key if you want to stay on top form. If you do need non-urgent health advice you can call 111 from any phone to speak to the NHS helpline
- Be smart and be aware of your surroundings, your actions and what is happening. Become an ACTIVE BYSTANDER - being ready to check in, step in, step up and shape up. This is you, your friends and everyone who wants to make sure a festival stays fun and safe!
What is an active bystander?
Far too often harassment is simply accepted as normal, and when someone does challenge it, this can leads to fights which often escalate quickly. Sound familiar? There is another way.
You can make a choice to take a stand against harassment when you’re at a festival. Being an active bystander means not standing by or pretending to ignore harmful behaviour when you see it. It means knowing what steps to take to respond appropriately to harassment, avoiding escalation and offering support to someone in a moment where they may really need it.
Here is a process to practice:
Assess the scene. What’s happening? Is it safe to intervene or should you speak to staff? Avoid words or actions that could make it more dangerous for the target. If it already seems out of hand, alert security instead.
Try to ignore the harasser and check in with the target first. If it’s loud try a thumbs up or making eye contact. Be neutral and friendly. You’re showing that you’re aware of the situation - not rushing in or taking over. If they don’t need help, then no harm done!
Distract the harasser. Derail their behaviour by interrupting it.
- Start a conversation - about anything!
- Get in the way. Dance between them or create a distraction
- Pretend you recognise or know the person being harassed
- Offer to walk away with them or call them over to join your area - give the an ‘out’ to leave a situation
- Use neutral body language if directly challenging a harasser. ‘That’s not okay.’ ‘Stop.’ Keep it short and clear - this is not a debate. Aggressive bystanders aren’t helpful, so keep calm
- Let the targeted person take the lead on next steps - if they want to be left alone, respect that.
- Don’t ignore it because the harasser is someone you know. If challenging a friend about their words or actions for the first time, a one to one conversation will be more effective than a group or public ‘call out’
- Naming the problem, the impact it is having and how you think they could change it. Be a role model.
Learn more and get involved at Goodnightoutcampaign.org