Festival Health Advice

Music festivals can be a really great experience, so long as you keep well. Whether you go for a day or a week this advice can help you, your friends and family to stay safe and healthy.

Our advice has been written by a group of experienced health professionals who volunteer for FMS providing medical services at a variety of events in the UK.

Drugs at Festivals

Drugs are a part of everyday life, so it is no surprise to find them at festivals. The best way to safe is not to take drugs! Remember it is okay to say ‘no’. Here are a few basic steps to make sure that you keep well at a festival if you do decide to take drugs. Following our simple advice will help you to have fewer risks of bad side effects.

Alcohol at Festivals

There are a few basics to make sure that you keep well at a festival when drinking alcohol. Following our simple advice will help you to have a better time with fewer risks of bad side effects.

Staying Hydrated

Warm weather, long days out on the festival site and an increase in physical activity (walking and dancing) can result in dehydration. To reduce this risk and enjoy the festival follow our hydration tips.

Hearing

Loud live music is part of the festival experience,however, it can also damage your your ears. Read our advice on how to protect your hearing.

Sexual Health

Remember, saying ‘no’ is always an option. However, if you do have sex at the festival the best way to look after your sexual health is to use condoms. Take them with you, so you’re prepared.

Sun Safety

At a British festival, it’s best to come prepared for any type of weather. Most people come prepared for wet weather, with wellies and anoraks, but may forget that sometimes the sun comes out! And even when it’s cloudy, it is still possible for your skin to be exposed to harmful UV rays, which can cause skin cancers.

Mouth Care

The best way of looking after your mouth is to brush your teeth and gums twice a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Don’t forget to pack them though if you do, most festivals also have stalls were you can buy them.

What To Take To a Festival

Packing for a festival can be a nightmare but these are the essentials not to forget!

Festival Safety

With the number of people attending festivals, its easy to lose yourself in the crowd. Keep your phone charged (or carry a spare battery) so you can contact your friends. It’s useful as a torch too! When you do split up, arrange a time and place to meet up again.

Feet Care

Never wear brand new wellies and always make sure your wellies/shoes fit. Walking boots are ideal as they are usually breathable, waterproof and protective and can help prevent ankle sprains if you slip or fall. Blisters and damage to nails are usually caused by poorly fitting footwear. Two pairs of thin socks are better than one thick pair and can help prevent blisters.

Prescription Medicines

The most obvious, yet still the most important piece of advice about your prescribed medication – whether you take it regularly or just might need it – is to bring it!

Existing Health Problems

Events try to make themselves accessible and welcoming to people with health problems and disabilities. With a bit of thought and planning, many potential difficulties can be overcome.

Children at Festivals

Festivals can be overwhelming for adults, noisy, smelly and full of strangers (some in funny clothes).  So imagine what it may be like for the little ones.  Lots of lovely family memories can be created at festivals but be mindful that children may need lots of reassurance that it’s all fun and OK.

Tick Bites and Lyme Disease

Most UK festivals take place in fields or on farmland. Even Reading which is walking distance from the heart of the city takes place on a farm. And where there is farmland and animals, there are likely to be ticks.

Immunisations

So you’re off to a festival in the UK and possibly the last thing on your mind is whether your immunisations are up to date. But you are going to be in close proximity to thousands of people, especially if you are planning on spending any time in a mosh pit or dance tent. There are vaccines available for measles and the most common types of meningitis, two serious infections which we know have been transmitted at festivals.

Hot Weather

There is nothing better than a dry, sunny festival; here are some tips to help you survive it.