I just started a new job and on my first day I was lucky to finish up at around 2pm. What was I to do with an afternoon off? Of course I called up my dear friend, and regular drinking buddy, Helen.
Helen conveniently lives in Richmond, a suburb thats on my train trip home and is home to a bevy of amazing bars. On this particular day we decided to try out Public House on Church Street.
Although the staff were clearly mid pow wow when we walked in, they showed no annoyance or judgement when we ordered our first drink before 3pm on a Tuesday.
We sat in the semi enclosed outdoor area which was a nice middle ground of being outside, but not freezing our little butts of in the harsh Melbourne winter weather.
Apparently it can be quite hopping on a Friday or Saturday night, but for a casual mid-week afternoon drink it hard a very cool and chilled vibe, exactly what we were after.
4 stars – They were nice and pretty average Melbourne prices.
We didn’t eat any, but their menu looks delish!
I’ll save judgement on this one until I go there on a Friday or Saturday night, but the company was top notch.
3½ stars – reasonable drinks and friendly staff, but the decor could do with a bit of an update.
I’ve never been one for one day festivals, there’s too much pressure to jam pack your day and I’m usually completely stuffed by 2pm and the idea of big festivals like Falls and Splendour in the Grass makes me a bit uneasy, which is how I found my niche at smaller camping festivals.
I’ve been a regular at Meredith and Golden Plains for the past few years, but in the last few months have branched out to some smaller festivals like NYE on the Hill and The Hills Are Alive.
This weekend I’ll be heading off to Lawsfest and thought I would share my tips for have a great time at a festival.
Disclaimer: these are my personal tips, I by no means think this works for everyone.
This is clearly my area and I find the process of packing for 3 days very stressful, but here’s some tricks I use to make it easier.
- plan ahead. I usually start packing a week before a festival, some may say it’s over kill, but that’s just how I work. It gives you time to really assess if you need the 3rd pair of high waisted denim cut offs (the answer is usually yes)
- lay it all out. Don’t pack your clothes into your bag straight away. (Neatly) lay everything out so you can see how different things will work together, if you have 2 singlets and 2 shorts that can all work together then all of sudden you’ve got 4 outfits!
- better safe than sorry. So your friends may not be happy with you on the drive there when you’re in the backseat up to your ears in bedding and eskis, but pack more than you think you’ll need. The joy of a camping festival is that you can duck back to your tent at any time to change if the weather does. I generally wear 3 outfits a day at a festival.
- keep it versatile. Yes 3 outfits a day, it possibly is overkill, but I’ve learnt to try to transition one to the other, eg. Morning: dress w/ cardi, leggings and sandals. Midday: ditch the cardi and leggings and chuck on a sun hat. Night: leggings come back on, switch up the sandals for boots and add a jacket (one you can tie to your bag if necessary) and a beanie.
- wear what YOU want. I spent an hour this week reading blogs about what to wear at a festival, and they do have good tips (as do I), but in the end wear whatever the hell you want! If you wanna dress like Lindsay Lohan at Coachella, do it! If you wanna wear your pyjamas the entire weekend, good on ya! No one who matters will care, and it’s all about you being comfortable (both physically and emotionally) example: I often wear heels and platforms at festivals – 90% of people would discourage this, but I can’t wear flats for more than an hour without serious pain and it also gives me a little extra height so I can actually see the bands.
2. What to bring.
So your clothes are packed. You’re ready to go! No quite, heres a few other things to have in your bag/car:
- I’m going to state the obvious, bring a tent! You may not sleep there, but it makes a useful dressing room or spot for a cheeky nap. Don’t forget a mattress, pillow and sleeping bag to go with it!
- Drinks. As well as your alcohol, bring bottles of water. You can get a slab from the supermarket for about $15, and you will be an absolute legend at your campsite!
- The little things. Sometimes I am an organisational nerd (hello! packing a week in advance?) and it usually pays off. One of the best things I have is my ‘Festival Box’. A big clear plastic container filled with all those little things you or someone else at your campsite may want/need. It usually contains any or all of the following: Snacks (usually a box of shapes), wetones (the festival equivalent of a shower), chewing gum (a great alternative to festival teethbrushing which creeps me out), a torch, batteries (for the torch and anything else that may need them), disposable ponchos, a stubby holder, a pack of cards (for drinking games), glow sticks (ever wondered where they all come from? Some smart person like me brings them!), glitter, Vaseline (makes glitter say where you want it) and lighters/filters/papers (every smoker in a 2 mile radius will thank you!)
- Extra! So the whole ‘Festival Box’ concept may be a little over the top, but everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) should bring slightly more than they think. Add 1 extra pair of undies to your packing, spare battery for your torch and , if you’re a smoker, bring more smokes/papers/filters/lighters than you would normal because the second people see you light up they are going to wanna pinch one!
Just a few tips to make sure you have a good time:
- sleep. No one wants to miss that crazy band where the guy crowd surfed and the girl took her top off, but you won’t enjoy it if your too tired. Sleep whenever and wherever you need. Some of the most valuable festival sleeping I’ve had has been laying on the grass at 3pm. If you need a power nap at 10pm so you can party til 4, do it.
- eat. As with sleep, do this whenever you need to. Normal meal times don’t exist at festivals. If you’re like me and often forget to eat at festivals I recommend 4 things:
- Eat before you get there! Grab some maccas on your drive to the festival, at least you’ll start the weekend off with a full belly.
- Eat mid afternoon. The main reason I forget to eat at festivals is that by the time 7pm rolls around I have a belly full of beer and am too swept up in the atmosphere. Solution: have a meal around 4 or 5pm. You may not feel hungry, but you’ll thank me later!
- Snacks! There is something special about buying a burger out the side of a caravan at a festival that just can’t be replicated anywhere else, but I always take some Shapes or Chips with me as well. They will be equally appreciated at 4am when the food trucks are closed and at 9am when you’re too hungover to walk.
- Tell someone. If you have the habit of forgetting to eat (like me) tell the friend most likely to be the one to give you water when you’re having a cheeky vom. They have a vested interest in keeping you relatively healthy.
- Disposable & Reusable. In the end there is a chance that everything you bring could be lost, stolen or broken, so don’t bring your $1,000 camera! Get a cheap camera just for festivals, make sure it’s just good enough to last you a few festivals, but not so good you’ll be heartbroken when it gets trampled in the mosh. Same goes for shoes, bags, sunnies, tents…. pretty much everything really!
- Make friends. One of the best parts of a smaller festival is that the douchebag levels are much much lower. Everyone is there to have a good time, so it’s a fairly safe environment to get out and meet people. My brother met his Girlfriend at Lawsfest 2013 and a year on we are all going together!
I hope some of these tips will help the next time you head off to a festival!