Festival First Timer

Our friends at Festival Safe helped us put together a guide to make your first Boardmasters experience an enjoyable one!

What to expect

A festival is like a small town and can be as big as one – the perimeter fence of Glastonbury is 8.5 miles long! Festivals bring people together to party with friends and escape for the weekend. To enjoy yourself and avoid some of the classic festival fails, it’s good to understand the environment you are going into.

  • There will be queues – to get in, for food, drink and toilets
  • It can feel chaotic at times
  • It may be crowded
  • People will be drunk, giddy and sometimes misbehaving

But that’s what makes it fun right?

Within a festival community we should all try and be a friendly face in the crowd. Whether you are going with one friend or a big crew, everyone will have a better time if we take care of each other. One of the ultimate buzz kills can be seeing other people having a bad time so help everyone to enjoy themselves.

Don’t underestimate how much festivals can test your endurance skills, especially when the weather is bad. It’s important to keep your wits about you and remember it’s a marathon not a sprint!

TOP TIP: Buddy up! If you’re in a big group, consider having a buddy system so that you know everyone is being looked after and no one is left to walk home on their own late at night.


Throughout the festival site, you can find the following facilities available for you to use:

  • Toilets
  • Water for drinking and washing
  • Information points
  • Shops
  • Bars and food traders
  • Welfare, including medical, respite area and well being team

Our personal hygiene, info points and welfare facilities will be accessible around the clock, with a member of the friendly stewarding team to offer you help if you need it, so don’t hesitate to ask them a question, big or small!

You’ll need to bring your own toiletries and towels if you’d like to make use of our onsite showers. If you fancy popping in for a quick rinse, no need to book in advance, just tap and pay a small fee on the door. Or if you’ve booked one of our luxury Club Class Pass upgrades, including our pamper lounge with GHD’s, hairdryers and straighteners, you can find us in Cribbar Village.

If you need emergency supplies or have left one of your weekend essentials at home, visit one of our on-site convenience stores. If you’re unsure what to pack, follow our Boardmasters Festival Kit List. There’s also loads of places to buy more fun stuff – fancy dress, glitter (biodegradable of course!), ridiculous hat anyone?!


Mental Health and Wellbeing


If at any point during your time at Boardmasters you, a friend or a stranger appears unwell, head to one of the Welfare Tents where our team of professionals will assist you. We have one located in the main arena by the main entrance and one in Lakey’s campsite. The Welfare team offer a comfortable environment to anyone who feels unsafe, needs to take 5, or speak to someone. They are a team of experienced, non-judgemental people who can give confidential advice about alcohol and other drugs, sexual health, mental health and offer support if you need someone to talk to.

This year, the Welfare team will be joined by SARSAS, offering specialist services for sexual harassment or assault.

Our welfare tents have a calm space if you feel anxious and the teams can help if you find yourself stranded. They also care for lost and vulnerable people including children.

Our welfare team is not there to make judgements or get you in trouble. Their service is confidential so you can be honest with them about any problems you are experiencing and they will do their best to help you. Their primary role is to ensure the well-being and safety of everyone on site, no issue is too big or too small just simply visit their tent on site and they will be happy to help.

Sometimes you can find yourself in a situation that isn’t safe or that makes you feel uncomfortable. If you can’t access help from our Welfare tent in the Main Arena or campsite our bars operate Ask for Angela, where you can discreetly ask for help from a member of staff if this happens.


Mental Health

Looking after our mental health and wellbeing at festivals is so important as it helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.

Everyone has mental health, it includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. Every year one in four of us will experience a mental health problem.

We want to create a happy, safe and exciting space but it 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 have an existing mental health condition:

  • bring any medication you are on with you and remember to take it as prescribed;
  • if it’s your first time, read about what to expect in the ‘what to expect’ section above;
  • before you go, think about whether certain situations could be difficult for you, for example big crowds, and try to mentally prepare yourself for what it might be like and what you would do if you become overwhelmed;
  • people often forget to eat at festivals. If you have an eating problem think about whether you would prefer to bring your own food or whether you will feel ok buying from the vendors on site;
  • if you have a history of poor mental health, you may be more likely to experience negative effects with alcohol and other drugs. Find out more here;
  • if you are on medication for a mental health condition be mindful of how this could interact with alcohol and other drugs;
  • try to be open with your friends and let them know if you are struggling or need help.

Please be kind to everyone and respect the surroundings you’re in.

Security & Stewards

Security are there to look after party goers, manage crowds and deal with any issues. They are available 24 hours a day should you need their assistance, and can be found in and around the main arena and campsites. Always listen to directions from the security team – your safety is their number one priority.

Our stewarding team are comprised of volunteers who have given their time to help run the site in exchange for a ticket. They do lots of different jobs including directing people and traffic, manning information points, taking tickets, giving out wristbands and much more. Sometimes you might wonder why they are asking you to take a certain route or holding you at a gate but there will be a good reason. Events couldn’t run without them so be respectful and always listen to directions from stewards.

If you would like to volunteer at Boardmasters Festival, you can register your interest here.

Getting Around Site

There’s going to be a lot of walking! Sometimes this will be on uneven ground and in big crowds. It’s good to familiarise yourself with the layout of the site and particularly the route between your campsite and the arena. If you’re mega keen you can download a map from the event website before you go – print it out and write your mates’ phone numbers on the back in case you lose your phone.

Event organisers spend a long time planning festival sites to make sure they operate smoothly and to keep everyone safe. Try to respect the rules:

  • stick to allocated paths and tracks;
  • don’t be tempted to climb over or crawl under fences;
  • follow any one-way systems in operation;
  • listen to stewards and event staff if they are giving you directions.

Some people arrive with a schedule of every band and DJ they want to see, others prefer to go with the flow and see where the party takes them. It can be easy to lose your mates so try and keep your phone charged to stay in touch (some festivals will have paid-for phone charging on site, check the show website for more information). At the very least, decide on a meeting point that you will all go back to. Choose a time and place to meet up later each day in case you get separated.

Our Boardmasters app allows you to save your favourite artists and receive push notifications to your mobile so you don’t miss them. You can also share your schedule with your group – we encourage you to make use of this feature and plan ahead. More information on the Boardmasters app and how to download this coming soon….


With big events come big crowds – inside venues and walking around the site. It’s exhilarating to be part of a group of people all enjoying a special moment together, but sometimes it can also be a bit scary if a crowd grows quickly and people start to push or ‘surge’.

  • Have an awareness of where exits are inside tents – not just the way you came in.
  • If you are feeling anxious in a crowd, try and make your way towards the periphery.
  • If you start to feel a crowd surge from one side, don’t push back. Move away from the pressure. Whenever there are crowd surges there are always lulls – a bit like waves along a shore they move back and forth. Try and use the lulls to move into spaces and weave your way to safety.
  • Stay calm, don’t scream and try to keep your balance. If someone has fallen over, help them if you can without sacrificing your own safety. If one person falls over in a crowd, others can trip over them and create a pile up.
  • When you’re navigating large crowds, be considerate to wheelchair users, parents with young children and other party goers who may have mobility issues.
  • If you’re in a crowded space, check in with your friends regularly to make sure everyone is feeling ok.

Although UK government guidelines not longer require people to remain socially distanced at festivals, some people may feel more comfortable choosing their own level of social distancing and this should be respected.

Coping with festival toilets

Coping with festival toilets is a rite of passage for any first-timer. If you’ve not been in one before – brace yourself, it’s not pretty.

Top 10 toilet tips:

  1. The first rule of festival toilets – don’t put your wristband on the hand you wipe your bum with!
  2. Accept that they will be grimy, especially if the weather’s bad. Always wash or sanitise your hands after you use them;
  3. Don’t make yourself ill by holding it in. A kidney infection is much worse than two minutes in a smelly toilet;
  4. It might be a short walk to the nearest loos and there may be queues when you arrive so don’t leave it to the last minute;
  5. Carry some tissues in your pocket/bag;
  6. Flush! Festival toilets sometimes start to block because people don’t flush them;
  7. Ladies, if you can’t stand the idea of having to hover, invest in some P-Mates. The disposable device that allows you to wee stood up. Be careful to tilt forwards though…
  8. It might be tempting to nip off into a dark corner for a wee but don’t. Love the site and help keep it nice for everyone;
  9. There are a smaller number of accessible toilets. If you don’t need to use them, stick to the standard loos;
  10. Beware of playsuits and onesies!

Our toilets are cleaned regularly, but in between our scheduled cleans leave the area how you’d want to find it!

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