How to pick your first tent for a British music festival

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There’s lots to plan for when you’re off to your first overnight music festival – one of which is where you’ll sleep.

If your ticket price doesn’t include any accommodation, this will typically require you to camp in a nearby site or allocated location. If you’re not sure what you should be looking for, we’ve put together this handy guide on how to pick your tent and what to consider…


When it’s your first music festival, it’s tempting to want the absolute best, but festivals are busy places. People get drunk, it’s dark at night, tents are positioned close together, people stumble about all over the place. There’s a high chance your tent may get slightly battered and won’t come back in perfect condition. Therefore, unless you know you’re going to be at a family-friendly festival with plenty of space surrounding your pitch, don’t spend a fortune. Just pick a tent that you wouldn’t be disappointed to dispose of afterwards.


The UK can have both blazing sunshine and torrential downpours within the same day – the temperature is constantly fluctuating across the summer and autumn months. Festivals are renowned for being muddy thanks to huge rain storms. It’s therefore important to look for a tent with reasonable insulation that will keep you warm at night, but also one that is weather-proof so you won’t find yourself getting soaked in your sleep.

Make it memorable

In a sea of tents, it can be almost impossible to know which is yours. There will be thousands of other very similar looking tents, and you could spend a significant amount of time just looking for where you left yours. In the dark, this can be even harder, especially if it is made from a dark fabric. Try to find a brightly coloured tent or find a way of making it stand out – perhaps you’ll add a large flag that you’ll know is yours.

Coloured guy ropes

One way of helping to protect your tent from people falling into it (and ensuring it isn’t a trip hazard) will be to buy colourful guy ropes. This will help your fellow festival-goers from tripping over them in the dark. For many, negotiating all the guy ropes that will be all over the campsite will be a serious challenge, so you’ll be doing them, and your tent, a huge favour.

Bring a pop-up tent

If you’re sharing your tent with friends, you might want to bring a smaller pop-up tent that can be used for getting changed or for dumping wet/muddy clothes and wellies so you don’t mess up the tent you’ll be sleeping in. Make sure you have plenty of bin bags to then put these muddy items in.


When buying your tent, it’s important to think about the size of your pitch and how many people are going. It’ll be a real squeeze if there are four of you trying to fit into a two-man tent (although it has no doubt been achieved). Opt for a tent that will comfortably fit you all in… after a few days of non-stop dancing and not showering regularly, you’ll definitely be grateful for your personal space!

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