Festival season: getting there

Whether it’s Bestival or Parklife, people across the country will be driving to festival grounds to enjoy weekends of music. We’ve teamed up with RAC to bring you a handy festival guide this summer. We’ve already covered how to pack and prepare your car for the journey, but what do you need to know about actually getting to the festival? We’ve got you sorted.

Finding your way
The chances are, if you’re driving to a popular festival, at some point you'll be met with delays. So remember to pack separate food and water specifically for long traffic jams. Delays could be slightly worse at festivals this year with the added security measures organisers’ have put in place following more recent threats to national security, so make sure you’re prepared.

Remember that satnavs aren’t 100% reliable and neither are simple postcodes. Google the address and look at the map in detail to ensure you know the turns to take and exactly where your car park entrance is.  Old fashioned maps are also very useful, so pack a paper map in the car if you have access to one, but only use it when safe to do so.

Try your best to follow the signage instead of relying on technology - you’ll be amazed how well signposted some of the festivals are, and you may miss your turning if you’re following your phone maps or satnav religiously. If you’re driving with others, get your passengers to keep an eye out.
The opening times for the festival and car park may differ, so check your paperwork and the organisers’ website ahead of your trip. There also might be different entrances to the festival car park depending on location, which direction you’re coming from and what ticket you have, so check this before you travel. 
When you have parked up, make a note of where the car is parked: it’s amazing how a day or two of music and fun can leave you none-the-wiser as to where your car is when you come to leave!

Practice safe driving
Almost 20% of accidents on major roads are sleep-related, which are most likely to result in a fatality or serious accident. If you get up early to avoid the traffic, you could be putting yourself and your passengers at risk. The Department for Transport’s Think! campaign recommends avoiding long trips between midnight and 6am, when you’re most likely to feel sleepy.

If you start to feel sleepy on the way home, find a safe place to stop and drink two cups of coffee or a high-caffeine drink. Take a 15-minute break to allow time for the caffeine to have an effect, and don’t force yourself to drive if you’re still feeling sleepy.

Having a fellow driver who can take over can also be beneficial, giving you a chance to rest – so consider asking a friend to join. Car sharing is also becoming more popular at festivals, so have a good search on the internet for car sharing sites. It saves money, helps the environment and you could meet some likeminded music fans! 

What to do if you have a breakdown
If the worst does happen, don’t panic. If you're on the motorway or in a busy traffic spot, find a safe place to stop – the hard shoulder or a layby if possible – and switch on your hazard lights.

Exit the vehicle from the passenger side and move yourself and your passengers away to a safe location (behind the barrier if you're on a motorway). Once everyone is safe contact your breakdown provider. We’d suggest having the number pre-programmed in your list of contacts, with your policy details to hand, to save time and effort.

Whichever festival you’re heading to, getting there safely should be your number one priority. Nothing can ruin what is meant to be an amazing weekend like a dramatic journey to get there, so make sure you stay safe. Look out for our next guide coming soon with all the tips to make sure you leave the festival safely too.

Posted on June 12, 2018

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