7 Festival Tactics to Catch All Your Must-See Acts

You can’t miss Foo Fighters, but you’ve been dying to see Alt-J forever, and you cannot leave the festival without catching Hozier, so how do you get to stages in totally different areas without cloning yourself? It’s easy when you have a plan:

Do Your Research

It sounds logical, but you’d be surprised at how many people turn up to festivals without any idea of where and when their favourite acts are playing. Print out the festival schedule or take a screenshot with your phone. Now divide the playlist into must-see, would-like-to-see, and not-bothered. See which of your preferred acts are playing close together or (gasp) at the same time, and get ready to cull.

Decide on the Artist You Just Have to See

If you simply have to get up front for Kanye, you’ll need to get to the stage early, and that means missing out on any other sets playing at the same time. So, before you go, pick out your top three acts and schedule everything else around them.

Don’t Go with a Crowd

You just can’t please everybody, so if your aim is to actually see stuff, make sure you go to the festival with one or two friends with the same taste in music as you do. That way, you can catch the same acts and you won’t waste time trying to compromise.

Pack Light

It’s much harder to scamper between stages if you’re lugging a back-pack, so shove what you need into a bum bag, and you’ll find it much easier to slip through the crowds. And don’t be afraid to move with purpose: We know it goes against the whole peace-love vibe of festivals everywhere, but smiling at people will not get them to walk quicker.

Scope out the Stages

As soon as you’ve put up your tent and before you touch a refreshing beverage, grab your festival map and find all the stages where your favourite acts are playing. If you need to run from one stage to catch a performance at another, at least you’ll know the direction you need to head in.

Wear a Watch

Borrow or buy a watch you don’t mind losing or breaking. It’s hard to get to a performance if you don’t know what time it is, but flashing your iPhone every time you want to see how many minutes you have until the next act kicks off is just asking for trouble.

Stay at the Back

If your schedule means that you have very little time between the end of one performance and the start of another, stay at the rear of the crowd for the first one. Not only will it be easier for you to dash to the next stage once the first performance has finished (or even nearly finished, if you have a lot of distance to cover), you will also have more room to impress with your dance moves.