Heatwave Festival Tips for Glastonbury Goers

heatwave festival tips for glastonbury


The UK is still learning how to hot. Be good to yourselves and each other with our heatwave tips for Glastonbury and other festivals!

Perhaps you’ve already started the celebrations. You’ve seen the sun rise on the longest day, you’ve packed your festival essentials and you’re on your way to Glastonbury, the magical festival city that springs up to home thousands but once a year.

Perhaps you’ve already read our festival survival guide. But are you still worried you haven’t got everything you need to surf the heatwave? Fear not. Glastonbury is Mammon, and you can buy anything you need there (although, in this heat, stallholders may be racing to town on frequent emergency runs to restock on water and essentials to keep you going).

Stay chilled. Keep things fluid and flexible in festival entry queues and on your journey

Bring lots of water to keep yourself hydrated – not just during the journey, but also in the entrance queues. There’ll be extra security searches this year so those queues might take a long time.

We need to talk about water and hydration.

water bottle

Stay hydrated to the max. The UK tends to have a humid heat, not a dry heat. You’ll probably sweat buckets, so make sure what goes out comes back in as sweet, fresh water. Even if you don’t sweat, or you’re not thirsty, drink a bit of water.

If you’re wondering how much water to drink in hot weather when you’re dancing hard, it’s generally recommended to drink around two to four glasses of water an hour if you’re doing heavy exercise in hot weather.

Hydration and alcofrolics vs alcohell: Drinks with alcohol and sugar in them can actually cause you to lose more body fluid, so don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re getting your fluids because you’ve downed eight delicious craft ales.

All T, all shade. Let’s get shady on the basics.


Throw that shade, you festival fairy. Throw it everywhere.

  • Hat? Check.
  • One of those pashmina things or whatever? Check.
  • Parasol? Everyone looks saucy when they’re carrying a parasol, and you can offer it to other people too.
  • Clothing that layers up or down so you can keep your shoulders and sensitive bits covered? Check.

Sunscreen is your festival armour


Glastonbury festival is not a good time to try to work on your tan. When you go into battle with the sun, you wear armour. All the armour. Sunscreen is way lighter than chainmail and way more effective when you’re a lover, not a fighter.

Go for a high SPF. Make like Australians, who are very health-conscious when it comes to the sun. SPF 30 at least, SPF 50. Re-apply it regularly. If you’re band-hopping all day, get into the habit of re-applying it after every band you see. Offer it to other people, especially if you can see them going red.

While you’re at it, smear cooling gel on yourself just for the nice feel of it. Carry around a water spritzer for your skin. And if the worst happens and you get sunburn, have some Calamine lotion to hand.

You are all festival warriors this weekend, and the sun will not defeat you. PREPARE FOR GLORIOUS VICTORY.

Keep it cool and froody – always know where your towel is


A towel is your friend. Your very dear companion. It’s the artfully draped sun-shawl you need when you forgot to bring a hat, or when the hat doesn’t shade your bare shoulders, or the thought of climbing into your four-seasons sleeping bag at night fills you with horror.

Importantly, you can also dowse it with water and sleep under it if the heat is really kicking in at night – or you need a pit stop in your tent to chill out for a while. Seriously. When it gets proper hot, you can wet your towel, sleep under it and you’ll probably wake up halfway through the night to find it’s already dry and you’re hot again.

Remember, when you come home again (yes, sad times) it’ll be way easier to shake off a cold than sunstroke.

Pack a non-electric fan.


Normally you can raise your popularity stakes at Glastonbury by being the one with a flag or plastic banana attached to a fishing line. People will love using you as a landmark, and hover round you as they furtively text their fronts to come and meet them by the big banana. Obviously, this kind of popularity is dubious because you’ve got your own best life to live.

However, packing a fan – or buying one at Glastonbury – may well make you this year’s hot item. A fan (the kind you flutter, not battery operated) is small and light and helps you cool down when you’re feeling hot and flustered. There’s no danger of its batteries running out. It looks fantastic, obviously, because fans are fantastic. You can make new friends by offering the services of your fan, and it won’t cost you a penny – but could help someone who’s feeling uncomfortable and needs a little fresh wind in their sails.


water pistol

No, not the sexy kind. You can have a lot of fun with water pistols, although be careful when you spray people you don’t know, because, well, space invasion and consent. Water pistols are a key item on our festival essentials checklist.

Keep your camping tent cool

cool festival tent

Tents can get super-hot at the best of times, never mind when you’re braving a festival on one of the hottest weekends of the year. One of the reasons the UK can’t cope with hot summers is that our buildings and infrastructure are designed to keep in the heat, not keep in the cool. Our buildings just don’t know how to hot.

So how can you make your tent more of an oasis and less of a hellhole oubliette?

Pick a camping spot with shade.

Festival camping spot guidelines: pick a high spot so you get better drainage if it rains. Pick a spot reasonably close to the side of a field so it’s easier to navigate back to your tent at night. And, very importantly on a hot weekend, pick a shady spot if possible. There aren’t many shady spots in the camping areas at Glastonbury, but if you’re behind a much larger tent, or near bushes and trees, your tent should pick up some cooling shade at some point during the day.

And if you’ve got serious kit with you, perhaps you can erect a pagoda or makeshift awning. This can either go over your tent, or to one side of it to create a little shade.

Cover your tent with a space blanket.

This will help to reflect off the heat. Yes, you can buy space blankets in Glastonbury. You can buy anything in Glastonbury. And space blankets fold up small and light, so you can keep it for next time without adding extra weight to your pack.

Don’t zip your tent doors all the way up at night – let the air in

There’s security and there’s not overheating. Overheating is, quite frankly, key – one affects your possessions but the other affects your body, your health and you. Make a pillow of your valuables, or tuck them away deep in the tent, hidden away as far from the tent’s entrance as possible. Keep the tent flaps a little unzipped to let the air circulate.

Keep your tent’s air vents open during the day

When you’re out and about on the prowl for good times, ensure any vents your tent has to let the air in are open to let the air circulate while you’re gone.

Pack a battery-powered fan

Not everyone has a jenny or battery pack powered by solar rays – only the wasteland warriors who never pack for anything less than a zombie apocalypse. If you have a small battery-operated fan on you, it can help you cool down and move the air around inside your tent.

Glastonbury medical and first aid facilities

first aid

Read up on what Glastonbury offers by way of medical and first aid care. Know where your nearest first aid tent is. It’s not just for your benefit if you’re feeling hot and poorly. If you can see someone who’s in a bad way, you can help them on their way to professional care as quickly as possible. Glastonbury is a summer festival, a festival of love and togetherness. You are all the citizens of a new kingdom now, so be good to yourselves and each other.