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Festival Survival Guide: Your Stuff

How best to keep it safe

If you have a car remember that festivals also attract a lot of thieves (AKA arseholes) Thieves will gather anywhere that they think will give them an easy option. The car park will be their first target - so try and stick to a few basic and simple rules and you should be able to keep yourself and your belongings safe and secure.

Always remember to turn off your lights, close all windows and lock all your doors! - It might sound obvious but people do tend to forget the blindingly obvious when in the laid back atmosphere of the festival - thieves know this and are ready to take full advantage! Use vehicle security devices and don't leave anything valuable or visible in your car - in fact, don't leave anything. A glove compartment can look like Pandora's box to your average thief, empty it and leave it open to dispel the mystique. If you can take a spare set of car keys do it - give one to a friend for safe keeping.

Identify a reference point that will help you find the car again - how easy it is to forget where you left it - and what a long time it can take to find it again! Many large festival sites have a number or colour code system to identify car parks, make a note of these. Park where you are instructed to park by the stewards, keep to a low speed when you're on the site ( there are always lot's of pedestrians - and they do wander and don't look) - don't block the emergency fire and access roads. Parking in restricted areas both on or off site may lead to your vehicle being towed away to the car pound and will incur the payment of a large fine in order to get it back - and boy do these people give out large and hefty fines. That'll bump up the cost of your festivities big time....

Some items are banned or restricted at many festivals and concerts (check out websites for information before you go) and don't even think about taking banned items with you - the list of prohibited stuff will probably include:

Professional cameras and recording equipment (to prevent bootlegging). Wax garden flares (flambé) and candles are a real safety hazard, people can get quite severe burns from hot wax. Fireworks and Pyrotechnics. Weapons or anything that can be construed as a weapon. Glass and Styrofoam containers. Illegal drugs of any kind. PA and sound systems (to prevent breaches of noise limits). Dogs and animals, a festival is not a good place for your pet, the sights, sounds and vast numbers of people can really freak out your pet and then they might run off, they can bite people, cause problems for farmers (who might well shoot them) The flying of kites and balloons is often prohibited especially if overhead power cables run nearby.

Knives, saws and axes (yes some people take saws and axes to festivals to cut fire wood, they don't realise that "green wood" will not burn and that fires are often banned for safety). It's not good for the environment and the local farmers and land owners won't be pleased if you go cutting down their hedges and trees.

Some cans have ring pulls that can be totally removed from cans, these are very dangerous to farm animals that live on the site the rest of the year - you may not be allowed to bring your own food or drink onto some sites - this is often an area of contention and we've had numerous tales of people having things confiscated only to find the same items on sale within the arena.

If you are in the country side, follow the country code and respect local people and property - aside from any other consideration you want this festival to continue and to be able to go again next year - don't do things to put the licence in danger. Keep to foot paths and don't climb fences, walls, trees or hedges. Close all gates,respect all plants and wild life, drive with care on country roads and don't block gateways when you park. If walking on roads with no footpath, always walk facing oncoming traffic and make sure you are visible (especially at night) and wear bright clothing.

We can't stress this enough - don't bring anything to a festival that you can't afford to lose, If you do bring valuables either carry them with you or use left luggage or a property lock up if they are provided (lot's of festivals provide these for a small fee)

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Festival Survival Guide
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Your Stuff
Festival Survival Guide Index
Part 1. The Safeconcerts Festival Survival Guide
Getting the best from your festival experience
Part 2. Preparation
Some important stuff to do before you're ready to go
Part 3. Security and Stewards
On site security and stewards - what you should know
Part 4. On Your Way
What to do en route and on arrival
Part 5. Your Stuff
How best to keep it safe
Part 6. Pitching Your Tent
Some useful tips for your temporary home
Part 7. Your Body
Keep it safe - it's yours and you have choices
Part 8. Keeping Clean
Not easy but perfectly possible
Part 9. Your Clothes
Keep cool, warm and dry and still keep your cred!
Part 10. Drugs and Alcohol
Be wise, be safe, take care
Part 12. Camp Fires
Not a good idea, why?
Part 13. Toilets
Infamous - can you survive them?
Part 14. Children at Festivals
Fun for all the family?
Part 15. Crowd Safety at Festivals
Keeping safe in a dense crowd - crowd surfing and moshing

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