Are you ready for the festival season? We asked some people in the We Are Tearfund community for their top tips!
Here’s what Rich Di Castiglione from David’s Tent had to say:
Go all in
Don’t wait until the last day to go all in and open your heart to God. Come expectant for him to move and ready to engage with him fully from the first session. Worship unashamedly. Sing a little louder. Dance more wildly. Listen more attentively. You won’t regret it!
Write every day down
When David faced Goliath it was his past experiences of defeating the lion and the bear that gave him the courage to boldly face up to a new challenge. Take time at summer festivals to write down your encounters with the Lord each day and the messages that resonate with your spirit. Cherish the voice of the Lord and treasure up what he has spoken to you and done in your heart during your time away. It can be the fuel you need to face a new trial throughout the rest of the year. Remember that the moments you have with him over the summer are as real as the challenges you will face when you get back at home.
Pro-tip – shower in the afternoons
Most people queue up for hours to get a morning shower in but all the festival pros know that the best time for a good shower is in the afternoons. A bit of Lynx Africa goes a long way in the morning worship times!
Clothes pegs are a campers best friend. Great for drying out soggy socks and towels in the 15 minutes over the week that the English sun actually comes out.
Abby says preparation is key
Remember, English weather has a mind of its own so pack some waterproofs, warm clothes, shorts, sun cream and everything in between. Don’t forget your portable phone charger, your sanitary products and a tent big enough to hold whoever’s sleeping in it and all your stuff.
You also need to bring yourself too! So take some time before you leave to pray. Open your eyes and ears to God and ask Him to speak to you while you’re at the festival. And if you’re finding it difficult to zone out from life’s busyness, try a mindfulness exercise to refocus yourself on God.
Get ethical with Emma’s top tips
When you’re prepping what to take with you, don’t forget to be as ethical as possible. As we know, rubbish is having a devastating impact on people living in poverty. And festival goers are some of the worst offenders. It’s estimated that 23,500 tonnes of waste is produced yearly at festivals alone and only 32% of that is recycled! You can do your part by bringing reusable bottles, KeepCups, plates and cutlery. Either get biodegradable wet wipes or bring a flannel and a wash bowl. Kindly decline any plastic you don’t need and make sure you properly get rid of your recyclable waste.
And being ethical starts before you even arrive. If you’re planning to drive, see if you can fill your car with people and make it count. Clothing can also be a big issue. It’s easy to get carried away with buying last minute clothes and accessories in fast-fashion high street stores. But make sure you have a good look at your wardrobe and see what you actually need. The likelihood is you won’t need to buy much more, and if you do, why not check out a charity shop?
Chris reminds us to plan, but be flexible
It’s unlikely you’ll know everything you want to see or do before you arrive, but planning helps. So when you arrive, familiarise yourself with where everything is and make a note of anything you definitely want to go to. There’s nothing worse than finding out that one band you never got round to seeing, played an incredible set! So make sure you’re festival bucket list leaves completed.
But as Sarah Yardley from Creation Fest says, ‘Festivals are a place to encounter God and others in radical ways….so expect the unexpected! Plan how you’ll get there, where you’ll sleep, but leave much of the rest free to adventure.’ Sometimes the best times at festivals are the impromptu chats, making new friends, the games of frisbee, or even stumbling into a seminar you don’t know the title of! There’s always plenty to do, so don’t get bogged down in a rigid schedule. And most importantly, have fun!
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