It’s F-F-FESTIVAL SEASONNNNNN! You might well have been tearing it up on the festival scene already (Bestival, anyone? The one that didn’t get rained off anyway), but since we’ve got some big hitters like Reading and Leeds coming up this weekend, we thought it was high-time we weighed in and lectured gave advice on how to stay well and get the most out of your festival experience. Because what’s the point in spending all that crunkle on a long weekend of music and fun times if you can’t remember it afterwards, or you get sick halfway through?

Avoiding measles and having a great time doing it

It’s all about the prep-work. We’ve seen an upswing in measles cases over the last few months, and busy places like festivals are basically a breeding ground for it. Make sure you’re protected by checking with your GP that you’ve had two doses of the MMR vaccine. If not, they can book you in and get you up-to-date. One less reason to worry about who you’re getting up-close and personal with in the front row.

The d word

We’re a health website, so you know what we’re going to say. You should avoid illegal substances, because taking drugs can have some very tragic ramifications.

If you are thinking about trying drugs, make sure you’re doing so in as controlled a way as possible. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, and don’t mix your substances – including alcohol. If you start to feel unwell, find a medic or visit the wellness tent right away. If someone you’re with collapses, turn them on their side and call an ambulance immediately, and be honest about what you’ve been taking – medical services are there to help, not to judge you.

It might be legal, but booze can still be pretty bad for you if you’re drinking in excess. Alternate your alcoholic drinks with water, and don’t get too carried away. Aside from ending up with a nasty hangover the next day, and no memory of the bands you’ve seen, you’re more likely to get injured if you’ve been drinking, so do yourself a favour and do so in moderation.

If you want more advice about drug or alcohol abuse, EDAS is a local service that provides support to adults and young people affected by drug and alcohol misuse in Dorset. Public Health Dorset also has some sound advice, and remember, you can always Talk to Frank.

 Festival friends

Suncream. Water. When you’re two days in, these are basically magical items. Make sure you keep yourself protected from sunburn by remembering to apply and re-apply suncream throughout the day. The sun is at its hottest between 11am and 3pm, so try and seek out shade during this period, too.

Make sure you get enough water, too. Extended periods in the sun, dancing and drinking alcohol can all dehydrate you faster than you might expect, and can be seriously bad for your health. If you want to make it to the end of the weekend without shrivelling up, stay hydrated.

(Yes, we know it means more trips to the porta-loos, but it’s better than the alternative of a trip to the hospital).

If you want more tips on how to stay well while the summer lasts, check out our dedicated summer page. Most importantly, if you’re going to a festival this summer, stay safe, stay well and have fun.