Once you’ve nailed the festival essentials and your fashion and beauty picks, one of the biggest things to take to a festival is alcohol (you’ll also want to look at whatfood to take to festivals, but for now I’ll leave that to your own taste!). There is no doubt about it – festivals and alcohol go hand in hand like apples and crumble and whilst I don’t advocate going stupid with it, it is worth having a think about.

With festival prices rocketing just for four days in your own canvas accommodation, any money you can save is worth it whether that is throughalcohol smuggling into the parts. As bar prices at festivals sneak on past that of top London nightclubs, I’m going to tell you how to hang on to your pennies and get festival alcohol on tap all weekend long.

Reading Festival - Taking Alcohol to Festivals

How to get the best alcohol offers for music festivals

You are going to want to bring and/or sneak alcohol into a festival with you – that is a fact. Whether it is chilling at your tent, wandering the campsite or taking to the stages (see more on this below), having a cheeky beverage or two on tap without having to walk far is going to up your festival enjoyment ten fold. It is also going to be far cheaper. Many festival sites are surrounded by beer and cider crate offers, and you may think it is a good idea to wait – don’t. These are still going to be more expensive than your Tesco shop.

Usually around June/early July the summer alcohol deals start up, and I’d recommend shopping around your local supermarkets both in person and online to find the best deals. But as the weather is usually pants and less people will be spending money on booze for BBQ’s, those offers are sticking around throughout the summer. This year, look out for alcohol deals around the World Cup (June – July 2018), Wimbledon (July) and England v India Test cricket series (August).

Boardmasters Festival - Taking Alcohol to Festivals

Little tip – if you online shop (everyone should!) add your beer/cider of choice to your favourites and check every week for the price to drop. If you don’t, just make sure you sneak around the beer aisle, or alternatively check out festival forums for chatter on when the booze deals land.

Heading to a festival this summer? This is how you get the best price and selection of alcohol to take with you for your awesome weekend!Click To Tweet

What alcohol to take with you to a music festival

This comes down to your own personal preference, but there are some good rules of thumb here to bear in mind. I have found that sharing with your tent mates is the best way of saving money, saving carrying arms and getting a good selection of booze. Agree up front what you want to take, and work out how much that equates to drink wise and money wise per person. Stock up on the alcohol, transport to festival site and share the carrying!

At my camp, we used to take a mix of our favourite cider (usually Kopperberg or Brothers, but really whatever was on offer) and some spirits, but we find five days on the cider a bit too much to stomach, so now we stick to a box of wine and our favourite rum.  In the past we got some cracking cider deals from Tesco, and a great deal on pre-mixed Jack Daniels and Ginger in cans (it actually tastes amazing) which means no lugging heavy mixers around.

In fact pre mixed spirits in cans are often 3 for 2 at this time of year so that could be a good option for you if you like what is available – check all good supermarkets for them, and especially Marks and Spencer for their own brand of pre-mix in cans.

Glastonbury Festival - Taking Alcohol to Festivals

What are the rules on taking alcohol to festivals (orhow to sneak alcohol into festivals)?

In terms of festival alcohol rules, it is always best to check out the organiser’s website for details, but there are a few things which are standard across most UK music festivals.

  • You can’t bring in glass bottles. This should be fine, because we largely stick to cans, and you can decant any spirits into much lighter plastic bottles anyway! Save up your soft drinks bottles from now until the festival.
  • You can’t bring in a shop-worth of booze. This is to make sure you are not trying to resell on site, but it would be incredibly hard to get stopped for this. If in doubt, split the drinks between friends and you’ll be fine.
  • You can’t take drink into the arena. At many festivals, the arena and camping areas are split (not Glasto though, woohoo!), and they do not let you take your own booze into the arena. There’s an easy way around this, so here is a cheeky tip from me to you. Take a 500ml squeezy water pouch, fill with booze, pop down your shorts, cover with a hoody/anorak. Hey presto, it is just cokes all round at the super expensive festival bars.
Reading Festival - Taking Alcohol to Festivals
If you over-do it, your Sunday could look something like this.

Staying safe when drinking alcohol at festivals

Not to be a bore, but festivals are a hard slog. Everyone wants a good time, but I can assure you, vomiting at a festival doesn’t count. Only drink alcohol you have bought into the festival yourself, from trusted friends or from the official bars on site – there are non officials selling drinks, jelly shots etc, but do you want to take the risk?

Keep hydrated with something other than alcohol too. I’m not saying this to be like your mum. But take it from me – long drop toilets, 5am, hungover/drunk, feeling dehydrated. It is an incredibly sad and lonely place to be and you do not want to have to spend more time in those toilets than you need to.

Enjoy your festival cheaply, safely and with the festival alcohol you want (who wants to drink warm Tuborg anyway…).


Festival Tips | Camping | Music Festival | UK Holidays

Festival Tips | Camping | Music Festival | UK Holidays

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