Alt-Fest Camping:
A Survival Guide

By gileZ Armalyte

Your handy cut-out-and-keep (well, print-out-and-keep) guide to all things Alt-Camping...

Summer 2014 cannot come quickly enough for Alt-Festers, with the normally serene Kettering countryside being torn a new one by virtue of some of the greatest names in alt. music at the UK's hottest, and most exciting, new festival. With the festival running from August 15th to 17th, the easiest, and cheapest way to make the most of your Alt-Fest experience is to take full advantage of one of the many on-site camping areas. The camping sites are open from 10am on Thursday 14th August to Noon on Tuesday 19th August, so plenty of time to assemble/disassemble your mobile domicile and get into the festival spirit.

The Zones

In an attempt to do the impossible and please all of the people, all of the time, we will have five dedicated camping areas at Alt-Fest to cater for all:

Family Camping: Being a family-friendly environment is especially important to the Alt-Fest team, so with that in mind, we have a dedicated family camping area. Designated for families with kids of all ages, the idea is that the kids can make friends and play together, and it’s unlikely to get too rowdy unless there’s some kind of Peppa Pig-related riot, as happened at Glastonbury in 1983. Sad times.

Quiet Camping: The days at Alt-Fest will be filled with loud noises and bright colours, so for those that are unable to function fully on less than 8 hours sleep a night, we have a set aside an area of near-meditative respite furthest from the arena. It’s called quiet camping for a reason, so if you make a racket then you WILL be sent to the naughty step, as well as being asked to move to a more appropriate camping area.

Adult Camping: Don’t like kids? Hey, it doesn’t make you a monster, but should you be of the anti-rug rat brigade then this is the area for you. Strictly over 18’s only, though be warned, you may encounter scenes of an adult nature at this one.

Party Camping: Wondering where the party’s at? Then wonder no more. P. A. R. T. Y. Why? Because that’s how you spell “party”, ya goomba. This is where it’s gonna get wild. If you like staying up late, making noise and generally revelling in the good-natured bonhomie that Alt-Fest is all about, then this is the camp site for you. It may resemble a war zone by the end of the festival, but by Christ you’ll have had fun in the interim.

Disabled Camping: Located closest to the arena entrance, this site is available to those who provide proof of disability prior to the festival. We’ll have state of the art amenities including showers and loos and members of the Alt-Fest team will be on hand to provide assistance and info.

For those not keen on roughing it with the huddled masses, Alt-Fest will be offering a “glamping” option, where you can hire a yurt, a tepee or even a gypsy caravan. There will also be a special area for caravans and campervans, however terms and conditions apply (for the full rules, visit our camping FAQ pages HERE. More details on the glamping options as well as pre-erected tents will be availble SOON!

The Essentials

A Tent: Although, it may seem wonderfully romantic to spend your time at Alt-Fest sleeping under the stars, if the weather turns you will soon regret your naively optimistic notions. As the wind and rain beats mercilessly at your face, you'll be glaring with green eyes at those who have had the foresight to have invested in that most useful of portable domiciles, colloquially known as a tent. A basic, run-of-the-mill tent can be picked up for practically peanuts (note: do not attempt to pay for tent with peanuts), and can provide shelter for one or more occupants dependent on size and your tolerance to others within close proximity to your personal space. You should also consider “pimping up” (as the kids call it) your tent, not only as a fashion statement but as an aide-memoire as to which tent is actually yours. Have you ever tried to find a tent amidst a sea of thousands of tents? In the dark? Whilst drunk? They do look remarkably similar, even during the day, so painting a smiley face on one side, adding a flag or painting Andrew Eldritch’s grisly visage on the awning may greatly assist you when trying to find your particular domicile. Especially if it’s dark. And you’re drunk.

Sleeping Bag: Always beneficial when it comes to both warmth and comfort, forget your sleeping bag at your peril. If you're shot on money then find someone to share a sleeping bag with and go halves.

Toilet Roll: While we have every confidence that the toilets at Alt-Fest will be cleaner than a unicorn's b-hole, there really is no substitute for wiping your cares away on some 4-ply, puppy-soft luxury toilet tissue. Your bottom will thank you.

Wet Wipes: All the excitement of a bath or shower within a handy, face-sized moist towelette, the Wet Wipe is indispensable come the end (or start) of the day and you're feeling a little grungy, but don't have time to join the queue for the showers. Also, should love find you whilst at Alt-Fest, a quick polish with a wet wipe, a spray of the old Lynx (if you're a boy), or Impulse (if you're a girl), and you'll be set for some impromptu festival loving. Oh yeah!

Wellies/Waterproofs: The British summer is notoriously fickle when it comes to precipitation, so you can prepare yourself for this seemingly necessary evil by arming yourselves with a cagoule or pac-a-mac. True, you may look like a nerd, but who will be laughing when the Heavens open? You. That's who.

Food/Drink: As our gran once said, "Water makes the lion strong". We may not be lions, but that water is vital for rehydrating following a hard days moshing/glow stick waggling, and also has the unexpected benefit of staving off hangovers. Choice. As for food, there will be a cornucopia of delicacies available within the festival grounds, with everything from vegan falafel to chainsaw-ed slabs of cooked beef, all within chomping distance of the campsite. If you want to bring the odd can of beans in to have yourselves a midnight snack then might we suggest bringing cans with ringpulls. Otherwise you may soon discover that you have forgotten to pack a can-opener. And that means -10 Skill points and +15 Hunger. Fail!

Condoms: Romance can strike at any time, especially in the bliss-soaked, possibly alcohol-addled euphoria that festivals normally engender. Should you be lucky enough to encounter that special someone, or if you are much luckier than us, someones, then what better way to show you care than by playing safe.

Torch: Needless to say, it can get pretty dark out there in the Northamptonshire wilds. Your torch will help you locate missing tents / keys / friends and generally assist mobility when dusk falls upon the campsite.

Campsite Etiquette / Do's & Dont's: Welcome to big school! You're now on your own, out in the big wide world, and mummy’s not here to hold your hand. Unless you’ve come to Alt-Fest with your mum, in which case maybe she is. Primal instinct will demand you leap feet first into the ensuing madness, but your instincts would be wrong. Please learn from our bitter experience of trying to pitch a tent whilst drunk in the middle of the night. It is not fun, and it will not end well. Like we said, we've been there, done that, and are now writing the book/blog. First up, ask yourself, have you ever erected a tent yourself? If so, then you're already ahead of the game. If not, then it's a good idea to give it a go in any nearby gardens, parklands, or woods. To recreate the festival experience, knock back several cans of Strongbow and wait until it rains. It won't make it any easier, but may prepare you for what's to come.

Basically, no-one wants to spend their valuable festival time titting about with tents, so take advantage of the campsite's early opening, find yourself a prime spot, and get that mutha set up, like a boss. You're now ready for the Alt-Fest experience.

Security will be on hand 24/7 to ensure your health and safety. And whilst we're confident that Alt-Fest will pass without incident, there's always one twonk that wants to ruin it for everyone. With that in mind, please do not leave your valuables unattended, or leave anything of worth in the tent as it could definitely be considered as tempting fate. Keep your wallets, purses, cameras and cash in zipped/buttoned pockets or handbags, if only to stop them falling out whilst going about your festival business. And don't bring things like laptops and tablets that you're not going to be able to keep an eye on at all times, as these will inevitably get broken or go missing.

Please be respectful of your neighbours when at Alt-Fest, and choose a camping area that best reflects your recreational needs. If you’re going to get rowdy in Quiet Camping, then you will bring down the thunder. If you think you’re going to get any sleep in the Party area, then think again. Choose wisely, young Padawan.

The health and safety of all Alt-Festers is our primary concern, and we will have Alt-Fest staff on hand to assist you with everything from pitching a tent (ha!) to dealing with sunburn and generally being there to make your Alt-Fest experience as awesome as it possibly can be.

Good luck out there!


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