Thinking of going to Falls? Great! It’s one of the premier festivals on the summer calendar and is consistently tremendous amounts of fun! It’s full of great music, super nice people and a generally awesome atmosphere. For many punters it also means the high likelihood of camping there. “Oh no I’ll have to go outsiiiiiide!!” I can hear you shriek in horror! Not to worry, we here at Howl & Echoes know how scary the outdoors can be and we’re here to help!
Consider this your bible and survival guide. Print it out and keep it on you at all times. Are you lost? Whip out your certified Howl & Echoes Festival Survival Guide 2016 and learn how to navigate your way back to your tent using only your watch and discarded cider cans! Not sure how to speak the native language of the strange and alien inhabitants of the VIP area? Just follow our translation guide! You’ll never go astray!
One of the most important aspects of any good festival, camping serves as a foundation for the next few days. This is your base and any and all expeditions will stem from here. A good camp will give you a home away from home for the weekend, somewhere you can charge your phone and chill out, and – more importantly – get a good night’s sleep (provided you’re not next to one of those groups who enjoy a post-day rave at 3am, in that case you’re in God’s hands). To ensure your camping area is suitable:
Have a Sturdy Tent.
There’s nothing worse than lying in your tent at night after an exhausting day spent boogie-ing your ass off when, all of a sudden, a big gust of wind whips through and turns your once home into a sorry pile of poles and canvas on top of you. If you don’t have a good and sturdy tent or you half-ass it upon arrival because you’re stinging to get absolutely buckled you might be in for a surprise trip to Kansas. And trust me, no one wants that.
Get There Early
I can’t stress this enough. Getting to the camping ground as early as you can is a massive part of ensuring you have a great weekend. Why? Because you can get the best spot of course! Would you rather be living it up in the golden camping spots, where the sun shines through your tent, cradling you in a warm hug every morning, or would you rather be in the shadowlands, where nothing save hangovers and regrets fester?
Prepare for Rain
Look, as much as we all wish Mother Nature would respect our sacred love of festivals, sometimes she loves to rain on our parade. Literally. So make sure you prepare for the worst, and bring a bunch of waterproof gear. A good tent will generally be pretty waterproof, but bringing some towels and a tarp or two will rarely go astray. With rain comes mud so be sure to prepare for the worst there too. Bringing too many clothes is better than bringing not enough, the effects of inclement weather coupled with festival stank on clothes you’ve been forced to wear for consecutive days because your only other option was nudity is never going to win you friends in the moshpit.
If you’re going to be living at your camp for a few days, do you really want it to look like a bleak and uninviting army camp? Probably not (But I mean, all power to you if you do). So bring some cool looking flags or hangings or whatnot and get decorating your tent/car/chairs and anything else you can find. Not only will it make you feel more at home, but it will also make you the talk of the festival (if it’s really cool).
What To Pack
Another important thing that will effect the quality of your festival will be what you bring. Make a list and check it off multiple times before departing. Forgetting something will never be a fun time, especially if it’s something that’s pretty essential, but as long as you have the holy trinity of phone, wallet and ID, anything else urgent you need while you’re there can usually be found in the festival’s many shops and top notch general store.
Seriously, it’s the juice of life. Clear gold. Liquid sustenance. Look, just take it. You don’t need to take much (this isn’t Burning Man), but you’ll want to take enough to last you the ride/drive down and then some. Few things suck harder than enduring the heat of the day, traipsing home parched and having to go back and forth to the tap. Make sure to pack refillable bottles too, as you can have lots of water throughout the weekend (but don’t have to lug kilos of water around).
Pack Some Food (But Not Too Much)
Food is right up there with water on the ‘shit we need to function as humans’ pyramid, and there will be times (at around 1am when you forgot to eat all day in between bands or at 8:30 in the morning when you’re hungover as all get-out and need something to numb the pain for a while). In these dark times it’s great if you can bust out a muesli bar or a small packet of chips. But don’t take a lot, otherwise you might miss out on some really great festival food! One of great things about any festival is the numerous stalls and pop-up restaurants that offer some truly brilliant food and Falls always brings the culinary goods.
Take Money for Merch
Everyone loves merch and there’s some really cool stuff to get at Falls. But you have to bring some money, because capitalism. I still love my Presets jumper I got at Falls a few years ago, and I’m super keen for the merch that will be there this year. It’s always exciting to run up to the merch stall and fight your way to the front to stare doe-eyed at the shiny shirts and hats. Don’t ruin that moment by pulling out bus tickets and lint from your wallet. Get cash out and set it aside before you get there because those ATM lines can be hell on earth.
Don’t Bring Alcohol (but hide it well if you do)
We here at H & E can’t condone the prohibited smuggling into any festival of liquor, and while we advise against doing so, we all know you’re a pack of degenerates and you’re going to do whatever the fuck you want anyway. So if you’re too poor to shell out for drinks tickets or whatever reason you need to bring in enough booze to intoxicate a small island nation, just make sure it’s hidden well and you’re not a complete fuckwit about it? Getting stuck behind a car full of dopes who thought they could get away with hiding four sacks of Coolabah’s finest under the front seat and want to argue the fact after they’ve been busted is truly infuriating, so get creative!
And that’s about it. All you need to survive Falls and have an awesome time! It’s really all in the preparation: Check out the timetable for the acts and make a plan before you go. It’ll make things a lot easier if you can figure out what acts you want to see before hand and just stick to a plan. Make like a boy scout and be prepared!
Falls Festival 2016-17 Dates:
Wed 28th-Sat 31st Dec: Lorne, Victoria
Thu 29th-Sat 31st Dec: Marion Bay, Tasmania
Sat 31st Dec-Mon 2nd Jan: Byron Bay, New South Wales
Sat 7th-Sun 8th Jan: Fremantle, Western Australia
Image: The Examiner