DJ’s Festival Survival Guide

DJ’s Festival Survival Guide

djs survival guide (1)Festival season is well and truly upon us!

THE most popular endurance test of modern times, festivals see us pushing ourselves to the max in the name of having a good time. Do it right and you’ve got yourself a unique experience that you’ll treasure forever.

Do it wrong and you end up face-first in a portaloo, suffering third degree sun burns, or so sick you’ll never want to look at beer again.

DJs seem to spend their entire summer at festivals across the world, so who better to ask for ultimate festival survival tips?

Whether you’re an old pro or you’re about to pop your festival cherry, whether you’re heading to Global Gathering or Let It Roll, here are some golden tips courtesy of D&B’s premier league.

Serious wisdom vibes…  


Don’t ever attempt a rock star crowd surf… You’re a DJ!

Ant TC1

In my experience of enjoying myself at festivals far too much I would say don’t pack your best shirt.

Dealing with idiots is a tough one… Luckily I don’t get faced with many, but my best suggestion is always move away, either that or (if they become too annoying) find a wall to hide behind then throw a burger doused in cheap ketchup and stale cider then run off.

Need a hangover cure? Another pint or 2 and a huge burger usually does the trick, something to soak up that booze rotting away in the tummy I guess!


It seems obvious, but give your phone a good charge before you go. And, if you can, take a spare battery. Also, mozzie spray is a very good idea!

Danny Byrd

If you are getting annoyed by people offering you illicit substances just pretend you are the old bill and they soon leave you alone! I had the poshest drug dealer offer me something at Glastonbury, I swear they used to be a bit more streetwise, but that’s what deep house has done to the music scene! But yes anyone annoying you just pretend to the police… But be careful,  I think that’s an offence in itself!

My top hangover cure at a festival is Coca Cola. Have at least one bottle in your tent waiting for you, and save one for breakfast. You best pack some Alka Seltzer and mix that in there too…

I think the top tip for keeping battery life on your phone is to ditch the smart phones and go back to one of those early Nokias. The battery life on those will last a week if unused. Failing that, try and nice up some of the sound engineers, they always have lots of spare plug sockets!


Don’t forget where your tent is! It’s not the one. Trust me; I’ve been there! Must  haves include water, toilet roll, vodka and torch.


After years of festival experiences these are my five most useful items to pack: Gaffer tape, wet wipes, passport, as much alcohol as you can physically get your hands on and the same amount of cigarettes.

The best hangover cure? What’s a hangover? I’ve spent many years practising the art of alcohol consumption. It’s a festival; just don’t allow enough non drinking time for a hangover to set in. I remember once a load of us all brushed our teeth with Sambuca. It’s not big or clever, but it’s certainly fun!


If you’re DJing, always ask for used towels. New ones don’t soak up the sweat. But don’t forget to specify clean. I once asked for used towels and I got dirty ones!


What to pack? Face wipes and a portable vapouriser.

How to deal with the idiots? Guns or kittens.

The best way to keep dry? Go to AA meetings.

The best hangover cure when you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere? Meditation, yoga and fresh water

How to pack the right playlist? You’re at a festival, it’s your job to go and find music, not listen to it on a fucking iPod!

Mampi Swift  

Take a removable roof!


Invest in a charging phone case. It will save the bother of going to a charging station meaning your phone can be back in action in minutes to make that all important call.

Walkie talkies: They’re a fun way of communicating with your pals if phone signal is bad. They also look the part by strapping it to your belt like a policeman.

If you’re in a group, form your tents in a circle so you have a nice community vibe going on but make friends with the campers around you so they don’t nick your stuff.

Bring earplugs and an eye mask for sleeping in bright and loud conditions. Also, take an airbed to prevent long term back conditions.

Berocca: A miracle hangover cure in effervescent tablet form.

After hours of messiness, drink two jugs of cocktails unnecessarily at about 4am.


Don’t pitch your tent near the porta-loos. This may seem like a smart idea at the time, however after the first night your tent won’t be smelling too good.

Do make friends with your camping neighbours. You may not become instant best friends but they will keep an eye on your campsite when you’re not there. Do the right thing and return the favour.

Don’t attempt to take an album’s worth of photos of your favourite artist on the main stage. Leave this to the professional photographers who have proper equipment and just enjoy the show.

Do bring weather-proof footwear. A grassy field can quickly become a giant mud puddle and you don’t want to be the guy who only brought his best pair of new trainers.

Don’t bring your attitude. Festivals are for having fun, not starting fights and ruining the weekend for other people. Leave your tough guy boots at the door and enjoy.

Do leave uploading your Instagram photos until after the festival. You don’t want to miss out on what’s happening around you and there will probably be no mobile reception anyway.

Don’t go too hard too early. There’s a fine line between having a good time and ending up like this guy…

Thrash Pilot 

Buy a good ice box… the bigger the better. A good one should last all weekend and keep your refreshments icy cold. There’s nothing worse than warm beer!

Total Science (Q Project)

You only live once so if it looks like fun grab it by the horns and tuck in. You can sleep it off or avoid its calls/texts next week. Play safe!

Drum&BassArena Editor: Dave Jenkins has documented beats for over 15 years working with the likes of UKF, Mixmag, DJ Mag, iDJ, Bandcamp, Resident Advisor, Radio 1 Xtra and many more.