Staying Safe as Festival Season Approaches

NOTTINGHAM, England, May 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

As Summer slowly approaches, festival season is almost upon us, a time for music, camping, friends and memories. In June the festivals kick off with Isle of Wight, Download and Glastonbury, through to July with Wireless, T in the park, Global Gathering and onto August with V Festival, Reading and Leeds, Creamfields and last but not least Bestival in September. With a jam packed few months of festivals to attend there will be many people gearing up for a big weekend, but what exactly should festival goers be packing? SportsDirect.com take a look at the risks such as theft that may happen during festivals and some of the facts and figures behind the rise and decline in festival attendance numbers.    

Every year hundreds of thousands of people attend various festivals up and down the country. There are no typical festival goers and ages range from under 16, to over 65 and every one in between. According to Festival Insights, 53% of people enjoy the music aspect of festivals most, unsurprising as that is the main event of most festivals. However, 22% said they enjoyed escaping 'normal life' for a few days while a minute 3% enjoyed getting drunk more than any other activity at festivals. The biggest disappointment at festivals for 16% of people were their favourite bands clashing, 13% said the cost of food and drinks, 8% disliked the lack of clean showers and toilets, while 17% felt nothing damped their festival experience. When it came to home comforts 34% of people said they didn't miss any of their home comforts, surprising to some while 26% said they missed a clean flushable toilet, 15% missed having a good signal on their mobile phones and 6% missed their beds.

Festival Insights reported that when questioned on the economic impact of going to festivals, 40% of people claimed it had no influence on their decision to attend another festival, 27% said because of the economic downturn they attended less festivals than usual and 14% said it delayed their decision to go. YouGov reported similar numbers with 32% of people feeling  festivals had become too expensive, while only 5% felt they were good value for money.

Each year there are hundreds of festivals up and down the country, both big and small, cheap and expensive. Some of the top festivals include Glastonbury, which has 177k attendees with tickets costing £210, Download holds 120k people and costs slightly less at £205, V Festival has 90k people and is the cheapest of the top four at £195 while Reading Festival, the smallest of the top four with 87k people surprisingly costs £210. According to The List, in 1994 the capacity of people at T in the Park festival was 17000 per day and in 2013 it rose to a whopping 85000 per day. In 2010, tickets for T in the Park sold out in a record 90 minutes.

Many festivals are prone to drug and alcohol abuse, whether it's legal or illegal highs. The Guardian reported that in 2012 there had been a dramatic decrease in quantities of drugs seized at festivals since the previous 3 years. A study from 2008 to 2011 showed that confiscation peaked in 2009 however in total confiscations of cannabis, cocaine and ecstasy fell by over 65% and the amount dropped by a similar margin from £288420 to £101682. For parents allowing children to attend festivals, drug use can be a big worry despite the drop in numbers over recent years. All festivals have police in place to tackle problems with drugs and it is advised parents educate their children on the dangers and consequences prior to such an event.

Another danger that can be prominent at festivals is theft. According to the Telegraph the total value of thefts at Glastonbury festival totalled £98,473. As the largest of all festivals it's unsurprising that it has the highest number of thefts, however there are ways of ensuring belongings stay safe and out of the wrong hands. Firstly, don't take any valuables. As mentioned earlier mobile signal can be poor at festivals, so taking an expensive smart phone is pointless, instead take a cheap, old phone for emergency use. Disposable cameras are a much safer option than digital and will be far less expensive to replace if lost or stolen. Wear a money belt to store cash and avoid bags that are easy to pick pocket from. Finally, lock up the tent whenever it is unoccupied using a small lock similar to those used on suitcases. This is a simple way to ensure piece of mind that any tents and belongings are safe.

With thousands of people and lots going on it's important to stay safe and be aware of all surroundings. Although the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the music, festival goers should be cautious of when attending festivals in order to stay safe and have a great time.

Visit http://www.sportsdirect.com/pages/outdoor for our full range of camping gear and equipment, perfect for festivals.

Join in on the conversation at http://www.Facebook.com/SportsDirectUK or http://www.Twitter.com/SportsDirectUK

For all media enquiries please contact Emily.Matthews@SportsDirect.com or +44(0)870-333-9413


SOURCE SportsDirect.com



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