How to avoid a Summer Festival Flood!

Festivals are now firmly established in the summer calendar, and musical festivals are amongst the highlights. However since tickets are snapped up months in advance, we aren’t always prepared for the prospect of downpours come the summer event.  Here at Unda, we’ve put together a quick guide on How to avoid a Summer Festival Flood, as well as 5 other helpful tips to help you get the best out of your festival experience!


Useful Festival Tips:

  1. Your phone – if you really don’t want to risk losing or breaking your latest smartphone, simply borrow an old brick phone and swallow your pride for the weekend! If you really can’t do without, bear in mind it’ll likely run out of charge on day one, so be sure to pack a portable charger and keep it on line for the weekend.
  2. Size is important – when organising your tent always consider that a large rucksack, clothes, refreshments and other necessities will easily fill up a person’s worth of room. So we recommend you take a bigger tent than you think you’ll need.
  3. Early birds – the earlier you arrive, the better choice you’ll have on where to pitch your tent – more on this when we look at how to avoid the floods. Always remember exactly where it is too; try pitching it in sight of a landmark, as colourful ribbons and flags on the tent pole will not always help in a sea of similarly adorned tent pitches. You may want to avoid being too close to public pathways and downwind of public conveniences – the former to avoid midnight mishaps as revellers who veer off-piste and land on your tent and the latter because it may detract from the fresh country air experience you are looking to enjoy. Water pumps in the vicinity of your tent pitch are also an absolute no-no; frequently running taps on saturated ground quickly make for mud splattered tents.
  4. Plastic bags and security – keep some emergency money, notes only, in your shoe (-unless you find yourself knee deep in mud in which case your underwear may be a better option). Plastic bags with seals may help you with this, and keeping valuables or other supplies watertight and safe.
  5. Minimal toiletries – lastly, travel as light as you can…and remember that wet wipes will be your best friend (and only hope at staying vaguely clean) at the weekend!

General tips aside, we feel it’s important to remember that the mercurial nature of British weather is not to be underestimated – it only takes a glimpse of some past events to know this. One of the most notable was the calling off of the final day of Creamfields back in August 2012.


How to avoid a Summer Festival Flood!
Making the most of the flood waters!


Despite having tens of thousands already arrive over the weekend, with thousands more expected to arrive on the final Sunday, the event was unfortunately called off due to the torrential rain and potentially hazardous floods. While such a situation is obviously not ideal, flooding does not necessarily deem your weekend as a write off. First off all, know where to pitch your tent. Some areas are more vulnerable to floods than others. We’ve put together 3 surface water flood maps for the sites of V Festival, Glastonbury and Reading – to name just a few of the UK’s largest festivals.


Flood Risk at Glastonbury, Reading and V Festival:

Near 175,000 lucky individuals attend Glastonbury each year, while the rest of us enviously tune into TV coverage at home. While they may describe themselves as the ‘Greatest Festival in the World’, guaranteeing world famous headline acts, they certainly can’t always deliver the greatest weather, and photos from previous years can only demonstrate this.


How to avoid a Summer Festival Flood!
Don’t forget you wellies!


A map of the site for this year can be found on the official website – it’s important to know how to quickly locate exits and muster points in case of hazardous conditions:


How to avoid a Summer Festival Flood!
Map of potential flood risk over the Glastonbury Festival site (click for a high-resolution map)


Coming up this August, both V Festival and Reading also fall susceptible to surface water flooding:


How to avoid a Summer Festival Flood!
Map of potential flood risk over the V Festival Chelmsford site (click for a high-resolution map)


How to avoid a Summer Festival Flood!
Map of potential flood risk over the Reading Festival site (click for a high-resolution map)


Our maps show that all three festivals are susceptible to flooding – so choose sites carefully. Glastonbury’s low lying site coupled with West Country weather heightens the risks, while you can see from the flood maps both V Festival and Reading fall vulnerable too. Use your common sense and pitch as far uphill and upstream as possible. If all else fails, just equip yourself with a poncho and a cheap pair of wellies. Yes, falling victim to Britain’s notorious weather isn’t always the best feeling, but the incredible acts and memorable atmosphere of any UK festival definitely softens the blow – so don’t miss out!


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