A rough guide to making it through a weekend festival in one piece
What to take
If you're new to festies, this might help. If you've been going for years then it may just refresh your drink-addled brain as to what you should remember to take with you...
How to get there and where to camp
The Directions page has detailed routes and maps of how to get to the Reading Festival site by car, train or coach and also a map of the camp site showing car parks and all the important facilities

The weather in Reading
Click here for a detailed 5-day forecast (will open in remote window)

Festival recipies
Not strictly true, as there's only one, but it is delicious and nutritious, especially when you're drunk. Easy to cook, too. Click here to find out more

Traditions
Funny how lager makes you forget the things you did last year, then makes you do them all over again... Click here for some examples

Who's who at fatreg.com
The people that made fatreg.com what it is. So you know who to blame or, better, buy drinks for. Click here for the awful truth

Essentials
Tent - the crash tent is a BAD place to kip
Ticket - crucial, unless you're going to try and buy one when you get there. Be wary of the touts who operate outside the entrance
Money - to buy beer with, of course
Clothes - obvious, but don't take many. You probably won't change them anyway
Sleeping bag - if it's a warm year, you'll be sweating like a pig in your tent by six in the morning. If it's cold, you'll be glad of it.
Bum bag - for money etc
Mallet - some of those fields are as hard as concrete. A hot tip is to cut your tent pegs down to three inches before you go. They'll still hold your tent up and you can put them in without any hassle - then you can get drinking earlier
Beer - The most essential thing after the tent, ticket and the money
Stash - but remember, drugs are still illegal, even at festivals, and there are cops on-site, so be aware
Loo roll - even though the bogs are way better now, this is a wise thing to take. Never lend your roll to anyone, though - it rarely comes back...
More beer - you can't have too much beer
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Disposable camera - take crap and/or embarrasing pics of everyone you know, then make a web-site with them. Also useful for remembering what went on
Optionals
Torch - useful when you're pissed and trying to find stuff in your tent at night, mind
Penknife - you never know when you might need one of the little gadgets
Airbed - personally, I couldn't do without this any more, but I'm old. And fat
Footpump - I tried to blow up the airbed without a pump the first year I took it. It just ain't possible
Food (though personally, I'm too lazy to cook anymore)
Can opener
A stove or disposable barbecue if you take food
Fags
Lighters
You can take TOO much to a festival. Travel light. Pic: http://vicclap.hu
NEW! Click here for a printable checklist (opens in a remote window)

Dos and don'ts
A few tips picked up over the years
DOs
Do get pissed and miss your favourite bands
Do keep your money and any valuables on you at all times. A bum bag is a pretty safe way to do it, and you can carry fags etc in it. Keep it on when you sleep at night. And keep your boots safe under some clothes used as a pillow
Do try to remember exactly where you camped. It's amazing the number of people stumbling round in the dark with no idea where their tents are. Tie something distinctive to your tent or put up a flagpole
Avoid the articulated lorries selling beer just outside the main entrance and try the off licences on Caversham Road, Sainsbury's in Reading town centre or Waitrose in Caversham - you'll have further to carry the beer, but it's cheaper
Do try to be at least on nodding terms with your neighbours - they'll usually look out for your camp site when you're not there. Return this favour
Do be wary of the firewood sold on site - it's often been soaked in a lake for weeks before the festie and is a bugger to light. And it'll just make clouds of smoke
Do light fires in the arena if there's anything to burn. Security love it! But don't burn plastic, unless, of course, you really want to piss off the people around you
Do keep an eye out for the pigs - there aren't that many at Reading, but they are around, particularly in the camp sites
Do remember to clean your teeth. Seriously, you may feel like crap, and stink like a farmyard, but having clean teeth feels sooo good
Even if you can't be arsed cooking your own food, take something to snack on in the wee small hours
Try to put as much of your campsite litter in a bag or burn it on the fire
Try not to fall on people's tents when you're pissed
Remember where the first aid and Samaritans tents are. Just in case
Do buy us a pint if you see us. We'll be so grateful
DON'Ts
Don't camp near the Portaloos, obviously
Don't camp near the hedges either - they don't smell too good in the morning
Don't bother queueing for the showers - it's a waste of drinking time, and you're going to smell, anyway
Don't take unnecessary crap like hairspray or butane powered styling tools (I remember goths crimping their hair at Reading in the late 80s. Fools)
Don't take anything valuable at all
Don't bother staying sober to see indie bands on the main stage - they'll sound crap anyway. It's a fact that pretty much only heavy metal sounds any good outdoors, and that's not always guaranteed
Don't bother lugging palletts back from town - they don't let you in with 'em
Don't tip the Portaloos over on the last night - it's not big and it's not clever, after all, you're going to need them on the Monday morning, too
Don't pull down the strings of lights in the campsite - that's not big or clever, either
Don't bother padlocking your tent, despite what people may tell you. It just says you might have something worth nicking, and thieves will think nothing of slashing your tent open to see what's inside
Don't take any food that's likely to go off or melt if left in your tent. You'd be surprised how hot a tent gets during the day, and waking up in a tent the inside of which is completely smeared with rancid butter isn't a pleasant experience
Don't bother trying to take photographs of bands on stage unless you have professional equipment. Your pics will almost certainly be crap.
Click here to see why
Don't camp near those stalls that play ear-splitting techno all night, unless you don't need/like sleep
Don't bother taking condoms - if you're sober or fragrant enough to pull at a festie, then you ain't trying hard enough. Of course, if your girlfriend/boyfriend is with you, that won't be a problem
Don't buy drugs off strange people in the camp site after dark unless you can check the goods first. You'll probably get a little lump of soil wrapped in cling film. I've seen it happen