Festivals should feel like happy, safe and exciting spaces but they can also sometimes be overwhelming.
Everyone has mental health, it includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Looking after our mental health and wellbeing at a festival is so important. Getting enough sleep, eating regularly and pacing yourself are key if you want to stay in top form.
Here are some tips to take into consideration:
- Look after your friends: Create a ‘Buddy System’ where you communicate with a friend about how you’re feeling, if you’re feeling unwell, need a break, or need support. Predetermine a place to meet up that’s clear, specific and easy to find. Do a mental health check-in with your group: Share with each other how to identify signs that people might be in need of support. Make sure that everyone gets home safely at night and people are not left to walk back to camp on their own.
- Protect your hearing: Use earplugs. Protect your eyes, ears and skin.
- Be a friendly face in the crowd: If you see someone you don’t know who looks like they are struggling or needs some help ask if they are ok.
- Pace yourself and know when to go to bed: Have a good time, stay up all night if you are having fun, but there comes a point where you need to ask yourself: Is this fun anymore or do I need a bit of sleep?
- Respect: And take care of others and the environment.
- Wear: Comfortable clothing/shoes.
- Have fun, but take breaks: Cool down and take regular breaks from dancing.
- Be aware of your physical, mental, emotional needs: Take care of them regularly.
- Don’t forget to eat: People often forget to eat at festivals. Make sure you keep yourself fuelled and nourished.
If you have an existing mental health condition:
- You may be more likely to experience negative effects when consuming intoxicants like alcohol.
- Bring any medication, make sure to take it as prescribed and be mindful of how this could interact with alcohol.
- Before you go, think about whether certain situations could be difficult for you, for example big crowds, and try to mentally prepare yourself for what it might be like and what you would do if you become overwhelmed;
- Try to be open with your friends and let them know if you are struggling or need help.
We have a dedicated wellbeing space at the festival – Magnetic Sanctuary – where one can head during the day to decompress, relax, and indulge in mindfulness.
Every December, TATVA creates a safe and caring space for you at Magnetic Fields.
As our dedicated mental health first aid and emotional welfare partner since 2015, TATVA runs a 24-hour service whose aim is to reduce harm, support well-being and promote sexual health.
If a situation makes you or any festival-goer feel uncomfortable, or if anyone is triggered or feeling unsafe, the TATVA Welfare Area is a safe place to be. You will find the welfare team patrolling the festival, go up and talk to TATVA’s experienced support team.
- From sitting down for a cup of tea and a confidential chat, to more information about care and next steps at the festival or after, they’re here to help.
- It’s a good place to head to if you’re feeling under the weather or just need somewhere quiet to sit and chat to someone.
- A place where anyone can go if they need some time away from it all.
- If you have any worries, questions or concerns about sexual health whilst at a festival, visit the welfare team who will be able to offer confidential advice.
- The welfare tent is a community space too: it's a place to get cool during the day, and a place to warm up near the bonfire on the chilly nights
As always, you can find the TATVA welfare area in the Bedouin Village, offering a listening ear, SOS response, and a place to rest.