For some, going to a festival is about embracing the whole experience. Being caked in mud and dancing in unison with other sweaty, tired and, quite frankly, whiffy party-animals is a necessary initiation to the festival scene. However, there is now a new breed of festival-goers who begs to differ.
No longer do they line up for the portaloo or reminisce about the morning queue for their faulty and previously unsatisfying drizzle of a shower in their student pad. Nor do they accept back ache or sleep in sunglasses to avoid the painful glare of the morning sun passing over their decrepit tent. But why would you when, having enjoyed the party atmosphere and sludge-infused mosh pit, it is possible to retire to a double bed, hot shower and comfy surroundings?
Glamping is the latest trend hitting festivals around the UK. Many providers have been quick to jump into the business, each attempting to offer greater luxury than their competitors. The UK’s festival scene has been growing year upon year and the glamping business has been quick to adapt to the increased market.
Here at the Wessex Scene, we wanted to provide an outline of what is available. Of course, these solutions are considerably more expensive than your average tent but if you and your group of friends have avoided festivals up to now, unable to face four days without a reasonable amount of sanitation, this could be an option to investigate.
Available at the majority of UK Festivals, Podpads provide a range of more comfortable solutions for festival-goers. Organisers set up a Podpads village at the festival which has 24 hour security, toilets and showers and sometimes a café. A reception tent is your first port of call when checking in, departing or if you have any problems during your stay. Podpads offer seven accommodation options including the Podpad (2 adults max) and the Octopad (6 adults max). Guests can choose from small wooden constructions with raised beds, locking doors and plug sockets or large tent-like residences complete with a star-gazing, clear roof panel. Purchasers of these must remember their own bedding, however, as this is not provided. Prices range from £395 – £895 for these options.
Yurtel and its luxury camping solutions will be gracing eight festivals in 2012. Unlike Podpads, these traditional yurts come complete with luxury Egyptian cotton bedding, a real mattress and even free bedside flowers and chocolates. Again, use of toilets and showers is provided as is 24 hour security and free refreshments. New for 2012 are the company’s Belle tents which are 100% waterproof and include a lockable canvas door and light switch. The price of a Yurtel is definitely suited to the discerning festival visitor – at over £1000 for the duration of the festival – while a Belle will set you back £845.
Pink Moon Camping
A company set up by some avid festival-goers, Pink Moon Camping will provide a glamping service at Hove, Latitude, Reading, Leeds and The Electric Picnic in 2012. Not only will you find Podpads and Yurtels on their sites, but they also offer pre-pitched tents for a market that is less prepared to stretch the budget to a boutique camping experience. It is possible to buy a tent package (two to six man tents) which includes the tent, airbeds and sleeping bags. This package is £175 for two people and £590 for six people. As part of this, guests can use the pink moon campsite facilities. On offer are toilets, hot showers and a pot washing service. An added plus for those wanting to avoid festival hairmares is Pink Moon Camping’s very own Pink Moon Parlour which boasts the essential hairdryers and hair straighteners.
For the eco-conscious festival-goer myhab has provided an attractive glamping proposition. Myhab accommodation is made mostly from UK recycled materials and, once used, it is recycled again and again. Due to its recycled waterproof components and raised base, the myhab will keep any of its temporary residents perfectly dry and the soft bedding provided should ensure a restful night’s sleep. In terms of practicality, this accommodation includes a lockable valuables store and a section for wet boots away from the sleeping area. Booking a myhab enables festival-goers access to a special enclosure complete with toilets, hot showers and some catering facilities. Prices vary depending on the festival of your choice but rental of one myhab (two person capacity) is around £395.
Glamping at festivals is not likely to become part of the mass festival experience for a considerable amount of time. However, the emergence of a more luxurious approach to something that has long been synonymous with ‘roughing it’ is a turn up for the books. The boutique camping solutions on offer could be great for large parties, special occasions or for festival newbies wanting to avoid the negative aspects of camping with the masses.
Unfortunately, students may only be able to justify staying in a tent (and – shock horror – erecting it themselves) but this is unlikely to dampen anyone’s spirits. For the majority of attendees, festivals are about meeting new people and revelling in the live music and activities on offer; hiring a yurtel could be the icing on the cake but if the cake’s good enough already, no one is likely to care.