Here’s the thing – festival accommodation is not for the fainthearted. Sure, there’s the romance of the tent or the Glastonbury Tipi, the communal fire pit where everyone sings ‘kumbhaya’ or more likely ‘smack my bitch up’ and the feeling of community; we’re all in this mud together. But then you think of the lines to the loos, the thought of having no showers for days on end, and toilets that have long forgotten how to flush and your fingers hesitate to click on ‘buy that ticket’. But music festival accommodation has evolved and there’s an option for every price point. Here’s our general guide to festival living.

City festivals:
This is a no brainer. Book your stay when you book your tickets; three months is the minimum for a festival like Ultra or the Jaipur Lit Fest. Airbnb is excellent for apartment living or just an overnight stay in a city like Miami where you can get rooms eve n today for Ultra as low as Rs 5,000 a night. Boutique stays too actually make a lot more sense during festival time. The last thing you want to do is stay at a venue that is hosting the festival, like Diggi Palace at Jaipur. Imagine waking up to 5,000 people, I can just about stand my gorgeous husband that time of the day.

Music festivals and camping:
The big question is- what’s it really like to live in a tipi at Glastonbury? Quite nice actually, you have clean showers and café’s and no rolling in the mud unless there’s a storm. Almost every festival has three types of accommodation but the most important aspect of what you choose depends on the weather.

  • Bring your own tent: A terrible idea unless you have one of those tents that you read in Harry Potter which fashioned itself into a luxury hotel. In this case, you just rent the site. This is what happens at festivals like Glastonbury, Coachella and at the Dreamville greens at Tomorrowland. Fashioning your own tent is de rigueur at Burning Man. The price of the green is sometimes included in ticket price. You can’t actually buy a Tomorrowland ticket without buying the accommodation of your choice.
  • Pre-fabricated tents: SulaFest arranged this in 2015 in India. They provide you with hot/cold showers, minimal bedding and food is available for purchase. Tipi’s at Glastonbury and Safari Tents at Coachella come with cafés and restricted access and offer cleaner toilet facilities. Easy Tent at Dreamville provides you with a 2-person tent, a sleeping bag and even an air mattress. The Fabulous Easy tent boasts wooden flooring! Tomorrowland has a variety of sleep options but everything except the Mansion is communal. A tipi at Glastonbury will set you back about GBP 950 for the duration of the festival. Accommodation is not included in the ticket price.
  • Offsite Luxury: Think Pennard Orchard and Camp Kerala at Glastonbury. These tents often come with en-suite facilities (sometimes it’s just luxury shared toilets and powder rooms which are immaculate). The sites are just a quick stroll away from the festival but far enough to ensure a good night’s rest as there’s a 2:00 am noise curfew. These are often booked outside of your ticket purchase. The Pennard 5 person tipi is already sold out for Glastonbury 2015!

As festivals get closer, Eventraveler.com will be breaking the accommodation options down to a fine art to ensure you make the most of the festival.

Reshma revels in luxury accommodation. Mud should be restricted to a pack on the face. What do you think? Write in at info@eventraveler.com.

(Image by Paul Williams)

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