The Dublin Concerts Festival Survival Guide

Kings Of Leon, Marlay Park, Dublin - Review, Photos

The wonderful, messy chaos that is festival season is well and truly upon us. With that in mind, we here at Dublin Concerts have taken it upon ourselves to compile a watertight, deadly serious guide to traversing the treacherous terrain everywhere from Picnic to Castlepalooza.

Pace Yourself

This is probably rule number one if you want to have an actual first-hand memory of the festival, or any real enjoyment beyond the opening night. Tempting as it might be to let loose and devour every drink in sight as soon as you arrive, you’re basically writing off the rest of the weekend with this gung-ho approach. Take it handy with the drinking and keep yourself in it for the long haul. I know nobody wants to hear the boring advice, but drink some water in between the stronger beverages and you’ll wake up the next morning only half-dead.

Dress Appropriately

You’ll be spending the weekend in a big dirty field, spilling drink all over yourself and rubbing shoulders with smelly strangers (it’s okay, you’ll smell too), so don’t worry about looking sharp. Ireland is brutally unpredictable weather-wise and over the course of the festival you’ll probably experience all four seasons. From wellies and raincoats to shorts and shades, pack a bit of everything and keep it (somewhat) practical. Oh, and don’t forget to bring a towel.

Refuel Regularly

Tempting as it may be to subsist on Buckfast alone, you’re probably going to need something a bit more nutritionally dense for sustenance. Most festivals will have decent range of food on offer, with some of the bigger ones featuring entire areas dedicated to fancy cuisine. Really though, you’d be best served to pack some cheap energy sources into your festival bag and try to strike a balance between efficiency and indulgence. Think along the lines of some fruit during the day and a dirty kebab in the evening, that’s the diet of a true festival champion.

Safety First

Time for a quick spot of buzz-killing. Festivals are wonderful, joyous places founded on shared creative expression and a communal sense of free-spirited frolicking. Unfortunately, owing to this sense of openness and camaraderie, they will attract some unsavoury characters looking to take advantage. Make sure you keep your phone charged and your wits about you. Lockers are cheap if you share the cost among three or four or twenty people. Always know how to find your way back to the tent and make sure your friends have at least some idea of your whereabouts.

Turn The Data Off

Keep your phone charged and on your person for safety reasons, but maybe leave the iPhone at home and break out the Nokia 3210 for the weekend? Calls and texts will do you just fine for a few days. Nobody wants to watch the performances through a sea of phones and a short break from social media can only be a good thing. The world will still be there when you log into Facebook on Monday morning. Probably. Maybe.


There’s no point even pretending here – You won’t be getting a proper night’s sleep and that’s just that. All the earplugs and blankets in the world won’t block out the madness seeping into your tent from all angles, but it’s still advisable to get some sort of shut eye. The festival site will look like something from Apocalypse Now in the wee small hours of the night anyway, so you’re as well off just taking shelter back in the tent before dawn breaks and it’s time for the breakfast cans.

There you have it. Like most things in life you can boil it down to two simple rules –

1) Be sound to yourself.

2) Be sound to everyone else.

So enjoy the tunes this summer and soak up the unique experience each Irish festival has to offer.

To find out what’s on over the next few months, check out our festival page.


Shane Croghan

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