With the UK festival season set to get underway shortly, thousands of music lovers will be beginning their preparations, ensuring they have all the essential camping equipment, that their tent is in full working order, and that have the correct gear to shield them from the elements.
However for motorhome owners across the country, the summer festival season represents the perfect opportunity to take their vehicles out for a long weekend and enjoy camping in comfort. For those with a sense of adventure, there truly is nothing better than waking in your motorhome of a summer morning surrounded by fellow festival-goers.
Whilst the prospect of not having to pitch a tent on a potentially rain-soaked muddy field will be of welcome relief to many, be aware that taking a motorhome or campervan to a festival doesn’t come without certain costs.
Clearly you will have to budget for fuel but there are also campsite fees to be aware of. If you are planning to stay outside of the festival itself, depending on the season, the Caravan Club can charge anything from £4.25-£11.85 a night for your pitch with the potential for additional charges per adult.
If you plan on staying within the festival boundaries, which is where you’ll enjoy the best atmosphere, the good news is that motorhomes are typically welcome at most festivals. Again though, be aware that there can be charges for staying on the premises, with most major festivals charging between £60-£90 for campervan/motorhome supplement tickets. Ensure you also book in advance as it’s very common for the campervan areas to fill up fast.
With regards to insurance, obviously owners will be covered by their standard motorhome insurance, however if you’re hiring a vehicle for the weekend be aware that even though most hire companies include insurance, they can charge an excess of up to £1,000 in the event of serious damage, unless you pay for a collision damage waiver.
As far as onsite facilities for motorhomes go, Britain unfortunately still lags behind the U.S. in this area at the present time. Whereas campsites in America will have drainage and water piped to your pitch, Britain still operates in the old-fashioned way, with owners having to top up their on-board water tank from a central tap, emptying any used water into the designated drains dotted around the campsite.
It’s a similar situation with regards to lavatory facilities, with a rather unpleasant trip to the dumping ground having to be made to empty your “cassette” lavatory. However, as anyone who has been to a festival before will tell you, visiting a public toilet or portaloo at a festival can be equally as harrowing an experience, so the motorhome way could still be deemed the lesser of two evils.
Don’t let the negatives put you off though. Taking a motorhome to a festival can be very rewarding – simple things such as having your own shower, making cups of tea and cooking on a barbecue of an evening and eating al fresco, can really make the festival camping experience all the more homely and pleasurable.
Here are three UK festivals not to miss this summer:
14th – 16th June
Those with a penchant for hard rock or heavy metal will likely be heading to Download Festival this summer. Taking place at spiritual home of rock, Donington Park, this year’s line-up includes headliners Slipknot, Iron Maiden and Rammstein, all famed for their impressive, pyro-laden stage shows. Other bands set to feature and thrill the UK’s own legion of head-bangers will be Alice in Chains, Queens of the Stone Age, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Mastodon and Bullet for my Valentine.
28th – 30th June
The world’s favourite festival returns in 2013 with another thrilling line-up set to wet the appetite. Featuring legendary rockers The Rolling Stones and plenty of other festival favourites such as Arctic Monkeys, Mumford and Sons, The Smashing Pumpkins, Primal Scream and Public Enemy, summer revellers can look forward to another epic weekend of music at Glastonbury 2013.
17th and 18th August
Always held at two parks simultaneously which share the same bill, V Festival has been moving further away from its rock roots in recent years but is still attracting some of the biggest names in music. This year will see pop diva Beyonce take to the main stage on the back of her phenomenally successful UK tour and blistering half-time show at Super Bowl XLVII. There will also be performances from the likes of The Kings of Leon, Stereophonics, The Script, Beady Eye and Emeli Sande.
If that’s not enough motorhome owners can sample the buzz of a festival atmosphere at Reading and Leeds Festival, Creamfields and the Isle of Wight Festival, to name just a few.