How to save battery, choose a campsite, get some sleep

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You have chosen to camp in a field for three days, limiting your access to showers and restricting yourself to one meal a day – probably a mustard-and-ketchup-covered corn dog. As a veteran, here are my hacks for making your Electric Picnic experience as stress-free and craic-filled as possible.

Pack one bag

When you’re packing your bits for the weekend, be as economical as possible, because everything you carry in you have to carry back out. Sure, the trolleys are handy for those 48 cans you’re allowed bring in, which will be nothing short of a distant dream Monday morning, but limit yourself to one bag per person and one tent per group (she says, like she’s ever done that before). But, really, it’s not a week in Marbella. It’s a weekend in a makeshift town. The essentials will always be raincoat, wellies, jumper, scarf, portable phone changer, tent, sleeping bag, extra jumper, toilet paper, reusable water bottle, hat.

… and a hot-water bottle

If the cold is your enemy number one, pack a mini hot-water bottle and ask the lovely people at the many coffee docks to fill it up for you. Pop it in your jumper, as if you’re a kangaroo and it’s your joey, and you’ll break on through to the other side.

Arrive Friday lunchtime

Some people arrive as soon as the campsites open to all, at 9am on Friday, and then sit around, drinking cans and watching everyone else set up their tents, until the music finally kicks off, at 2pm. Those people are more than likely the ones who also pack a guitar because they think their rendition of Christy Moore’s Ride On is better than anything else you’ll hear that weekend. Don’t be those people. There is no best time to set up camp, but there will be two main rush hours to take note of. Taking a full day off work is quite the privilege, so most people will be taking a half-day, meaning there will be a rush into the campsites at 4pm. There’ll be another rush between 7pm and 9pm, for people who couldn’t get even a half-day off work. Friday lunchtime is just about ideal. Saturday morning you’ll avoid the worst of the traffic, but you’ll limit your camping options – and you’ll have missed Friday night’s acts.

Park in red

The Electric Picnic car parks are a tight-run ship. Red car park A is the most sought after, thanks to its proximity to the main entrance.

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