Everybody wants to go to a music festival at some point in their lives, whether its their annual holiday, or a one-off ‘just because’, and we all know that festivals involve camping, being in the outdoors for up to a week straight, all sorts of weather conditions, and all sorts of living conditions. Its fair to say they are pretty challenging places to be even as a non-Diabetic.
There is no reason why you shouldn’t go to a festival with Diabetes however, though of course we do have to take some extra precautions to ensure we stay safe beyond the ‘don’t drink too much’ rule. So here is the #GBDOC guide to surviving a music festival!
Important Medical Kit:
A recent hospital letter – evidence of Diabetes
A copy of your prescription
Spare insulin and test strips
Frio case/cool bag to keep insulin cool
Spare insulin pens (especially if you’re on a pump, in case of damage)
Spare blood glucose meter in case of damage
Ketones meter (or at least urine test sticks)
Find where the on-site medical team is based, inform them of who you are in case of emergency
Medic ID bracelet/card/tattoo
Lots of hypo treatment
On-site locker – perfect for storing backup kit and emergency supplies, make sure a friend/partner has your locker code too
Spare phone, if your main one dies and you need help ASAP, its good to keep a spare
Extra food – yes there are lots of food and drinks vans, but you don’t want to be caught short
Sun lotion – not a Diabetic one, but you’re still going to need it (even in a Glastonbury wash-out!)
Waterproof clothing – its probably going to rain, you definitely don’t want to get your Diabetes kit water damaged
It is almost inevitable that at some point during your trip, that if you are over 18 you are going to end up a little worse for wear, that’s fine! you’re allowed! Just remember that in a field with up t0 100,000 people you may end up losing your friends, so make sure you always have a form of contact to get hold of them, and ensure you have lots of hypo supplies on or around you, the last thing you want is to have a severe hypo surrounded by strangers and have them pass by assuming you are just drunk. Festivals are great fun, but we do have to remember safety too.
If the weather is particularly hot then it is going to affect your blood glucose even more than the being on your feet all day and not eating a regular diet, so remember to keep drink lots of water, keep an eye on your blood glucose, and make adjustments to your insulin when and where required.
Most importantly, festivals are challenging physically. You are going to spend the best part of a week walking lots, not eating properly (say goodbye to your low carb plan!), it is going to be hard on your body. Make sure in the lead-up you plan effectively and speak with health care professionals where necessary, if you’re not feeling confident yourself. You will most likely need much less insulin than normal due to the increase in activity, so take this into account even if you are going to be eating more, remember to be safe and know your surroundings if you do end up in an emergency, and most importantly…GO AND HAVE FUN!
There are few things that can come close to the experience of a music festival, and Diabetes definitely doesn’t have to get in the way of that.