Like travelling, a music festival is an incredible event to be a part of. Whether it’s spending time in the campsite, inside the crowd listening to your favourite artist or socialising with friends! It’s like a mini vacation alongside seeing many incredible musicians whilst relaxing. My favourite ones were always abroad where you met a mixture of nationalities in one place.
Sounds pretty fun, right?
Especially the ones abroad, where you get to combine travelling with the festival experience. Before my travels kicked off, I’d attend at least one music festival a year. Sometimes up to three or four! They would be in the U.K or in Europe.
I bet amongst you festival goers that this is just a small percentage?
Did you know music festivals are a prime target for thieves? According to The Daily Mail 1 in 500 people will be a victim of music festival theft. Likewise, at Ultra Music festival, Miamicbs local reports that police this year discovered cell phones, bags, blood pressure monitors, guitars, wallets and wide range of other stuff. Thieves seem to want to steal everything or anything.
I know, you’re probably reading this thinking that you’re trying to be scared by being provided with stats.
If so, you couldn’t be any more wrong. Why?
Because this happened to me at a British Music Festival, Leeds Festival. I was camping with about five school friends. At Leeds festival, there are many campsites and each campsite has a specific colour allocated to it. Apparently, depending on the colour you stay in will depend on how noisy/rowdy the campsite is.
We didn’t want to be too far away from the main area nor be in the liveliest (as we all wanted to sleep). So we opted for an in-between and chose the yellow campsite. I was sharing a tipi with a school buddy. At the time I had a money belt.
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I went to meet a friend to bring back to the campsite, I asked the friend I was sharing a tipi with if I was ok to leave my money belt inside. If she could look after it. Next thing I know, two hours later I come back and my money had disappeared. It couldn’t get any worse, could it?
Not just that, I found out my female friend had brought someone back to our tipi to sleep with. To this day, I’m not sure if it was him or her that stole the money and I was carrying £100.00 in cash inside.
Every music festival since I made a conscious decision to look after my valuables with precaution. How did I do it? Here are some tips on how to avoid music festival theft:
1. Wear a money belt to music festivals
These have different names such as fanny packs, bumbags or even a belt bag. It’s a belt bag you wear on your waist in front of you and store money, cards and your mobile inside it. They also come in many different, shapes, designs and sizes. That does not really matter, what is important is the purpose.
It has zips. Most likely you would feel someone trying to steal something from you if it’s in front of you on your waist. More to the point, with it being in front of you, you can pull your top over it keeping it hidden out of sight.
2. Store your valuables in your sleeping bag whilst you are sleeping
When I sleep at music festivals I always put my valuables next to my feet inside my sleeping bag. That way if someone was to enter your tent at night it’s not in a place of immediate access. They either have to pull you out of your sleeping bag, slit your sleeping bag open or unzip it.
If the latter two, you will feel it being opened and most likely defend yourself from the theft. I’ve been to eight festivals since done this trick every time and it’s always kept my belongings safe.
3) Don’t pack expensive valuables
If you’re flashing your most expensive items around that you own. I’m sorry but that’s just welcoming trouble. You will draw attention to yourself and may make yourself an opportunity for a thief. Only take what you are comfortable ruining or losing.
4) Befriend people you are camping next too
Talk to your neighbours around you. Not everyone will be outside of the campsite at all times. That way if a strange suspicious person comes into your tent they may help you by asking who are they and call them out.
Some external companies at festivals provide locker services. It may be worth paying for one in advance of your festival for a locker. That way you may be able to store certain stuff there. Some locker services give you the ability to leave your belongings in the day or even overnight! It’s definitely worth that extra penny.
6) Split your cash out
Don’t just carry all of your cash in one place. If you can split it out, put a certain amount into one pocket then some in another, some in your money belt and some in your bag. That way if you do get robbed you have other backups to return too. To allow you to survive the rest of your festival.
Overall, festivals are a fun and lively place to be. I’ve created some of my best memories amongst the ones I’ve attended. I’m sure you will too. However, you don’t want theft to spoil your fun or ruin your memory.
A lot of criminals attend music festivals as it’s an easy opportunity for them to make a living without getting caught. You must take these steps to minimise your risk of becoming victimised from music festival theft.