Heading to Creamfields for the first time? You lucky sod. Check out this handy guide if you need a bit of direction.
Last updated: 9th Jul 2019. Originally published: 11th Aug 2015
So you've got your ticket and you're already preparing for your first pilgrimage to the dance music Mecca that is Creamfields - we for one envy you.
The festival is widely accepted as one of the most organised, elaborate, large-scale dance events in Europe, and the line ups consistently boast the very best in electronic music. This year everyone from Deadmau5 to Calvin Harris and The Chemical Brothers will be heading to Daresbury in Cheshire, and with Swedish House Mafia confirmed to perform on the Sunday, 2019 is shaping up to be one of Creamfields' biggest years to date (you can see the full Creamfields line up here).
So what advice have we got for those hitting the might Creamfields for the first time? Let's start with the most important festival ingredient...
The official line is this: 'Alcohol may only be brought into the festival if you are camping. There is a limit of 24 cans and a 1 litre plastic bottle of spirit or wine per person. Any alcohol in glass bottles must be decanted into plastic bottles. Cans can be mixed (e.g. 12 cider and 12 lager) and they may be loose (not in a crate) but must not exceed 24.'
But like most festivals booze CAN NOT be taken into the Arena (because that's how they make £££) so you'll have to lob it into a bin on entry.
Oh and strictly NO KEGS ALLOWED.
Ahead of arriving at the site, it's to be noted that entry can take some time (as with any festival) so we recommend leaving with plenty of time to spare and preparing for busy roads around the festival site, and a reasonable queue at the gates.
Security staff do a thorough job of searching to ensure everyone's safety, so it might require a bit of patience. And wherever possible, try not to look dodgy. Take it from us, if you look like a dodgy bastard your search might take longer than most.
If you do plan on sleeping over the weekend, then the next most vital thing you need is earplugs. Being a festival based around the rave experience, silence is a rarer commodity than platinum.
Make sure your tent isn't too big for your needs, the site gets full rather quickly so finding a large plot of land to pitch your Mongolian Yurt on will be a tough task.
If you forget any camping gear, there are camping shops located on the campsite, along with first aiders, lockers, phone charging facilities and stewards.
Oh and don't fall to sleep with your feet hanging out the end of your tent... some git might run off with your shoes (this really has happened).
If you're planning on having a barbecue, you won't be able to fire up on the site, but there are nearby designated barbecue areas.
Gas stoves/cylinders/petrol cookers/generators are not allowed (because they're very explodey), but disposable BBQs or any with a solid fuel type are. And do not try to do a sneaky BBQ inside your tent... unless you like sleeping with no roof.
On leaving the campsite to head to the main arena (which actually isn't too fare), we'd advise bringing any valuables (phone, wallet, purse, camera, Faberge egg) with you. Security is top notch at Creamfields, but it's never worth risking leaving valuables unattended at any festival, and there are always nob heads about. Top tip: when sleeping stash your valuables in the foot of your sleeping bag.
Once you're inside, the fun can really start. Creamfields is a great place to meet like-minded, up-for-it ravers, and you're almost guaranteed to make friends, so don't just hang around the campsite, get out there and get exploring.
The festival features a ridiculous number of arenas and stages catering for every taste in dance music, so do try to get around them - the production and design is next level, so there's plenty to feast the senses on.
Financially, we recommend bringing a bare minimum of £100 for spends, and a bit more than that if you're going to be eating and drinking out and about. More still if you're partial to fancy dress hopping after a few jars. There are plenty of cash points in the arena too so no need to withdraw a large amount of dough at once and risk losing it.
Obviously it's cheaper to bring your own food, but days spent in a hot/damp tent can do serious mischief with those perishables. Chances are you're going to be grabbing some food on the go, and there's a decent selection of cuisine on offer: Mexican, Mediterranean, Italian - there's also an international food market, as well as your usual fast food fare of burgers and hotdogs.
This isn't a festival for holding back, everyone else will be loud, upbeat, and letting their hair down, and it'll only annoy you if you don't do the same. So be a mess, if you want to be, do stuff you'll regret and go wild - Creamfields will be a genuinely special experience if you do. And if at any point it all gets too much and you do feel like having some down time, there's always Campsite village - it's got hammocks, plus welfare staff if things go a bit squiffy.