Heading to Creamfields for the first time next year? Check out our Virgin's Guide for all you need to know ahead of your Creamfields debut.
Last updated: 30th Nov 2018. Originally published: 11th Aug 2015
So you've got your ticket and you're already preparing for your first pilgrimage to dance music mecca Creamfields, and we for one envy you. The festival is widely accepted as one of the most organised, elaborate, large-scale dance events in Europe.
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 - booze. You're allowed to bring in one bottle of spirits in a plastic bottle and 24 cans per person. Obviously, drugs aren't allowed, and there are a myriad of sniffer dogs who'll be on hand to enforce that, so be advised kids.
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.
Now a word on camping. 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. If you forget any camping gear, there are camping shops located on the campsite, along with first aiders, lockers, phone charging facilities and stewards.
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. And 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.
On leaving the campsite to head to the main arena, which actually isn't too great a distance, we'd advise bringing any valuables with you. Security is top notch at Creamfields, but it's never worth risking leaving valuables unattended at any festival. No matter where you go in the country, no matter how much security, there's always a few snides out to ruin your experience - don't let them.
But 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 with every visit, so don't just stick in the campsite, get out there and get exploring. The festival features a ridiculous number of arenas and stages catering for everyone's tastes in dance music, but try out the others too, the production 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 primarily from the food vendors as things can get expensive rather quickly.
With regards to food, 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. 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. The fun fair is always a laugh too, make time in your weekend for that.
This also isn't a festival to be reserved at, everyone else will be loud, upbeat, and letting their hair down, and it'll only annoy you if you don't do the same.
Forget yourself at home and just be a mess, 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 a bit of relaxation, The Garden Bar features comfy seats, picnic benches, and even masseuses, ideal to massage that hangover out of existence.