I am glad I have a few years yet before the boy wants to go off to a festival: time enough, perhaps, for a bit of aversion therapy. I don’t rate my chances. It seems almost compulsory for teenagers to risk Weil’s disease/dysentery/drug or alcohol poisoning while ‘enjoying’ standing in a field miles from a stage on which purportedly some band is playing.
For those already in possession of a teenager who is festival-bound then there’s the usual advice: take your own toilet roll and lots of wet wipes; watch out for the explosive potential of reheated lentil burgers and of course, don’t smoke/drink or take anything dodgy.
It pays to be financially cautious too. If you can separate your teenager from their flash phone then that’s a good idea: get a cheap pay as you go from the supermarket for them (though given that most teenagers would rather die than be seen dead with a mum phone, good luck with that). If they insist on taking their posh phone or gadget, check whether it is covered on your home insurance – or if they have separate cover – and remind them that few insurers will pay out if they haven’t taken care of an item. Halifax Insurance advises that festival goers take photos of their valuable items and store them on a device they leave at home which will make claiming if they are lost or damaged easier, as will having a receipt.
As far as money to spend (and festival drinks/food are seldom cheap) then it’s a good idea to give your teenager a pre-loaded card with cash on it. There can be charges on these cards but if your teenager loses the card or has it stolen, the card can be deactivated limiting the loss. And it’s a lot less hassle than trying to sort out a missing credit or debit card. There’s a good guide to them (and a separate one on prepaid cards suitable for the under-18s) on www.moneysavingexpert.com which likes the Monzo card as it has no withdrawal or spending fees or Pockit which has low fees and gives cashback too. Yes, all this advice will be intensely boring for the Glastonbury-bound post A-level crowd. But they’ll thank you (perhaps) if they come back still solvent, lurgy-free and in possession of their gadgets.