surviving-boa

We’ve been going to Bloodstock for a good few years now, an annual pilgrimage that we look forward to every year. In 2014 though, I struggled. Having been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia at the end of 2013, I wasn’t sure exactly what impact it would have on my BOA experience or what I would need to do to compensate for my reduced energy and ongoing pain, while also trying to enjoy the festival. After experiencing the festival without making any provisions or allowances, I knew that in 2015 some things needed to change if I was to continue attending.

VIP Tickets

The first thing we decided to do was to purchase VIP Tickets. It meant that the festival cost considerably more than before, but it also gave us access to numerous benefits:

  • Shorter walk from the car to the camping area.
  • Shorter walk from the tent to the main arena.
  • Somewhere to go and have a sit in the shade or out of the rain where it was less busy and more relaxed.
  • Proper porcelain toilets which make the constant trips to the toilet considerably more pleasant.
  • Free and more readily available hot showers – nothing better to soothe my morning aches and pains.

Larger Tent

tent

In the early years, we used a small 2 man tent to camp at the festival. This was very difficult to get in and out of and there was nowhere to stand in private. These days, I would struggle to bend down to get dressed in such a small space. We now have a much larger 3 man tent, with a living and sleeping compartment and plenty of headroom. Getting dressed is much easier now and much less painful as I am not trying to do it all in a tiny space.

Good Quality Airbed

airbed

Airbeds are notoriously uncomfortable (and a long way down). Getting on and off an airbed is difficult, but when you are camping there isn’t a great deal of choice. We tried out a number of different airbeds but ended up deciding on a good quality, flock one from Decathlon that inflates quickly, stays inflated for the whole of the weekend and is incredibly firm. Occasionally we give it a blast to pump it up even further as the weekend progresses, but it’s officially the best airbed we have tried and although it’s not as good as your own bed, it’s pretty alright for a camping situation (although still a long way down). Now we are VIP it is easier to bring a duvet and pillows to the festival rather than a sleeping bag which makes the airbed as comfortable and comforting as possible. In the future, I hope we can improve this further with something that is off the ground like a camp bed, but we would need a bigger tent for that, so this will do for now.

Lightweight Comfortable Camp Chair

chair

We purchased a Moon Chair recently from Millets. It is incredibly comfortable and supportive, but also very light to carry around. This means I can have a chair with me at all times, so if I am feeling tired or if I want to save up some energy I can get out the chair and have a seat, no matter where I am. This is particularly good for watching bands on the main stage, as I can sit near the back on my comfortable seat and still have an amazing view of the band.

Lightweight Comfortable Boots

boots

I have always loved stomping about the festival in a heavy pair of New Rock boots – absolutely brilliant boots that stand up to all weather conditions and comfy as hell. But they are bloody heavy. It soon became clear that wearing such heavy boots was causing my already painful legs to be even more so and I was getting tired so quickly. My festival boots are now a lovely comfy pair of Dr Marten Triumph boots which are equally as comfortable but much less heavy!

Portable Pain Relief Kit

I have a standard set of kit that helps to ease the aches and pains of Fibromyalgia which is easy to bring, easy to use and very soothing after a long day of walking around the festival arena.

Self Adhesive Heat Pads – with no access to a microwave, kettle or plug socket it is impossible to bring the hot water bottle or wheat bag. These heat pads are activated when opened and stick to your clothing to provide heat to any area that is aching. They last up to 8 hours so great for wearing in the day or during the night.

Tens Machine – my tens machine is battery powered and small, so it can easily be brought along to the festival. I tend to use this very sparingly, but it is on hand if the pain has become too much and I need some relief.

Pain Killers – I don’t leave the house without a stack of Ibuprofen and Paracetamol. Although not as effective as you would think, they do offer some dulling of the pain and can make getting up in the morning off that airbed a little easier.

Good Friends

friends

Bloodstock is an incredibly lovely small festival with loads of friendly people. Attending the festival with my own lovely friends is also a must though. They have been amazing helping me to enjoy the festival, carrying all my gear for me, putting up the tent for me, running to get a cup of tea or food for me when I am feeling crap, standing at the back of the crowd during performances so I am not sat at the back alone, paying the increased cost for a VIP ticket so that we can camp together and always making sure I am doing alright. They make it possible for me to keep going to the festival and I really couldn’t do it without them!

Are you going to Bloodstock this year? Do you have health conditions you have to manage so that you can still attend and have a blast? Get in touch and let me know!

This post was originally shared on my other blog Femetalism.