Despite how frequent music festivals are in the UK, there are always first-timers in need of advice or people who value fresh ideas, especially when it comes to passing the time and making themselves comfortable. Winchester’s Boomtown, an upcoming major event to look forward to, may be in August 2020, but that simply leaves plenty of time to prepare for that long weekend.

Apart from the standard ways to have fun between performances or in the small sleepless hours, the modern age constantly provides several cures for repetition and boredom. They mainly involve a mobile device, however, so two accessories you may want to consider packing is a power bank and a Wi-Fi hotspot. Having said that, the non-tech entertainment options can be just as enthralling, if not more so. Attending a festival with friends could even lead to forgetting those smartphones entirely. Keep reading and discover why.

Camera Action

Photos are essential to any trip, so catch every opportunity that presents itself. Selfies in the jumping crowd are great to share with friends, but roaming through the festival’s grounds and immortalising people and sights that make you smile give pictures a warmer, more vibrant feel. A practical side to this activity is that, if done from the moment of arrival, it motivates you to explore the stalls, stages, services and action worth getting into. Once settled in, learning the layout is an important thing to do anyway, as is socialising with fellow partygoers and neighbours in particular. Familiarising yourself with places and faces to turn to for future necessities is time well invested.

Mobile Games

Online gaming, if accessible, is a main source of pastime fun. While you could spend hours on Call of Duty: Mobile, a better choice are titles that immerse but don’t distract from the festival’s very purpose. Slot games fit that bill. For example, Vikings Slots brings key characters and features from HBO’s hit TV series to an iGaming platform and engages players with 78,125 ways of winning. Its high-quality yet casual gameplay makes it an excellent activity that doesn’t block out the world around you. Other special online titles include Hitman GO, Hearthstone and The House of Da Vinci.

With or without internet, your smartphone can be the best companion for a festival. Make an entertainment safety net by downloading some video games to play offline. The selection is wide indeed, ranging from casual strategy titles like Plants vs. Zombies 2 to beloved classic RPGs like Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition. Multiplayer options in play and pass mode also exist – Ludo King, Pool Break Pro and more. Explore your favourite genres on Google Play or the App Store for games that appeal the most.

All these video games, online and offline, are a reliable method of passing the time when attending a festival alone or wanting to sit back and relax while your friends are busy or asleep. But what if the gang is together and keen for party entertainment?

Group Games

In this case, options are only as limited as people’s imagination and willingness to move. If the general consensus demands cards, dice or board games, there is a range of entertainment to pack for. Among the outrageous but thoroughly engaging choices, Cards Against Humanity is popular, but so is the dark humor of Disturbed Friends and the hilarity of Exploding Kittens, this a 2-5 player Russian Roulette-style game. Each person keeps picking a card from a deck where kittens with explosives lie in wait. Special cards can be used to strategically avoid encountering a kitten, but once picked only a defusing card will avert the player’s death, such as belly rubs, catnip sandwiches and laser pointers. Some classic travel games are no less important to bring along – Yahtzee, Bananagrams, The Settlers of Catan. Prepare for any pastime possibility, typical or not. This means, don’t forget pens and paper.

A more active mood in the group is known to inspire great ideas. For example, take advantage of a music festival’s often messy character and turn meal time into laughs with Egg Roulette. Hard boil eggs for all participants except one. Or add a raw egg to the cooked selection, giving it a chance to not be picked and wasted. Everyone chooses an egg from the pile and cracks it on their own forehead. Priceless memories ensue. Physical games come in many different forms. Music in the background is a certainty, so why not limbo dance or play human musical chairs with a drinking game twist? Get even more active with team games like Snatch, where every member holds onto a length of paper or cloth and then runs around trying to grab the opposing teams’ strips.

The variety is undoubtedly vast, but you should savour every bit of fun, spread the activities out so they don’t become tedious. Taking a break from all the excitement with a few more low-key pastimes is perfectly acceptable.

Chilling Out

Obvious options include books, Sudoku or crossword puzzles, but technology has once again provided some unique casual activities without resorting to movies and TV shows that, like certain video games, risk distracting you completely. Being in the middle of a music festival often headlined by some of the scene’s biggest stars, it would make sense to follow up on the industry’s news. BBC podcasts are a relaxing yet stimulating way to spend some alone time, watching the bustling partygoers with a cup of tea – or beer – in hand. A smartphone will also give you access to digital comic books, like The Immortal Hulk and Blade Runner 2019, literature more suited to celebrations of pop culture. Think about what alternative entertainment you might enjoy during such times of extra leisure.

The amount of pastime activities available to you and your friends highlights a final concern of space. Fortunately, a smartphone and an additional mobile device can carry a large portion of this entertainment – camera, video games, and digital programs. Pack the rest carefully and aim for maximum festival fun.