Your Guide to Camping .. and Glamping!
Here's some information on the different campsites to help you decide where to stay. Print off this handy map of the venue to take with you.
This is the main camp site and is the one nearest to the main festival site. It's sectioned off into areas with low stone-brick walls. There are trees, but not palm trees, so you don't get a lot of shade. The ground can also be a bit stoney and dry so anything you can bring to cushion the ground for sleeping is advisable. Also you'll be wanting shade (it gets very hot!) so a bit of tarpulin or gazebo-type-thing would also come in useful if you can fit it in your luggage.
There are outdoor showers which are not enclosed so you'll be showering in your swimming things. It's a concrete floor with some benches at the side to put your toiletries and towel on while you have a wash. The loos are those green plastic portable toilets which, as you can imagine, get rather hot inside and can have a long queue first thing in the morning. You'll be relieved to know that proper flushing toilets housed in a concrete block can be found on the festival site itself so you won't have to use the portable ones all the time.
You'll also find bar areas which have stacks of plug sockets for mobile phone or camera charging. These areas have a roof so you can find some shade to cool off. They can also be quite fun and a good way to get to meet others. Your 4-day festival ticket includes 8 days of camping at CampFib (or the other free camping areas).
If you're not the sort of person who 'does' camping, you can take the 'glamping' option and stay at 'VillaCamp'. It will cost you an extra £80 (which you can purchase at the same time as your ticket) and for this you'll get to stay in a well-maintained, shaded area with palm trees and security. The shade is one of its biggest selling points. It also has its own bar area that sells food and bags of ice (handy if you want to get some cheap beers (we're talking about 40 cents a can) from the supermarket and chill them for pre-fest drinks in your tent. There is also a small outdoor stage where they put on some lesser-known bands for the 3 days in the run-up to the main festival. Nice to have some entertainment if you're planning on going for the whole week.
There are blocks of plumbed-in showers, sinks with mirrors and toilets that flush (with paper!). It's all very civilised. Girls - bring your makeup and hair products - lots of glamming up going on at VillaCamp. You can even bring your straighteners as there are sockets by the mirrors in some of the shower rooms.
There are also stacks of plug sockets for charging mobiles and a team of helpers if you need to ask about anything .. or even need some help putting up your tent.
What to Pack
If you've never been to Beni before then it can be difficult to know what to take, but fear not reader! we have got a handy packing list for you here for all the essentials you'll need:
- tent! - take one that's quick and easy to put up so you don't waste any time when you want to be having fun. Most people take pop-up tents. If you want something really light to carry, try the Frostfire Moontent a two man Pop Up Tent weighing only 1.3 kg! Also think about ventilation as it gets very hot. A good tent for extra ventilation in the heat is the 2 SECONDS AIR III GREEN from the ever-popular Quechua brand which is a three-man tent with extra vents at the sides.
- blow-up bed + foot pump - the ground is dry and stony so you'll be glad of a bit of comfort. Go for something durable such as the Campingaz Quickbed Airbed.
- tarpaulin - comes in handy to use as a sun shade or extra groundsheet, or for taking down the beach. It doesn't take up much room in your bag and can cost less than a fiver.
- sleeping bag - even though it's hot you'll still need a sleeping bag as it can get a bit chilly at night. This Gelert Tryfan Classic 300DL Square Sleeping Bag has internal security pockets and will give you more room to move around than the cocoon type.
- sheet + pillowcase
- eye mask + ear plugs - essential if you want some kip! Try The Nightshade Sleeping Mask to block out the bright sun, and the Moldex Ear Plugs which are washable and re-usable.
- microfibre towel - takes up much less space than a normal towel. Try the Mountain Warehouse Microfibre Towel at £8.99.
- small torch - for the tent at night - try this funky LED head torch in green
- collapsible bucket - handy to use as an ice bucket for cooling the beers! - you can buy cans in the supermarket in town very cheaply so you'll save money. Try the Gelert Folding Water Bucket at only £3.95. You can buy bags of ice from the campsite bars and have your own in-tent 'drinks cabinet'.
- festival survival box - really worth investing in as it includes a shewee and absorbent pouches - so you can use it in your tent in the nighttime. Also inlcudes earplugs, dry shampoo, hand sanitiser, 8 function pocket knife and torch - all your needs covered in one pack!
- high factor sun cream
- antiseptic cream
- headache pills
- insect repellent
- sunglasses are essential - Jeepers Peepers do a great range that aren't too expensive so you won't mind so much if they get lost.
- flip flops
- sandals - something comfortable as you'll be doing a lot of walking to the beach and around the festival site.
- beachwear - sarong, bikinis, sundresses,shorts,t-shirts
Don't leave home without...
- plane/train/coach tickets
- festival tickets
- vilacamp tickets (if you're glamping!)
- travel insurance
- EHIC card (European Health Insurance Card) .. apply for one here - they're free from the NHS: http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/EHIC/Pages/about-the-ehic.aspx. You'll still need to get travel insurance too, but the EHIC will cover any medical treatment that becomes necessary during your trip, for example because of either illness or an accident. In an emergency you can dial the European emergency number 112 from any telephone or mobile phone.
- euros (about 250 euro as a minimum)
How Much Money Should I Take?
Your main expenses will be food and drink. Last year there was a system of tokens for buying food and drink on the campsites and in the venue. As a guide, one token was 2.50 Euro, and would buy you one soft drink or a small lager. A large cup of lager (pint) or a spirit and mixer drink was three tokens (7.50 Euro). So you can see how you would easily get through about 15 tokens a night!
Other things you might want to spend money on:
- bike hire - costs 10 Euro per day, or 60 Euro for the week.
- bus fares - buses into the town and out to other beaches are 1.40 Euro for a single ticket
- Aquarama - entrance to the water park (which is in walking distance) is 18 Euro
- Merchandise - Band T-Shirts or other purchases from the FIB Shop.