What do I need to get the best from Greenbelt? #gb11

I am being abandoned at the gates of Cheltenham Racecourse this month by my family, clutching only a rucksack, a cool bag and a pair of wellies!

Because we have a family adventure to have before we get there, I need to pack now – two whole weeks before Greenbelt starts!

I’m waiting with bated breath for the Daily Diary to be published on Friday just before I leave ‘internet-land’. My tent, mattress, sleeping bag and stove are organised already, courtesy of Tangerine Fields!

But I’m a first timer; a Greenbelt ‘virgin’ if you will.
What do I need, for me to get the best from Greenbelt? This could be things I need to take, or things I should try and do. So far I’ve been told the following:

  • If you need time out from the crowds try the  “silent” pemanent chill-out space
  • Something to sit on as a lot of the talks are in tents and the grandstand has hard seats – I’ve got a tiny 3 legged stool on a shoulder strap that should do the trick, and a squishy cushion thing we use for the cricket. Hopefully that will do.

I’m also planning to take:

  • A notebook and a pen – I’m guessing there will be interesting people, things, ideas etc that I will want to note down;
  • My trusty Android phone (and charger) so I can contact all my lovely Twurch of England and other friends and work out where we can meet up – especially important since I don’t know what most of them look like!

But the question is, what else do I need to take?

I’ve posted some of my initial plans here, but what else do I need to plan to do whilst I’m there that will make Greenbelt special?

If you’re a Greenbelt-pro, please post a comment here or Tweet me. I’d love your suggestions as to what else I should take with me, or what it is that I should plan to do whilst I’m there!

And perhaps we could pray it doesn’t rain?



  1. So far I’ve been told on Twitter to be flexible so I can meet people, which sounds great, and to watch out for loo’s! What’s so bad about the loos?


    • Ah, well, after the first few days f we’ve have some rain, the portaloos can be treatcherous. And for goodness sake, don’t leave it until you’re desperate – the queues can be huge.

      But remember, there are always the toilets in the grandstand to save your sanity.


    • And eat at Nuts cafe.

      Other than that, I would recommend chatting to people while you’re in queues. I’ve met some lovely people that way. Oh, and take babywipes (in case cold water gets boring for washing in) and a fleece (there was ice on my tent last year.)

      Please tweet me if you want to- my thingy is above.


  2. Thanks @AnglianLass – the babywipes sound a REALLY good idea and I don’t go far without my fleece, don’t worry. Just followed you on Twitter – we appear to share a thing about butterflies – perhaps we’ll even meet?!


  3. I confirm the need for warmth and wipes.

    My top tip is to go with the flow, I’m planning Nothing in advance this year and just seeing where I end up. Last year it was the unplanned that really made the weekend.

    I take lots and lots of bottles of water, I can’t bear paying ££ for it.

    Place that is a must for me is the quiet space upstairs in the grandstand – perfect!

    Oh and charger – I leave mine at home – no plug points in fields 🙂 I use the charger provision in the underground – well worth the charge.

    Most of all, take a torch and a spare torch; it’s mighty dark at night
    See you there xxx


  4. Talk to people in queues, definitely. Expect the unexpected and embrace the random, some of the best things I have seen/ heard were things I stumbled across. Accept you will do or see about 5% of what is going on.

    Earplugs, extra layer for night (it does get really, really cold) and an eye mask to stop early morning waking up (on the hope it is sunny). Cash for the Jesus Arms :-). Comfy boots as you might be in them all day. A hat in case it’s sunny and a hat in case it’s rainy and a hat to cover your hair after 3 no-shower days (this can be the same hat). Socks for sleeping in. Big jumper for early morning loo queues. Plastic sheet/ bags for sitting on near tent/ keeping things dry. Snack food like muesli bars if you are constantly hungry like me and don’t want to cook/ buy things a lot. Buy a 5 litre bottle of mineral water = instant water and instant water carrier and only about 90p.


  5. three thoughts – for what they are worth

    1. Choose a favourite venue. Rather than rushing backwards and forwards across site let the speakers come to you.

    2. Distinguish between interesting talks you can buy later and those where you want to be part of the crowd.

    3. Use your queuing time to meet strange and unusual people who are often more interesting than the speakers.


  6. You don’t need to take lots of bottles of water – 1 or 2 empty (clean) bottles will do and then refiill at water points. A clean 1/2 litre bottle which has held water/drinks is an equally good water container and can be recycled before you leave.
    LIttle bottle of hand disinfectant

    Take tooth brush with you in the evening and select your final event in the grandstand area so you can clean teeth before you go back to the tent!

    But just enjoy and see what serendipity throws up – th emeeting of differnt people and different thoughts and experiences is the best bit


  7. Centaur is a nice warm venue if it’s cold but get there early for popular talks or singers.
    If you like singing, the Big Sing with John Bell is fun. Enjoy the experience and soak up the atmosphere. I love it.


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