If you’ve ever travelled to a festival by coach, bike or on foot you’ll no doubt appreciate the need to travel light. Luggage space can be extremely limited and sacrifices have to be made, which means you might have to ditch the GHD’s and that new super-deluxe portable George Foreman twin-grill that you brought off the late night shopping channel after one too many sherbets. This year we found ourselves in that very position when we got our coach ticket package for Glastonbury – so imagine my delight when I stumbled across the CampLight website, which promises to take the stress out of camping at festivals by offering pre-pitched tents for hire.
All the tents and equipment offered for hire by CampLight are salvaged and restored from previous festivals, and then subsequently hired out to festival goers after they’ve been returned to a good usable condition. When you arrive your tent is pitched and ready to go, in a great location that’s independent and secure from the rest of the campsite. Believe it or not, these guys even give you the option for a comfy warm air mattress and sleeping bag in there if you choose.
We were going to be travelling green, reducing landfill, saving ourselves the hassle of putting up and taking down our tent – and crucially making some extra room for that all important case of beer or five.
So back to my own CampLight experience at Glastonbury – when we arrived on the site, we were greeted by CampLight founder Kieran Vanden Bosch, who escorted us to our makeshift abode for the next five days. As we jigged through the guide ropes Kieran told us of his vision for a ‘reserve your tent’ button next to the buy festival tickets coach package for every festival in the UK.
Apparently Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis is supporting this initiative as he wants more people to arrive by coach and less tents going into landfill. For the first time ever, the festival are helping the public get behind this drive by putting 15,000 coach ticket packages on sale prior to the usual Sunday morning scrummage of regular tickets, showing a firm commitment to environmental issues.
Obviously we all want the world to be a greener place, and with support of a large player in the game like Glastonbury and Michael Eavis it sounds like CampLight could well be onto a winner. However if they want to generate mass appeal for this concept, then they possibly need to make it a bit more affordable to the masses. The cost at Glastonbury for a 3 man tent, double airbed and sleeping bag was around the £100 mark, which is possibly a little too rich an impulse purchase for most people.
My other gripe, which is not really a gripe, but in actual fact was just a lack of planning on our part, is that the CampLight site at Glastonbury was at possibly the furthest point away from the Coach drop off, and those extra cases of beer soon started to weigh us down. However, it was a bloody good spot in the popular Pennard fields and our load was obviously lighter on the return journey.
Overall the CampLight concept it a great idea for anyone who wants to lighten the load on their eco-friendly shoulders. I can’t comment on what it’s like to travel on foot or by bike, but if you’re concerned about travelling by coach then don’t be – we found it was a real breeze. Being able to sleep on the journey home is a highly underrated feature, and made all the easier by the warm fuzzy feeling you’ll get from offsetting the fuck off big footprint you just left in a field.
To find out more about CampLight, visit http://www.camplight.co.uk/