Family enjoying their stay-at-home festival outdoors in nice weather

It hasn’t even begun yet but already summer 2020 is looking like it will be very different to recent years.

With the UK-wide lockdown still in place, many regular summer fixtures – including Wimbledon and the Olympics – have already been cancelled.

We’re also facing the next few months without our favourite annual festivals, from Glastonbury and Latitude to the Edinburgh Fringe.

If you had tickets to a summer festival that’s been cancelled, why not organise your own stay-at-home festival?

With the right props and supplies, you can set aside a weekend to channel those festival vibes and make the best of any beautiful weather without leaving your home.

4 steps to organising your stay-at-home festival

1. Plan your dream activities

Is your dream festival more about books, music, film or food – or is it a combination of all four? Whatever you’re into, start by making a list of your perfect festival activities and you can start to plan the DIY version.

For your own book festival, order some new titles in the post and line up some literary podcasts and lectures to listen to while you enjoy the weather.

For your own food festival, hit the kitchen and whip up some international specialities you’ve never tried before. You can also mix in activities like yoga classes (using an online instructor) and arts & crafts sessions – ideal if you have young kids.

Our favourite at-home festival hack is to rig up a projector screen in your garden and, come sundown, watch some classic films under the stars (popcorn and sweets optional).

2. Decorate your garden

If you’ve got your own garden then spend a bit of time tidying up weeds, clearing clutter and mowing the lawn, before decorating. Some strings of fairy lights and battery operated candles will do wonders for upping the festival atmosphere.

As for seating? If you don’t have outdoor furniture, throw down an old sheet and cover it in your nicest blankets and cushions, making sure you have some shade to sit under. If it’s going to be really hot, a paddling pool will be a lifesaver.

If you don’t have your own garden, you can still make your own DIY festival happen. Simply head to your local park for the day – local lockdown restrictions allowing. Get dressed up in your best fest gear, pack a picnic hamper with all your favourite treats, and spend a few glorious hours listening to music, reading and hanging out with your favourite people.

3. Stock up on festival essentials

What does your list of festival essentials include? Glitter and pink hair dye? Water pistols and hula-hoops? Champagne and caviar?

Whatever you’d planned on packing for the real deal, make sure your favourite essentials are part of your stay-at-home festival too, otherwise it just won’t feel the same.

Fun stuff aside, don’t forget the sensible supplies. To stay safe and healthy while enjoying your own at-home festival, you’ll need sunscreen that offers UVA and UVB protection, as well as sunglasses and a hat.

If you suffer any allergies (e.g. hay fever) you’ll need to make sure you have plenty of allergy medication. If you have severe hay fever, it can be a good idea to check the day’s pollen count before committing to a day outside.

You should also make sure you’ve got some insect repellent to hand – particularly if you’re going to be spending the night sleeping in a tent.

4. Give your festival a name

Last, but by no means least, don’t forget to name your stay-at-home festival to make it extra special. If you’re feeling creative, get out the paints and create your own signpost or banner to put in your garden. You could even create your own social media hashtag!

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