Top 10 tips for surviving the summer festival season in style

As their name suggests, festivals are all about being “festive” but big days and nights with friends, in the sun enjoying great music and a few bevies of your choice can take a toll on your body and mind. After the last few months, I think it is safe to say we are all dreaming about making the most of summer so that’s why we have spoken to a few experts and pulled together a list of the top 10 tips for surviving the festival season in style. Here goes:

Plan ahead:

Think about how you want the occasion to shape up before it begins and put plans in place to make it happen. Start by getting your vaccine certificate so you don’t have to watch the action from the outside. Beyond that, think about how much you want to drink – do you want to last the distance or peak too early and be a drain on the group? Make the occasion about more than just drinking too – it’s a festival after all so there is plenty to see, do and hopefully remember. Know how you are going to get home – if you’re travelling by car agree who the sober driver will be upfront. If you’re taking taxis or a ride share, put the local number in your phone and think about who you are share a ride with to cut costs. If you plan on walking, have a buddy stay over so you can get home together.

Eat to last:

Eating won’t stop you getting drunk, but a full belly will slow the absorption of alcohol into your body. The key is to eat a good, meal before you start drinking and continue eating while you drink as well as after. A kabab at 3am is good but it won’t be enough on its own! (Extra hot tip – Protein is best as protein rich foods release energy slowly, which means they will do a good job helping our body to absorb alcohol over a longer period of time. Good choices are eggs, meat and dairy products so think omelets, burgers, hotdogs and cheese)

Pace yourself :

Slowing your drinking down and spreading your drinks out over a longer period of time will give your body time to catch up. Remember, one standard drink ((10g of pure alcohol) takes one hour to process and there is no way to speed this process up (not even by eating or vomiting). A std drink is not necessarily one can or bottle so read your labels and get keep count as you go! Here is a quick Standard Drinks guide to give you an idea of how much you’re really drinking or have a play with our Blood Alcohol Simulator here. Please note this is a reference tool only. It should not be used to help you make serious decisions e.g. those linked to driving.

Take time out:

Your body can only process one standard drink an hour so don’t keep downing drinks until you’re drunk. You want a good night out, not a ghastly morning after! If you’re feeling worse for wear, and/or you start saying or doing things you wouldn’t normally do, that’s a sure-fire sign you need to slow down and let your body catch up. Go for a wander around, check out the other stalls and activities on offer, play a bit of Frisby, grab a bite to eat – all of these will help you to last the distance in style. There are also plenty of drinks you can choose to help slow down your alcohol intake. The most obvious of these is a regular glass of water or non-alcoholic drink, but even a light beer (1%-3% ABV) or wine (8%- 9.5% ABV) is going to be better for you than the full-strength equivalent. They look exactly the same in the glass or bottle, but your body will thank you for it tomorrow.

H2O on the go:

Take water everywhere and drink it often. It’s even better if its instead of an alcoholic drink every now and then. Anything non-alc will do, but water has the added benefit of rehydrating you too which will be helpful for warding off that headache tomorrow. Water before, during and after drinking is best so make it part of you plan and stick to it. It will be even more important as the weather get warmer!

You are unique:

While the processing time for one standard drink is roughly the same for all adults (1 std drink = 1 hour), there are a number of factors that can affect how your body reacts to alcohol and how you feel the effects of alcohol which is why it only takes some people a couple of drinks before they start feeling warm and fuzzy vs 4 or more for others. You can read all about these factors in full detail here but don’t forget that your sex, how tired you are, any medication you are taking and  your general mood can all change the way you feel the effects of alcohol on any given day so make the decisions that are right for you at that moment on that  day – it may not be the same as usual depending on where you are at.

Switch it up:

Alcohol is alcohol – it doesn’t matter if it is beer, wine or spirits, the effects of alcohol are the same however switching to a lower strength option will definitely help to let your liver play catch up. The smartest choice however is to switch to something non-alcoholic which could include a 0% version of your favourite tipple!

Stick with the pack:

Part of the fun of going to gigs and festivals is meeting new people and hanging out with like-minded souls. But you need to stay safe while you’re being social. Your judgement will be impaired after a few drinks, so one of the best things you can do to keep yourself and others safe is to stay together in a group. Never wander off alone and make sure your friends don’t either. Don’t accept drinks from strangers unless you see them being made and they are served directly to you. If you do decide to go home with someone new, make sure a friend knows where you are going and who with. Better safe than sorry!

Quit while you’re ahead:

Don’t pass out, pass in instead. Know when it is time to retire and action your plan for getting home. Remember, if you do head home alone, txt a friend when you get there so they know you’ve arrived safe and sound.


Never try to keep up with other people – be yourself and drink at your own pace. While “One an hour” is a good rule of thumb for most adult drinkers you should always drink at the pace that is right for you as we all feel the effects of alcohol differently. Remember: you can have a great time without drinking alcohol, so you should never feel like you must drink if you don’t want to. Never put pressure on others to drink and don’t feel pressured yourself.

You can download our handy one-page ‘Survivors Guide’ Infographic here.

For more practical tips and ideas for surviving festivals in style, check out this short video and feel free to help us add to this list by emailing us your top tip to

There are heaps of awesome events planned for the warmer summer months so fingers crossed we can all get out there and enjoy them with your friends and family. Always remember – how tomorrow starts depends on how tonight ends!  Chances are you have paid good money to be at these events and we want to help you remember them for all the right reasons.

The Alcohol&Me Team