Cartwright Chronicles, Features

Dan’s top tips for attending festivals with your leisure vehicle

A man playing a guitar outside a campervan, next to a woman

Dan Cartwright has over 12 years of experience in the caravan and motorhome industry. He is a judge for a number of prestigious leisure vehicle awards and regularly heads off in his motorhome with his family. Every week, Dan shares his insights with the community. Here’s what he has to say this week.

The summer festival season is upon us and I’ve just returned from ClubFest, which is run annually by the Caravan and Motorhome Club. It was held at Weston Park in Shropshire this year and since the National has rebranded as ClubFest, it’s grown from strength to strength.

It’s become more accessible, with a much younger and more family-oriented crowd and the activities available reflect this. Live music is one of the biggest draws – with Toploader and Jason Donovan headlining in 2024 – but there’s also kids’ entertainment, watersports and wellness sessions.

Costing around £350 for a family of four, ClubFest represents good value for money, with everything you could possibly need on site. That includes electric hook-ups, shops, bars and pop-up street food stalls, keeping visitors well fuelled over the four-day festival.

The UK’s festival scene and beyond

Whether your idea of a festival is Glastonbury, Benicassim or the annual Metal Detectorists Meet-up, it’s time to get involved. Leisure vehicles make festivals so much more enjoyable – from having a comfy bed to a fridge to store your food in – turning what can be a chaotic experience into an enjoyable one.

There are lots of people starting their own festivals as a way to participate in their favourite activities or just bring groups of friends together. I’m off on my second annual CampDad festival this weekend, which started as some dads and their kids from school, but has grown to take over an entire site.

Whatever weird and wonderful thing you love to do, why not get your friends together in a bunch of tents and leisure vehicles to spend a weekend doing it?! If you’ve started your own festival or are planning on attending something quite niche, reach out to or contact us on X/Twitter to let us know. We’d love to hear about it.

Festival tips

From someone who’s been there and done it, here’s my advice on attending a festival in your leisure vehicle:

Arrive early and depart late

Get on site early and expect to depart late. There are many reasons for this, but the most important one is the likelihood of rain, which will mean leisure vehicles driving across soft pitches will make entry and exit routes difficult to navigate.

Be among the first to arrive while the ground is still solid and leave after the rush of people spinning their wheels on grass slopes has gone. Then you’ll have the time, space and freedom to pick the best route out of the site at your leisure.

Pack for a caravan, motorhome or campervan holiday

Just because you’re going to a festival doesn’t mean you’re not going to need the things you always take on a trip away in your leisure vehicle. All the items that make your stay comfortable – warm wear to walk to the shower block in the evening, a toolkit and a step to get into your van – are essentials.

Additional festival clothes can also come along, as well as inflatable hats if you like, but remember that underneath it all, it’s still a camping trip. If you’re a seasoned caravanner or motorhomer, you’ll have honed your packing list over time, so don’t abandon it now.

Don’t expect to venture off site

Take everything you’ll need for the whole weekend with you, as relying on being able to pack up your motorhome and nip off to a supermarket to restock halfway through the festival is unrealistic. Assume you’ll enter once and leave once.

This can mean prioritising space around essentials like food, taking one less bottle of wine to make room for an extra packet of spaghetti, but you need to weigh those decisions yourself. One thing I would say is that at commercial festivals, beer is readily available, whereas vegetables are harder to come by.

Review festival restrictions

Many festivals have rules around certain items, such as glass bottles, so it’s important to review these in advance so you’re not caught out at the gates. Potentially think about stocking your leisure vehicle with plastic cups and reusable water bottles instead of glass.

There are also sometimes restrictions on other things too, so check the specifics for the particular event you’re attending. Don’t assume all festivals have the same policies, as they all differ and there can be changes from year to year.

Expect noise

While not all festivals are music festivals, they are universally noisy, because they’re tightly packed. ClubFest spaces caravans fairly generously, but most events are cramming leisure vehicles close together.

Some attendees will be at the festival to party all night, so don’t expect lots of space and silence at 10pm. Go with the flow and enjoy the experience, instead of letting it ruin your time away.


Photo credit: Pexels/Pavel Danilyuk