Lectures on health and safety are probably the last thing Boardmasters ticket-holders want before they head down to the festival this week.
So Cornwall Council’s Public Health team have just four bits of key advice for music-lovers in order to stay safe while having fun at the three-day event.
1. ‘Hot stuff!’ by Donna Summer (How to avoid heatstroke)
Heatstroke is dangerous and would undoubtedly ruin anyone’s festival – but it’s easy to avoid by drinking plenty of water, wearing sun cream and a sunhat, and avoiding excess alcohol. Key symptoms to look out for in you and your friends are: headache; dizziness and confusion; feeling sick; excessive sweating and pale clammy skin; cramps in the arms, legs and stomach; fast breathing or pulse; temperature over 38C; being very thirsty.
If you experience any of these, drink some water and rest in the shade for half an hour. If the symptoms remain then seek help from the festival medical centre.
2. ‘Sick as a dog!’ by Aerosmith (Avoiding stomach bugs and Covid)
A stomach bug could ruin your festival – so make sure food is thoroughly cooked and that you always wash your hands or use an antibacterial hand sanitiser before you prepare food, before you eat and after you’ve used the toilet. Good hand hygiene also helps protect you from Covid, so it’s a no-brainer really.
If you haven’t already, it’s also a good idea to get your Covid vaccination as it will help protect yourself against serious illness and also help prevent the virus spreading to people around you.
3. ‘2 become 1’ by the Spice Girls (Safe sex)
Don’t make an STI one of your festival memories! If you have unprotected sex then you could catch a sexually transmitted infection (STI). You might not have symptoms either so the only way to make sure is to visit your local sexual health service for a check-up. Condoms are the only type of contraception that help prevent STIs so stock up.
You are probably aware that Monkeypox is circulating in the UK. The infection mainly spreads between people through direct (skin to skin) contact, including sexual contact, or close contact with surfaces that have been contaminated with the monkeypox virus.
You should not attend the festival if you’ve tested positive for monkeypox, are currently self-isolating or have an unexplained rash that looks like pimples or blisters. If you develop these symptoms stay at home and call 111 or your local sexual health service for advice.
4. ‘Help!’ by The Beatles (What to do if you’re ill at the festival)
If you or someone you are with feels unwell while at the festival, head to one of the medical tents or speak to the nearest steward or security team member and they will help.
The advice is the same in emergency situations too as there is the equivalent of an Emergency Department on site, staffed by doctors, nurses and other health professionals.
Brian O’Neill, Consultant in Public Health at Cornwall Council, said:
“We want people to have a really great time and take care of themselves and others, so we’ve just got four key pieces of advice that we’d love festival-goers to take onboard: be mindful of heatstroke; take hand hygiene seriously; practice safe sex and be Monkeypox-aware; and know how to access medical help should you need it.
“This way you’ll be able to keep you and those around you safe and make your festival experience a dream rather than a nightmare.”
Cllr Dr Andy Virr, Portfolio Holder for Adults and Public Health, said:
“Boardmasters is a fantastic festival which proves a huge hit and a great boost to the local economy every year it is held. We want everyone who attends to have a great time, and all we ask is that they look after themselves and those around them by keeping in mind a few important health tips. Stay safe and have fun!”
For more information on staying safe at festivals visit the Festival Safe website.