Gather your friends, dig out your wellies, cause this year we’re doing festival parties in the garden!
Out of everything we’ve missed this last year, festivals have been the thing that stung for a lot of people. Losing your one weekend to get dirty, see some of your favourite acts and get day drunk with friends in a way that isn’t trashy has been tough! So we’re rectifying that now, with ideas on how to throw your very own backyard festival.
Getting Those Festival Vibes
Making everyone feel the festival spirit starts at the entrance – while it’s tempting to make your guests wait in a queue for hours in the blistering sun, you can probably skip that bit and go straight to going through the gates.
Decoration is going to be essential to making a strong first impression. We’ve gone for a Glastonbury/Coachella kind of a vibe, but you can replicate your own favourite festival or even one you wish you could have gone to, like Burning Man or Woodstock.
For our version of Glasthomebury we’ve used an eclectic mixture of our most colourful, chilled summer partyware. What we’re going for is fun and bright – nothing sophisticated like rose gold or muted monochrome – and as much eco-friendly partyware as possible! You could certainly take inspiration from other fun summery ideas, like having a tropical or Hawaiian theme.
If you can, set up a gazebo and have that as a food/drinks area. String lighting and bunting around the edges, and even include some balloons inside the tent. Also have a think about preparing a chill out zone, which could also be inside a gazebo, although not the same one. Some comfy camping chairs or hale bales with blankets would be a perfect place to escape, or even set up a hammock or two if you have the space!
Getting Everyone In The Festival Spirit
Send out your invites with a wristband or lanyard that they have to show to get in. Remember to keep asking them to show it across the length of the festival! You can also specify that they have to wear festival clothing, like wellies, flowy dresses, shorts and ponchos. After all, you never know what the weather’s going to do!
We loved the idea of having a small accessories area set up, so that everyone can get into the mood. Fill some cups or bowls with biodegradable glitter, tinsel wigs, novelty sunglasses and bubbles so they can have a dress up and play.
Feeling Those Festival Grooves
What’s a festival without music? There are plenty of ways to get the festival spirit – why not ask your more talented friends to perform? Set up a small wooden pallet with a stool and acoustic guitar, and someone is bound to gravitate towards it!
Alternatively, hire a local band to perform or have an epic playlist set up beforehand, perhaps asking all of your guests to submit a song or artist so you get a diverse mix of music with something for everyone. Just make sure you have a speaker that’s loud enough and enough power to keep it going!
If this isn’t doing it for you, how about some karaoke or lip syncing to let you and your friends try out being the star?
We’ve probably all had some drastically varying levels of festival food! But there’s no need to recreate soggy chips and lukewarm burgers, when you can have your own BBQ. Depending on your budget, either prepare a selection of BBQ food for your guests or ask them to bring their own – if you really want to go all out, a wood fired pizza is the perfect summer treat.
Alternatively, if the budget allows, you could hire a food van to cater. That way everyone gets some delicious food, you can support a local business, and no one has to miss the party cooking for everyone else. Make sure to have lots of biodegradable and disposable plates, cups and napkins on hand to limit the mess.
Of course you might want to have a few drinks as well. You could go for authenticity and only drink beers that have been warmed in the sun…or you could enjoy your drinks from an ice-filled inflatable treasure chest, wheelbarrow or bucket. If you’re more of a festival cocktail drinking crowd, fill up pitchers with easy cocktails like mojitos or margaritas.
What To Do
Unlike your usual festival you won’t be spending hours getting between stages or having to wait in long queues for toilets and drinks – so what are you going to do with all that spare time?
How about a face paint tent? You might think this is more for kids, but adults will love it too! Of course you can go with the classic animal faces but we think that some abstract hippy art would be much better. Take turns painting each others’ faces with vines, leaves, flowers and butterflies, and jazz it up with some glow in the dark paint or glitter.
Or recreate the Green Fields at Glastonbury with a crafting station, a meditation area and a mini stone circle. We’ve got loads of ideas of things you could craft, like these cute party decorations, fairy wands or decorations for balloons. If anyone you know has any special talents or crafting knowledge, why not get them to lead a session? It’s the perfect way to take a break from the party!
The Cool Down
Finally, as things get late you might want to have a think about some chill wind-down activities.
A fire pit surrounded by hay bales covered in blankets would be the perfect place for everyone to gather and enjoy some toasted marshmallows, or a large pot of chili. Scatter a few instruments around, like bongos and maracas, for a casual jamming session.
Make sure to have plenty of spare blankets or warm ponchos around in case it gets chilly!
The Boring Bits
Save yourself a lot of time and hassle by making sure this stuff is taken care of before the party starts:
- Toilet is fully stocked with loo roll (more than you think you’ll need)
- Plenty of hand sanitiser around the site
- Set up some bin and recycling points
- You have enough power for your audio equipment