Safety at Festivals

Safety at Festivals

We want you to have the best time imaginable at Nozstock and we believe that staying happy and staying safe go hand in hand. Whether it’s you or your belongings you are worried about, below are a few things to consider, so nothing will spoil your fun!

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  • Here at Nozstock we are not a fan of legal highs, they can have very nasty effects and despite the name, so called ‘legal’ highs are now against the law. Remember, legal doesn’t mean safe and you can never be certain of what substances they contain, what the effects will be and how your body is going to react. Legal highs are not tolerated at Nozstock, including Nitrous Oxide.  Information on legal highs and the dangers can found on the Mentor UK website. There is also a whole load of information on legal (and illegal) highs as well as friendly confidential drugs advice available through FRANK. If you are a student or young person struggling with alcohol or drug addiction then Rehab Recovery offers free telephone assistance and useful resources on their website.

    Remember, drugs are just as illegal at Nozstock as they are everywhere else. Don’t miss out on all the fun by attempting to bring them on site. Clearly marked amnesty bins are located at wristband exchange. Festivals are busy and can be overwhelming. They are not a good place to experiment. We strongly advise that you do not mix substances, including alcohol. This is incredibly dangerous. However if you have taken something and you are feeling unwell it is important you speak up. The friendly crew at the Welfare tent in the campsite can help with some much needed TLC and a cuppa.  Their staff will see you right and you’ll be back on your feet and raring to go again in no time. This chart can give advice of the likely side effects of different drug combinations.

    Festivals are great fun and we know everyone wants to take advantage of our tasty cocktails and pub prices. But do keep in mind that drinking to excess can leave you vulnerable and feeling unwell. Set yourself a limit, drink slowly, eat snacks and make every other drink a water.

    Nozstock are proud to partner with drinksafe anti-spiking drinks covers. According to DrinkSafe, being aware of the symptoms of drink spiking is key so that you can recognise it for yourself or friends. The symptoms may vary depending on the substance, but generally include:

    • Feeling nauseous or more drunk than usual
    • Difficulties communicating
    • Memory loss or confusion
    • Breathing issues
    • Loss of feeling across your senses
    • Vomiting
    • Loss of inhibition

    If in any case, you think you or a friend has been spiked it’s important to stay with them and accompany them to welfare to have their drink tested by a DrinkSafe testing strip. DrinkSafe recommends a 4-step process to follow in if you believe you or someone else has been spiked:

    1. Alert a trusted person. A friend, member of staff or host.
    2. Go to a safe place with someone you know and trust.
    3. If the symptoms are worsening, call an ambulance immediately.
    4. Alert the police after any suspected incident of drink spiking

    Like in most instances, prevention is the best avenue to take, and knowing the symptoms and what to do next should be last measures. Despite the fault being entirely with the individual who spikes someone, there are things you can do to reduce the risk of being spiked:

    1. Educate yourself. By simply being aware of drink spiking and it’s effects this can massively reduce the level of risk for you and your friends,
    2. Buy your own drinks!
    3. Use a drink cover. DrinkSafe provide single use, silver covers that prevent anyone from being able to slip anything in your drink. Covers will generally be provided by a venue, but having your own supply will keep you safe wherever you are.
    4. If in any case you accept a drink from a stranger, accompany them to the bar, take the drink from the bartender yourself, and apply a drink cover if possible.
    5. Look out for your friends and have a plan in place if anything goes wrong.
  • Living in a field for a weekend is quite different to being at home. If you aren’t sure what to expect then check out the Festival Safe website.  Whether you’re a first-timer or a hardened veteran, there is something on Festival Safe for everyone. From advice on what tent to buy to info on coping with the toilets, you’ll find useful information to make sure it’s a festival to remember.

    Come rain or shine there are people on hand at Nozstock to help with any complaint, whatever it may be. If you are ill or injured seek help from a first aider. Head to the campsite next to the info office where our medics are located or speak to a steward who will be able to get help. The welfare tent can also take care of your general festival woes. Forgotten your rain poncho? In desperate need of a safety pin? They can help! We recommend that all Nozstockers download the what three words app, which can help our staff locate you as easily as possible should you need assistance.

    If we get hot weather over the weekend slap on plenty of sun cream. Cover up and don’t forget your sunhat and shades. Keep yourself hydrated – make use of the free water points.

    Make sure you have some hand sanitizer handy. Learn the layout of the site so you can find toilets etc easily at night. The ground at Nozstock is uneven so decent walking shoes are a must. Ear plugs can help you catch your Zzz’s at night – the info office have a supply available. Keep a torch on you when you head out after hours. This will help you navigate any guiderope mazes. Things can look different in the dark. If you are worried you might not be able to find your tent then take a picture of the area and any noticeable landmarks to help you along the way. Take care when cooking food, ensure your stove is in good working order before use. Carbon monoxide is colourless, odourless and dangerous. Never use any kind of camping stove in an enclosed area. Any stove must be raised off the ground.

    For those of you bringing a mini Nozstocker along then make sure you write your phone number on your little ones wristband. Ensure your family are familiar with the location of The Lost Children’s Area.

    When making your way to site we do offer a bus shuttle service from our local town of Bromyard to the festival site. Do not endanger yourself by walking on the road to the festival – take the bus, it’s free! When parking for the weekend, be considerate of others and ensure you are not causing an obstruction – otherwise the police will move your vehicle.

    Festival Safe has lots of useful tips and resources for festival goers, from info on what to expect on site, to what tent to buy!

  • Phone signal isn’t always reliable on site, so do arrange a meeting point with your friends in case you get separated. If you feel a bit tipsy and are worried about finding your way anywhere then ask our staff to escort you. Don’t go off with people you don’t know or allow your friends to either. Stay together and if you meet someone new invite them to join your group rather than going off alone. Take photos on your phone of any new friends you make and text them to your mates – so they have a picture even if you lose your phone. If someone objects to a photo being taken, ask yourself why. Don’t be tempted to go to a strangers tent or to a secluded area and don’t be afraid to walk away, shout out or speak to our staff if you find yourself in a situation you are not comfortable with or someone is making you uncomfortable for any reason. Our staff are there to help. Nozstock supports the Association of Independent Festival’s Safer Spaces at Festivals campaign, to raise awareness of sexual assault at festivals and abide by their charter of best practice. Our welfare team are on site to support you in whatever ways you wish, and The Glade SARC can provide advice on sexual assault for men and women in the West Mercia area. Their staff are specifically trained crisis workers who can provide help and support.

    Remember, as well as looking after yourself it is just as important to look out for others. Be an active bystander. If you see anyone who looks like they may be unsafe or need medical attention please find a steward and let them know. Our security team patrol the campsite 24 hours a day and stewards are always on hand to help so if you see anything amiss – including abusive attitudes or actions – don’t keep it to yourself, let someone know.

  • he Hidden Valley is a very friendly festival, however inevitably some criminals do try and spoil it for others. Tent theft can be really distressing and seriously put a downer on your weekend. Nozstock has experienced security and stewarding teams patrolling 24 hours a day, targeted lighting and barriers to deter thieves. Our crew keep their eyes open. However there is plenty you can do as well.  If you think you have been the victim of crime or have lost any property then please report this to our Info Office staff straight away.  Be aware of these safety tips to make everything as secure as possible…

    Your car

    Don’t leave anything in your car, leaving anything visible will encourage thieves to take a chance and smash a window. Take everything out of your glove compartment and leave it empty and open. And of course don’t forget to double check your car is locked as well!

    Your possessions

    Only bring the essentials with you to Nozstock, any valuables that you don’t need are best left at home. There are a few things you can do to make you and your possessions less of a target to thieves, for example simply marking your property and tent with your name and postcode will significantly reduce the risk of things being stolen. Before you leave home also take a few minutes to register your gadgets with the UK National Property Register Immobilise. This service is free and well worth the time it takes as it will help the police return your items to you if things go astray. Carry valuables securely on your person, ideally in a zipped pocket, bum bag or similar so they cannot easily be pinched. Never leave bags unattended. Stick your phone number onto your keys so if you lose them we can reunite you.

    On the campsite

    Be messy! Inside your tent that is. Spread your stuff around, it is much harder for thieves to grab obvious bags and valuables from a messy tent. Keep your belongings away from the door so they are not so easy to get hold of. Don’t put a padlock on your tent. This will suggest to thieves that you’ve got something worth taking and attract their attention. When sleeping in your tent store your valuables well in separate stashes. The safest place to stow your most valuable items whilst you sleep is at the bottom of your sleeping bag alongside your stinky feet. Make friends with your fellow campers. Watch out for each other and keep an eye on each other’s tents. You will be able to spot if there is a strange character lurking about who shouldn’t be there. Be friendly but do keep in mind your newfound pals are strangers too so don’t leave any of your valuables with them. Once on site, never challenge thieves, but immediately report to campsite stewards any unknown person entering your tent, this includes someone ‘accidentally’ entering the wrong tent or looking for a friend. If your tent zips both ways then zip up instead of down. Zipping up means an opportunist cannot reach inside so easily and has to remain standing so are more easily noticed. Remember you are also the eyes and ears of the festival so let a steward or security personnel know if you see anything suspicious.

    Your cash/cards

    Bring only the cash cards you need, leave all non-essentials at home. Write down important phone numbers such as your banks emergency number to call if your card is lost or stolen. Don’t just save them on your phone in case, heaven forbid, you lose this as well. Don’t leave any valuables, cash or cards in your tent when you are not in it and split cash and cards between your pockets. Don’t have a wallet sticking out.

    Your phone

    If you are bringing your smartphone with you, there are many apps available on the market that can protect your phone so download one of these before you arrive on site. Even better, if you can do without a snazzy mobile phone for a weekend and there is an old phone knocking around at home that you can dust off and use, bring it along instead – if the idea of being temporarily parted from your smartphone fills you with horror then it is probably too precious to risk bringing to a festival anyway, so it’s best to leave it at home safe and sound if you can. An ancient looking phone is less likely to be a target for thieves and the battery life on the more basic phones often lasts longer than the all singing all dancing smartphones. Make a note of the IMEI number for your mobile which you can find by keying *#06# into your phone. This will enable your network provider to cancel your phone, making it useless to anyone else if it is lost or stolen. Marking your phone with a U.V pen will make it easier to reunite with you. Listing some contacts on your phone as I.C.E (In Case of Emergency) so that we are able to contact family can also help us to get your mobile back to its rightful owner. Save the contact details of a mate at the festival with you on the lock screen or put sticker on back of your phone with details of someone we could contact.

    Lost property

    Report any lost or stolen items to the Info Office located in the campsite next to the main arena gate. If you find something that does not belong to you, don’t just keep it, do the right thing and hand it in to the Info Office so it can be returned to its rightful owner.  100s of items are handed in every year. If you think something has been lost or stolen then please fill in a form at the Info Office. It will help us match up any recovered items after the event. List any distinguishing features to your property including your password if you have lost your phone so we can find key contact numbers! Save key numbers we can use to reunite you with your phone, such as a friend at the festival and stick your phone number onto your house keys.  If you discover you have lost anything once you have returned home please contact [email protected] giving as much info as possible. Lost property handed in over the weekend will be kept for 1 month and then either handed in to the Police or given to charity as appropriate.

  • Shout (85258) is the UKs first free, confidential 24/7 text support service.

    Mentor UK – For assistance preventing drug and alcohol misuse.

    Glade SARC – Sexual Assault referral centre for West Mercia.

    Rehab Recovery – For those struggling with drug or alcohol addiction.

    FRANK – For friendly, confidential drug advice.

    National Rape Crisis – For assistance with any matter of sexual violence. If in need, call their free phone: 0808 802 9999 (everyday 12 noon-2.30pm & 7pm-9.30pm).

    NHS 111 Service – If you’re worried about HIV or emergency contraception phone the 24 hour NHS 111 service on 111 to speak to a qualified medical professional.

    UK Victim Supportline – For emotional support and helpful information after being affected by crime, call the free phone: 0808 1689 111 (Weekdays 8am-8pm; weekends 9am-7pm). Assistance is available to victims, witnesses as well as their friends, family or anyone else involved.

    Survivors UK – For men who have been sexually violated, call 020 3598 3898 (office hours) for help and need awareness.

    Switchboard The LGBT+ Helpline – For a one-stop listening service for LGBT+ people call: 0300 330 0630 (10am-10pm daily).

    MIND – For mental health support, treatment and legal advice.

    PAPYRUS – Suicide prevention helpline for young people. For confidential help and advice, call their free phone: 0800 068 41 41 (Weekdays: 10am-10pm, weekends: 2pm-10pm & bank holidays: 2pm-5pm).

    Samaritans – For a safe place to talk any time you like, however you like, about whatever is getting to you. Don’t suffer alone.

    Rehab4addiction – Offer a range of services designed to help signpost you to the most effective treatments. Some of those services may be paid.