We know that many of you are reluctant to get back to “normal” life too soon. We totally get that – we all need to look after each other for a bit longer yet.
So it might be that some teenagers have to wait one more year before they head off to a music festival. For so many teens, their first festival at 16 is a rite of passage, a post-exam celebration, an independent adventure they’ll never forget. We can’t provide all that – sadly – but we can help out with some top tips on how to throw your own mini-festival at home. If nothing else, it’ll be a party to remember!
Most festivals have a range of music genres rather than just one. Obviously, from your garden, it might be tricky to include all genres of music, as different stages would at a festival! The best thing to do is to curate a playlist that includes the popular, best songs from as many genres as possible, that flows nicely. It would be strange to have a heavy Metallica song and then a heartfelt Adele ballad, but you can have both (if you want) if you choose the right songs in the right order.
If this is too much, just go on YouTube or Spotify and find a playlist that’s already been made, and is probably perfect for this setting. Done! Or have the aux cord available for any of the guests to plug in. This is riskier, as guests will be fighting to have a go, and it may result in songs constantly getting cut short. But it’s up to you, it could be what makes the night.
The other really important thing you’ll need to throw your own mini-festival is a good pair of speakers. They don’t have to be expensive, as you probably can’t have the music too loud, for the sake of the neighbours. The best you can get your hands on will pay off, though, as the music can easily be drowned out once you have some rowdy guests round. If you don’t have any yourself, ask your friends – usually someone will have a good set, or know someone who does, and normally they’re happy to lend them to get the party going.
The precise decorations will depend on the sort of festival you want. For example, Elrow has groovy designs that are crazily extravagant, Latitude is more boho, and Reading just has a big fat stage for the music. Generic festival-y decorations, though, might include:
- Fairy lights
- Fun inflatables – animals, plants, instruments, food, etc.
- Gazebos or even a marquee (in case it rains)
- If you don’t have any, make your own fun lights by putting lights in a jar
- Strobe/UV lights (you can find some cheap and cheerful ones online if you don’t have any)
- Flowers and plants – real or fake
Food and Drink
For drink, definitely have a water station. Set up a table with some disposable cups and a water dispenser if you can get your hands on one – if not, a massive jug or bowl of water (the bigger the better so you don’t have to keep filling it up). Shove some ice in to keep in cool.
Also try to set up a bar if you can. Get some buckets and put in as much ice as possible, and pop some beers and ciders in. You can also make large bowls of Pimms and cocktails, if you’d like. There are some really cool recipes you can find online for some of these cocktails, which add lots of fun things like jelly babies, smarties and other sweets, or you can make an entirely pink or blue bowl, or even add some edible glitter! Set out some paper cups with the drinks and you’re sorted. People will probably bring their own, too, but it’s nice to have something set up.
There are plenty of low and non-alcoholic options available if you’re catering to a younger audience – we love the mocktail margherita recipe from our post on throwing the perfect 16th birthday party.
For food, it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. If you’re prepared to splash the cash then you could go for some sort of food truck hire, which would be amazing. Or order a big takeaway for everyone if you want to treat your attendees. Otherwise, just set up some food with picnic/tapas vibes. What would be incredible is if you could manage to get a toaster outside – this goes down seriously well at a club we know! Stick out some bread and butter and you’re ready to go. Simple food with an unusual twist, or colourful food displays, will always be impressive to guests.
- Photo Booth
This is cheaper and easier to do than you might think. Get a sign – wooden signage perhaps, or even just paint some cardboard – and make a cut out frame for people to get inside. If you can, set up a backdrop – even just a sheet, or some glitter tassels if you’re feeling fancy, over something will do. Add some props – anything you can get your hands on from the old fancy dress box, feather boas, Viking helmets, cowboy hats, silly sunglasses and so on – and you’re good to go. If you have a ring light, this would be a fab touch, but it’s by no means necessary.
- Face Paint/Glitter Stand
Face paint isn’t just for kids – everyone loves to get on board with some fun face art. Get a mirror, a table (put a cloth on it) and some cheap and cheerful face paints with some old sponges and brushes. If you don’t have these lying about, there are some great cheap kits that you can order easily online. And glitter is easy to get hold of and everybody loves it. Whack it on and enjoy!
We love the Glamavan glitter shop – especially their vegan, cruelty-free biodegradable options.
- Garden toys
I’m talking hula hoops, skipping ropes (maybe even the big ones for doubles), skip balls (if you can get hold of a flashing one even better), paddle balls, etc. Anything you have will do! The more the merrier.
We hope you’ve found these tips on how to throw your own mini-festival at home useful. Have fun!
Louise & Anna x