How To Survive The British Summertime At BST Hyde Park

Every year Hyde Park is repurposed from a tranquil green space in the heart of the city to a massive outdoor venue which hosts some of the greatest live acts in the world. Once fenced off from the bustling city, as an urbanite you may quickly realise, you are about to spend the next ten hours in what is inexcusably a field.

BST Hyde Park 2022

To stop you from falling foul and risking your enjoyment of the festival, I will share some hard-earned wisdom with you to make sure you get the most out of your visit.

What to Pack and What to Wear

The British weather is changeable, and you will spend the day and evening exposed to whatever the elements will throw at you.  Dress in layers, if possible, it may be scorching when you arrive but if you are staying for the headline act expect the temperature to drop dramatically.  You are likely to feel this more intensely after a day of sun exposure.

A hat is an absolute necessity, although the site is tree-lined anywhere you position yourself to view the bands will be unsheltered.   

You will be limited to strictly A4 size bags, don’t roll the dice on this one folks, the security team will thank you.  As for what goes in your bag, my best advice is to bring money, an empty water bottle and factor 50 sunscreen.  I also recommend bringing a small blanket, this will allow you to mark out your area to sit and relax or help your friends find you.  It can function as a wrap if you get cold or folded up as a cushion if you stay seated for a bottom numbing length of  time.

BST Hyde Park 2022

Florence + The Machine @ BST Hyde Park 2019

Queues and Entry

If you are collecting your tickets at the event, go straight to the main Box Office. You will need to present the credit or debit card you purchased your tickets, your photo ID and a copy of your email confirmation.

All Box Offices are located on the South Entrance of the event site, on Serpentine Road.  The nearest tube station is Hyde Park Corner.  If you have a Priority Entry ticket this is also a dedicated entry gate for you to enjoy and the VIP area is situated close to this gate.

If you already have your ticket you can enter by the North Entrance, the nearest tube is Marble Arch.

For the Hearing and Hearing Impaired

If you are a regular gig goer, I recommend you invest in pro-level ear defenders, they last a long time if you look after them and have replaceable components, companies like Loop and Decibels have customisable options.  If you are not ready to make that commitment don’t let your hearing suffer.  You don’t have to buy them from the pharmacy, the First Aid stand at the site has disposables for free, you only need to ask.

For music lovers who are hearing impaired or deaf, BST is inclusive.  BSL translators are broadcast on additional screens at every audience marker.  Good translation is an art form and BST have consistently hired some of the most musically minded signers – they can be just as entertaining to watch as the acts on stage.

There’s More than One Stage

Remember to walk around. Aside from the Great Oak Stage, there is the Rainbow Stage which has acts on while the main stage is being turned over between acts.  There is also a small bandstand stage  (near the South Entrance)  showcasing new and emerging music where you can discover some absolute gems.

Pearl Jam @ BST Hyde Park 2022

BST Hyde Park 2022

Self Esteem @ BST Hyde Park 2019

Mix it up on your way to the loo with a detour to the Cuban and Garage Stage for a moment of unbridled dancing.

Eating and Drinking

The ice will run out before the music does, sorry.  There are so many onsite bars that you will not go dry.  Drinking water taps provided free of charge, so do pack that empty water bottle!

Food options are plentiful and varied.  Big shout out to last year’s Yorkshire Pudding Burritos, and the incredible amount of vegan representation.

BST Hyde Park 2022

Florence + The Machine @ BST Hyde Park 2019

Festival Loos

The facilities at BST are extremely well run, they have never run out of toilet paper in my experience.  Be extra prepared with your own anti-bac wipes or hand sanitiser as the hand-washing stations are not always up to the task and sometimes run out of soap.

To VIP or not to VIP?

VIP tickets will include an exclusive area with a small amount of seating and a selection of food and drink outlets, they also have marginally fancier loos with sinks.  The drawback is that you will be away from the music when you use the ’Summer Garden’.  The VIP and Priority access areas also occupies the cordoned-off area closest to the stage.

Amex users may have access to a separate American Express viewing platform with some seating with shade and a dedicated bar.

BST Hyde Park 2022

At the End of the Day

When you leave you can use either exit, regardless of your ticket type.  Smart people check on their best travel strategy ahead of time.  It is best not to leave this bit of organisation until you are sun-baked after day-drinking!   If you can cope with starting to make your way towards an exit during the encore you will be at a massive advantage getting ahead of the tsunami of people.

If you are grabbing an Uber/Lyft or have booked a cab the best pick spot to avoid traffic, other people and the one-way system is a short walk from the North Entrance at La Gavroche restaurant (taxis know it and it is off the ‘main drag’).

For all of the rules and regulations associated with different ticket types please go to the BST website.

For all of the best coverage of the BST festival series follow Rockshot Magazine on socials. Hopefully, we’ll see you there!

The Rolling Stones @ BST Hyde Park 2022

Words by Sarah Sievers and photos by Kalpesh Patel

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