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The festival season is now fast approach with festivals announcing line ups left right and centre. Following this a ever expanding feast of Festivals play out throughout the year from the well known fest’s such as V and Reading and Leeds to the smaller boutique festivals such as Latitude and Solfest.
Whichever festival you might be heading to this summer a gazebo can can be an essential part of a festival campsite setup. Gazebos act as a great place to meet up, kick back and chill out once the bands have finished.
They can also be a lifesaver in when dealing with the unpredictabilities of the ‘great’ British weather providing essential shelter during rain showers (see point on waterproofing below) as well as essential shade during times of sun.
Things to consider
There isn’t a one gazebo that we can recommend for every festival-goer. All festivals are different, and everyone will have different requirements of their festival gazebo.
At some festivals you may be able to park a car close to where you camp, at the larger festivals you may have to walk up to a mile from your car to your campsite. You arrive by public transport and therefore may have to carry the gazebo in a rucksack.
Here are few things you may wish to take into account when purchasing your gazebo:
Size – Camping space at most festivals is often fairly tight and you’ll often find you’ll be getting to know your neighbours very well! Think of others and buy a gazebo no larger than you actually require.
If you are in a large group then a larger gazebo may be appropriate but if you are in a smaller party try to make sure you’re not taking up more space than you really need. Consider a smaller gazebo or perhaps put the gazebo over your tent.
Weight – Unlike tents most gazebos are designed for use in the garden and as a result the weight of the gazebo and size of the disassembled gazebo are low on the list of priorities of most of manufacturers.
While some festivals allow you take your car onto the campsite, at many of the larger festivals the car parking and coach stations can be a long walk away from the camp sites. If you’re taking a large amount of gazebos you may wish to consider investing in a trolley to take the strain (I can personally recommend the B&Q Hand Trolley priced at £19.98).
Alternatively you may wish to consider a lightweight Gazebo/Awning – see below for our recommendations.
Waterproofing – All Gazebos will provide some element of protection from light showers however most gazebos are not specifically designed to be waterproof.
A number of manufacturers do however produce gazebos that are specifically designed to keep the rain out. Be sure to check whether a gazebo is waterproof when you buy.
Enclosed or open? – Gazebos generally come in two types – enclosed or open. An open sided gazebo may be lighter and cheaper, but will give you little protection against sideways rain/hail/sleet/snow!
Gazebos with sides give you that little more protection and can provide a great refuge from nasty weather.
Cost – Let’s face it, you aren’t going to want to spend heaps of your hard earned cash on a super flashy gazebo if you plan to take it to a music festival. Nevertheless beware of very cheap gazebos – they can be of very flimsy construction and are only designed for fair weather conditions. Any hint of bad weather and they could be as useful as a cardboard box!
Ease of construction – The last things you want to do when you get to the festival is to spend ages pitching the tents and erecting the gazebo. With this in mind it may be worth thinking about a pop up gazebo. These go up in a matter of seconds.
Recommended Festival Gazebos
Below are our favourite festival gazebos. We’ve recommended gazebos in a number of categories which should hopefully cover most festival-goers needs.
Best for Value
Both the gazebos are of tubular frame construction with a plastic awning. These gazebos will take 10-15 minutes to put up. They will provide some shelter from the sun and some rain protection but the lack of sides may be problematic if it’s windy.
Best for Carrying
Not strictly a gazebo, the Home and Gardens Direct Beach Shelter is our pick for those who have to travel light. It’s not massive, measuring 1.8m x 1.4m but it will provide some shade and shelter.
The shelter has one side which will help with wind and protection. The shelter is made of fiberglass poles, similar to those found in a tent with a lightweight cover which helps keep the weight down.
The shelter is priced at a very reasonable £22.99 and is available from Homes and Gardens Direct.
Best for Staying Dry
One of our favourite gazebos out there, the 2x2m pop up gazebo sold by Ecs on Amazon.co.uk has to be the best for staying dry at a festival.
Not only is the gazebo fully waterproof, it’s also a pop up model so you’ll be set up in no time.
Best for Large Groups
Our recommendation for the best festival gazebo for large groups is the B&Q Hexagonal gazebo. It’s shape makes it great for groups to sit in a circle.
Be aware you’ll need quite a bit of space – the gazebo is 4m across so this might not be suitable for festivals where space is tight.
The B&Q gazebo is available here priced at £89.
An similar alternative option are the fully waterproof hexagonal gazebos from Ecs, sold on Amazon priced at £117. These gazebos feature 6 waterproof sides for full weather resistance.