Important, but rather dull, things first: I've just collected the most vital things together and checked that all parts are present and correct and thus I am reminded so much of my days supervising Duke of Edinburgh Award Expeditions - there is no better way to look a fool than to forget, or lose, those things about which you have lectured everyone else.
Tent, sleeping-bag, sleeping-mat and (the thing that I forget more often than anything else when camping) a pillow. The last item might seem relatively unimportant, because a pile of clothes can take its place; well yes it can, but a cheap synthetic pillow that doesn't get damp is much better and when shut-eye is at a premium this matters. I know because I forgot mine in 2007. It is indeed a somewhat mundane task but the anticipation it engenders makes it all worthwhile!
Yesterday someone asked if I have a list of timings for music artists at Latitude 2011. I'm afraid that I do not, at least currently, have such information because I'd like it too, so that I could plan my days but such is life. [If you do have some idea, even if it is only fragmentary, then please add a comment.]
On the other hand that is something to do on Thursday afternoon, official festival programme in hand, once the tent is pitched and life in the orthogonal dimension has begun!
That has just made me remember other things to take - a pencil and paper (soft pencils still work on damp paper) to make notes, either about the timings or on the acts that one sees. Add to that insect repellent - I have run out so now added to shopping list - and to check the basic first aid kit.
Planning is good but inflexibility stifles discovery. Having a preconceived plan, some structure at least, is very worthwhile even if exigencies, either personal preference or unavoidable such as changes of artist or performance times, result in last minute changes. I have never actually done exactly what I planned to do and I've never really regretted it either. In a strange way the regrets of what I might have seen or done but, for whatever reason, couldn't just make me want to go to another festival.
Here is an artist that was certainly not on my 'to-see' list at Latitude 2010 because I hadn't even heard of her a year ago. Impressive on the Lake Stage, although I only caught some of her set, was Alice Gold. She was due to play EOTR 2010 some weeks later, and was therefore on my want-to-hear list, but had to cancel at shortly before the event and this is yet another reason for changes of plan. The timing is now however good - her début album Seven Rainbows is released in the UK on Monday, 4 July and it is on my list of New Music 2011 that I want.
If you are going to Truck Festival 2011 then there is a very useful site, that acts as planner and clash-alert, that I found on Wednesday. More on that, and some first thoughts on the artists that I particularly wish to see there, very soon.