Toby Burrows

Five tips to live by when you’re overnighting at a music festival.


If you were going to ask anyone how to make the most of the gigs in the Bay of Plenty this summer, you’d probably want to make it Toby Burrows. The founder of Fabrik and shareholder and former director of Rhythm and Vines has produced, promoted, run and attended more shows and festivals in his lifetime than you can shake a stick at. He’s accommodated hundreds of thousands of people over the years, and has five top tips for those hitting Bay Dreams and the One Love Festival.

ONE: If you’re first-time festival camper, Toby says you’re in for an exciting, unique experience. “You’re surrounded by a bunch of like-minded people who are there to enjoy the music. You can expect to have a lot of laughs – and not a lot of sleep! Camping used to be a hugely popular summer activity, but for many people it’s now a lot rarer, so come and embrace the camping lifestyle and treat it as a bit of an adventure.”

TWO: At Bay Dreams, you can choose any tent site you like, but Toby recommends getting there early. “If you come early, you can get a nice shady spot under a tree and group all your friends together.”

THREE: Never mind that one time at school camp when he forgot to bring his sleeping bag – these days Toby can’t stress enough the need to bring everything you could possibly need: a tent, mattress, sleeping bag, pillow and clothing for all weather. “It might be hot when you leave home, but New Zealand’s weather is unpredictable,” he says.

FOUR: One of the most common injuries sustained at music festivals is cut feet.
“If you’re going to get up there and dance in the mosh pit, you’re going to lose a jandal, so wear decent shoes,” says Toby.

FIVE: One of Toby’s favourite acts, Sticky Fingers, used to have an unusual request in their rider: clean underwear. Given festivals mean long days and nights spent in close quarters with other people, it’s something we should all keep in mind.