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Attending a festival with a stoma

Festivals are joyous celebrations of music, art, culture, and fun, where people from all walks of life come together to create unforgettable memories – and attending a festival with a stoma doesn’t have to affect your experience.

From the iconic Glastonbury Festival to Leeds and Reading, Latitude and more, there are hundreds of festivals and independent events taking place across the UK this summer.

For ostomates, attending a festival with a stoma might initially seem daunting, but it should never be an obstacle to enjoying life to the fullest. With some preparation, a positive attitude and a supportive network, going to a festival with a stoma can become an empowering experience of resilience, acceptance and celebration.

Whether you’re worried about camping with a stoma or don’t know which supplies to pack for your trip, you don’t have to worry – we’ve got you covered.

Firstly, preparation is key…

When you’re planning to attend a festival with a stoma, preparation is vital to a successful trip. Here are some essential steps to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience:

Our top festival preparation tips

Talk to your stoma care nurse: Before embarking on any festival journey, talk to your stoma care nurse. They can provide valuable advice, address concerns, and help tailor a festival plan that caters to your specific needs.

Pack your supplies wisely: Make a checklist of the supplies you’ll need, such as stoma bags, adhesive removers, wipes, and any medication you may require. Carry more supplies than you think you’ll need to account for unexpected situations or delays.

Bring camping supplies for comfort: Getting a good night’s sleep is always important for wellbeing, yet it’s admittedly a bit more difficult at festivals. Although you’re not going to get the best sleep of your life, bring along a good sleeping bag, blow-up mattress, a good quality tent and bedding to make sure you get some good shut eye.

Choose stoma-friendly clothing: Opt for comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that accommodates your stoma bag. There are specialized clothing options available that have discreet pouching solutions for ostomates.

Stay hydrated and mindful of diet: Festival days can be long and exhausting, so stay hydrated to avoid dehydration. Be mindful of your diet and avoid trigger foods that may cause issues with your stoma.

Locate festival facilities: Familiarise yourself with the festival’s layout and identify the locations of restrooms, accessible medical tents, and quiet spots for moments of relaxation. Festival toilets are notoriously not the best, so prepare yourself in advance for dealing with the facilities on offer.

Embracing the festival experience

Attending a festival with a stoma can be a great experience filled with laughter, connection, and fun. Here’s how to make the most of your festival journey:

Embrace supportive companionship: Surround yourself with friends, family or fellow ostomates who understand and support your unique needs. Their encouragement and understanding can create a positive and inclusive environment.

Respect your body’s needs: Listen to your body and take breaks when necessary. Festivals can be physically demanding, so find a comfortable spot to sit or rest when you need to recharge.

Inform trusted people: While it’s not necessary to disclose your stoma to everyone, inform close friends or festival staff about your condition. They can offer assistance if needed and create a supportive atmosphere.

Stay positive and confident: Confidence is key in any situation, including attending festivals with a stoma. Embrace your body and its journey and remember that you are no different from anyone else at the festival.

Attending a festival with a stoma can be a fun experience that can create memories which last a lifetime. Through preparation, support, and self-acceptance, you can fully enjoy everything the weekend throws your way.

For more information and advice, head to our stoma advice centre.

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