Festival season is well underway once again. The perfect time to catch up with your favourite bands and artists, spending quality time with your friends, and making the most out of the amazing atmosphere. Whether you're a regular festival goer, or looking to attend your first festival, you may not be aware of vaping regulations in place, especially the recent banning of disposable vapes at some major UK festivals.
In this complete festival guide, we provide everything you'll need to know about vaping at music festivals and concerts, including up to date vaping policies at the most popular UK festivals, guidance on looking after your vape whilst camping, the best devices to take with you, alongside responsible eco-friendly vaping advice.
Summary: Vaping is permitted at the majority of outdoor music festivals in the UK, however there are now some restrictions on disposable vapes due to environmental impact of improper disposal. If you're travelling to a festival abroad, ensure you understand what devices or liquids you can travel with. Although vaping may be permitted at concerts, always check with festival or concert provider to ensure you understand any restrictions when it comes to vaping.
Can you vape at music festivals?
Vaping is generally permitted at music festivals and tend to follow the same guidelines as smoking. For this reason, it's advisable to avoid vaping in any indoor areas such as arena tents, stalls, or booths of any kind.
For the most part, major festivals allow you to take your own vape products with little restrictions, however recent changes have seen the introduction to disposable vape restrictions and bans from the likes of Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds festival. These restrictions take into account both disposable e-cigarettes and pre filled pods that cannot be re-filled.
Why are disposable vapes banned at some festivals?
You may have already read recent news on disposable vapes being banned or restricted from leading events such as Glastonbury, but you might not completely understand their reasoning.
Unfortunately, if you're not already aware, disposable vapes have become a growing concern due to improper disposable of the devices on an ever-growing scale. With an estimated 14 million single-use vapes being purchased each month in the UK, Material Focus highlight that over 50% of disposable e-cigarettes are thrown away each week, that could have been recycled.
Due to the number of attendees at some festivals reaching the hundreds of thousands, excessive amounts of electronic waste can cause detrimental effects on the environment, especially with some festivals open for close to a week. Later in this guide we highlight disposable vape alternatives which we strongly advise, not only to become more environmentally friendly, but to also save you money long term.
How do I recycle disposable vapes?
If you're attending a festival that permits disposable vapes, we would still advise on taking a pocket friendly vape that is refillable, not only to save you money, but to also minimise your environmental impact overall. If you're set on using disposable vapes, then we highlight below on how to best recycle them.
To safely recycle a disposable e-cigarette, you can separate the components into individual materials, where you can then recycle metal and plastic components, and either recycle batteries at home if your council offer, or place them in a battery recycling bin found in most supermarkets.
If you are unsure on how to separate a disposable vape for recycling, then the best option is to return them to where you purchased them from under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment directive. Here at Royal Flush Vape we completely adhere to WEEE regulations whilst working alongside Green Wings Project to provide secure battery recycling points in all of our stores.
What are festival policies on vaping?
Each festival can differ significantly, with them all providing their own policies and guidance created. As a general rule of thumb, outdoor areas may permit smoking or vaping, although some venues may not, with others providing designated smoking areas which can also be used to vape in.
Below we highlight venues that have banned or restricted disposable vapes, with general guidance on general vaping regulations put in place at major music festivals throughout the UK.
Festival disposable vape policies
With the rising environmental worry regarding disposable vapes, mostly due to their improper disposal, many local authorities are calling for them to be banned altogether by 2024. In a bid to minimise electronic waste left behind at festivals, many festivals throughout the UK have began to restrict and ban disposable electronic cigarettes altogether.
Below we highlight the current music festivals that have restricted or banned disposable vapes from their events. Although we work hard on keeping this information up to date, restricted and banned items at festivals are always subject to change, for this reason we would advise checking with festival providers direct to before attending.
Reading & Leeds Festival
This year, Festival Republic announced that both disposable e-cigarettes and disposable BBQs are banned from campsites and arenas in at both Reading and Leeds festival, in a bid to reduce their carbon footprint as an event.
Fun Fact: Dating back to 1961, Reading Festival is one of the oldest popular music festivals in the world
It's important to highlight that Festival Republic state "There will be no receipts issued for any confiscated/surrendered items and they will not be available to collect after the festival." For this reason, we'd advise looking at disposable vape alternatives below to ensure you avoid getting your vape confiscated and get the most out of your weekend.
There is no current guidance on any vape restrictions at Download Festival. Currently the only vape restriction follows the same as cigarettes with vaping banned in "enclosed public spaces or buildings including arena big tops".
Fun Fact: Download Festival has it's own mascot called the "Download Dog" which can be seen throughout the arena over the weekend and across marketing materials.
Although disposable vapes are not banned at Download Festival, we would still advise taking a refillable device to limit your carbon footprint. If you are going to take a disposable, please think about recycling once used.
Although a completely different festival on many aspects, Creamfields shares the same vape guidance as Download festival with vaping prohibited from enclosed public spaces and within buildings.
Fun Fact: Creamfields was one of the last festivals that Swedish House Mafia attended in 2012, the group announced their split soon after the event.
Once again, we would still advise taking refillable vape kits to Creamfields to not only save money throughout the weekend, but to also reduce your environmental impact that disposable vapes may have if incorrectly disposed.
In June 2023, Glastonbury festival added disposable vapes to their "what not to bring" list of items. They state that "they pollute the environment and can be hazardous at waste centers".
Fun Fact: Glastonbury Festival takes a break every five years, known as "fallow year" in order to allow the farmland to recover.
Although disposables do not appear on their "do not" bring list containing prohibited items, we would advise against taking disposable vapes to Glastonbury festival and instead look for refillable vape kits instead, by doing so you will both reduce the risk of your vape being rejected, but also be much more environmentally friendly overall.
Isle of Wight Festival
Isle of Wight festival do not mention any vape related products on their "can't bring" list. For this reason you would be best treating Isle of Wight Festival in any way you normally would vaping or smoking, avoid in enclosed public spaces and look out for any designated smoking areas within.
Fun Fact: In 1970, the Isle of Wight Festival made history by attracting an astounding 600,000 attendees, making it one of the largest music gatherings of its time.
Please consider opting for a refillable vape kit as opposed to disposables. If you are going to take disposable vapes with you to Isle of Wight Festival, consider holding on to them to recycle when home and definitely avoid throwing away.
Much like other UK festivals, Boomtown Fair do not state any restrictions on disposable vapes, however do point out that e-cigarettes are treated the same as smoking throughout the fair. "You will be asked to finish your cigarette (including e-cigarettes) outside if caught smoking in a venue."
Fun Fact: Boomtown Fair is well known for its immersive storytelling, with each district having its own unique theme and narrative.
As with other festivals, if you are set on taking disposable vapes to Boomtown Fair, please recycle them and avoid discarded them in general waste or the floor. We do advise looking at our disposable vape alternatives below for a more eco-friendly choice.
Appearing on the banned list, Wireless Festival have banned disposable vapes from their festival this year and beyond. They state that "single-use disposable vapes as they may be confiscated on entry." For this reason we strongly advise taking any disposables to Wireless Festival.
Fun Fact: Rihanna headlined Wireless festival in 2012, as she sang her hit song “Umbrella,” rain began and soaked the crowd.
Apart from disposable vapes, Wireless Festival treat vaping like others, prohibiting the use of vaping or smoking in enclosed public spaces, or building including arena big tops.
Although we've aimed to cover the majority of larger music festivals throughout the UK, there are countless others around the country which would make it difficult to list them all. If you are unsure on any festival you wish to attend, the best advice is to visit the organisers website for general information with regards to vaping and if allowed to do so.
Best vape kits for music festivals
With music festivals beginning to restrict and ban disposable vapes throughout the UK, it's important to understand what vaping products you are allowed to use to avoid loosing your vape, whilst being much more eco-friendly.
For the most part, it appears evident that UK festivals are focused on restricting disposable and single use items in general, with Festival Republic banning both disposable BBQs and vapes together in one swoop, yet stating "refillable vapes are permitted".
Below we highlight the best disposable vape alternatives that follow festival guidelines by offering refillable pods, whilst being compact and lightweight to avoid weighing you down and to fit fine in a bum bag or shoulder bag.
Best starter kits for festivals:
Best pod kits for festivals:
Best sub-ohm kits for festivals:
In a rush to get before your festival? Don't worry, place your order before 4pm (Mon - Fri) and select guaranteed next working day delivery via DPD to ensure you're covered for your event ahead.
Can you vape at concert arenas?
Although music concerts share many similarities with festivals, there are key differences, mostly with concert arenas being within a building structure. There may be concerts held at outdoor arenas, however for the most part, larger locations within the UK are indoor venues.
Unfortunately a large majority of venues follow the 2007 ban on indoor smoking for vaping too, regardless if outdoors or not. Below we highlight some of the most popular arenas within the UK with their current regulations on vaping within.
Manchester Arena: A no smoking and vaping venue. Unfortunately if you leave the venue to vape or smoke, you will not be able to re-gain entry.
The O2 Arena, London: Smoking is prohibited in any part of the O2 Arena in London. Electronic-cigarettes are allowed, but must only be used in communal areas and are prohibited from being used within the Arena.
Wembley Stadium: Smoking and electronic-cigarettes are completely prohibited anywhere within Wembley Stadium.
The Royal Albert Hall: Both smoking and e-cigarettes are prohibited in all areas of the hall.
The O2 Academy Birmingham: Similar to the London arena, smoking and vaping is prohibited within the main venue, however there is a dedicated smoking area that is open at varying times.
Other concert arenas: Although we've highlighted major arenas across the country, there are significant other locations throughout the UK and abroad. As general guidance, if you are unsure you should believe that any indoor arena has restrictions on vaping similar to smoking, however we always advise checking directly with the venue to get the most up to date and accurate information.
Can you vape at festivals abroad?
If you're looking at traveling abroad for a festival, there's extra things to take into account, especially depending on how you travel. We would advise taking a minute to read through our Travelling With E-Cigarettes guide. Providing in-depth information on how to travel with vaping products, countries that have banned vapes, and up to date airline policies on flying with a vape.
For the most part, considering that the country hosting the festival has the same laws regarding vaping, similar guidance to UK festivals may apply. As always though, we would advise checking directly with festival providers to ensure you have the most accurate information available.
How to charge your e-cigarette at a festival
Although many festivals now offer charging points, or battery packs that can be rented to charge your vape, the ques for these can often be long if you don't get to them early morning. On top of this, the expenses can add up making your weekend cost more than it needs to.
If you enjoy a more powerful device, especially sub-ohm vape kits, then the best advice would be to pick up a kit that can be used with external batteries, this way you can take some spare batteries with you (charged first of course) to swap out when your device runs out of charge.
If you're vaping a device that provides an internal battery, the best action would be to pick up a portable battery charger. We would advise spending a little more if you can to get one that offers re-charging, as opposed to a single use one, both for longevity and to reduce your impact on the environment.
Portable batteries are great, especially if camping at a festival for the weekend. In the tech world we live in, they will come in handy for other gadgets, such as your phone, camera or speaker, alongside charging your vape.
How to clean your vape kit at a festival
Festivals are far from the general day to day life. Either bogged down in sinking mud, or as dry as the desert with dust flying everywhere; it's hard to keep a vape kit clean during a festival, or anything for that matter. However, with vaping being a consumable product, its important more than ever to keep your vape clean at a festival.
Wiping down your e-cigarette frequently will ensure that you remove any excess dust or dirt. More importantly, check the connection between your battery and pod/tank if separate, alongside any airflow holes and mouthpiece regularly to reduce the risk of inhaling dirt or dust, whilst also preventing your vape kit to stop working.
If you're camping the weekend, the best time to completely clean your kit would be when back at camp in the safety and cleanliness of your own tent, although if your device does get dirty then cleaning before vaping wherever would be more ideal.
Can I buy vapes or e-liquid at a festival?
Although there is a growing list of vendors available at larger scale music festivals, these are always subject to change with little information available on websites provided by festival organisers. Creamfields, Leeds, Reading and Download Festival have partnered up with Co-Op supermarket to provide the core essentials required throughout the weekend, although it doesn't appear that they will be stocking e-liquids or vapes this year, especially with them now banning disposable vapes.
If you're taking a refillable pod kit with you to any festival, the best advice is to take extra e-liquid with you, pack them in different places in case anything is lost, and be sure to carry extra with you when going into the arenas so you don't have to trek back to camp if you run out.
There are many things to take into account when vaping at any festival or concert to get the best vaping experience whilst saving. You may already be aware of the possibilities of drink spiking, although may not have heard that this spiking is also possible through other substances, including food, cigarettes and vape products.
According to Dawn Dines, founder and CEO of Stamp Out Spiking, it's important "to warn people that spiking can happen through vapes, through drinks, through sharing cigarettes".
"Although drink spiking remains the number one reported cause of spiking incidents in the UK, in the last 12 months we have seen an increasing trend in incidents related to vape spiking. In a recent poll we conducted, 3% of respondents who said that they had been spiked, or knew someone that had been spiked, involved a vape. Sharing vapes is pretty common nowadays, you see a lot of people outside bars, clubs and restaurants passing them around, but the consequences of using a spike vape can be horrific"
If you're attending a festival, it's important to know how to prevent spiking, whether in your drink, cigarette, food or vape. There are a number of ways to protect yourself from being spiked, including not sharing or accepting vapes, food or drinks from strangers. If you're on a night out always make sure you stay close with people you know, don't leave your drink or possessions unattended, and always make sure you know how you're getting home.
- Party safely and socialise with trusted friends. Plan how you will watch out for each other while you are out, and ensure you remain with with friends throughout.
- Don't lend your drink, vape, cigarette, or food with strangers, if you do ensure that you watch them until returning it back to you.
- Buy your own drinks, food, cigarettes or e-cigarettes.
- If you are at a venue that serves drinks, watch the bartender prepare your drink.
- Don’t accept anything consumable from strangers.
- Be wary if a stranger buys you a drink and it’s not the type of drink you requested.
- Cover your drinks at all times using your hand, or a product designed to keep your drink sealed.
- Don’t take your eyes off your drink. If you need to leave (to go to the toilet or dance, for example), take your drink with you or ask a trusted friend to keep watch.
- Buy drinks that come in bottles with screw-top lids. Carry the bottle in your bag when you go to the toilet or have a dance.
- Tell the manager or host immediately if you see someone spike a drink or if you suspect that spiking may be occurring.
Spiking is a hugely under-reported crime in the UK. Last year there were 5,000 reported incidents of spiking, but as spiking is not recognised as a separate criminal offence it is difficult to collect accurate crime statistics from the Government and UK Police Forces - that's why Stamp Out Spiking is dedicated to changing the current UK law to get spiking made a separate criminal offence, and to make it a licensing requirement for all venues to have adequately trained staff who can recognise a spiking incident and know how to act accordingly to ensure victims are treated with the care and respect that they deserve"
Going to a music festival this year?
Are you planning to attend a music festival or concert soon, or planning one for next year? Either way we'd love to hear about it, and your vaping experiences at any previous festivals you may have attended. Leave us a comment below on your favourite music festival or best band or artist you've seen live, and find others who share your passion!
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Although there are no particular festivals that have entirely banned vaping, Reading, Leeds and Wireless festival have banned disposable vapes, with Glastonbury Festival adding them to their "what not to bring" list.
Although you may be allowed to take your vape to concerts, it's advised against vaping at any indoor events. Always check with venue providers to ensure you are up to date on their policies.
A large majority of venues follow the 2007 ban on indoor smoking for vaping too, regardless if outdoors or not. We advise checking direct with the venue for accurate information.
You should not put disposable or rechargeable vape devices in general waste, or in a recycle bin as a complete unit. Either separate components and recycle accordingly, or return to the store purchased from.
Although Glastonbury Festival have placed disposable vapes on their "what not to bring list", vaping is still permitted within the festival and follows the same guidance as smoking.
Creamfields has no current vaping restrictions. You can take your vaping products with you and vape them in outdoor areas.
Reading Festival have banned disposable vapes both in the arena and camp sites. If you are caught with a disposable you may have it confiscated or asked to leave the site.
Leeds Festival have banned disposable vapes both in the arena and camp sites. If you are caught with a disposable you may have it confiscated or asked to leave the site.
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