Is it feasible to go to a music festival (camping) during chemo?

I’m wondering whether we’ll be able to go to Womad this summer. If we can’t go my two young sons will be so disappointed, but at the same time I don’t want to do anything tooo risky. I expect to start chemo in April, so will be about half way through.

Hi Panacea,
Depending on how you react to chemo, which chemo, your stamina etc. In my case, I had FEC first and I was still strong, I did race for life 1/2 way through chemo (walked it though). After FEC, I had taxotere and that floored me.
What you have to take into consideration is which week will this be in your 3 weeks cycle. Week 1 is usually cr@p, week two your immune system is very low and week 3, some normality can be achieved.
You also need to be very careful with hygiene, and with a big crowd, the risk of infections are very high. now if this were me, I would think the risk would be too high to actually camp, especially if the weather is not clement.
could you consider going to a B&b instead?
i ve always wanted to go to Womad, but we are never around at that time of year.
Take care,

I would be very careful about going to crowded places, i had sepsis twice with admissions to hospital for iv antibiotics, first time i blame on standing in a que in the open to get into Alnwick castle.

I didn’t cope very well with chemo, I was on EC. I found week 1 really tough, spent much of it asleep, week 2 felt tired but was aware wbc were low and then week 3 felt better but still very tired. I wouldnt have coped but everyone tolerates chemo differently. Speak to your onc for advice…some people carry on as usual.
Hood luck.

It will all depend on how you cope with chemo - and more importantly, which week of the cycle you will be on. I would definitely NOT consider going during your low immunity period. Hygiene is most important. Crowds and public places we are told to avoid. Germs lurk everywhere and we must be so careful.

I would be reluctant to be somwhere with such large crowds, and with toilets none too sanitary during anytime of chemo. Depending on how you tolerate your chemo is also consideration. Although my low blood count should have been day 9 to 14 approx it actually goes down around day 5 and starts coming back around day 12. The last week of cyclye i would not want to jepordise my next cycle by picking up something. Sorry to be so negative but festivels are the ideal place for picking up infections.

Hello Panacea,
I echo Vercors comments. My experience on Docetaxol (taxotere) + Carbotplatin + Herceptin, was wiped out week 1, able to do some things weeks 2 & 3. I haven’t caught any nasties in that time.
I’m planning to go to the Isle of Wight festival, camping 2 months after the end of chemo, when my immune system is still quite compromised. (On the basis that its all about living!) I imagine with your children you’ll avoid the worst excesses of the festival anyway.
My ideas for limiting contamination so far are:

  • stock up on vitamins before, during and after
  • take pack of disposable vinyl gloves for eating and using the loos
  • don’t eat any dodgy looking food (luckily the vegan bar and the ostrich stall at the IOW were excellent last year!)
  • sanitising hand gel
  • reduce alcohol intake
  • take a fold up chair to cope with fatigue
    I’ve also bought a pass for the posh loos at the IOW for £30 so I can have a hot flannel wash each day. The boys in the group promised me at the start of my chemo that if I lost my hair, I could choose a wig or hat and they’d all wear it. I haven’t lost it, but still think they’d look so good in the Carmen Miranda style I’ve found, and it would make it easy to find each other!
    If you go, ejnoy, I quite fancy Womad myself.
    Good luck, Sarah.

Panacea your question has just been posted on twitter by Breast Cancer Care @BCCare<small class=“time”>3h</small>

An interesting question on the @BCCare forum: is it feasible to go to a music festival (camping) during chemo?

Answers so far

Doro English‏@Fifino9<small class=“time”><a href=“/Fifino9/status/316474854851375104” target=“_blank”>2h</a></small>

@BCCare apart from the risk of infection, it is hard to predict how person feels in advance of each chemo cycle.

Doro English‏@Fifino9<small class=“time”><a href=“/Fifino9/status/316472772501045249” target=“_blank”>2h</a></small>

@BCCare most festivals lack decent handwashing facilites, this could pose potential problems . (personal not professional opinion)

I went to Festival N6 a month after the end of chemo but had a hotel, which made things easier. It is hard to predict how you will react to chemo but if it is in your week 3 you will have a fighting chance. Staying in a B&B or hiring a camper van would make things easier. I took lots of hand gel & was careful of what I ate, you are in the fresh air so airbourne germs shouldn’t be an issue. I had a fab time and felt normal for the first time in a couple of months. Managed to stay out clubbing to 2am!!

i would watch & wait and hope you can go for it.
s x

You can see some of the other responses that the question got when we asked it on twitter here: