Festival Tips: 15 Essential Items Every Festival Goer Needs to Pack

DJs at a music festival
DJs at a music festival | © Pixabay
Photo of Richard Franks
Freelance Travel & Music Writer16 May 2019

Festival season is a wonderful time. Packing, not so much. If you’re heading off to a music festival anytime soon, particularly if it involves camping in the UK, you might want to check out this checklist of festival tips.

1. Your ticket

Probably the most obvious of the lot, but you’d be surprised how many people turn up at the festival gates without a ticket. Be aware that pickpockets can operate in busy public areas at festivals, so once you’ve made sure you have your ticket, make sure you hold onto it.

2. Tent and sleeping bag

You’ll need somewhere to rest your head after you stumble back to your campsite as the sun comes up, so a tent is rather important. Whether you need a sleeping bag is dependent on where you’re going: if it’s in the UK then definitely. Spain, not so much.

Sea of festival tents | © SanDraP / Pixabay

3. Wallet or purse – with cash!

Don’t bring all of your cards in case you lose them, but you’ll definitely need to bring basic things like your bank card and ID. Festivals do have cash points on site but you will generally have to pay to withdraw your own money, so it’s worth bringing some with you.

4. Wellies – or sturdy shoes

Again, this is weather dependent, but be sure to invest in a good pair of wellies or some sturdy shoes. You will likely be on your feet all day and night, and a cheap pair of wellies just don’t cut the mustard. Trust us, we’ve been there.

5. Camping chair

There’s nothing worse than sitting on soggy grass or mud. Inflatable camping chairs offer maximum comfort, but you can usually pick up a standard camping chair, cup holder included, for very little from your local supermarket.

Chairs around a campfire | © The Digital Marketing Collaboration / Unsplash

6. Reusable water bottle

As we fight against plastic entering our seas it’s important to remember that all little actions count. Bringing a reusable water bottle to a festival is one thing we can do to halt the use of single-use plastic items. Festivals like Glastonbury even offer the chance to purchase one when you buy your ticket.

7. Washbag

If you’re anything like us, the thought of not having a shower for five days is a little bit revolting. Keeping clean can be made a bit easier by bringing the basics: toothbrush, toothpaste, dry shampoo, antibacterial hand gel and shampoo/shower gel. While you may not be having a shower, you can still have a quick wash next to your tent.

8. Mobile phone

You’ll undoubtedly need to use a phone to find your lost mates at some point. Plus, if you’re spending some time in the vicinity before or after the festival, the Apple Culture Trip app or for Android will also be your friend.

Festival selfies | © Pixabay

9. Portable phone charger

Don’t waste time and money queuing up to re-charge your phone at a festival. Small portable chargers are available on Amazon for as little as £/$10 and will give your phone the juice it needs to add to your Instagram story. You can also charge most bluetooth speakers through them.

10. Toilet roll

Never trust a festival toilet. A couple of hours after those gates have swung open, all toilet roll will have disappeared. Make sure you bring your own and carry it with you just in case nature calls and you’ve already committed…

12. Baby wipes

Another sensible option for toilet runs, baby wipes can help you feel fresher than you look (for a little while, anyway). They also provide fantastic ‘dry shower’ cloths – and have you seen these huge body baby wipes?!

Big Big Body Wipes | © coolstuff.com

13. Clothes – including a waterproof jacket

A rather obvious one, but one that festival-goers tend to struggle with the most. While we all dream of a sunny weekend, the reality can often be a mudbath. Festival fashion is key, so while you’re packing your “out there” tie-dye tees and flamboyant frocks, you’ll still want to make sure your waterproof jacket and jeans come with you.

15. Sun cream

Another festival essential, even if the forecast says it’ll be overcast. Don’t be that guy who falls asleep in the sun and wakes up with a cherry tomato for a head; pick up some suitable sun cream.

16. A hat

Festival fashion may be all the rage but the sensible in you says you should pack a hat. Whether it’s a sun hat or a simple cap (or maybe a fancy dress sombrero), you need something to protect you from the sun – if it ever comes out, that is.

Summer sun hat | © Jason Blackeye / Unsplash

17. DIY tent repair kit

Last but not least, everybody should pack a tent repair kit. You can buy these fairly cheap from all good camping retailers, but you can’t go wrong with duct tape, bin bags, rope and extra tent pegs. If your tent gets slashed, duct tape and bin bags will keep it waterproof. Missing a guy rope? Form a DIY one with the rope you’ve brought with you, and peg it down with those additional tent pegs. Job done!

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