Festival Essentials: What to Pack for a Music Festival (Checklist)

Festival Essentials

Going to a music festival this summer? Don’t leave home without reading our festival essentials what to pack checklist…

Festivals are great! The sun is blazing, the music is banging and good vibes are flowing — Oh wait. A storm’s brewing? Your smartphone is out of juice?

And, just to add to your problems, you can’t find a cashpoint! If only someone had told you what things to take to a music festival…

Whether you are going to a music festival for the first time or a regular festival-goer, there are some items that you just cannot go without.

It’s best to be prepared for anything at a music festival.

Any discomfort will harm your enjoyment so, try to be as prepared as possible to eliminate any such adversary situations.

Take note of our list of music festival essentials below. Some that you may not have even thought about but could prove to be invaluable during the festival.

THE OBVIOUS ESSENTIALS

A list of the obvious things to take to a music festival. You do not want to forget these!

✅ FESTIVAL TICKETS

This may sound stupid, but it is way better to check that you have your tickets on you and that they are safe and sound.

You do not want to be that person, who has been standing in the queue for several hours, only to get to the front and realise your tickets are still at home and tucked underneath your underwear in your drawer miles away. Facepalm.

✅ ID

If you’re going abroad, the chances are you’ll have your passport with you anyway. However, it’s always a good idea to walk with a photo ID when going to any festival. Take Glastonbury Festival, for example, they may ask to see an ID when entering the festival.

✅ MAP/ DIRECTIONS

Festivals can be extremely hard to find. Getting lost is the last thing you want. Print off a map (make note of the postcode, at the very least) and plan out your journey to ensure you make it to the festival stress-free.

✅ CASH

Taking money to a festival is usually a better idea than taking your credit or debit card. Not only can these get lost, but some of the stalls may not have the efficient facilities for these. Don’t carry your cash in one bundle and avoid flashing this when paying for items. Keep a little on you and leave the rest hidden somewhere at camp or in your vehicle.

Another factor that should be considered is that the ATMs on the festival grounds will most likely be of the generic kind and not bank-specific. This means that higher charges most likely will be incurred when drawing money and the queues can also be very, very long.

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Make sure you have coins. Vendors may not always be able to give you change, especially if everyone is paying with large notes.

✅ WATER

Always, always, always travel with plenty of water.

With all the physical excursion of dancing and walking, as well as the consumption of alcohol; it is evident that you may become dehydrated. This is why a refillable water bottle is another music festival essential must-have.

It is advisable to keep some large 5L water bottles at your campsite and another smaller bottle with a screw cap so that you can refill it.

TRY THIS: Freezing these bottles before you leave will keep them cooler for longer.

Stylised water bottles are also available should you want to make this essential a fashion statement.
A smart option, should you be crafty, is to make a personalised water bottle carrier to keep your hands free.

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Bear in mind that most festivals will not allow you to take glass bottles on the premises, so ensure your water bottles and other beverages (including your alcohol) are in plastic bottles to avoid getting them when you enter the festival grounds. Packing in plastic eating utensils and glasses is also essential.

REMEMBER TO RECYCLE ♻️
Instead of throwing away your empty energy drink or cola bottles – reuse them as water bottles for later.

CLOTHING ESSENTIALS

Don’t forget to wear appropriate clothing! Here are some useful clothes you’ll want to bring to a music festival.

✅ RAINCOATS/WATERPROOFS

We all know how unpredictable British Weather can be. Pack a waterproof raincoat to avoid getting wet.

✅ WELLIES

Of course, this all depends on the location of the festival you’re going to (do not turn up on a sunny beach in the wellies. You’ll look silly). If the festival happens to be in a muddy field, wellies maybe your best option. The ground often turns into mud marshes, making it difficult to walk around in those white trainers.

✅ SUNGLASSES

Keep your eyes happy and protected from the harsh sun. Also, after 3 days of non-stop partying, mixed with the lack of sleep, your eyes may not look so pretty…hide the damage.

✅ SOME SORT OF HAT

It’s vital to protect your head from the climate. A cap, snapback, woolly hat, bucket hat…The right hat all depends on the location and weather. Rely on your own judgement to decide on the best hat. Use your head. Get it?

✅ COMFY SHOES

A wise and seasoned festival-goer stated that the festival experience is a marathon and not a sprint. When you consider these words, they do indeed ring very true.
The reality of the matter is that for the next few days of the festival, you will be on your feet most of the time and besides dancing; there will also be a lot of walking and a lot of standing.

Wear shoes that are comfortable and are made for extended wear. Ladies – that means no heels! Your should also break in your shoes; you do not want to wear brand new shoes that will cause painful blisters or chaffing.

Your individual style and personality will influence your footwear; so whether you are into boots like Doc Martens or sneakers such as Nike, Converse or Adidas; go for the pair that is your most comfy and you will be set for the festival.

Check out sites such as; JD SportsMandM Direct and Office for a wide variety of sports shoes.

Remember, a good pair of shoes is an investment. The quality thereof will ensure that they last a couple of years at least, with maximum comfort while still keeping you in style.

RELATED: What to Wear to a Music Festival

ELECTRICAL ESSENTIALS

Our list of electronic gadgets that every festival goer will need. 

✅ MOBILE PHONE

Your phone is probably always insights reach anyway, but it’s worth mentioning. When travelling to unfamiliar areas, communication is so crucial, so make sure that the battery is fully charged.

✅ PORTABLE CHARGER

You do not want to run out of juice at a festival!

In this day and age, when your mobile phone battery is flat you feel completely lost. Although there may not be sufficient coverage at all music festivals to make calls; messaging and other social apps are a must for keeping in contact with your friends.

Additionally, some locations may offer charging stations, but you can expect that you will have to wait pretty long for your turn.

Avoid being phone-less by getting yourself a portable mobile phone charger.

You can also consider investing in a power bank that has several adapters so that you can use it on your phone, your tablet or even your camera.

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If you have a car charger, do not charge your phone without switching on the ignition. You don’t want to be sitting at the end of the festival with a vehicle you cannot start because your car battery ran flat.

✅ PORTABLE SPEAKER

Keep your friends entertained after dark with some music. Invest in a bass-heavy speaker and bring the party to your tent.

✅ EARPLUGS

Festivals can be loud (understatement). Earplugs are essential for bedtime and to prevent your ears from buzzing and ringing after being exposed to sound at high volumes. Additionally, these will cut out the noise from multiple stages.

Protect your ears with some inexpensive earplugs.

✅ JUMPER CABLES

Just in case you do forget to start the car when charging your phone and the inevitable happens, keep jumper cables in the car.
It is also always a good thing to have to help others in need and make you look and feel like a hero.

CAMPING ESSENTIALS

Are you planning on camping out this year? If so, you’ll appreciate our music festival camping checklist.

✅ TENT

If you’re camping, you’re going to need somewhere safe to rest, dress and store your gear. We strongly advise you to learn to pitch your tent before going camping.

✅ SLEEPING BAG

Camping grounds aren’t the most comfortable places. A good sleeping bag and pillow will give you a more pleasant night’s rest.

✅ WET WIPES

For when you may feel a bit grubby and would like to clean your face or for wiping your hands before you chow, wet wipes are a must.

You can store the pack in larger quantities at your camp, but it is a good idea to keep some single packed sachets in your handbag, back pocket or fanny pack.

You never know when you are going to need one, even if it is to hand it to the way too drunk guy that you just walked past and saw throw up on his shoes.

✅ WHITE GOLD

There is a reason that toilet paper is sometimes referred to as white gold, particularly when you don’t have any! This item can suddenly become invaluable when most needed. Almost all festivals make use of Portapotties and it can be guaranteed that a few hours into the festival and after many drunk people visit these; there will not be toilet paper.

Tip: pack a roll for each day of the festival.

✅ BIN BAGS

Garbage bags are a definite essential for a music festival. It’s such a versatile item and you can use it for many things; the most obvious use being a bin bag. Don’t be a litterbug! Just because convention gets chucked out of the window for the next few days, and you may or may not become drunk and disorderly; keep your campsite clean and dispose of your garbage properly.

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Bin bags are also useful for storing your dirty and soiled clothes. It can also be used to keep your bum dry and be placed under your blanket wherever you intend to sit.

When it rains and you don’t have a raincoat, cut holes in the bag and wear as a makeshift poncho. A hole can be cut along the top in the middle for your neck and the sides can be slit or cut to push your arms through.

✅ RESEALABLE PLASTIC BAGS

Just like the bigger bin bags, these resealable baggies have a multitude of uses. Keep your valuables safe such as your cash and keys; keep your meds dry and your phone and other electronics scratch and dust-free.

✅ BASIC TOILETRIES

Toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, soap/shower gel, deodorant/antiperspirant. You know the deal!

MEDICAL ESSENTIALS

✅ FIRST AID KIT

Whenever you are planning on a road trip or camping, a first aid kit is another essential and even more so for a music festival.

Ensure that any chronic medications that you need are in this kit.

If you use an asthma pump, pack an extra one and tell your friends where to find it in the case of an emergency. Same for any other chronic meds such as blood pressure or diabetes – ensure that if need your pills/insulin and needles and you are unable to get it yourself that your friends can do this for you.

Other necessities that should be a staple in your first aid kits are plasters, gauze, antiseptic, bug spray, allergy meds, pain killers such as aspirin, paracetamol or ibuprofen and nausea tablets (for that pesky hangover).

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Pack in a pair of tweezers. These can be used to remove splinters, thorns and ticks.
Ladies, although it may not be your time of the month – pack in some feminine products. You never know whose day you might save just by having that on hand.

✅ PARACETAMOL

It’s almost certain that someone you know will need Paracetamol over the course of the festival. And, after two nights of head-banging music, late nights and alcohol you’ll be glad you packed’em!

✅ SUN LOTION

Protect your body from the beaming sun rays. Sunburn is painful and WILL ruin your festival experience.

We all know and shouldn’t be reminded of is to protect our skin against UV radiation and other harmful rays from the sun! No excuses!
What we didn’t know is that there is a difference between sunblock and sunscreens. Both have the same function in regards to protecting your skin. However, they are made from different chemicals that do not do the protection part in the same way.

Sunblock, as the name implies blocks the sun whereas sunscreen tends to absorb these. Most people make use of the latter because it is not as visible as sunblock which shows up white on the skin and allows for a gradual tan.

Sunscreens also tend to break down quickly over a few hours whether sweating, swimming or not; so it needs to be applied more frequently. Please note that you still need to reapply both throughout the day regardless. In this case, everything in moderation is not applicable. More is by far better than less and this also applies to the SPF factor.

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Whichever you choose, just make sure you wear it and cover areas that you don’t expect to get burnt like the tip of your ears or your toes, because if you don’t you will feel it and regret the sunburn later.

Ensure extra protection for your face during the day by wearing a hat or cap and your sunnies.

✅ CONTRACEPTION

Erm…yeah! Thousands of attractive people, loads of empty tents and plenty of alcohol….better safe than sorry.

You never know what may or may not matter, but one thing is you must always make sure you are safe and have condoms no matter what. We are all adults and we know this. No excuses! No glove, no love.

✅ HAND SANITISER

Keep your hands germ-free with some hand sanitiser.

Dry shampoo is also essential for looking fresh, especially if there are no proper shower facilities available.


The Ultimate Music Festival Essentials Checklist

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