Festival season is upon us and whether you’re going to Glasto, YNOT, or V Fest, I’ve been gathering everyone’s festival essentials, must-haves and hacks. Of course we all know the obvious ticket, tent, sleeping bag sort of essentials, but what else do you need to pack?
- Ticket/wristband – be a bit daft leaving that at home, also remember any train tickets, pre-paid parking tickets and things like that – put your wristband on your non-dominant hand to avoid it going down the loo when wiping
- Tent – big enough for you, whoever you’re with and all your stuff, include spare pegs – you might want to practice putting it up at home first too
- Sleeping bag
- Roll mat/inflatable bed
- Something to carry the bulky stuff in/on – some take shopping trollies, some take dollies, but I’ve heard that wheelbarrows are the best – cling film does a good job of holding everything down too
- ID – if you need to buy alcohol/cigarettes
- Money – *TIP* do not keep all your cash in one place, if it gets stolen, you’re screwed. I kept some in my sock and some in my bumbag, I also slept in my bumbag in my sleeping bag too
- First Aid Kit – plasters (regular or spray on) are a life saver for cuts and blisters, pain killers for the morning after the night before, immodium is one that sells out of the festival shops because a. no-one wants to use the toilets and b. people aren’t as good at barbequing as they thought, hayfever relief, bandage/support in case of minor injuries, you may also want to take a packet of multivitamins with you to keep your immune system up whilst you’re there – nothing worse than getting back home and coming down with the festival flu
- Medical information – diabetics and epileptics usually have medical ID keyrings/wristbands, if there are any medical concerns that people should know should an accident happen, write it down and keep it on you (probably with your ID). Similarly, if you have an iPhone, you can add your medical details in the Health app and it will display when you click ‘emergency’ on the password screen and then medical ID – very handy tool
- Contact information – similarly, a sticky label on the back of your phone with a phone number of a friend/relative who is also at the festival will be very handy if you lose your phone (as it can be returned) or if you get separated and an accident happens or if you get separated and your phone dies you can use someone else’s phone and your friends number is at hand
- Torch (and batteries) – a head torch provides hands-free lighting on loo trips; probably not your sexiest festival fashion, but it’s handy
- Duct tape – fixes everything… everything
- Bin bags – versatile item, some use it as a toilet by placing it inside a washing up bowl, they make great waterproof protectors (I put all my bags in them in the tent in case of a flood, and flood it did – least my food and clothes were dry), and of course to bag up all your rubbish and keep your tent tidy
- Suncream and aftersun – you’ll probably forget to put it on in a drunken haze, but the intent was there – you can read my 8 Suncare Tips From A Ginger blog if you wish – I’d suggest carrying a small bottle in your bumbag so that you can top up after someone spills their drink all over you
- Food – bringing your own food saves a lot of money, some places allow disposable BBQ’s but it’s best to check on their websites beforehand, if you do, don’t forget a lighter. I take a box of cereal and a small milk, which will stay fresh so long as it’s kept cool, a box of pasta, cheese and ham for dinner (get two meals out of that) and then things like cuppa soups and mug shots where you just add hot water. I usually do buy a hot evening meal though, nothing beats cheesy chips or a dirty stall burger
- Cutlery/crockery – mini picnic set like a plate, bowl, knife, fork, spoon and mug
- Drink – okay, boring part first, bring bottles of water with you (they’re blimming expensive to buy at festivals) and some places have refillable taps too so you can refill – great for drinking and having an actual wash. Secondly, booze. Decant your drinks into plastic bottles or bring cans because any glass will get taken off you – drink responsibly *wink* – but seriously, have a drink but make sure you can still enjoy the festival
- A blanket to sit on outside the tent – if you’re willing to carry it, a fold up chair is good too
- Toiletries – big list – wet wipes are your life saver for freshening up, taking your makeup off, de-mudding yourself so pack plenty; dry shampoo or talc, talc is more versatile as you can use it to de-grease your hair, stop your feet smelling after being in sweaty wellies all day and for those of you in the, as the girls on Glasto Gals say, ‘chub club’ then it prevents chaffing too; pocket tissues and toilet roll and lots of it; hand sanitiser is an obvious must; sanitary products if it’s that time… I’ve seen a lot of women say that mooncups are so much more festival friendly because you don’t need to dispose of your towels/tampons and you don’t need to worry about as many trips to the loo; moisturiser because feeling that bit more hydrated will make your day 10x better; toothbrush and toothpaste because no one wants to talk to you if you stink of five days of dark fruits (probably take chewing gum too); deodorant; hairbrush; makeup and a mirror
- Disposable cameras – or a digital if you’re brave. I love snapping away at a festival though an disposables mean you won’t run your phone battery down
- Power pack or charger case – you’re going to want to invest in a good power supply to charge your phone should you need to get in touch with someone
- A deck of cards – because if it’s pissing down you’ll be so bored in the tent, so whack out a deck of cards and get drunk playing ring of fire
- Clothes – another big one, pack as light as you can because you need to carry it. Wellies are essential, wear them to the festival to save bag space and then pack a pair of trainers for chilling in, a jumper is a must because it can get chilly at night, a rain mac, a million pairs of socks because a fresh pair of socks can really give you a new lease of life, underwear, and then whatever else your heart desires! Someone suggested putting each outfit in separate carrier bags to keep them clean and save time in the mornings for when you want to go and explore – you can then use the carrier bags to store your dirty clothes
- Something to locate your tent – be it fairy lights or a flag, you may know what your tent looks like, but when you’ve had a drink and see 17 other tents the same, you’re in a pickle
- S Hooks – I saw a girl mention s hooks on Glasto Gals, you can hook it over the door of a poortaloo and hang your bag/coat off it and you can use it to hang a torch from the top of the tent too
- Ear plugs and an eye mask – you won’t enjoy the festival on a rubbish nights sleep, so take all precautions to make sure you get your beauty sleep – ear plugs are also good for if you’re close to the front of the stage to prevent ear damage
- Car freshener – why? Because it will make your tent smell less like sweaty feet
- GLITTER – for your face, your hair, an anywhere else – glittering up for a festival is some of the best fun you’ll have
Another tip from me if to have a rough schedule – look at the line-up and stage times before you go and figure out where you want to be and when – it saves a lot of time and means you definitely get to see and do what you want to while you’re there.
Additionally, if you drive to the festival and the parking isn’t too far, just leave some stuff in the car, say take your clothes and everyday things for day 1 and 2, then pop back to the car for day 3, taking back the already worn clothes so that you have less to carry at the end of the festival when the ground has turned to sludge and your tent is a lot heavier than you remembered.
So now you have your list, you can stop stressing about what you’re taking and start getting bloody excited!