Going to your first festival is always going to be an adventure. You will be excited to listen to live music from some of the top bands from around the world, but you will also be stepping into the unknown when it comes to everything else that the festival entails.
How much money will I take? Will I take my own food and drink? What do I need to camp out and how many changes of clothes do I need to bring? While we can’t help you with the number of socks that you need to take with you, we can provide you with a festival essentials list. Some may be more obvious than others, but when you are stressing out packing your kit days before you head off, it is good to have a checklist of items to score out.
Just remember, unless you are going by car, you will be carrying all the gear to the festival site and through fields to get to the camp site. So the lighter the better or just share the load with your festival buddies.
Tickets: Blatantly obvious, but without your festival tickets there is no way you will be making it past security. Just like many do before they go on holiday, make sure that your tickets are with the rest of your important items close at hand.
Money: You may have stocked up aplenty before heading to the festival, however, you will still need money for food and drink inside the grounds and for any unforeseen eventuality that may crop up.
ID: Make sure to take identification with you, whether it is a driving licence or passport, as you may be asked for proof of ID when buying alcohol or if there is an issue with your tickets.
Mobile: Always great to have on your person if you need to make an emergency call, text the family to tell them how you are getting on and that you are safe, as well as taking the obligatory festival selfies to annoy your mates on Facebook that didn’t make it.
Ear Plugs: Festivals are noisy places, so if you want to catch up on some sleep before tackling the next band to hit the stage, then a pair of ear plugs are the difference between getting a good few hours of sleep under your belt or getting none at all.
Plastic Bags: Remember to pack a few plastic carrier bags into your bag to put your rubbish in as well as your dirty and wet clothes. You don’t want to leave them lying around your tent for a few days or in your bag with your clean clothes.
Charger/Batteries: Pack some spare batteries for your camera, and a solar power charger to keep your mobile charged for those not to be missed photo opportunities or to keep in touch with friends and family.
Map: Some festivals are difficult to get to and rather than stressing trying to find a signal for your map app on your mobile, pick up a map of the local area instead.
Sunblock and Aftersun Lotion: While festivals in Britain seem to go hand in hand with rain and mud, there is always the days where you have blue skies and sunshine, so you better stock up on sunblock and aftersun lotion just in case. You don’t want to get burnt and then be left in agony for the rest of the event. It’s not a great feeling.
Painkillers: You may have been partying a little too hard the night before, so reaching for a couple of painkillers the next morning will help to get rid of that hangover.
Backpack: Rather than having to go to and from your tent throughout the day for spare change of clothes, for food and drink; take a backpack with you to carry all the items you will need throughout the day so you don’t have to trapse all the way back to the campsite and miss out on the music.
Body Wallet: It may not be fashionable to wear one, but you can keep your ID, money and tickets on you at all times safely hidden away from prying eyes and light-fingered individuals. Buying one of these will stop you having to rummage through your bag to find your money or tickets when you need them quickly and away from the elements.
Waterproof Jackets: Given the weather in the UK is a mixed bag to say the least, it is advised that you carry waterproofs in your kit just in case it rains. When I say just in case it rains, it seems to always rain at festivals in the UK. No need for the big bulky options, stock up on a lightweight jacket which can be stuffed away when the weather is clear but pulled out quickly when the heavens open up. Waterproof trousers are a welcome extra, but most festival goers ditch this option and just stick to shorts and jeans no matter the weather.
Wellies: A must have item. As much a fashion item for UK festivals now as it is a necessity when the grass underfoot turns to mud. Ditch the trainers and flip flops and turn to a good pair of Wellies to keep your feet dry.
Hat: Invest in a hat to keep the sun out of your face and protect your neck from getting burnt. Combine with sunblock to make sure you are well-protected from the sun’s rays and aren’t left regretting it afterwards in agony.
Sunglasses: Again another piece of kit that doubles up to not only protect your eyes from the sun, but also to add that extra bit of style to your festival kit.
Fleece/Hoodie: You may be basking in the sun during the day, but with clear skies at night the temperature drops and you will need an extra layer on to keep you warm as you continue to party through the night.
Tent: Unless you want to be sleeping under the stars open to the elements and festival goers walking by, get yourself a tent. Depending on how many of you are going together, we have two, three and four person tent options. Remember that you will have to store your kit inside the tent along with other provisions should you get a little bit thirsty or hungry. So if there is just the two of you going then it may be an idea to go one up and invest in a three person tent.
Sleeping Bag: Since you will be camping out during the warmer periods of the year, it is better to invest in a two season sleeping bag – if you are not intending to use it any other time of the year. These are lighter and much more suited to the summer months. You want to be comfortable when you are sleeping.
Roll Mat or Airbed: It is no fun sleeping on hard ground, so add a bit of cushion between you and the ground with a roll mat or airbed.
Travel Pillow: You could use your rucksack to rest your head on at night when you go to sleep, but why not add a tiny bit of ‘luxury’ and bring a travel pillow. It makes a huge difference after a long day of partying.
Camping chair: You have your tent pitched, your sleeping bag is laid out on top of your roll mat and your kit is safely stowed inside. But where do you sit? Throw in a folding chair for you and your mates to sit at your campsite as you have a few drinks and listen to music in the evenings is much more comfortable than standing or sitting on the ground.
Lantern or Torch: The party doesn’t stop when the sun goes down, take along a lantern to bring some light to your campsite, while using a torch to get about the site. A head torch may be better so that your hands while you navigate your way back to your tent.
Duct Tape: A must have piece of kit to help repair any tears in your tent that may appear – and which inevitably will happen – whether you are the culprit or other festival goers are. Perfect for a quick patch up job.
Spare tent pegs: If you haven’t got a pop-up tent then you will definitely need a few spare tent pegs as accidents will happen. Pegs may go missing in ‘mysterious circumstances’ or some may get damaged and will need to be binned. So it is better to be prepared.
Deodorant: There is a distinct lack of showers at festival campsites, so the use of deodorant is very important as you don’t want to smell fruity and cause a stink with your mates.
Toilet Roll: The loo roll WILL run out at festivals whether through use or by some ‘smart’ individuals who think it is fun throwing them about. So pack a roll away in your kit for your own personal use.
Hand Sanitiser: After using the loos at the festival reach for the sanitiser to clean up afterwards. Some festivals will have their own stock, but this doesn’t last long like the toilet rolls.
Towel: After being out in the rain or if you are at a festival that does have showers, a lightweight travel towel will come in handy when you need to dry off.
Dry Wash: Antibacterial soap that doesn’t require any water to use, making it ideal for travelling and festival use when a water source is not close by or accessible.
Baby Wipes: With no shower at hand, baby wipes are the next best thing in your bid to keep clean and mud-free.
Toothbrush & Toothpaste: Just like deodorant you don’t want to cause a stink with bad breath or the smell of last night’s booze and junk food lingering, so keep on top of your oral hygiene and remember to smile for the camera.
Some festivals may have restrictions on the use of camping stoves, barbeques etc. so it is advised that before you turn up on the day with your cooking equipment, that you ensure you know what you can and cannot bring in through the gate.
Camping Stove: There will be plenty of food outlets around the festival area, but if you want to keep a hold of your money for more important things then you could always bring a camping stove to cook for yourself. Remember to obey the festival rules when it comes to using camping stoves and following the product’s instructions to prevent accidents, injuries or worse.
Mess Tins: Don’t bother about pots and pans or camping kettles. Just bring along a mess tin to cook with, whether it is your baked beans, noodles or even making yourself a cup of tea or coffee. You can eat right out of them as well.
Cutlery: A spork would be the basic option, although if you want to keep up appearances then you could always bring a cutlery set.
Unperishable foods: Soup, baked beans, super noodles or pot noodles. Quick and easy to cook, they are ideal for festivals if you want to steer clear of the burger vans and other overpriced junk food outlets in attendance.
Water bottle: You need to keep yourself hydrated especially when it is hot, and if you are having a few alcoholic beverages then it is even more important to keep hydrated and refreshed. A collapsible water bottle is ideal as you can store it in your kit while taking up very little room, unlike other bottles.
Coolbox: Not something to carry by yourself on top of all your camping gear – more suited for a group of people going or for those going by car. It will keep your food fresh and stored in one handy area than left in your kit or in the corner of your tent.
Bottle/Tin opener: Whether it is a tin you need opened or cracking open another bottle of beer, getting one of these will come in very handy throughout the days you spend at the festival.