Whether you are a festival virgin or veteran this festival checklist will ensure you pack every essential. Featuring the ultimate list of festival fabulousness as well as the incredibly practical – ensuring you a safe, stress free time!
Having been to over 21 festivals between us, we feel we have had our fair share of festival fails (cue sunburn so bad Lauren couldn’t dance – yeah, THAT bad) but have now perfected our packing list and are delighted to share it with the festival goers new and old.
Whether you’re going to dance in the mud of the majestic Scottish Highlands (and heading to our favourite Belladrum perhaps) or under the Spanish Sun at Benicassim – this festival checklist will have you covered!
Let’s start with the practical festival camping checklist….
Firstly, if you’re camping in the UK it is essential you purchase a tent with an inner shell (not single layered), it is waterproof and has a built in groundsheet. Also consider the weight and the lack of space at festivals. Opt for lightweight but robust, if you go cheap it’ll be too flimsy and collapse. Spend too much and you’ll be gutted when you flatten it after a cider or 10. This one is just perfect and will survive again and again when you return, because once you’re bitten by the festival bug you will return. .
We have been attending the same music festival for over 10 years and everyone knows our tent due to the same bunting we use every year. With over 20,000 tents in a field use something such as bunting to make your tent memorable! .
3. Sleeping Bag
As we’re ridiculously cheesy we actually have a joint sleeping bag – bare with us – it can be separated into two for transit, then when the Scottish temperatures hit, zip it together again and become SUPER warm. When we were in our campervan we used one sleeping bag opened underneath for extra padding and one sleeping bag open on top like a duvet. .
4. Ear Plugs
An absolute essential to add to your festival camping checklist, it is insane how much difference these can make and how much a good night’s sleep can affect your day. Not to mention, the amount of questionable bands we’ve seen that we wished we could pop these in during! .
5. Blow-Up Bed
I always slagged off people who brought blow up beds to festivals, but it is LIFE CHANGING. There is nothing worse than a whole day of alcohol after no sleep, but having a blow up bed guarantees a successful slumber and that tiny home comfort to help you forget you’re in the middle of a field. Don’t forget a foot pump which will blow this up in minutes and if you want an extra light weight option, then a lilo is a fabulous alternative. Just don’t use it as a sledge to slide down a muddy hill like Lauren did at T in the Park. .
Essential when it’s sunny, essential when it rains – the perfect place to ensure all your new festival friends can chill together without attempting to squeeze into your 2 man tent. .
7. Folding Chairs
These things are bloody gold dust at festivals, so although we definitely recommend bringing your own do not invest too much as it is almost guaranteed to be nicked by the idiots that forgot to read this festival checklist and bring their own. .
8. Cool Box
Nothing says festival like warm cider, but it doesn’t have to be that way! Especially when you can now buy cool boxes with wheels. WHEELS! We even saw one at a festival that had built in Bluetooth speakers #extra – if you’re a cider snob and prefer it chilled then this a definite essential. .
9. Granny Trolly
An absolute essential on your festival checklist that will save you so much tears and tantrums. We have used prams, wheely bins and backpacks yet these sturdy “granny trollies” are the way to go. My dad (a fellow festival veteran) also swears by a sledge and uses bungey cords to strap everything in. That way, when the mud gets too high the sledge can still slide through where wheels won’t. .
Extra brownie points if you bring one that winds up, saves a last minute hunt (or god forbid purchase from a festival shop) for batteries! .
11. A Fatboy
On the topic of your chair being nicked, these are absolute festival essentials – simply because they are compact, lightweight sofas that require no pump to blow up. You simply swirl around for a minute, flapping it in the air and it magically inflates with the wind. Also highly amusing to watch people attempt to inflate when the wind is in particularly short supply. .
12. Glow In The Dark Tent Pegs
Not gonna lie, we bought these to stop us tripping over the guy lines in the middle of the night and waking everyone up. Whether your tent pegs light up or not, you’ll end up tripping over the guy lines in the middle of the night anyway, however they do make your tent look rather jazzy. .
No festival checklist is essential without these gadgets
13. Portable Charger
We have gone through so many cheap chargers that last a day or two and then die. This one lasts the WHOLE WEEKEND meaning your phone will too! .
14. Portable Music Speaker
Because applying face glitter to the sound of your best friend spewing up yesterday’s cider doesn’t quite set the mood for the day. So many festivals are now on Spotify, so ensure you download a playlist or two as having a wee dance at the tent always gets you hyped for the real deal. Failing that, a good old Disney Frozen sing along is guaranteed to make your camping neighbours your friends – or not. .
Now for the fun part of the festival checklist…
15. Welly Boots
The minute I put my welly boots on I feel festival ready. Finding the right pair can prove a bit of a mission – I’ve gone for aesthetic over practical so many times and they end up cracking with too much dancing and jumping around. A good tip (And more sustainable option) rather than buying a new pair every summer, invest in a good pair and jazz them up with socks or “welly warmers”. I’ve seen so many people just buy the Hunter welly warmer, on top of a perfect pair of Asda Welly boots! Welly warmers not only keep your feet warm but also prevent the boots rubbing against your legs after dancing in them for hours on end! .
So many companies & festival stalls try and rip you off with face glitter. Depending you don’t throw it around like confetti (which I obviously don’t) then this should last you all Summer. A great tip I was told from a festival pro – though please do not use if you have sensitive skin but in order to get the glitter to stick for over 12 hours, use eyelash glue. This can be a life saver as it’s meant for skin anyway and dries clear! .
17. Waterproof Poncho
No festival outfit is complete without a waterproof poncho. Makes you extra noticeable in a crowd when you become split up from friends (or when you’re aired on National TV wearing a lady bird one). Don’t wait and think you’ll buy one there if you need one, festivals will rip you off majorly for this sort of thing. Buy one before you go because trust us, you’ll need one. .
Circa 2007 when my sisters were aged 10 and off to their second ever festival, my mum let them pack. Cue the confusion when they arrived, my mum opened their bag and discovered they’d only packed a selection of hats. No clothes. They had the right idea from a young age, hats are festival essentials (allowing protection from the sun blah blah safety first) but also, the crazier the better to be more spottable in a crowd! “Can you help me find my friend, she’s wearing an orange sparkly cowboy hat?” is bound to help… .
There’s something about music festivals that let you unleash the real you. Now’s the time to buy that Cher wig you always wanted, rock the Elvis quiff or personal fave the Mohican. .
20. Festival Playsuits
Admittedly I am a self confessed hoarder of festival playsuits (I own over 30), however despite the obvious porta-loo playsuit issue they are the best for festivals as it is an entire outfit in one garment. You literally need 2 festival playsuits and a poncho and that’s you for the weekend! .
Now for the festival checklist that’s not so fun…
Whether it’s painful feet from dancing all day or a cider hangover don’t forget these!
22. Anti-bacterial Hand Gel
During a festival we literally bathe in this stuff. Whether in gel form, wipe form or full blown spray bottle – make sure it’s on your festival checklist! .
23. Tissues/Toilet Roll
Porta loos at festivals are scary enough, want to make them even scarier? Forget to tick these off your festival checklist! .
24. Lip Balm
You may be like wtf? But I will never forget T in The Park when I was 16 and so many people stopping to ask if anyone had lip balm – sunshine & cider all day had made our lips so beautifully crispy we would’ve paid good money for one of these! .
Even if you’re attending a Scottish festival, do not be fooled into thinking you won’t need it. Sunburn and rave tents never end well. Bring this wee travel sized one just incase! .
26. Wet Wipes
Three days without a shower? You’re gonna need these. Bonus points if you can find ones that are anti-bacterial and come in the handy travel size! .
27. YOUR TICKET!
Probably the most important item on this festival checklist, do not be one of those people that have to buy a new one for triple the price from a dodgy dude outside the gate!
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