Packing List: Our Music Festival Essentials

Ahead of festival season, whether you're heading abroad or staying at home, here's our practical guide to what to pack in your music festival backpack

Feature by Tallah Brash | 12 Apr 2019
  • Primavera  by Eric Pamies

Practical fashion
If you're going to be in a field for a weekend, here's what you need in terms of clothing and accessories: a good pair of wellies, walking boots or trainers you don’t mind losing to the festival Gods; an actual waterproof jacket; a warm hat, gloves, scarf and a jumper for nighttime (campsites can get fucking cold); a baseball cap for during the day – trust us, that peak will do wonders for being able to actually see things if it's sunny. Sunglasses will obviously also help. Oh, and a bum bag is great for keeping things in that you need quick access to.

Hand sanitiser
It’s no secret that festival toilets are gross. It’s also no secret that very few of them have soap or water in them. Boke. Think of that the next time you’ve just been to a festival toilet then go for a burger… delicious tasty bacteria. So be sensible and buy yourself a wee travel-sized bottle of hand sanitiser that you can discreetly have in your pocket at all times.

Toilet paper
As we said above, festival toilets are rank. As well as them often not having soap or running water, quite often you’ll find yourself in a bit of a bind as you go for a comfort break only to reach for the loo roll to find there’s none left. Fucking disaster, mate! So when you’re buying a big bag of cans for the campsite, be sure to chuck in a multi-pack of bog roll for you and your pals too.

Earplugs
We suggest taking not only one pair of earplugs out on the road with you this summer, but two – one proper pair like EarPeace for wearing when watching bands and DJs and one noise-blocking pair for when you’re trying to sleep on an inevitably noisy campsite.

Insect repellent and sunscreen
It’s important to look after your skin. It’s especially important if you’re going to be outside for an entire weekend, unable to avoid the elements, and local wildlife for that matter. So, don't forget to pack your sunscreen and, if like us you're susceptible to an insect bite or two, some repellent, especially if you’re festivalling in Scotland as midges are fucking everywhere – we cannot recommend Napier’s the Herbalist’s Bugbuster Cream highly enough.

Tubigrip support bandages
Rolled and sprained ankles are among the most common injuries at festivals. Whether it be falling in a pothole, tripping over a tree root or slipping in mud, hurting your ankle can be really fucking painful and can put a downer on your weekend. Pack a tubigrip or two for a little bit of extra support should the inevitable happen.

Reusable water bottle
It's important to drink plenty of water, especially when you're out in warm weather all day drinking lovely lovely booze. Most festivals will have water top-up stations dotted across the campsite and festival site so save the environment, and some pennies, and pack a lovely reusable water bottle to keep yourself hydrated.

A photocopy of your passport
More often than not you’re required to show ID when collecting your festival wristband, and in a lot of cases it's required every day you go into a festival. If a passport is your only form of ID then make a photocopy before you leave the country as most festivals abroad will accept this in lieu of the real thing, and it means you don’t have to worry about losing it in the sea.

Travel plug
How many times have you arrived in another country and gone to charge your phone, laptop or tablet, only to realise you’ve bloody well forgotten to pack your travel plug? Loads, right? Treat this as your friendly reminder not to forget it.

Power bank
While most festivals now come with phone charging stations, it’s a total money- and time-waster if you’d rather be getting your music on, so pack your power bank and feel smug as you charge on the go.

Bluetooth speaker
This is an essential if you want to bring the party to the campsite and is much better than listening to tinny beats and high-end screeches coming out of your struggling phone speaker. It’s perfect to start the day and get you in the mood for a long day out in a field, or perfect to keep the party going after, but be considerate – if your camping neighbours aren’t into it, don’t be a dick.

Hip flask
Arriving back at your tent in the wee small hours and wandering the campsite in search of a party to join has never been so easy with this insta-friend-making vessel. Offer a dram of something delicious to your new BFFs and party until tomorrow.