Whether you’re new to the festival scene or just getting back into it as a past avid festival go-er, there are a few things that are essentials to bring with you. Learn more in this article about whether you’re packing all of the right items or if there are essentials you’re forgetting about.
Do you live for partying it up to good music with great friends? If you travel and love festivals, there’s lots of these exciting events all around the world!
Whether you’re headed to Mardi Gras, Melt! Festival, Bonoroo, Tomorrowland, or one of the thousands of other incredible festivals that happen every year around the world, one of the best things you can do to enhance your experience is ensure you pack the essentials before you go!
No matter which festival you have tickets to, there are a couple of things that are staples for any big music event! And luckily for you, I'm an avid festival go-er and have laid out everything you need to know in this blog.
What Should You Bring to a Festival?
When it comes to festival essentials, there’s quite a lot you need to put on your festival packing list.
As a serious festival connoisseurs, I’ve made a complete list right here so that you don’t forget a thing.
Refillable Water Bottle or Hydration Pack
Staying hydrated is key, and most festivals offer water fill-up stations throughout the grounds.
NOTE: Some festivals don't offer water stations. In this case, you need to plan ahead and bring enough of your own water to get you through the event. Remember, most of us need 3 liters of water per day, even when we’re not dancing for hours on end.
Comfortable and Protective Shoes
Although wandering around a festival in bare feet may sound like fun, for the safety of your feet, you should definitely bring a pair of decent shoes.
It’s also important to bring a pair of flip-flops if you’re staying overnight and plan to use the communal showers. Foot fungus is no fun!
Toilet Paper/Hand Sanitizer
The bathrooms at festivals are usually pretty rough and often don’t have toilet paper or even soap.
Although it sounds embarrassing, bringing toilet paper and hand sanitizer will actually set you apart as a serious partier. You might even want to bring enough to share, as it’s a great way to make friends!
It’s crucial that you check the weather forecast before you pack for any festival.
Cash, Cards, & ID
Before you leave, you should check the website of your festival and find out how their payment system functions inside the event.
Although most stores and events take cards these days, don’t assume. Some food and drink stalls, even at the largest festivals, will only take cash! You want to ensure you have enough of the accepted tender to get you through the party.
And, of course, you will need your identification. If possible, I recommend bringing your driver's license or ID card instead of your passport in case it gets lost in the chaos.
Medicine & First Aid Kit
Safety is essential! Therefore, you should always bring a small first aid kit to any festival. You may need a bandaid, headache medicine, disinfectant, an elastic bandage for a sprain, or a variety of other quick-fix items.
You should also ensure that you bring any medicine that you may personally need. These can include contraception, an epi-pen, allergy medicine, or daily prescriptions of any kind.
I know that running around in the dirt and getting sweaty among thousands of strangers is a really good time. But after a long day of dirt and grime, you’re definitely going to want to clean up a bit.
Remember to bring your toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, deodorant, feminine hygiene products, a towel, and whatever else you use to stay clean after a wild day of dancing.
Finally, you definitely need something to wear while you’re there! What you decide to bring depends on your personal style, how long you’ll be there, and the weather.
But everyone should ensure they bring a few light and warm layers, as well as fresh underwear and socks for each day of the festival.
Remember, you’re not always going to want to be in your party attire. So make sure to bring some comfortable pajamas too.
Camping Festival Essentials
As well as the essentials listed above that every festival goer needs, if you're going to be camping, there are several other items you need to remember.
- Sleeping Mat
- Sleeping Bag
- Camping Mallet
- Camping Chairs
- Insect Repellent
- Flashlight or Headlamp (With Batteries)
- Extra Blanket (If You’re Headed Somewhere Cold)
- Cooler, Cooking Equipment, & Food (If Allowed)
Every camp setup is a little different. So it’s important that you do the research to find out what will be provided and what you need to bring for your specific festival.
Festival Accessories: Tips and Tricks
Now that you have the absolute necessities that you should pack, I have got a few more tricks of the trade to share with you.
While these items are not required per se, they will make your life a whole lot easier!
- Fanny Pack: Safety is paramount at a festival, and I recommend wearing a fanny pack while you’re out and about so that you can keep your money and phone on your person.
- Mini Backpack: A mini backpack is great for holding your water bottle, extra layer, hat, sunscreen, or anything else you may need throughout the day so that you don’t have to keep going back to camp.
- Wet Wipes: As I mentioned, the bathrooms and showers can be pretty disgusting at some festivals. And wet wipes are a great tool to clean up a bit without having to brave them.
- Earplugs: Although you may think you’re going to be dancing night and day, you will definitely need sleep sometimes! And because your schedule may not line up with everyone else's, earplugs can make all the difference.
- Socks: Take it from me: You can never have too many pairs of socks at a festival. They will get wet, sweaty, and dirty, and having a dry clean pair to put on at the end of the night or the next morning feels seriously good.
- Lighter: You just never know when you’re going to need one.
Get Ready to Go!
It's official, you now know everything there is to know about festival essentials. Now it’s just time to have fun!
No matter which festival you’re heading off to, you can probably find everything you need to know about it on Pilot’s festival page, so make sure to check it out for more info!
Quick reminder: most of these items won’t be available within the festival, so you should definitely make a checklist and ensure you have absolutely everything you need before you head out. And, of course, don’t forget your ticket.
Still trying to plan where you’ll stay at the festival or if you want to extend your stay to do tourist activities in the area? Plan ahead and make sure everyone’s tuned into the plan—the best way to do this with a group is using a collaborative app.