Whether it’s your first time or you’re a seasoned festival veteran, it’s always a good idea to double check you’ve got the essentials. The RedTix insights team have come up with a quick list to help you on your way.
We’re assuming you’ve got the basics covered (ticket, ID, money, tent, sleeping bag, roll mat, snacks, alcohol, a fully charged phone with charger and any medication you’re required to take), so they won’t feature on our list.
Top tip: Avoid bringing glass. Most festivals have a no glass policy and depending on how strict searchers are this doesn’t just mean alcohol bottles. As extreme as it seems, I’ve known people get bottles of perfume, eye shadow palettes, and even a mini eyeliner pots confiscated. So, either decant your item into different packaging or be willing to part with it if it gets discovered.
1. Toilet Roll
There is a 100% chance you’ll need this. The port-a-loos always, ALWAYS run out, so don’t forget it under any circumstance. Keep a few sheets in your bag throughout the day and restock whenever you’re back at your campsite. Top Tip: Make sure the remainder of the role isn’t somewhere that could get wet if your tent leaked!
2. Antibacterial Hand Gel
This is quite possibly a lifesaver. Keep it in your bag, so you’ve got something to ‘wash’ your hands with after using the port-a-loos and before eating any food. You can also use it to help clean utensils, just make sure you give them a rinse.
3. Toothbrush & Toothpaste
We know you're going to a festival to escape your normal life, but it’s good to keep some things. Dental hygiene is no joke and you want to keep them pearly white for all the photos, so brush your teeth!
4. Baby Wipes
Baby wipes are your new best friend. Honestly, they will make your life so much better and everyone around you will be eternally grateful. Most festivals don’t offer free showers, so this is the next best thing. Obviously, they can be used to clean things, but are also a refreshing way to wake yourself up in the morning or cool yourself down when you’re too hot. Just make sure you keep them just under your tent or right in the doorway, as the tent will heat up in the sun.
As we mentioned, festivals rarely have showers, so you’re going to need something to keep you smelling as fresh as possible. Remember what we said about glass though!
6. Sun Cream
Sun cream is so important no matter where your festival is located. The sun can still cause damage when it appears overcast, so always look after your skin.
7. Pain Killers/Berocca Effervescent Tablets
You’ll thank me on the morning of day 2. You’ll want some pain killers to help ease that throbbing head. Berocca works wonders for a hangover, they’re packed with loads of vitamins and minerals, which will help get your body back on track.
8. Ear Plugs
Festivals are 24-hour party machines and there’s always music blasting from somewhere. It’s important to get in a few good hours sleep to help your body recover from all the activities and substances it’s been subjected to. Plus earplugs will help block out your neighbour’s awful attempts at singing.
Yes, you want your outfit to look on point at a festival, but you need to bring something for all weather conditions. Bring something cosy because the temperature in most places drops at night and you can suddenly find yourself unable to get warm, shivering in a sleeping bag, and that’s no fun, trust me I’ve been there. Also bring spares, if you’re unlucky and it rains there’s nowhere to dry your clothes, so you’ll need new ones.
Your eyes need protection from the sun too, so throw a pair of sunglasses in your bag. That way, you’ll be able to have a great time, without squinting to see the acts and ruining all the photos.
On the flip side, there’s always a chance it’ll rain. Raincoats might not be your ‘thing’, but remember festivals are outdoors, so there’s very limited shelter and you’re not going home to a nice, warm house where you can dry off quickly.
Bumbags are the best way to store everything you need, whilst you’re out enjoying yourself. They are hard to steal from as they’re right in front of you and keep your hands free for dancing. If you adjust the straps you can even fit a couple of cans between the bag and your body so you don’t go thirsty!
I always recommend bringing 3 types of shoes, so you’re covered whatever the weather:
1. Wellies or sensible shoes – if it rains you’ll thank me, it takes a matter of minutes for a festival to turn into a mud bath.
2. Flip-flops or sandals – it’s hot and dry and not only will this keep you cooler, but it’ll allow your feet to breathe, so they don’t smell as much!
3. Trainers – whether they’re running shoes, Converse or Vans it’s always good to have an in-between shoe.
14. Bin Bags
Leave no trace. Everyone knows we need to do more for the environment, so do your bit and keep your campsite tidy. Set up bin bags at the start and it’ll keep the place cleaner and makes it easier for everyone at the end of the festival. Plus, you can use bin bags to store dirty or wet clothes or to help keep things dry.
15. Duct Tape
You’ll read this and probably think “Nah, I won’t need that”. I can’t count the number of times I’ve thought that and then something happened that required duct tape and I wished I’d packed it. Maybe you won’t need it, but you’ll be so thankful if you need to patch up your tent or wellies.
Picture this: It’s 4 am, you’re in a pitch black tent and you can’t find out how to get into your sleeping bag. You know there’s a zip somewhere, but after 5 minutes of searching, you’re not sure if it’s even your sleeping bag that you’re holding. It’s times like this a torch would really come in handy, especially as you used up the last of your phone battery on the light, as you tried not to trip over the guy ropes on your way back to the tent. Top Tip: Pop your torch near the entrance of your tent so it's easy to find or hanging from the ceiling using your trusty duct tape.
17. Portable Charger
Between Instagramming your festival OOTD and locating lost friends, your battery is going to run out pretty quickly. Bringing a portable charger will save you from having to waste precious time standing in a queue and paying for charging services throughout the weekend.
18. Reusable Water Bottle
You’ll be having all sorts of fun (hopefully in the sun) and probably drinking alcohol, so it’s important to stay hydrated. It’ll keep you feeling better and lessen that hangover the next day. Most festivals have plenty of free water refill stations, so not only will you be saving the environment, you’ll be saving your bank balance. You’ll also want water in the morning and evening to brush your teeth, maybe have a rinse or even cook with, if you bought your own food.
19. Something To Sit On
If you’ve got enough space, bring along a folding chair for when you’re chatting with your friends at the campsite. Remember to keep it in your tent when you’re not there, so it doesn’t get stolen. If you can’t face bringing a bulky and heavy chair, then bring a picnic blanket. They’re lighter and easier to carry, so you can even take it into the main festival arena, if you fancy it.
Last but not least a trusty pillow. It’ll help you get a better night’s sleep and can be great if you just want to rest your head (or your bum) in the sun on that picnic blanket you bought.
Top Tip: to save on space we recommend a travel or inflatable pillow, or just bring the case and stuff it with the clothes you’re not wearing.