It’s festival season! Everyone loves a good frolic in a field, right? And we all know what we’re doing by now, right? We’re not going to get sunburnt or drenched. Certainly no blisters, and we definitely won’t forget anything. Yeah? Yeah?! No. It’s pretty easy to forget some of the festival essentials, so we’ve put together a handy guide on what to take to a festival! That way, you’ll never be caught out again.
Don’t worry – we’re not asking you to bring everything except the kitchen sink. Part of the beauty is roughing it after all. Use our festival essentials guide as a checklist of what you should probably try to bring.
Kind of a no brainer, right? You’d be amazed how many people forget their tickets.
Make sure that your ticket is somewhere safe, and ideally somewhere easy to reach because you’ll be needing it at the door. Once you’re in and you have a wristband, your ticket has done its job.
You’re not getting anywhere without your ticket – it’s the absolute biggest of the festival essentials.
If you’re not planning on bringing (or smuggling) in your own drinks, it’s going to be a good idea to bring some kind of ID.
Your driving licence – even a provisional licence – is probably the best bet, although you can use your passport if you’re in a pinch.
More and more festivals have cashpoints now, so just using your credit or debit card on site is easier than ever. However, they do run the huge risk of getting lost, and in the age of contactless, someone could end up having a great time on your money. Mobile phone signal is often patchy at festivals too, so you might not be able to ring your bank and turn it off.
Bringing cash with you is always a reliable option, and it sets you within a budget – which may or may not be a good thing.
A tent is an absolute festival essential. It can be as simple or as fancy as you want. If you plan on doing a lot of festivals this summer, it pays off to invest in a good tent. If you’ve just got the odd one or two, a £20 pop-up tent can’t really go wrong.
For those planning on getting a cheap tent and ditching it, make sure to keep an eye out for any homeless charities that are taking donations. Don’t be that person that leaves it in the field for someone else to take care of.
A good sleeping bag is equally important. The bonus is that you might get more use from a good sleeping bag outside of a festival. Get one that’s warm, insulated and waterproof. Keep an eye out for those army surplus stalls – they’re always good, hardy stuff and it’s not too expensive.
A roll mat isn’t always a must-have item, but it can be life changing. If you manage to find a nice, flat bank to pitch your tent, that’s great. But most people won’t be so lucky, and so a roll mat can be the perfect remedy.
If you’re really keen to have a comfortable night’s sleep, a blow up mattress is an excellent alternative. However, bear in mind your tent will need to be big enough to match.
Sure, we all have phones now and they come with in-built torches, but what if you’re looking for your phone? Also, your phone can run out of battery. Then what do you do?
It’s pretty essential to keep a wind-up torch in your tent at a festival. That way, you never need to worry about charging it or finding batteries to help you rummage through your belongings in the dark.
Tissues, wet wipes and loo roll
Don’t trust portaloos. Ever. Under no circumstances are they to be relied upon.
Keep a few loo rolls in your tent, and take some packets of tissues with you when you go out to the various stages. Wet wipes never go amiss for a quick sponge bath either.
Gone are the days where you expect to go without outside communication for the whole festival. It’s actually pretty easy to keep your phone on the entire time, especially with the addition of charging stations everywhere.
There are loads of pretty affordable power banks and portable chargers out there, and they come in handy when you’re out and about around the festival site. That’s especially true when you’re sat somewhere comfy and just don’t want to get up to move closer to a plug. Anker have by far some of the best priced chargers for their quality.
Bin bags are crucial for any festival given that they have tons of uses. Need to separate your clean clothes from your dirty clothes? Your wet from your dry? What about extra waterproofing on your bedding? Somewhere to put your rubbish? Putting your feet back in wet shoes? Or even as an extra raincoat in the worst of circumstances? Trust us. Bring bin bags.
Waterproofs & wellies
It’s essential to have a good pair of shoes at a festival, wellies or not. Wellies are essentials for festival fashion, and there are so many great designs out there that you’re spoilt for choice. Design your own, or even invest in a good pair of walking boots for true all round foot protection.
Don’t forget to bring a solid waterproof jacket as well. You will be thankful for it when UK weather does what it does best. Check out more ways you can survive a festival in the rain.
Remember the age old rule: UK weather is contrary and will always do the exact opposite of what you want. Bring some sunglasses, just in case it’s actually sunny.
The above means you should also have some sun cream to hand. You don’t want to come away from a festival with sunburn just to prove it.
Remember when we said never trust portaloos? Yeah, that. Hand sanitiser will be an absolute godsend, so make sure you always have some to hand. Remember, running water is scarce at a festival.
This is an absolute must, especially if you don’t plan on bringing any extra tent proofing. Duct tape can fix absolutely that can go wrong. Hole in your tent, hole in your jacket, hole in your shoes, fixing your love life… Well, maybe not that last one, but it’d do a damn good job.
The possibilities are endless with duct tape, and it’s well worth bringing some along. Your camping buddies will love you for it.
Earplugs and an eyemask
If you’re a light sleeper this one will come in handy. Campsites are always going to be noisy, but you can’t enjoy yourself properly if you’re feeling grouchy from a bad night’s rest.
Reusable water bottle
This is fast becoming an festival essential. Festivals have water points all over, so make sure you have a hardy water bottle that you can take with you. Remember to fill it up before you go to bed each night; you’ll thank yourself when you’re dying for a drink in the morning.
First aid kit
It doesn’t have to be complicated. However, some plasters and disinfectant can go a long way. You might get blisters, or your grand ideas at making breakfast may go wrong. Whatever happens, your first aid kit will be there to save the day. Pain killers will help when you wake up with that hangover too.
It’s unlikely that you’ll find a shower at a festival, so a good essential to have is some dry shampoo. It’s the little things that can make you feel a bit more human on day three.
Got all your festival essentials?
Here’s a quick run through of our recommendations for festivals essentials again:
- Tickets (duh)
- Sleeping Bag
- Roll mat
- Wet wipes
- Loo roll
- Portable charger
- Bin bags
- Waterproofs/ Wellies
- Sun cream
- Hand Sanitiser
- Duct tape
- Earplugs and eyemask
- Reusable water bottle
- First aid kit
- Dry Shampoo
Hopefully by the end of this guide, you’ve got all your festival essentials sorted in a list in your head. Now you just need to find a festival to head to!
Check out our festival guide to find tickets for all the best music festivals in the UK this year.