If you have been following our blog, you must have noticed that San and I are music festival junkies. After all, we met each other in a PsyTrance music festival! Anyway, now that we’re gearing to hit a few festivals in summer, I wanted to share our packing list with you, which will come in handy if you’re also doing what we love doing.
Disclaimer: Just because we attend music festivals, doesn’t mean that we participate in intoxicants. We do it for our love of music and nothing else. Yes, we perhaps the most sober people in a festival with just a beer or two in their system.
When it comes to packing, just remember – “less is more” and carry the bare minimum. Here’s an ultimate packing list for music festivals to help you get started:
The essential items to carry for a music festival
01 | Festival ticket and your Identity Card (of course!) –
The entry tickets for most of the festivals sell out months in advance. Hence you most likely will carry an e-ticket with which you will need to show your identity card to get a festival wrist band to enter.
02 | A Small Waist-Bag / Pouch That You can Wear
A waist bag will help you keep your money and essentials so that you don’t have to carry a backpack around. Always keep this waist pouch with you. It doesn’t have to be an ugly fanny pack but you can find a good looking one that looks good with your outfit. More than how it looks, it should be comfortable to dance in. Here is what I usually carry:
03 | A tent, sleeping bag, pillow and mattress
Assuming you’re camping at the festival. Even if there are rooms nearby, I’d recommend you camp at the festival to get the most out of it. We carry Quechua Quickhiker Ultralight, which is surely more expensive than others but is super light to carry. Of course we invested in a good tent because we use it often.
04 | A flashlight
A flashlight is a must have for camping at music festivals. Carry a few spare batteries because you never know when you run out. You can carry a headlamp too!
05 | Sunscreen, moisturizer and lip balm.
No matter how the weather is, you WILL need your sunscreen if you’re staying out. Even if it is cloudy, you need to use a good sunscreen if you’re outside. Don’t be a cool dude and say no to sunscreen. Skin cancer is real and it can be prevented by just using a sunblock.
06 | Wet wipes
Wet wipes are the first things I pack when I put my stuff together for a festival. I love being clean and I believe wet wipes are always useful. You can use them in the morning to wipe your face when the queue outside the washbasin is too long or you can also use them to wipe your ass after using the toilet.
07 | Basic toiletries
You’re going to need your toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo and a deodorant. Try to carry a natural soap and shampoo so that it doesn’t interfere with the venue’s ecological balance.
08 | A towel
I carry a micro fiber quick drying towel which packs in a little ball.
09 | Condoms
You never know when you (or one of your friends) need them so it is good to be safe.
10 | Ear-plugs
Overexposure to high decibels can cause long term damage to your ears. Even if the sound system is of the highest quality, you should carry a pair of ear plugs.
11 | Water refill container
Most of the festivals have a water refilling station and you should make the most of them by carrying a water bottle or a container. It is important for you to keep yourself hydrated and avoid the use of plastic glasses or bottles.
12 | A few trash bags
Trash-bags will always come in handy to keep your campsite clean. You can also use them to put your dirty clothes so that they don’t mix with your clean clothes.
13 | Toilet paper
I don’t want to be stuck in a situation where I can’t find any! Do you?
14 | Menstrual Cup
This one is for the ladies. If you haven’t started using a menstrual cup already, you have got to get yourself one because seriously, this will change your life. Get one as soon as possible so that you’re fully prepared before you travel because it takes a while to understand how to use it. Once you get a hang of it, there is nothing else that feels as clean and is as stress-free to use as a menstrual cup. I recommend you compare menstrual cups online before you decide which one to get.
What clothes to carry for a music festival
01 | Some light clothing for you to dance in.
I usually cut up my old clothes and make new ones. I never carry new clothes for a festival because I know I will dance in the mud for hours and mess up everything. If you’re heading to a festival that’s in a cold place, then don’t forget to carry a thick windproof jacket. We love this packing guide for Ireland, which isn’t really for music festivals but will come in handy right before a winter music festival.
02 | A basic tank top or a tee shirt
If you’re going for your first festival and aren’t sure what to wear, then you won’t go wrong with a basic tank top. It will look amazing with just about anything – skirts, shorts, and even outrageously colorful festival pants.
02 | Fleece or jumper, long pants, and socks
Depending on the weather. Even in warm places, it does get cold at night so it helps to be prepared.
03 | Swimwear (if your festival location has a swim area)
Most of the festivals have a swimming area and you don’t want to miss out on it just because you don’t have your swimsuit. Although skinny dipping is usually acceptable if you’re in a psychedelic festival or an experimental festival, but it is good to be prepared.
04 | Fun Costumes
C’mon, you gotta wear some funny or entertaining clothes when you’re in a music festival. Get a costume or just an accessory to reveal your true identity! Are you a pirate? Or an elf? Perhaps Borat? Look at my LED Fairy outfit at the Experience Festival in Koh Tao.
05 | Flip-flops and / or shoes depending on the weather
Carry something which is easy to wiggle out of when you want to dance barefoot. I like carrying Ninja boots because they are super comfortable for dancing.
06 | Sunglasses
Sunglasses won’t just protect your eyes from the sunlight, but also from the sand from the ground that flies around when people stomp.
07 | Hat
If you like dancing in the sun, you’re gonna need a hat.
08 | A sarong or a scarf
I can never go to a festival without a sarong. Sarongs are so useful because you can use them in so many ways. You can wrap around your swimsuit and dance. Or if it gets hot, you can wet it and wrap around your head / body to cool down. I usually carry more than one sarong because these can be used as mats, bedsheets, pillows, a cute asymmetrical skirt and more. The possibilities are endless! Back in 2016, after attending back to back festivals, I ended up losing my towel and used my sarong as a towel and it worked. During sunny days, I wrapped my sarong around my waist as a skirt on top of my swimsuit and danced in it.
09 | A few sets of underwear
I don’t need to give you a reason but it is common sense to carry extra undies when you’re in a festival.
Optional things to carry for a music festival
01 | Hammock
Even though San and I always carry our hammocks, I’m putting it in the optional category for you. For me, hammocks are sometimes more comfortable than tents for a good sleep. If you don’t find a good spot to hang your hammock, you can always put it on the ground and use it as a mat.
02 | A mat
You can use it to put on ground to sit.
03 | Fun things that you can play with
There are so many fun things you can carry with you to a festival so that you can play with them. Carry a fun bag with a bubble gun, funny toys, Hula hoop, poi, etc. I usually carry a hula hoop and San carries juggling balls.
04 | Alcohol
Unless you don’t mind spending a lot at the festival bar. I normally don’t enjoy alchohol but San does. If the festival is in Germany, he carries his beloved Jagermeister and beers.
05 | Insect repellent
I swear by my mosquito repellent patches but San never uses any of them.
06 | Tent covers or parasols
Tent covers are useful when the weather is extremely hot, extremely cold or rainy. These will protect your camp from heat. It is a good idea to cover a sitting area outside your tent with a cover.
07 | A stove, cylinder, bowls, cutleries and cooking pan (if you’re cooking your own food)
There are some festivals where food is so expensive that the only way to survive is by cooking your own food. In Boom festival, we didn’t have to carry our stove because there was an outdoor community cooking area where we could use the fire and cook our own food.
08 | Band-aids
You may hurt yourself while dancing. For bigger injuries, head to the first aid area. Every festival has one.
09 | A rain poncho
Depending on the weather forecast. I have one that folds up in a super small ball and I always carry it.
10 | A power bank to charge your gadgets
Although I’d recommend you stay disconnected from the outside world during the festival, but in case you’re expecting your friends to call you because of some reason, then a power bank will save your life.
11 | A hand-fan
Yes, it is in the option section but after attending so many festivals I have realized that a hand-fan is the BEST festival accessory. It will keep your face cool when the weather is warm and it will increase the air circulation. I don’t know about you but at times when there are too many people on the dance-floor, I feel I need some extra breathing space. A hand-fan helps when there is less space.
Things I’d NEVER carry to a music festival
01 | Glass bottles
Firstly, many festivals have banned these glass bottles because they are fire hazards. Secondly. its risky to carry them because they can break and cut your skin. If you’re buying your own alcohol then you can transfer the contents in a flask instead of carrying a glass bottle.
02 | A selfie stick
My apologies to those who can’t live without their selfie sticks. Your stick can poke and hurt people who dance around you. Almost all of the music festivals have amazing official photographers. Ask one of them to click your photo.
03 | Bad attitude
Leave this at home. Spread good vibes and don’t forget to smile at everyone.
So, what do you think my packing list for music festivals? Is there anything that you carry and I missed it out? Let me know in the comments section. Oh and do share this list with your friends to help them pack for the music festivals.
Consider carrying Dry Bag if the festival is close to the water. Check out this list of some of the best dry bags.
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