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Festival essentials packing checklist


The key to surviving a festival, with both your gear and your body intact, is planning.

Prepare for the worst to enjoy the best with our essential festival checklist.

From your ticket to your toothbrush, here are the items you won’t survive without.

The bare minimum

There are a few key items which you’ll not get far without, nipple tassels not included.

To make sure you get through the festival in one piece, make sure you’ve got the basics covered.

  • Festival ticket
  • Travel tickets
  • Festival programme
  • Directions
  • ID

TOP TIP - You can print and laminate schedules for the weekend – which bands are playing where – and stay one step ahead of the crowd.


A festival is generally thought of as a mini-holiday, so most people can let loose and survive on junk food for the duration.

But over three days of burgers and beers you’re going to need occasional breaks - maybe even a vitamin or two.

  • Water bottle
  • Snacks
  • Fruit
  • Multivitamins

TOP TIP - Make your own trail mix with nuts, dried fruit and some chocolate - you’ll be glad of the protein and vitamin boost. You can also freeze pasta salads to thaw over the weekend.


It's a pretty fair bet that at any festival, especially if you’re camping, you’re going to get dirty.

Toilet paper is scarce, and clean facilities a rare gem.

Prepare for the worst by bringing your own essentials, and you may manage to spend the weekend relatively stink-free.

  • Sun cream
  • After sun
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Contraceptives
  • Any medication you're on
  • Contact lenses
  • Toilet roll
  • Wet wipes
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Paracetamol
  • Dry shampoo

TOP TIP - Festival toilets are notoriously filthy, and finding them in the dark can be a real mission. An in-tent pee container could save the day when you’re bursting.


With the camping, dancing, eating and drinking you’ll be doing, you’re going to need to put more thought into your outfit than just style.

Part of the trick to surviving a festival is to wear clothes that can survive it too.

  • Umbrella or raincoat
  • A hoodie or thick, warm fleece
  • Comfortable T-shirts
  • Thick socks
  • Wellies
  • Sturdy boots
  • Underwear & socks for the duration
  • Spare underwear, just in case
  • Sunglasses
  • Extra clothes, in case you get muddy
  • Emergency blankets
  • A head torch

TOP TIP - Carrying all your gear can be a nightmare, so investing in a small trolley might be the best decision you ever made.

And the rest

While you might survive without many of the following, there are some home comforts in here that you might find yourself infinitely glad you remembered.

You'll also want to make sure you’re not packing too much. Remember, you’ll be hefting this gear on your back for the next however many days.

  • Mobile phone & charger (preferably a cheap, spare one)
  • Cash
  • Spare batteries
  • Duct tape
  • Sleeping bag
  • Roll mat
  • Portable power pack for your mobile
  • Tent (with pegs, poles and a mallet)
  • Earplugs
  • A tin opener
  • Lighter / matches
  • Bottle opener / corkscrew
  • Plastic bags for rubbish
  • A tough & durable rucksack to carry it all

TOP TIP - a box of wine makes a tasty beverage, and the sack inside can be inflated and used as an emergency pillow afterwards.

Also, check that you and your belongings are covered by a home or travel insurance policy. If you lose your wallet or phone in this crowd, your chances of finding it are decidedly slim...


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