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Music Festival Packing Essentials: What To Bring Checklist

I don’t care if you’re 20 years old or 200 – anyone can enjoy a music festival anywhere in the world. They can be just vibrant local gatherings with a few jam bands in the center of town, or a giant blow-out by the beach featuring massive artists from around the world. Either way, if you plan to enjoy more than one day in a row, you’ll need to pack correctly for the experience so as to have the ultimate amount of fun.

crowd at firefly festival

Check ALL the Festival Rules

While I sport a backpack for most music happenings, some festivals will not allow them into the grounds. A few events allow water bottles to the shows, others have then banned all together. It seems excessive, but when I buy tickets to a festival, no matter where in the world, I check the FAQ page on the festival site (like the Lockn Festival in Virginia) to see what you can bring and what’s forbidden. That way you can leave unusable items at home.

Feeling Festive Attire

Joe-Russos-Almost-Dead-by-Dave-Vann

Men

Pants or trousers that drag on the ground aren’t a great idea, as grounds can get muddy and dusty. Even if the weather is a little cool, shorts as the best option for festival wear.

Consider multiple situations at once too. Maybe they’ll be shows at night, but if you want to hang out during the day in hot weather, sturdy swimshorts could be the best option. Especially for events like Sonus in Croatia that take place on the beach.

Women

I’m a big fan of skirts for every occasion, but if you’re going to be running around a lot breathable short or pants is best. Jean shorts are cute but can get oppressively hot, so consider investing in some linens in a dark color.

Everyone

It’s tempting to just throw on flip-flops but forgo the idea for something sturdier. Hearty flats or strapped sandals, TOMs slide-ons, Sperry-like boat shoes and even sneakers are better. Your feet will thank you and you’ll avoid getting stepped on in the crowds.

Must-Have Extras for Festivals

Forget if you tan easily or have to avoid the sun like the plague – you’re going to need sunblock. It’s not often we’re outside all day anymore, so be prepared for that kind of unforgiving weather. I also carried a poncho or plastic bag on me – rain happens. I didn’t necessarily need to wear it, but it was nice to have plastic to sit on after the rain stopped to keep a little dry.

umbrellas at firefly festival

 

One thing I loved at music festivals I’ve been to is the spirit. Sure, some people are selling things to…enhance…the music, but plenty others are also taking part in good honest fun. I loved when a few girls came up to our group with glitter and face paint. Another had small buttons to give out from their home town. One woman had a lomography camera to take snaps and give out hard copies right there in person. I wish I had brought something to contribute to the giving vibe!

Here’s a Quick Festival Check-List:

  • Breathable, light clothing like cotton or linen
  • Shorts, skirts and wrinkle-free tops
  • Sturdy, strapped shoes
  • Hat, good sunblock, protective lip balm
  • Water or an empty, reusable container for water
  • Little gifts, things to trade, etc.
  • An open mind, go-with-the-flow attitude

festival lantern firefly delaware

Have you been to a music festival? In what part of the world? What was the best thing you packed for the event?

EileenCotterWright

Author EileenCotterWright

Eileen Cotter Wright is a Boston, MA expat living in London, UK. She is a freelance writer and owner of group travel site PureWander.com. Despite losing her passport the first day she left her home country, she's continued to roam the earth with gusto for about a decade. You can keep up with her hot mess adventures on Twitter @Crooked_Flight.

More posts by EileenCotterWright

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