Festival Packing List

It’s that heady time of year when you tingle all over with anticipation and dream of escaping that rat race to ‘find yourself’ on a higher plane of consciousness, ankle deep in British mud, swilling cider down your psychedelic tights.  I tackle this hedonistic getaway with the same precision approach I apply to the more mundane side of life: preparation is everything. 

Unless you’re a captain of spontaneity and need little more to survive than rolling tobacco and a feathered headdress, you should adopt my methodical, organised attitude and indulge yourself with this season’s must-have accessory: the Festival Packing List.

The list below was created for a good friend coming to Glastonbury for the first time, but it can be easily adapted to your ‘chosen field’.  I’m often asked to repeat it, so here it is


4. CAMP/AIR BED / yoga mat for keeping sleep comfy.
6. LIGHT PACK AWAY RAIN MACK / poncho / small brolly
7. Warm clothes for night time exploration
8. LOTS OF SOCKS including long ones for wellies and spares
10. WARM PJs / tracksuit for sleeping in
11. ANY TOILETRIES THAT YOU CAN’T SURVIVE WITHOUT like soap, sun cream, moisturiser, deodorant, make up, dry shampoo, glitter, facial sequins, brush, bobble, clips etc
12. LOADS OF BABY WIPES – the ‘in tent shower’
13. SMALL TOWEL to dry your face or hair if you wash it / LARGE TOWEL if you’re planning to wash anything else
15. SUNGLASSES and sunhat
16. Anti bacterial hand gel
18. PHONE (an old one if you’re worried about losing yours) + spare BATTERIES (you can queue up to recharge yours but unlikely to be a good use of time! I buy a £5 phone from asda that lasts for days.) Or you can buy the new Glasto batteries that they’ll swap for you to save wasting precious festival time.
20. MINI TORCH that can be carried around and makes it easier to find your tent at 3am when you’re worse for wear!
21. 500ml plastic bottles – for filling with water / vodka! No glass is allowed on the site, so lots of plastic bottles are handy. You need to decant any spirits into plastic.  Check the festival booze policy – e.g. Secret Garden Party don’t allow spirits and you are limited to 12 cans / 6 cans + 1 bottle of wine. No limits for Glastonbury (subject to carrying – see below!)
22. EAR PLUGS AND EYE MASK – necessary for sleeping through the din
23. Small bottle of SQUASH / cordial (the water is potable but tastes a bit funny)

What to wear?
24. LAYERED TOPS – to adjust to the climate
25. SHORTS / SKIRTS that are light to pack and dry easily
27. TIGHTS / LEGGINGS – amazing in all weathers and light to pack
28. HAT & GLOVES – for those chilly night time adventures
30. IMPORTANT: A clean outfit NEVER to be worn outside of the tent – that way no matter how wet and muddy your clothes get, you will always have a dry sanctuary inside

– You can buy absolutely anything you want at the festival, including everything listed above.  However, it’s probably cheaper to buy things before you come and easier than trekking 7 miles across site to find earplugs.
– Whatever you bring with you, you will have to CARRY IT about 2 miles cross country when you arrive. It is possible to do more than one trip though…if you can be bothered!
– You will be outdoors for 6 whole days – we don’t live in Cuba – prepare for the weather.

You might want to consider bringing:
32. FLIP FLOPS / bikinis especially if your festival has VIP hot tubs and you’re a VIP!
33. JEWELLERY – don’t bring anything precious
34. FANCY DRESS – arguably this should be on the essentials list
35. CHAIRS – although these can be found / bought / acquired

35A – Inflatables! For floating on when it turns to a stream

36. FOOD – you probably want to bring some little snacks / fruit / cereal bars.  Whilst at Glasto you can light a fire anywhere and you can potentially bring a camp stove, pans, tins of beans etc, but there’s really no point unless you’re desperate to save cash on food. The food at Glastonbury (for example) is amazing – fresh fruit markets, sushi stalls, curry houses etc. A main meal is about £7 but you can go cheaper. They also have the ubiquitous dodgy burger stalls near to the main stages, best to be avoided. The best food is usually near the Jazz World stage (Good Thai Dins etc).

37. BOOZE! Again, check your festival’s policy. Unlike all other British festivals, at Glasto you can take as much of your own booze in as you like and carry it everywhere with you! Of course this means you have to cart it all onto site but you can make big savings this way. They do also have lots of nice bars in there (hot cider, very strong cold cider, cocktail bars, rum tent, whiskey house etc etc.)

38. Peppermint oil – to disguise the smell of the toilets! A scarf over your face could do them same job.

39. A pot to pi$$ in! I have no comment on this but I know many people bring a bucket for this purpose

Don’t leave home without…!!!

40. Money, TICKET and photo ID!
41. Train or coach tickets for transport

42. Day bag – to carry loo roll, camera, booze, water, mack, maybe a brolly etc.
43. A few bin bags. Can be very useful for sitting on if the ground is wet, as it often is!
44. Loads of Great Mates – although you can always make new ones there
45. A willingness to participate

46. Sparkle and smiles 🙂


PS. For the cooler continuation of this list, check out what festival stalwarts, The Hooping Harlots, bring to their chosen field:  www.thehoopingharlots.wordpress.com/2013/05/23/the-hooping-harlots-festival-packing-list/

3 thoughts on “Festival Packing List

  1. Pingback: The Hooping Harlots festival packing list | thehoopingharlots

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