It’s festival time: what to bring?
Festivals all over the world are held every year and entertain a large group of people. Are you preparing for a festival this year? Don’t panic, we have thought of everything: from practical aspects to ecological advice.
To make sure you are prepared to handle the mud, the ruinous hangovers and entertain the little ones, we’ve put together a short guide to the needs of any self-respecting festival, whatever the weather, budget and company.
Tent yes or no tent?
First of all read what you cannot take with you on the official website of the festival, which could be anything; from aerosols, to paper lanterns or folding gazebos. If you decide to camp, leave your expensive and professional tent at home if you plan large parties around your bivouac. And whatever the official capacity of the tent, double the number of people it can accommodate, you will need more and more space.
Not a fan of camping? Consider then the weekend festivals in the city such as Field Day in London, the Sidney Festival in Australia, or the Movement Detroit in the United States, as well as the traveling ones, which move from Shanghai to Lima, such as the Ultra Music Festival. If you are considering luxury camping, or glamping, write down what exactly the event offers so you can relax and let yourself be pampered without worries. In any case, whatever your choice, check if there are any services nearby and which ones, otherwise you will have to bring more stuff with you.
After checking and double-checking that you have taken your festival tickets, ID card, cash and credit cards, grab the solar chargers to be able to recharge your portable devices in a practical way, without having to wait in line on the spot losing your friends in the crowd or the show of your favorite band. If you camp, always bring a hammer to pitch your tent, use neatly folded clothes as a pillow to sleep in, invest in a good sleeping bag and some comfortable folding chairs. If you opt for an airbed, buy an electric pump so you don’t wear yourself out in the first hour of the festival, and stock up on reusable eco-friendly cotton bags to carry everything from personal items to food and drink.
Now come the things you never thought they needed, but you probably won’t be able to do without them: electrical tape (fix everything), lighter, flashlight, clothes pegs, earplugs and sleep mask. Make sure you carry enough cash and hide it in different places or using special band wallets to prevent any disaster.
Food and beverages
Do you have any idea how much it costs to buy every meal of every day at the festival? Bring with you the minimum necessary to be able to cook : a small pan, a spatula, cutlery, plates and bowls, Swiss army knife, bottle opener, sponge and detergent for washing dishes, waste bags and reusable bottles. Most campsites do not allow the use of gas or methane stoves, so it is better to opt for multi-fuel or solid fuel ones. Choose vegetables that last longer such as broccoli, cabbage and potatoes, canned foods such as fish, beans and peeled tomatoes, but especially non-perishable foods such as dried fruit, tofu, couscous, pasta, rice cakes and even dried meat.
Be responsible and leave no traces, but above all be ecological: in many festivals you can use the same cup in different bars, check this information and stock up on reusable glasses and cups, if they allow it. Consider carrying bamboo utensils, stainless steel straws, and food containers. And to overcome the hangover from the previous night, a ginger tea can help fight nausea and grapefruit juice boosts sugar levels, finally bananas and coconut water will get you back in shape, being rich in antioxidants and nutrients.
Ready for everything
The biggest dilemma is: how to be ready for any climate? The most important thing to do is make the most of your clothes: sarongs and bandanas can become skirts or bags, swimwear can become shorts or underwear. If you brave the cold at festivals such as Iceland Airwaves, bring thermos, insulating foam mattresses, socks and technical gloves with you. Instead, get ready for desert sandstorms by wearing masks, goggles and scarves for parties such as Burning Man in Nevada or the Oasis Festival in Marrakech, without forgetting the drop in temperatures at night. In the wet and rainy conditions of festivals like the Glastonbury Festival in Britain, bring hiking boots, rubber boots and a waterproof poncho. In mosquito-plagued environments like the Rainforest World Music Festival in the Malaysian jungle or the Envision Festival in Costa Rica, protect yourself by buying a diethyltoluamide-based repellent and unscented deodorants. Heading to the sands of the Hideout in Croatia or the Airlie Beach Festival in Australia? Bring suntan-proof sunscreen with you.
Cleaning first of all
You will probably be prepared for a bit of a mess, however you will want to have a small bathroom kit with you: hand sanitizer gel, toilet paper (without the roll), wet wipes and a wash bowl that can save your daily hygiene. Bring the essentials for the shower: cut a piece of your soap or there are kits especially for festivals to be able to wash even without water. A few small tips: bring a mirror, make sure you invest in products that contain sunscreens and if you have long hair make sure you always have a tape on your wrist just in case.
For the little ones
Don’t forget paracetamol or the like. You might also consider buying a portable field toilet, along with collapsible bottles which are a great invention if your bag is about to explode. In addition to the usual holiday kit, poncho towels are perfect for drying the little ones after they get dirty. One-piece suit pajamas are great for snuggling up and you can’t forget sun hats and ear muffs of the right size.
For fun, choose to bring games with which they can continue to pass the time even in the evening or in a crowded lawn such as glow sticks, children’s makeup, disposable cameras and mini binoculars. When do his feet hurt? Opt for kangaroo transport frames, folding stools, portable padded beds for the little ones or even wagons with wheels. To ensure a peaceful sleep, limit the noise, spray some room fragrances and place them in good quality baby sleeping bags. Also check our tips for traveling with kids.
Ask and lend
The basics you can count on at a festival are: the large number of people around you outdoors and the desire to share. So take advantage of it. Entrust various tasks to your fellow adventurers so you don’t end up with five hammers and a single pump and don’t fret if you haven’t managed to put your camping chairs or a cooler bag in the car, no problem: your cute tent neighbors or festival staff can always help you out.
Disguises, glitter and much more
Plant original flags to distinguish your camp so you can easily recognize it, but maybe leave the inflatable sumo costume at home if you don’t have much space. With or without a themed party, opt for lightweight garments like fancy print leggings, face paints, glitter, headbands, wigs and masks. You should also be able to pack portable board games like Dobble, Uno or Twister into your backpack, which can be folded and used as a towel and can work to break the ice and meet new people.