My Essential Festival Checklist

It’s nearly festival time!

Festival campsite

2000trees campsite, 2010 (I think)


The first ‘proper’ festival that we’re attending this year is TwoThousandTrees near Cheltenham. It’s a great little festival and I am definitely looking forward to it, despite the doom and gloom forecast by our friends at the Met Office.

Hubby and I have been to a fair few festivals together over the years, so we like to think that we’ve got the preparation part down to a fine art (through learning experiences like that time we forgot both matches and lighter so we couldn’t light our camping stove…).

So, in the hopes of helping out first time revellers and in excitement for this momentous weekend coming, I thought I’d share my list of festival essentials for the prepared and happy camper:

  • Tickets – Seems pretty obvious, but don’t forget your tickets! And not just your festival tickets – make sure you have your travel or parking tickets sorted too.
  • Money – There’s usually a cash machine somewhere on a festival site, but there’s also usually a massive queue. Bring enough to keep you going, but keep it safe.
  • Tent and sleeping bag (of course) – Your home for the duration. Check that your tent and bedding are still ok before going if you haven’t used them for a while. Or, if you’ve got a shiny new tent, make sure you know how to put it up. Ever tried to put up an unfamiliar tent when it’s pouring and all your stuff is getting soaked? Believe me, it’s not fun.
  • Emergency phone – Note the word emergency there.. It is a most sensible thing to have a phone with you, especially if you’re with a group. But please, please don’t spend your whole time texting when you’re watching bands. It’s annoying for the people around you, and it’s more fun for everyone if you let yourself get into the music (sorry, personal bug-bear!).
  • Waterproofs – If you’re out in a field for a few days with only a tent for shelter, it’s bound to rain at some point – this is Britain! And with the summer being as wet as it has been this year, forget your waterproofs at your peril….
  • Wellies and comfy welly socks – Wet ground gets pretty churned up with thousands of people treading on it, so wellies are a definite must. It always amazes me how often you see people wandering around sporting the ‘soaked trainers with ineffective plastic bags over the top’ look.

    The welly socks are a must for me to help stop my always-very-cold feet getting very cold. It won’t work, but I’ll try anyway. Thick socks also keep your feet comfy when you have to walk around a lot between stages.
  • Suncream and Shades – It’s unlikely to be sunny for 2000Trees this year (boo!), but even wet days can have sunny spells. Don’t forget to protect yourself from the sun as you can get burnt much more quickly than you expect, especially if you’re fair-skinned like me.
  • Torch – Guy ropes are hard enough to see in the daytime, let alone at night. Sites normally have lighting round the stages, but getting through a mess of tents without a torch (and after a few drinks) is very, very tricky.
  • Wipes and Loo Roll – Toilet wipes and wet wipes/baby wipes. Baby wipes are good for general hygiene/cleaning up. Toilet wipes and toilet paper for any nasty surprises in the cubicle… put them in your bag or pocket so you’re not caught out! I don’t normally recommend specific products on this blog, but Method Flushable Wipes are pretty good and are environmentally friendly too.
  • Snacks – There’s some pretty tasty food stalls at festivals these days, but the cost of buying ALL your food on site adds up. Hubby and I normally take snacks and some emergency tins of beans etc. And tea. Because I run on tea.
  • Camping Stove and Pans – To heat up said emergency beans. Washing up gear is useful too, but bulky – hubby and I tend to take a sponge and then use our bigger pan as the bowl… a tea towel is also helpful when you don’t have anywhere to put wet pans. Oh, and don’t forget the lighter…
  • Prescription Medicines/Minor Injury Kit – If you have to take medicines regularly then you’ll probably automatically pack them, but it’s easy to forget everyday remedies like hay fever medicine (might just be me…!). Take some plasters, antiseptic wipes/cream and some insect bite cream for those minor mis-haps, and take note of where the medical tent is so you know where to go on the off-chance that something more serious happens.
  • Clothes – Take clothes that layer well together. Being a comfort-over-fashion kind of girl, I am definitely an advocate of bringing plenty of warm comfy clothes, which is a challenge when trying to pack lightly. However, even if you’re a proper fashionista, layers are still a good idea – then you can look good and be warm.

    It’s a good idea to keep a spare set of clothes in your tent that do not leave it. That way you’ve always got something dry to put on. Trust me, it can make a heck of a difference after a couple of hours in the rain.
  • Scissors and String – It’s really surprising how often you need a pair of scissors when you don’t have any to hand. And string is useful for lots of festival things: stringing up a banner so you can find your tent easily, bodged tent repairs, tying stuff to your rucksack to make it easier to carry home – the list goes on.
  • Main stage, 2000Trees

    Main stage, 2000Trees 2009 (not sure who’s playing, sorry)

  • Your sense of fun – Seeing as most of this list is full of sensible advice about being prepared, it’s worth remembering that festivals are about fun, music and letting yourself go a bit. So enjoy!

I’ve probably forgotten something – but hopefully this list will help you be festival-ready, especially if it’s your first time. Let me know in the comments if you think I’ve missed something important, or if you have any of your own tips for festival survival. I love hearing from you!

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1 Comment

Filed under It's My Life, Opinionated

One response to “My Essential Festival Checklist

  1. I know this post is a little old but I’ve been reading this after doing some googling around for festival stuff, I made a similar ‘absolute essentials’ list for festivals – a couple of ours are different so check it out šŸ™‚

    http://festivalessentials.net/top-15-absolute-essentials/

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