The first time I went to a weekend long festival, I was so underprepared; No tent, no food, no jumper, no pillow, no sunscreen, you name it… I didn’t have it! Over the years, I like to think I have become a little older and a little wiser and I thought I would share my festival packing guide with you all!
First up… Footwear! For me, it has to be Dr Martens boots. I personally find wellies can be a bit sweaty and heavy to walk around in all day. Dr Martens are way more comfortable, lighter and waterproof. Unless you are knee-deep in mud and marches, Dr Martens will be comfortable, practical and stylish. Mine are from Daniel Footwear, they floral print is perfect for festivals!
I would also recommend packing Jelly shoes, for me it has to be Sunjellies. They are so cute and comfortable, I have two pairs and I love them! They are water proof, cool and perfect for wearing round camp. You can even shower in them, if you manage to get a shower. Much more practical than flip-flops!
Let’s talk about keeping clean… at a festival it isn’t easy! While most festivals do have showers, the queues can be mega long. If you need to shower, pick a weird time like 6am, middle of the afternoon or evening, basically try and go when no-one else will be there! Don’t forget to pack a towel and if you don’t get to shower, wet wipes will help you feel a lot more human in the morning, as will super strong deodorant and face wipes. Cowshed have made an amazing tiny roll on perfume called Wild Cow, which is fresh and invigorating, it’s perfect for a festival. Wearing jelly shoes in the shower is essential and you can save a lot of backpack space by taking travel sized products and the sachets you get free in magazines! It sounds obvious, but wash your hair on the morning you leave for the festival, don’t forget a travel sized can of Batiste dry Shampoo. It’s always handy to pack some tissues or toilet roll, not all loo’s will be equipped and it’s nice to know you have your own supply!
Sunscreen is essential at a festival, don’t skimp and buy the budget stuff, buy the good stuff! Sunburn is rubbish, but sunburn at a festival is a million times worse. Take plenty so you can share it with your friends without worry that you will run out. Also if you buy quality suncream, it won’t leave you feeling sticky and it should last longer as you might not remember to reapply, for me, it has to be Dermalogica, it is the best! Painkillers are also handy in case a hangover and ear plugs for noisy neighbours! Also, torches are great at a festival, it doesn’t need to be huge, big and heavy, but it is pretty helpful for getting back to the campsite at night!
It’s good to have some food with you at a festival, while there are a million food vans onsite, it’s good to be able to have a small stash of food with you. Keep it simple; biscuits, beans, apples, rice… if you do have a camping stove, remember that it isn’t *that* easy to do washing up, so pot noodles and pot cous cous and pot pasta can be pretty handy, but you can always have breakfast and lunch at the camp and then find yourself a nice vegetable wrap somewhere for dinner! Try to remember tents get hot in the day, so while buying fresh croissants might seem like a good idea, they will probably only last a day or so before they start going off, cereal bars will last much better! Let’s be honest, no-one is on a detox at a festival, so keep it simple and easy, you can have all the salads you want when you get home!
Do your homework, festivals are a great opportunity to see some amazing bands and so it’s good to have an idea of which bands you want to see and who wants to go see them with you and who wants a lie in. The festival’s website *should* have a full list of all the bands, stages and times uploaded, so try and print it out before you go. If not, you can buy a guide at the festival which will include all the info, but these things cost about £20 (which is way too much) however, you can often ask someone if you can look at theirs and you can always take a photo of it on your iPhone so you can refer to it.
Speaking of iPhones, some festivals now have big companies advertising there and letting you charge your phone. The queues for these services can be mega long, and why do you want to be in a queue when you could be having fun!? Instead turn the brightness down, set your emails to retrieve manually and turn it onto aeroplane mode when you are not using it or at night. This is massively help your battery, you can also buy a portable charger for about £20, which is well worth the investment and it’s good to have one of these anyway! Also, it might be time to protect your iPhone with a nice sturdy case, mine is rubber and made by Havaiana’s. It’s nice a sturdy and if I drop my phone, I feel like it has a better chance of surviving with this case!
So… let’s talk fashion! I have already recommended Dr Martens and Sunjellies for footwear. A waterproof jacket and jumper is also important as it will be cold at night and it might rain. You want to look cool and you also want to have fun, so pack a selection of jumpsuits, dresses, shorts and tops you are comfortable in. Don’t take too many clothes, just pack the number of outfits you need and maybe one extra … just in case! Then accessorise to the max, flowers in your hair, statement sunnies, hair chalks, jewellery. Have fun with it!
There is nothing better than a wrist full of friendship bracelets, festival wristbands and sparkles. Similarly with necklaces, layer up the small charm necklaces an crystals for a casual festival look. These green ones are perfect, as they are leather with crystals all over, they give the allusion of lots of tiny bracelets and they are much easier and more comfortable to wear. These ones are from Swarovski.
This Swarvoski flower necklace is super cute. Like all of their necklaces, you can sleep in them, dance in them and they look adorable in close up instagram shots. They won’t get in your way and the splash of colour and glitter will really add to the festival look!
In terms of make up, my advice is to keep it light, the more you pile on, the more you will have to try and remove when it’s dark and you are drunk in a tent! So try and keep it fresh and light and wear a bright lipstick, like Revlon ColorStay Moisture Stain lipstick to add colour to your face, without feeling like you are caked in make up! Don’t forget to paint your nails with a really fun, brightly coloured polish, Essie is always good as it is nice and long lasting!
I love these Swarovski tiny moon necklaces, you can wear one yourself, and give the other to your best friend!
A silk scarf is also a great accessory at a festival, tie it into a turban during the day for a cool festival look, wear round your neck in the evening to keep the chills away when you are round the campfire and hide your dirty hair with it towards the end of the festival. For me it has to be a Cleo Ferin Mercury scarf, they are the best prints made from the most beautiful silk twill with hand rolled edges!
Sunglasses are a festival must; glitter, novelty shapes, embellished with flowers, neon! Personally, I adore these dreamy pink Charlotte Ronson for Vogue eyewear glasses from Sunglass hut! With cute lace effect detailing and pink pink colour, these are perfect for a festival! ASOS and Boohoo are also great places to buy festival-ready sunglasses!
At a festival you want to have your arms free for dancing, holding drinks and burgers. A bum bag would be the best kind of bag to have, but not many of us feel confident with a bum bag! So why not get a backpack instead. I have an amazing one by Corder London, which is blue suede with fringing, very cool and cute, perfect for a festival, and this one only cost £25. ASOS also have some great backpacks too!
Have fun, dance to your favourite bands and make some amazing memories!