A music festival can be the experience of a lifetime. Days of incredible music and being able to see artists from around the world perform is truly breathtaking.
However, getting the most bang for your buck and enjoyment out of attending a music festival takes a significant amount of planning. There’s nothing worse than waiting all year for a festival, only to have the experience ruined at the last minute due to lack of preparation.
So, if you’re attending a music festival this year: start planning now!
Review this thorough festival packing list, take notes, and get ready for the time of your life!
Festival Camping Checklist
Camping at festivals can be a blast, provided you’re prepared.
I’m going to start this festival packing list with items that you should bring if you are planning on camping out for your festival stay.
1. The Right Tent
No music festival camping list could be complete without mentioning tents.
Your tent is your lifeline during your time at a festival, so don’t skimp out or leave your tent shopping until the last minute.
Prioritize tents that are spacious enough to accommodate your party and are still lightweight and easy to setup. The last thing you want to do during a festival is to waste time trying to figure out your camping setup, after all.
The Ohnana 2-Person Rayve tent is an awesome choice for couples as the tent is quick to setup and blocks out heat.
For larger parties, the HUI LINGYANG pop-up tent is an inexpensive option that offers fast setup and side panels for ventilation.
Don’t forget to bring a tent footprint or tarp to prevent your tent from getting soaked. Additionally, bringing a small rubber mallet can help to drive tent pegs into the ground.
Additionally, you should consider buying a tent lock to decrease the chances someone enters your tent without permission!
2. Air Mattress + Hand Pump
If you’re camping out for several days at a music festival, bringing a high quality air mattress will be an absolute game-changer.
There’s nothing worse than waking up feeling sore and stiff, especially when you’re supposed to be looking forward to dancing all day.
Buy a decent air mattress, and make sure you can find a compatible hand pump to inflate your bed!
3. Sleeping Bags & Blankets
While many of the most popular music festivals occur during summer, camping out at night can be deceivingly cold at times.
Make sure you bring a durable sleeping bag that is lined/warm enough for abnormally chilly nights. Additionally, don’t be afraid to throw a few blankets into your festival camping list for good measure.
4. Flashlights & Head Lamps
Stumbling around in the dark trying to find your personal belongings is a nightmare…and it’s even worse when you’re surrounded by thousands of other tents and people doing the exact same thing.
Pack several trust flashlights and camping head lamps, and don’t forget to bring extra batteries!
5. Camping Chairs & Awnings
If you want to truly enjoy luxury during your festival camping experience, you should make an effort to deck out your campsite.
You’ll ideally spend most of your time directly on festival grounds listening to your favorite artists. However, you’ll still spend plenty of time relaxing and recuperating at your campsite.
Bring some inexpensive camping chairs for your group (and extras for visitors). You can also look into cheap pop-up canopy tents to create some extra shade and a hangout area.
Extra tip – Buying a brightly colored canopy tent or even a flag can serve as a great landmark for finding your way back to your campsite! Don’t be afraid to make your setup different!
6. Speaker & Car Inverter
While there’s no shortage of music at a music festival, no campsite is complete without some soft background music.
Bring a decent waterproof speaker with you to take your campsite to the next level. Just be sure to also pack a car inverter so you can keep your speaker/other electronics charged at all time during your stay.
Extra tip – don’t forget to pack jumper cables in case you accidentally drain your car battery!
7. Lawn Games
If you already have most of your festival camping gear sorted out, one way to take your setup even further is to invest in several classic lawn games.
8. A Solid Cooler
Regardless of rules surrounding alcohol for the specific festival you’re attending, you’ll definitely be thankful to have easy access to cold beverages.
Buying a large, well insulated cooler will elevate your entire festival camping experience.
My personal favorite is the Yeti Hopper portable cooler, but any cooler will work fine as long as you can drive out at some point to refill on ice!
9. A Portable Shower
Granted, this is probably the most ‘extra’ item I’ve decided to include for this music festival packing checklist, but after a few days on a campsite, you’ll be glad you brought one!
Portable solar showers are an incredibly affordable way to stay clean and fresh when attending festivals, allowing you to enjoy your time to the fullest!
Extra tip – don’t forget to bring a set of clean towels!
Your tent will inevitably end up smelling at a music festival.
Bring a bottle of Febreeze. Trust me.
Extra tip – don’t forget to pack bug spray as well to keep mosquitoes away from your tent!
11. Duct Tape
From fixing holes in your air mattress to patching up a tent, duct tape is your best friend when it comes to festival camping. Bring at least one role just to be safe!
12. A Beer Pong Table
Let’s face it: no music festival camping guide would be complete without mentioning beer pong.
You will inevitably end up playing beer pong at the campground, so you might as well come prepared with your own beer pong table to host games!
Extra tip – be sure to bring tonnes of extra ping pong balls, red solo cups, and plastic shot cups as well.
13. Cooking Equipment & Supplies
Ideally, you should have all of your meals pre-planned as part of your festival food shopping list.
Once you know all of the groceries/dry goods you need to bring for each meal, it’s time to tackle cooking equipment and supplies.
My go-to has always been to use a small camping stove to cook my meals.
Camping stoves are lightweight, fuel is cheap (bring extra), and it’s incredibly easy to cook up fast meals like Kraft Dinner, burgers, or other camping classics.
Other items to add to your festival camping checklist include:
- Required pots and pans.
- Utensils and plates (avoid plastic if possible and simply wash your cutlery)
- Dish soap and sponge. Bring two shallow bins as well (one for washing dirty dishes in, the other for storing clean ones).
- Hand sanitizer, napkins.
- Ceramic mugs and instant coffee (this will be a complete game changer, trust me).
- Garbage bags and paper towel.
- Plenty of water jugs.
Clothing & Fashion Necessities
It doesn’t matter if you’re attending a camping music festival or staying in a hotel or AirBnB for your stay, there are some necessities you absolutely must have.
Be sure to include the following items for your music festival packing list.
14. Comfortable, Waterproof Shoes
At a music festival, you’re on your feet for most of the day (if you’re doing things right).
Buying a pair of waterproof shoes that are both comfortable and stylish will greatly improve your festival experience, so don’t skimp out!
For ladies, platform shoes or combat boots are a great choice to pair with any festival outfit. For men, a durable pair of flip-flops or classic converse can also do the job!
15. Bandannas & Other Head Gear
If you’re fortunate to have great weather at the next festival you attend, you’ll be thankful to have a bandanna, cap, or stylish hat to keep yourself cool during long periods in the sun.
Bandannas are, of course, a music festival classic. However, caps or wide brimmed hats are also an excellent way to accentuate your festival outfit while keeping cool.
16. Glitter, Temporary Tattoos & Other Festival Accessories
If you’re looking to step your festival outfit up a notch, adding things like face paint, glitter, temporary tattoos, or a variety of henna designs are an affordable and simple way to do just that!
17. Sunglasses (Bring 2 Pairs)
Sunglasses are an absolute must-have for any festival packing list, and you also make an effort to bring more than one pair.
The reasoning? Sunglasses are one of the easiest items to break or lose at a music festival. Between the jostling crowds, mosh-pits, or simply misplacing them, it’s all too easy to break or lose sunglasses.
Invest in a cheap pair or two of sunglasses and be prepared. Aviator, Ray-Ban, and Wayfarers are all excellent style choices to consider.
18. Backpacks, Fanny Packs, or Drawstring Bags
While music festivals prohibit attendees from bringing certain items onto festival grounds, there are still plenty of items you can and should bring with you during each day.
Lightweight backpacks or drawstring bags are the perfect way to secure your belongings while also packing some snacks (if allowed) and empty plastic bottles (to refill at on-site water stations).
Similarly, a fanny pack can be a fun piece of apparel that makes it easy to secure your wallet, ID, and phone during intense sets.
19. Enough Clothing
This might seem like a simple tip, but when you inevitably run out of socks or underwear during your first festival, you’ll remember this point for next time!
Over-packing for a music festival isn’t a bad call if you’re staying in a hotel or AirBnB and not camping out. Trust me, you don’t want to waste precious time doing laundry or buying more clothing, so add this note to your music festival planning checklist.
Extra tip – don’t forget to pack warm clothing for nights and a waterproof rain jacket!
Toiletries & Personal Items
It doesn’t matter if you’re staying at an AirBnB or attending a camping music festival: always be prepared and bring enough toiletries and personal items to get by.
Your outfit choices and festival camping gear (if required) are enough to get you through your weekend of fun.
However, if you truly want to maximize your enjoyment, you need to bring the following essentials.
20. Travel Sized EVERYTHING
While travel sized toiletries are a tad overpriced, simplifying your life and ensuring you can remain clean and fresh during your time at a festival is worth it.
Bring soaps, shampoos, shaving cream, disposable razors, and anything you normally need at home.
Don’t bank on your AirBnB host to provide you with anything.
I once made that mistake at Osheaga, and walked into an AirBnB that was devoid of any toiletries, had barely any toilet paper, and even lacked a plunger and shower curtain (crazy, but it happens).
21. Face Wipes
Music festivals can get pretty sweaty.
Packing some gentle baby wipes can help keep you fresh and prevent breakouts, so definitely add this item to your shopping checklist!
22. Small First Aid Kit
Packing your own version of a basic first aid kit is a great idea when traveling anywhere for a couple of days.
Bring band-aids, polysporin, and basic pain medication. At the very least, you’ll be doing a favor for your future and immensely hungover self.
23. Vitamins & Travel Aids
Festivals can actually put quite a strain on the human body.
Between multiple days and nights of dancing/partying and changes to your regular diet, it’s common to feel sick or experience common travel illnesses like traveler’s diarrhea.
In order to stay healthy and regular, here are a few items you should bring to a music festival:
- Gatorade mix (the mix is lightweight and the electrolytes will help replenish your body)
- Emergen-c to stay hydrated while getting vitamin C.
- Antacids to fight indigestion.
- Basic cold medication.
24. Sunscreen, Alo Vera, & Lip Balm
If you’re lucky, your music festival experience will be full of nothing but sunny days.
However, if you’re fortunate to have good weather, it’s important to take care of your skin. Be sure to pack sunscreen to mitigate sun burns, and bring plenty of alo vera and lip balm just in case you do get burned.
Have fun, be smart.
26. Portable Power Bank
At a festival, your phone is critical to your very survival.
After all, if you get separated from your group and cannot use your phone, you have almost zero chance of finding them again and you won’t even be able to call an Uber.
In order to prevent your phone from dying, bring at least one portable power bank with you to the festival grounds. Trust me, this can mean the difference between a stressful day and a day filled with fun.
27. Portable Electric Fan & Spray Bottle
If you’re looking for a fun way to stay cooler as you walk around the festival grounds, bringing a portable mini fan or a simple plastic spray bottle are great options.
My friends and I always bring a spray bottle because it’s effective. It’s also fun to spray random strangers (after asking) in order to help keep your fellow festival friends in good spirits.
28. A Burner Phone
If you have an older and shittier cellphone laying around, it might be a good idea to swap out your SIM card and change phones for the duration of the festival.
Like sunglasses, phones are easily broken or misplaced. Additionally, phones are one of the most common items thieves are looking for.
Replacing your expensive and current phone with older models can ultimately save you a lot of heartache and money.
29. A Cheap Flask
Now, I’m not saying you should save money by sneaking a cheap flask onto festival grounds…Or am I?
30. Lots of Gum
Decide how many packs of gum you think you need for your music festival experience and then double that number.
Gum is your best friend. It keeps your breath fresh and your jaw busy (if you need it to be) so don’t forget to stock up!
Well, there you have it!
Music festivals can be an absolutely incredible experience. However, just like any trip, it pays to come prepared and to do some planning.
I hope this comprehensive festival packing list will help you enjoy your next festival to the fullest!
Thanks so much for reading. Catch you guys in the next one.