The ultimate music festival packing list

Posted at 9:13 AM, May 02, 2016

It’s time to get ready for music festival season.

Over the summer, many of these events are outdoors. This provides some amazing backdrops to some amazing shows. It also presents a number of challenges for the thousands of people who attend.

Whether it’s a one-day concert or a multi-day extravaganza, you should think more about than just your ride and ticket to get into the event.

Create your own “must-have” packing list based on the following suggestions:

Perfect places for shelter and shade

Mother Nature usually puts on a beautiful show, but sometimes she experiences some major mood swings. Summer weather can bring pop-up storms with strong winds and torrential rains. Even in nice weather, it’s smart to have a place to duck under for some shade.

If a one-day festival has an area where guests can set up camp, consider getting a pop-up canopy to stay out of the sun. Overnight campers may want to go with a tent to have over their head. Whether it’s a cozy shelter for one or sleeping quarters for a large group, online retailers have a variety of options.

Create a home away from home

If you want to feel a little more at home while on the road, you may want to pick up the following for an overnight:

  • An air mattress for a better night’s sleep
  • An easy-fold blanket for either picnicking or a bed cover
  • A camp stove to have a meal that’s almost like “home-cooked”
  • A solar powered light to keep the party going after dark

Stay connected with portable chargers

Even when people try to get away from it all in the great outdoors, many still need their smartphones. People take pictures, share on social media, text friends or others at the show and even listen to music with these devices.

The challenge? Keeping it charged and ready to go.

Portable chargers make it easy to avoid dealing with a dead phone battery at the worst possible time (maybe an impromptu meet and greet with a favorite festival artist, perhaps?) Just plug in your phone with a standard USB charging cord and you have a fully charged phone in just a few hours.

Some portable chargers can take multiple phones at once — just make sure the charger’s battery is at 100 percent before you go.

Find fun festival fashion

Guys, festival fashion gives you the opportunity to express your cool side, both in style and in comfort. There’s a wide range of clothing to choose from for your wardrobe including:

  • Hoodies: This clothing staple runs from the basic gray sweatshirt to sleeveless and bright colors.
  • Long shorts: Stylish and practical. Love all the pockets!
  • Classic t-shirts: Everyone has to have a few of these, whether they are a basic white, bold print or a favorite band shirt.
  • Button up shirt: Check prints are hot right now. Think a throwback to grunge, only a little more upscale.


Ladies, whether you going for the bohemian look or want more of rock flair, you can still look fabulous when going casual. You want items that pack easy and wear well right out of the bag. Some common festival fashions include:

  • Tank tops or camisole shirts: Easy to pack; a wardrobe basic that brings out the sassy in any woman.
  • Sundresses/long skirt: A classic sundress or skirt can help you feel light and breezy even on the hottest days out on the festival fields.
  • Jeans or denim shorts: The ultimate must have for any casual occasion. Jeans and denim shorts can be frayed, long, short, baggy, form-fitting and just plain fun. They are durable and totally fun.

A festival is not the time to try out new styles or anything fancy. You’ll be on your feet most of time and need something to keep your feet feeling fine and hopefully blister-free.

Sneakers and sandals are the two most common choices for festival footwear. Many outdoor concertgoers may also bring a pair of boots to keep their feet dry in case of a sudden downpour and the mess all the mud leaves behind.

Personal care

Don’t get lost in all the fashion and gadgets and forget to bring some of the personal necessities, such as:

  • A backpack or large bag to hold your personal items.
  • Medications, including pain relievers and any prescriptions you may need while away.
  • A neck or belt wallet to keep your valuables close to you and safe.
  • Sunscreen: Nothing is worse than a bad burn during an outside festival.
  • First aid kit: Cuts, scrapes and blisters are inevitable part of being in nature with thousands of fellow music lovers.
  • Hats: They not only look good, but also keep you protected from the sun.
  • Water bottle: Dehydration can happen quickly (especially during the summer months) and can lead to serious illness. Bring a bottle and keep it filled.
  • Easy-to-carry snacks when you’re hungry but don’t want to buy something or cook something back at the campsite.
  • Cooling cloth: These towels can be a lifesaver in the heat. Just get these special towels wet and they will stay damp and cool for hours. Once they dry, just add more water to keep your chill while everyone else sweats. Look for brand names like Frogg Toggs, Chill-Its or EnduraCool.