Ultimate music festival packing list

Did you also have the feeling that summer was already here last week? To me this means: festival time!! I absolutely love going to music festivals. It is where many of my hobbies come together: music, concerts, traveling, camping and being outside. This year I have two summer festivals planned: Down The Rabbit Hole (29/06-1/07) and, as always, Lowlands (17/08-19/08). Can’t wait!

As I’ve already been to a few summer festivals by now, I know about the struggle that comes with it: packing. On the one hand, you want to make yourself as comfy as possible on the campsite, wear your favorite clothes and be prepared for the Dutch weather. But then on the other hand: you have to carry everything to the campsite… Ugh! Inexperienced as we were, we arrived underprepared a couple of times. Unaware of the essentials and reluctant to carry too much stuff around. The result: we ended up sitting in our tent in the dark the night before the festival began without a flashlight, no deck of cards and no food.

We still had fun of course. It’s not the end of the world: as long as you and your tent are there! Besides, you can buy so many things at the festival itself. Or even better: make some campsite buddies and borrow stuff from them! Anyways, to ease the packing struggle (even if it’s just a tiny bit) I’ve made this list of stuff that’s worth carrying. Also a nice reminder for myself for the festivals to come! The list is mostly for Dutch summer weekend festivals (think: rain and mud). I’m aware that the list might look a bit different for men but in general it’s probably still useful.

Number one tip: don’t pack too much, you’ll probably only wear 2 outfits! At least that’s always the case for me. You’ll thank yourself when you realize how heavy and unmanageable all the stuff is together.

Clothing

  • Rain jacket – I always take a very thin one so it’s not too much to cary around when all of the sudden the sun breaks through again
  • Poncho – they’re super cheap and easy to take with you to the festival terrain
  • T-Shirts (4) – I’m the geek that’s wearing band shirts all weekend
  • Thick sweater – for cold nights, also to sleep in!
  • Thin vest – easy to take with you to the festival terrain
  • Shorts and/or jeans (2) – depending on the weather. Choose your comfiest ones, not your most precious ones: they will get dirty
  • Underwear
  • Swimwear – if it’s warm
  • Thick socks – make your rain boots a bit more comfortable
  • Pyjamas 

Shoes

  • Comfortable shoes – your legs will hurt!
  • Rain boots or other mud/waterproof shoes – essential for Dutch festivals
  • Flipflops – in case you’re going to take a shower or just to wear around the tent

Toiletries

  • Toothbrush + toothpaste
  • Shampoo + showergel
  • Razor
  • Sunscreen
  • Ear plugs – you’ll want to get some sleep at some point. Besides, the music at the concerts can be pretty loud
  • Baby wipes – love them! Good substitute for taking a shower
  • Deodorant – too feel at least somewhat fresh
  • Tissues – in case there’s no toiletpaper.
  • Hair brush + hair ties + hair band  – if your hair becomes unmanageable (last day)
  • Make-up + make-up remover – in case you really can’t live without
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Watch – if you’re not taking your phone to the festival terrain you need a watch in order to be at your favorite band’s concert on time!
  • First aid stuff – band aids, paracetamol, security pin, vitamin pills
  • Medication
  • Small towel

Camping gear

  • TENT – check if it’s complete
  • Ground sheet – we always use this cheap thin plastic sheet (used for painting) from ‘Action’
  • Huge backpack that fits all your stuff – I wouldn’t recommend dragging a trolley suitcase through the mud
  • Air mattress – check for holes/damage
  • Sleeping bag – small, light-weight ones save sooo much space!
  • Small pillow – not essential, you can also use a sweater. But I sleep much better with a pillow 🙂
  • Camping chairs – last year was the first time we’ve had this luxury. It’s a bit of a hassle to carry them there, but oh my, breakfast got so much more comfortable! Especially if the ground is wet, without chairs you’re just stuck in your tent all the time.
  • Swiss army knife

It’s not really necessary to bring a pump for your air mattress. Fellow festival-goers will happily let you use theirs!

Electronics

  • Flashlight – helps you find all your stuff at night. If you have a head torch: even better! (check for the batteries)
  • Phone – I always put mine in a locker during the festival (see ‘tips’ below)
  • Charger and/or power bank

Food and cooking supplies

Not really experienced in this area. I’m just too lazy to carry my own camping stove, pots, pans, food, etc. Besides, the food at the festival terrain is usually delicious! It costs a lot more obviously but I prefer to stay at the festival terrain and not miss any concert. We do bring stuff for breakfast though and some easy snacks to take with you on the go or to have late at night.

  • Don’t know the English word for: knakworst! Can’t live without. They make for the perfect breakfast (at least at a festival). Even if you don’t have a camping stove with you, you can just eat them cold.
  • Bread
  • Ketchup
  • Another one: krentenbollen – you don’t need to put anything on it, super efficient!
  • Granola bars
  • Bananas
  • If you’re already going to the camping the day before the festival starts: bring some food for dinner

Others

  • FESTIVAL TICKET
  • Money – debit card will do
  • ID or passport – you’ll need to show this when you’re picking up your wristband!
  • Disposable camera – so you’ll still have some pictures even if you’re not taking your phone to the festival terrain
  • Deck of cards
  • Magazine – for the lazy mornings or the day before the actual festival starts
  • Fanny pack – you have your hands free and you’re not bothered with where you left your essentials
  • Plastic bags – for your dirty clothes and for trash
  • Sunglasses

Tips!

  • Rent a locker. This way you don’t have to worry about your valuables while you’re having fun. I really don’t need my phone at a music festival, so I just leave it in the locker for 3 days. Lockers are often on the way from the festival terrain to the camp sites so you can even check your phone or whatever on the way to your tent.
  • You can refill your water bottle at the toilets at the festival terrain. Only thing is: you usually can bring a bottle to the festival terrain but not the cap. So, be creative.
  • Since last year they’re being very strict about backpacks on the festival terrain. I think it’s a good thing, because it can be very annoying when you’re at a concert and someone with a huge backpack is bumping into you all the time. Here’s where the fanny pack comes in handy!
  • If you want to take a shower: don’t do so in the morning! I always see the line in the morning and it’s sooo long! People must be waiting for an hour or so! Instead, take a shower before you go to bed! Most showers are open 24/7 and you can just walk right through at night. Another tip: don’t worry too much about showering.
  • Remember where you pitched your tent. Perhaps make it recognizable (flags, lights, whatever)
  • Have fun!

Do you have festivals planned this summer? Any essentials that you can’t live without during a festival?

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