Bumbag. My absolute favourite accessory to wear and one of the reasons festivals are so great. It’s acceptable to wear bumbags all the time. What’s not to love about a bumbag? It is so handsfree, all your belongings are easily accessible, and you look mighty cool. Well I do anyway. Definitely get a cool Aztec one like this one and don’t be a lameo with a dadpack. Or if you must be at least customise it with badges and all the glitter. I’ve gradually started increasing my use of the bumbag on general nights out and I haven’t been openly judged thus far… It will be a thing soon!
Torch. One of those things I always know I’ll need but slips my mind every time. Unless you’re planning on staying out until 8am every night (a definite possibility) you’ll need some light for your drunken tent search for pyjamas and teeth cleaning essentials. Ain’t nobody got time for stumbling over tent pegs and sleeping tent mates when all you want is a warm(ish) sleeping bag kip.
Fancy dress. Okay okay, I know it can be very lame and over the top but if you can’t do it at a festival when can you? Pack up all those flower garlands and disco pants you bought for that 80s party that never happened and wear them with pride for all the festival enjoyment. Trust, no one will judge. People may even try and steal your fabulous attires.
Glitter. On the subject of fancy dress, you will require glitter all day all festival. There is no excuse for being at a festival and not having glitter on your face. Nominate someone from your group who can apply glitter without making you look like you have a disease and demand that they glitter your face every day. You will become a happy glitter fairy sort of person and that’s always fun to be. You will also end up transferring glitter onto people whenever you hug or kiss them, so that’s great. Spreading the love and happiness and all that 🙌
Wellies. Don’t be the fool that forgets these. You might think you can brave the mud in converse but believe me, you can’t. You will get trench foot and fall over lots. Says she who wore flip flops out for the day when she knew it was raining later. You live, you learn… And you force your friends to piggy back you up the hill to collect said wellies.
Rain jacket/mac/cagoule. Likewise, you will definitely regret not packing one of these bad boys. I choose to pack two (not a light packer as you might be able to tell), one for heavy duty thunder rain protection, and one for festival themed fun (see above). Or just to make me look like a spaceman. Yes it can be annoying when the sun comes out midway through the day and you’re left to tie your rainmac around your waist like an old man teacher on a school trip, but that my friends is English weather for you. There’s no predicting it, so be prepared or get ill. (Sitting on the wet ground for 2 hours at 8am can also do that to you, take note people).
Berocca. Every day at a festival has to be a good day, there’s no hiding in your tent all day and waiting for the hangover to pass. Things to do, people to see, crazy happenings to happen. Get some berocca down you as soon as the evil sun let’s you sleep no longer and you’ll be set for the days activities.
Facewash. Simple as it is, washing your face after a sweaty sticky (ew) nights sleep is one of the most glorious things you can do. I recommend The Body Shop’s seaweed facewash, it will make you feel like a totally new woman/manperson. Scrub all the alcohols and mud and mistakes away. Another GREAT thing to bring is face mist (again, I use The Body Shop). Go into your friends tents and wake them up with a spritz of this to the face, they’ll hate you at the time but then realise that you are a miracle genius.
A large tent. This might seem like a luxury, but you will be living in this tent for a while and sleeping on top of all your belongings with a damp tent skin next to you just isn’t fun. Remember, 3 man actually means about 1.5 persons plus an unrealistically small bag. Being that person with the extra room means that you can change without getting cramp, you can be messy without it preventing you from sleeping, and you can provide an emergency drinking space when that pesky rain comes down (maybe more of a curse than a blessing, but at least everyone will love you and we all love to be loved).
Portable charger. If you take one piece of advice from this post, let it be this one. I got my portable charger from amazon (link) for £25 and it charges your phone fully 8 times – more than enough for any festival. Without it you’ll only end up losing all of your friends and searching crowds for hours, or paying extortionate amounts for someone to hold your phone hostage in a van for 30% more batteries. Some people choose the brick, but this way you still get to take photos and use whatsapp groups and all those things were unhealthily addicted to.
Shewee. I have a confession about this one. I bought it for Glastonbury because I am the most inconvenient wee-er in the world. Like, I will need to wee just when kanye west is about to start and we’ve found a good spot, or just when everyone has been for a wee and I thought I didn’t need to. Yes people hate me. So to minimise the hate I thought I’d be all brave and modern and buy a shewee. But I just didn’t have the courage to use it. First of all, Glastonbury is all about not peeing in inappropriate places and the designated shewee area had a queue longer than the Yorkshire pudding stall (yes, this was a real thing), but to be honest I didn’t really try to use it and I’m slightly regretting this now. Latitude is going to be the time when I learn to wee like a man, bring it on.
Portable shower. This was something that a friend brought and turned out to be an absolute life saver. No one wants to queue for disgusting festival showers and short of pouring bottles of water over your head, it’s either this or be a dirty skank for 3-5 days. I was surprised at how powerful the shower nozzle was, it actually felt like a proper shower, and at only £35! One tip – try to find a semi-sunny moment to use this, it’s still pretty damn cold so you’ll need all the rays you can get.
Too many clothes. I always love to have as much choice as possible when putting on an outfit, but festival packing is all about saving space for necessities (and there are a lot of them). Before packing those 3 maxi skirts, ask yourself if you will actually want to wear them after day 3 and all of the mud. Jeans are also the most unused festival wear, you’ll either be too hot or you’ll have soaked denim stuck to your skin. Grim.
Yoga mat. Sleeping is obviously something that you don’t do much of at festivals, so the limited sleep you manage to snatch has to be as comfortable as possible. I usually take a fold up cushiony thing that does the trick, but this glasto I was coaching it down there so thought a compact yoga mat would be more suitable. No. Just no no no no. There is literally zero points in having this monstrosity pretending to be a bed underneath you, you can still feel all the grounds and stones and a good nights sleep will not be on the table. Push the boat out and get a blow up mattress, 4 nights later your back and mental state will thank you enormously.
Canvas shoes. So the weather is looking bright and sunny and heck there might even be a heat wave, and you’re like I’m going to bring my nice canvas shoes, they’ll be fine. Incorrect. You’ll spend the first day flouncing around on the long grass all la-di-da and then a tiny bit of rain will start and the whole field becomes a mudfest. Don’t do it to yourself and your shoes.
Houmous and pork pies. This is probably a very obvious one to most people, but apparently not myself. Last year I went about the festival food shop with the mentality of ‘what will I enjoy eating’ rather than ‘what won’t die in my sauna tent’. I ended up with very sweaty foods that were not edible at all, surprise surprise. Just a nono all round.
Crates of beer. When you picture a festival tent drinking scene, you probably usually picture sun and cans of cider. And understandably so. But those crates of beer or cider are an absolute nightmare to carry across the miles of festival to your tent. So maybe sack off that image and get yourself some nice compact spirits that won’t make you want to kill yourself halfway up a mega field. Or maybe a bag of wine. Don’t go drinking it all in one sitting though, it can only lead to bad things.