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Pre-festival prep & packing

With festivals right around the corner, it’s time to learn the essentials for any festival, what you need to think about in advance and while you’re there. From where to pitch your tent to what to put in your washbag!


Have a look at the festival timings list and plan your performance schedule in advance. Having a rough idea of who you want to watch before you go will help you and your friends get the maximum entertainment out of the festival.


Take a tent that’s a size up. The space for the extra person will prove invaluable and allow space for your kit too. A self-inflating air bed and inflatable pillow gives you a better chance of a comfortable night’s sleep once the partying is done.

Earplugs and eye masks are like gold dust when you are desperate to rest.


Think about where you pitch your tent. For example, if it rains heavily you will regret setting up camp at the bottom of a hill where it gets waterlogged. Similarly, being too close to the toilets might not prove a smart move after a couple days.

My son managed to pitch his tent on one of the paths, which meant they got trodden on and most of their stuff got trashed – not clever!


Camping chairs are brilliant for resting after a long day’s walking, standing and dancing. Opt for a lightweight chair with carry sleeve as they are convenient.

SOS Spot

Pick an SOS meeting place where you can regroup at designated times during the day so that if you lose your friends AND your phone runs out of juice, you can be reunited. Stick to this plan. Ensure you are all linked into Find Friends too.

Ideally, take a solar powered charger for your phone.


Carry your essentials on you in a bum bag, money belt or cross body bag. Your essentials are your festival wristband, cash (useful as the on-site queues for the cash machines will be long) and ID you may need for drinking.

A padlock on your tent can act as an invitation and won’t be secure. Don’t  leave anything valuable in your tent.

Respect your Feet

Wellies are the footwear of festivals. They may hamper your fancy footwork on the dance floor, but they will keep your feet warm and dry, even when conditions underfoot resemble a bog. However, despite their attributes, many chiropodists see festival goers who have done permanent damage to their feet wearing inappropriate socks with wellies and failing to dry and clean their feet when they have become hot and sweaty. Consequently they have developed a modern day equivalent to trench foot!

If you are wearing hot pants or shorts, then over-the-knee socks should prevent your wellies rubbing.

Stay Warm

Take a hoodie and warm base layers for cold weather and the nights. Remember even when it’s sunny and warm in the daytime the temperature will drop at night!

Stay Fragrant

Wet wipes will keep you fresh (as well as wiping muddy wellies and dirty pans). Take deodorant, mouthwash and chewing gum.

Stay Fresh

There is fresh and there’s festival fresh….loo roll and hand sanitiser will help you stay socially acceptable.

Protect Yourself from the Weather

For hot weather you need sunscreen, sun hat and sunglasses. If there’s meant to be wet weather you need lightweight umbrella and festival-worthy raincoat.

… For British weather you need to pack for both.

 Stay Visible

Bunting, tinsel and battery-operated fairy lights can help you spot your tent among hundreds of others. A torch will help you find the tent at night, as well as avoid stray guy ropes.

Stay Hydrated

A reusable water bottle ideally in a water bottle holder is an easy and safe way of keeping hydrated.

Stay Fed

Taking a supply of high protein snacks such as nuts and dried fruit and energy bars will be useful when the food queues are long.

Stay well

Take any medicine you might need – paracetamol. rehydrating powders, hayfever tablets, mosquito spray, a first aid kit, condoms.

 Stay ahead of the game

Duct tape. Spare socks and underwear. Black bin bags for taking wet/dirty stuff home will be items you’ll be glad you packed.

Stay focused

A disposable camera will give you mementoes of the festival and allow you to keep your smartphone charged up for calls and emergencies.


Emma Hammett

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