How to pack for a music festival

What to bring and why it’s a good idea

So I originally wrote this after I got back from Download Festival in Paris, and posted it on Tumblr. But I know a lot of you travel-addicts also love festivals, so I figured I’d might as well share my top 5 tips here too. This is for those of you who are inexperienced with festivals and need some guidance. Me, myself, I have actually never camped on-site during a music festival, but I have gone camping, and I have been to a different kind of festival where I stayed in a camping-hostel (which, in fact, was a converted mental hospital where a lot of the old equipment and hospital beds were still stored in the common areas (bathrooms, living room). Yes, it gave me the creeps.

So, Download Festival was amazing. The weather not so much. The food was better than expected. The toilets were just as bad as expected. And here is my list of things I recommend you packing before going to a music festival:

1. Water resistant, comfortable boots! Don’t bring your sandals or Converse-shoes unless the festival is located somewhere where it never, ever rains. And how likely is that? You’ll be doing a lot of walking, a lot of standing, and you don’t wanna be doing that with your finest shoes if it suddenly starts raining. Whatever you do, don’t wear heels. You’ll regret it.

2. Rain jacket or poncho. For exactly the same reason as listed above. To keep you dry and comfortable for when it starts raining.

3. Wet wipes. Chances are, the toilets will be disgusting, there’s nowhere/limited places to wash your hands, and you’ll have to stand in line to take a quick shower, and it’s not gonna be a great one. Wet wipes will be your best friend in times when you spill something, need to wash your hands, want to wash your face or your armpits, feet, anything.

4. A warm sweater. As the night falls, it will get colder. Bring a comfortable, warm sweater that will keep you warm and cozy when going to sleep, or to wear on the “downtime” between the last band you saw and the next one you’re gonna see. Why not during the show? Because rocking out to the music will keep you warm at that point!

5. A portable charger. I assume you’re gonna take pictures? Communicate with your friends who are not there at the festival, or the ones who are there but you somehow got separated from in the crowd? record videos? Update your social media feeds? Well, your battery is not gonna last forever, and the lines for the charging stations will be long and take up a lot of precious time. You could spend that time doing something fun. So bring a portable charger (or two) and your problem is solved!

Those are my top 5 items to bring. And obviously, bring money, your ID and a big smile!

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(photo: Rammstein, Download Festival Paris 2016)