Festival Checklist

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Luckily, we’ve drawn up a checklist of what you need to make sure that your experience is exactly as fresh, rugged and bohemian as you can handle…and no more! First a few ideas from our festival pros about how to make the weekend an enchanting success, and then your failsafe music festival checklist is down there at the bottom. Happy camping!

Festival Checklist. Girl wearing face paint and smiling on festival grounds.


If you’re a festival rookie you probably envisage a scene like this: you’ll be lying back on the soft trodden grass of a gentle incline, pleasantly warmed by the afternoon sun as you enjoy the sweet music drifting over you from the main stage – completely relaxed, a bit tipsy perhaps, and absolutely 100% bone dry.

We sincerely hope that this will be your first-time experience.

But the wisdom of the festival veterans has been hard-won, and they’re sadly not lying when they say British festivals can sometimes be a bit damp. If your festival is at all busy, one spell of heavy rain will be enough to turn every thoroughfare into a quagmire. And once a festival’s been quagmired, it stays quagmired till the end of the weekend.

Festival Checklist. Pair of wellies lying on grass.

You need wellies. Now you’ve sorted out a tent to sleep in (you have, right?), the next thing on your list should be wellies. They’re not fashionable, they’re certainly not breathable, but they WILL save you having to walk around with a plastic bag in-between your socks and your waterlogged shoes. (Which doesn’t work anyway, take our word for it.)

Mark Out Your Territory

If you’re excited enough about what’s on the programme, you’ll probably start the weekend buzzing around from stage to stage (or from cider tent to artisanal cheese enclosure). But even the most enthusiastic punters will find that this frantic zeal to see and hear everything starts to ebb away by the middle of the second day.

It’s a festival. If you can’t slow down and let things flow, you’ll miss it.

Festival Checklist. Crowd at festival underneath giant astronaut.

Once you’ve found your true rhythm, you’ll probably want to pick a spot not too far from the main stage (though far enough to let the conversation flow) and mark it out as your patch for the rest of the weekend. That way your friends (old or brand-new) can peel off and explore as the mood takes them, then drift back later to rejoin the group.

Pack a handful of items that will help you in setting up your temporary HQ. A cooler box will be a lifesaver in high summer. A set of folding camping chairs will be sure to get you envious looks, if you want to push the boat out.

Festival checklist. Personalised photo blanket lying in grass.

But most of all a comfy blanket is essential – think comfy enough that you can grab an hour’s sleep if you were cavorting till dawn the night before. Whether you choose an old patchwork thing or make a unique statement with a customised photo blanket, getting the basics right will turn that little patch of grass into your home from home.

Be Spontaneous, Just Not Completely Spontaneous

Just a handful of sensible decisions over the course of the weekend can be the difference between a memorable adventure and an outright catalogue of mishaps.

The classic example is putting up your tent. Do this as soon as you arrive. Because from the minute you’ve…thrown yourself into the festivities, the golden window when you’re both willing and able to untangle guy ropes will already be closing.

Festival checklist. Couple walking at music festival.

Most festivalgoers will remember to pack a torch. But that’s only the first hurdle. You also need to make sure you throw that torch in your day bag each evening – and for logistical reasons this needs to happen before night falls. You don’t want to risk knocking over someone else’s tent as you stumble back in the darkness, let alone actually crawling into it and going to sleep.

Of course, there’s always a minority who are determined to wing it and just embrace the mishaps – if that sounds like you, all we can do is wish you luck. You’re bound to have some decent war stories to take home with you, if nothing else.

Want to Fit In? Stand Out

As smart casual is to formal office attire, so festival wear is to your regular clothes. If you’ve ever wanted to experiment with guyliner, a yellow boiler suit or a rubber boob tube, your next festival is the perfect chance. All we’d say is that however wild your style, your clothes should still look like your clothes. You want to stay just about this side of “fancy dress” – so maybe leave the dinosaur onesie at home

Festival checklist. Woman wearing colourful festival outfit.

Accessorise to round out your newly discovered look. There’s certainly nothing to stop you giving those horn-rimmed sunglasses a test run, and you might want to graduate straight to the boa and/or the ten-gallon hat. You’re not in the queue at Pret a Manger now...

And remember that with all those live festival anthems to record, your phone’s going to be spending a good portion of the time being held aloft for all to see. Why not give them something to look at? Invest in a personalised case and you can flaunt your personality right there on the back of your phone – with a stunning print of your very own photo.

Festival checklist. Woman wearing festival makeup and dancing to the music.

Here It Is: Your 2019 Festival Checklist!

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