Whether you live in the UK and are a festival virgin, or you’re visiting the UK and want to experience an outdoor music festival, this packing list is for you. Be prepared for the notoriously fickle British weather, and enjoy your first music festival in relative comfort with these handy packing tips!
Preparing for a UK Outdoor Music Festival
So, you've chosen which outdoor music festival you want to go to this year, and can feel the excitement building up. The question is, what should you take? Whilst some people are happy rocking up with what they wear, strap a Go Pro onto their heads and dive straight into the moshpit without a second thought, it's not for everyone! The vast majority want to put a little thought into their pre-festival preparations.
These suggestions of things to take all come from experience, whether it's from music festivals themselves, or having simply spent years in the great outdoors. In the same way that I apply the 6 P's for bike touring (Prior planning and preparation prevents poor performance), so too can you apply it when getting ready for an outdoor festival.
I'm not going to go into the minutiae of what clothes you should be taking – I'm sure you can handle that yourself! Instead, here's a few things to take that are going to make your experience a whole lot better.
Outdoor Festival Weather
Although the summer officially starts on the 21st of June in the UK, even in July it can feel like you have all 4 seasons in one day! As such, you should make sure that you take along:
- Rain Jacket
- Wellies (your call on that one depending on the festival!)
- Waterproof pouch for wallet/mobile phone
If you're going to a multi day UK music festival, then you'll also want a sturdy waterproof tent, a pillow, sleeping bag and air mattress. If you need full on camping gear, then take a look at some of the gear I used on a recent bike tour – it would be pretty much the same!
Music Festival Toilets
The loos at outdoor music festivals have achieved almost mythical status for how dirty and squalid they can get! There's never enough, there can be queues, and let's not talk about hygiene! With a bit of forethought though, you can at least make your toilet visits a little more tolerable! Take along:
- Toilet paper
- Cleansing wipes
- Hand sanitiser
You're probably going to want to take your phone along to the festival. With luck, you'll also get it out of there in one piece as well! If your phone is anything like mine though, it's battery is probably not going to last more than a couple of hours. So why not take:
Some final thoughts
In addition to the items listed above, you'll also need a bag to put them in. A day pack is big enough for just a day festival, but if you are camping, you'll need a backpack to carry the gear to your site. You'll also cash not cards, a few snacks, drink if you're allowed to take it in, and most importantly, remember to pack your smile and enthusiasm. Enjoy the gig!