Festival Season Checklist: Don’t Forget The Essentials

Music festivals are so much fun, and it’s no wonder hundreds of thousands of people flock to their favorites every year. After outdoor festivals around the world were cancelled last year due to COVID, music lovers are more excited than ever for this year’s events.

While the festival days and nights might be crazy, that doesn’t mean your packing strategy has to be! Taking the time to prepare, and making sure you have the essentials, will ensure you can spend more time dancing and listening to music, and less time worrying whether you forgot something important (or looking for a much-needed phone charger). Smart planning can help you make the most of your experience.

We recommend writing out a packing list and checking off items as they go in your bag. Whether you’re going for one day or staying for three, it’s a safe way to make sure all the daily essentials make it to the festival with you. 

But what should you bring along? Below is a list of festival accessories and gear you’ll be glad you packed. Sure, some of these things may be obvious, but you don’t want to arrive and realize you forgot sunscreen! 

  • Hand sanitizer and face mask: We’re used to carrying these around every day, and it’s even more important they’re packed when you’ll be in a crowd. Some festivals will require a mask, and some don’t, but it’s a good idea to keep one handy. If you’re in the market for a new mask, we like the Austin-made Contoured Mask (and yes, there is a Rave pattern).

  • Proof of vaccine or negative test: Many music festivals will require proof of COVID-19 vaccine, or a negative COVID test, for entry to keep participants safe. Check your specific festival to understand their protocol before you get there. 

  • Portable phone charger: You’ll be using your phone to message friends, record videos, share photos on Instagram and Snapchat, or grab an Uber. Chances are good you won’t be able to find a charging port at a festival when your battery drops below 10%. Pick up a portable charger to extend that much-needed battery life!

  • Sun protection: Long days outside mean lots of sun exposure. You’ll want to bring a lot of sunscreen, to apply in the morning and re-apply throughout the day. A wide-brim hat and sunglasses can also help protect against sun damage. If you don’t want to pack your favorite Ray-Bans, check out Goodr for affordable, polarized sunglasses that come in dozens of fun colors. 

  • Deodorant, wipes, and other hygiene essentials: After a long day of dancing in a crowd, you might need a quick refresh. Deodorant and baby wipes are great to freshen up when there isn’t a shower nearby. 

  • Water bottle or hydration pack: When you’re spending the day running around in the sun, seeing your favorite artists and dancing with friends, it can be easy to forget you should drink water -- but it’s also very important. A handheld water bottle, like our SPI H2O Companion, or wearable pack can help you stay cool and hydrated.

  • Bandages or small first-aid kit: Just in case a minor scratch or fall happens. If you don’t end up needing a Band-Aid, you may meet someone who will be glad you brought them! 

  • Once you’ve shopped for everything you need, secure your daily essentials in a bag close to your body to protect it from theft. We like the SPI Crossbody or SPI Crossbody PRO as a hands-free option to keep your belongings from getting lost or stolen. Enjoy the show!