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what to bring to a festival

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2011 was the start of my festival addiction. Though my mom would always bring me to concerts as a child, nothing compared to day-long festivals I experienced as a crazy college kid. From food trucks to big name DJ’s it was the best of everything. A magical world I couldn’t wait to get back to year after year.

With an envelope full of past tickets, I’ve gained a ton of tips on what to bring to a festival and that’s exactly what I’m sharing with you in the post. Genius packing essentials from a seasoned pro!


what to bring to a festival

Zenni sunnies for the win!

What To Bring to A Summer Festival

Summer is known for having the best festivals. From EDC in Las Vegas to Tomorrowland in Belgium and many more in between. With summer comes high heat and crucial need to protect yourself from harmful sun rays and dehydration – just to name a few. You will find these in my bag at any summer event.

  1. Sunglasses are an obvious must, but for some reason, the most common one left behind. Zenni makes stylish and comfortable sunnies that protect those precious eyes from violent sun rays. For the 2019 season, bold round sunglasses like the ones pictured above. Shop those and more Zenni festival eyewear on their website.
  2. Cool towels are so useful it blows my mind that 1) few people bring them and 2) they are not sold at festivals. Between dancing and hit temps, you can overheat so quick. Dunk this cool towel in some water, squeeze out water, shake and wipe down your body. Don’t forget the legs, stomach, and arms. This will cool you down for fast it’s amazing.
  3. Sunscreen everything! Make sure you have a general sunscreen to spray all around your body. Then take it one step further and use SPF makeup and lip balm like this acai one from Supergoop.
  4. Makeup Setting Spray is even more important in hot and humid summer months. I for one don’t pack makeup in my day bag, which means I’m only applying the makeup once. Having a long-lasting setting spray is a must. It helps so much, especially when combined with primer and matte foundations/powders. COOLA makes an organic setting spray with SPF in it!!!
  5. Moisture-wicking underwear help rid your nether regions from sweat and reduce chances of yeast infections. I know gross but it’s the truth. Women don’t have the same luxury when it comes to sweating down there, so protect yourself and pick up these undies.
  6. Folding sequins dance fan is a hard yes. Add extra flair to your ensemble while keeping cool. Oh, you don’t want sequins? No worries. They come in all sorts of rainbows.

what to bring to a festival

Portable ring light for my mobile helps me capture THE BEST festival photos. Thanks, Simple Mobile 🙂

Genius & Practical Festival Essentials

You can always spot the seasoned pros and newbies. A pro will know how to get through security in a smooth manner, find the best meet-up spots, navigate the toilet situation, and always carries the life-saving essentials. Here are practical and GENIUS essentials I have found to make my festival experience drastically better.

  1. Make sure your watch is waterproof. You will be dancing and sweating or swimming who knows! Having a reliable watch that can withstand is all essential. Casio G-Shock understands this and developed a nostalgic and stylish watch with absolute toughness – the S Series GMAS210MF. Shop more of their watches for women here. In addition to withstanding water, this watch has an auto LED light (did someone say port-o-potty light), 4 daily alarms, stopwatch and countdown timer. You can set your alarm and make sure you never miss an important set.
  2. Three words, mobile ring light! Professional cameras are a no-go in most places unless you’re media. This means your left with your cell phone and subpar flash. Those red devil eyes ahhhh! Step up your festival photo game and bring a ring light. You will need batteries before anything. From there, simply snap it to the top of your phone and turn on.
  3. A portable charger is a huge game-changer. Even more so when the service is terrible. My phone always takes a beating trying to search for service. Don’t even get me started on trying to upload to my Instagram stories in the middle of a massive crowd. One service provider has figured out the importance of great reception during memorable festivals – Simple Mobile. They offer affordable nationwide coverage, but most importantly, 4Q LTE network that will have your phone ready to capture those epic beat drops or quickly connect with friends who always seem to get lost in the crowd.
  4. A clear backpack makes life so much easier when dealing with security. This is quickly becoming a standard requirement for many. Don’t risk having to get rid of your unapproved bag and instead this event friendly one. I love this clear women’s backpack from Samsonite. It has a large compartment that can store a water bottle, etc, as well as, a front zip pocket for quick access to smaller essentials. Samsonite is a leading and trusted maker in durable bags so you know this backpack will last you for many festivals to come.


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Tomorrowland Belgium

Fun Things to Bring to a Music Festival

Practical aside, clear up some space for these fun festival items. I whole-heartedly believe some of the best parts of the festival atmosphere are the crazy fun stuff attendees bring. From obnoxious totems to walking lightbulbs, here are my suggestions.

  1. A 3D spring flow ring that lights up and is more addicting than fidget spinners. Everyone will stop and ask you what the hell is that amazing contraption that keeps spinning around your wrist. Simply tell them it’s a light-up 3S -slinky.
  2. Giveaways are a fun way to connect with fellow festival-goers. Make bracelets or fans or stickers. Literally anything. I’ve been gifted the most random stuff at festivals including chapstick and yes, Chinese finger trap suture. What are we 12? Yes, yes we are. Any-who I thought it was a super fun idea and highly recommend you look for bulk items on Amazon or party store to bring with you as a gift giveaway.
  3. Led lights anywhere on the wardrobe are a great choice. Lights, in general, are always fun. Once I beaded the bottom of a shirt with random lights sewed in. Come nighttime I was a walking disco queen. Oh so fun! I also love these shoestring lights.
  4. Bubbles make everyone happy. Pick up a bubble gun. Those seem to produce the best bubbles. Everyone will be following you trying to get in on the bubble party. You’ll see.
  5. Totems are the most popular choice for fun festival essentials. They are a great way to spot your group and as I said in the beginning, they make the festival aesthetic special. You know you love seeing all the totems in the crowd when you’re watching festival trailers on Youtube.
  6. Butterfly wings make for a fun outfit. Go on and be the pixie princess you always knew you were. Unlike many wardrobe props, these wings will not get in the way. You chose when you want to fly or rest your wings. Walkthrough the crowd without banging people with your prop.
  7. Folding sequence dance fan is a hard yes.

what to bring to a festival

What to Bring to A Music Festival If You’re Camping

Camping at festivals is a great way to boost your experience. Of course, that also means you have way more things to bring. While a sleeping bag, tent and blow-up mattress are obvious, I’ve listed a few genius items that will take your campsite from roughing it to glamping status.

  1. I am a huge believer in finding ways to look and feel good in what seems like impossible places. Camping is one of them. Our hair, skin, bodies, mind, literally everything takes a beating on a festival binge. So why not take some time to pamper in-between days to rejuvenate yo’self? Mane Club Deep Conditioner makes incredible hair masks that will give you all the feels with 5-in-1 benefits: strength, repairs, conditions, tames frizz and adds shine. I used them after a party binge in Mexico. With all the chlorine and sweat in my hair, this mask was just what I needed to feel like day 1 again. You can pick up this product at Ulta or their online store
  2. Tent Dome for your camping fam.
  3. Tent Marker so you don’t get lost on the way back from the festival. Grab a unique flag or your grandma’s undies. Whatever you need to have a marker that stands out. Get a pole and wave it high. When I was camping at Coachella, we would have been so lost trying to find our campsite had it not been for the fraternity flag waving high.
  4. Lanterns of all sorts –  headlamp, floor lamp, hanging lamp. They all come in handy in different situations at night. My favorite is the solar-powered inflatable lanterns from LuminAID.
  5. Portable Speakers to keep the party going when you’re lounging at your campsite.
  6. So I have to admit, I’ve never used this before but when I was looking around online it caught my attention. I put it in my shopping cart for a later date because I have to try this. It’s a portable urination device that allows women to use the bathroom while standing up. I know odd. However, festival restrooms aren’t exactly the best which makes this worth a try.

what to bring to a festival

What To Take To A Festival For The Day

Not all festivals are days long. Sometimes all you need is one day to live it up. If you’re headed to a festival for just one day I don’t recommend leaving the house without these essentials.

  1. A portable charger is basically a must for any festival. I rest my case.
  2. A hydration pack that double serves as a bag. These holographic ones from Vibedration are so gorgeous I want one of each. They come in all colors, though I will be biased and say their neon yellow luxe is my current favorite. This hydration pack will give you 2L of water with tons of storage for personal belongings. It’s small enough to not kill your back but practical enough to give you plenty of water and storage. I think what’s shakes me up the most if the fact that I didn’t think of this first. Everyone used to bring the same old black and boring hydration packs to festivals. Why did it take so long for someone to say, “hey, let’s make these colorful and sparkly”? They were an instant success.
  3. Blanket if possible. You can always store it in a locker when you are walking around. If lockers are not an option or too pricey, consider this compact blanket that will compress down and fit in your bag.
  4. Hand sanitizer

Seeking Neverland’s Top 10 Festival Accessories

Depending on the time of year and place will dictate what you should bring to a festival. However, I’ve narrowed down my top 10 festival accessories in this post that will be useful no matter the time and place. Yes, they are pretty practical and will be used multiple times throughout the event. That’s why they are my top choices!

  1. Zenni sunglasses. Yes, they are a must for summer but the sun does shine year round.
  2. Casio G-Shock watch to never miss a beat.
  3. Samsonite clear backpack to rid the risk of carrying a non-acceptable bag and having to throw it away or take it back to my car.
  4. Portable charger and solid network plan from Simple Mobile.
  5. Mobile ring light for all the best pictures #ravegirl.
  6. Hand sanitizer always. No matter what.
  7. Totem or at the very least a fun sign!
  8. Cool towel has been used even at a fall festival. I was in the middle of the crowd and the body heat alone made me so incredibly hot. That said, I would not recommend using towards the end of the festival when the crowd clears out. You will be cold (cold month festivals only).
  9. Blanket because you know you’re going to want to sit down and chill at some point of every festival.
  10. Hair care to pamper yourself after a hard day of dancing.


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Writing this post was a series of typing and searching for my next festival. So far I have added Austin City Limits to the list. Writing this for you ended up giving me the itch to get to a summer festival. Hope it did the same for you. If that was already part of the plan, then have a blast and don’t forget to bring these festival essentials with you!

Psst. . . Looking for more packing essentials? Check out a few of these posts:

Do you feel better prepared now? Ask any questions in the comments below!

This post contains affiliate links. I earn a small commission (at no cost to you) when you purchase through these links, which helps me keep my lights on and order pizza from Dominos! I am extremely grateful. Thank you.

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