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Tents? Tape? Glitter? - Our Festival Essentials

The height of festival season is fast approaching, so we asked the most seasoned festival revellers around the office for their survival essentials. From hangover cures, to footwear, to looking your sassiest, we’ve got you covered.


Experience: Primavera Sound, Festival No. 6

Best festival moment: Roisin Murphy, Festival No. 6 2016. I had no idea who she was before the show, but she won me over with her extravagant costume changes, one of which involved a lobster hat.

  • Inflatable pillow - I know this seems like a luxury but I had serious neck ache from my lumpy clothes pillow and this inflatable cloud packs down tiny so won’t take up valuable glitter space.
  • Decent socks - In lieu of a shower, a pair of fresh, clean socks can feel like a spiritual experience, who needs rock and roll when you have clean socks I say.
  • Filtered water bottle - Absolutely awesome piece of kit, especially in foreign countries where the water is questionable. Would have loved this at Primavera in Barcelona where bottled water was 2 euros a pop!


Experience: Primavera Sound, Leeds Festival, Dot to Dot, Tramlines, Live at Leeds, Parklife, Liverpool Sound City, Boardmasters

Best festival moment: Blur, Primavera Sound 2013. Being next to the coast in sunny Barcelona and seeing the band that you grew up listening to was a once in a lifetime experience. I was sharing air with actual Alex “I make my own cheese” James!

  • Dry shampoo - a revelation when it comes to campsite hygiene.
  • Hipflask - does anyone actually keep a hip flask by their hip? Either way, the classiest and covert way to drink my luke warm rosé.
  • A good tent with ventilation - a pounding head and a sweltering tent do not mix well.
  • Sleeping mat - first time I ever camped at a festival I just had a sleeping bag and the ground. The next day there was an emergency trip to the supermarket to buy a lilo. Since then I’ve always taken decent sleeping mats with me, they make a huge difference.


Experience: Leeds Festival, V Festival, Glastonbury, Bestival, Boardmasters, Wireless, Parklife, Coachella

Best festival moment: Drake - headlining Coachella. 2015. I cried several times.

  • Packable water carrier - the easy way to store water in the tent, makes it so much simpler brushing teeth and rehydrating.
  • Portable phone charger - can’t be bothered queueing in those charging tents, and I need to upload my boho inspired insta snaps asap.
  • Glitter - what’s the point in spending £200 on a ticket if you can’t look fabulous when you’re there?


Experience: Leeds Festival, Download, Bloodstock, Damnation Festival, Dot To Dot, Manchester Punk Festival

Best festival moment: Mastodon's headline set, Bloodstock 2016. It was my 6th or 7th time seeing them live, but a mix of great weather, a few leather jacket tassels, a psychedelic light show, and a two hour performance all made for a very memorable experience.

  • Warm sleeping bag - sunny days, doesn't necessarily mean warm nights, you can get cooler with a warm sleeping bag, but a thin cheap sleeping bag will only go so far.
  • Airbed / Sleeping Mat - something to elevate you from the floor, for additional comfort and an easier nights sleep.
  • Camping chair - after long days on your feet, drinking and walking from stage to stage, a comfy chair is the ideal object to welcome you back to the campsite. Best to get one with a cup-holder though.


Experience: Download Festival, Leeds Festival, Y Not, Slam Dunk, Reading Festival

Best festival moment: AC/DC, Download Festival 2010. Everyone in the crowd knew we were in for something special as AC/DC refused to play on the regular Download stage, they brought their own stage show and set it up right next to it complete with a full size train and blow up Rosie!

  • Extra bright lightweight jacket - for those inevitable rainy days! Also, you’ll never get lost in a crowd!
  • Portable speakers -Perfect for keeping the party going at the campsite.
  • Blister plasters - Wearing wellies for three days straight makes me miss my slippers. Blister plasters are a must, even as a "just in case".


Experience: Leeds Festival, Download, Benicassim

Best festival moment: Green Day, Leeds Festival 2004. They set the stage on fire after the set. I was 15 and at the front and centre after holding my bladder for 6+ hours. Although I didn’t drink (much) back then so it wasn’t too hard to do.

  • Baby wipes - basically a shower in a packet.
  • Duct tape - useful in pretty much every situation, from impromptu repairs, to keeping campmates quiet.
  • Bin bags - useful for keeping things tidy around the campsite, as well as providing extra waterproofing to valuables.
  • Plastic cups - nobody likes mixing drinks in old cans of lager.
  • Fizzy water - my go-to hangover cure.


Experience: Leeds Festival, Glastonbury, Slam Dunk, Neighbourhood, Manchester Punk Festival

Best festival moment: The Rolling Stones, Glastonbury 2013. I drank a bit too much beforehand and rang my dad during Gimme Shelter. He didn't answer.

  • Sleeping bag liner - a simple way of making a sleeping bag 1000x more comfortable. Too hot? Just sleep in the liner. Too cold? Stick the liner in the bag. Winner.
  • Wellies - more specifically, wellies with insoles. Wellies aren’t the nicest shoes to walk in, cosy them up by adding a plush interior.
  • More money than you think you’ll need - booze, food and souvenirs are always more expensive than you think they’ll be, and the on-site ATMs usually charge. Get your bills sorted beforehand.


Experience: Creamfields

Best festival moment: Avicii, Creamfields 2014. It's a bit hazy, but from what I remember it was great.

  • Hand sanitizer - A necessity! Easy way to keep hands clean without using water.
  • Milk thistle - A (legal) herbal way of easing the effects of the night before.
  • Packable cagoule - There is always rain at British festivals!

What are your festival essentials? Do you have any hints or tips? Tell us on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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Henry is probably the least enthusiastic and most cynical member of the content team, but in spite of this, he does sometimes enjoy doing things.

Growing up in the bleak North West, Henry used the forests, lakes and hillsides of North Wales as a playground, developing a keen interest in walking, mountain biking and just being outside really.

Henry is a Mongol Rally veteran (2013, a fine vintage.) and still experiences the occasional pang of wanderlust and a confusing urge to fix hatchbacks. Henry is a Blue Peter badge holder circa. 1999, makes a really good Old Fashioned cocktail and takes Polaroid pictures for fun.

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