Festival season is approaching and it's never too soon to get prepared. We like music and we're partial to a night in a tent, so we asked the office's most seasoned festival-goers for their survival essentials. From hangover cures, to footwear, to looking your sassiest, here's our final word.
Experience: Leeds x 2 (going again this year), ParkLife x 2 (and again this year), Benicassim, Kendal Calling, Boardmasters, Beat-Herder, Wakestock
Best festival moment: Standing in the crowd, listening to Mura Musa as the sun went down at Benicassim. It's a feeling you can't explain; total euphoria. Oh, and the time my mate fell face first in the mud at Leeds. Classic.
- Water in a refillable flask to keep it cool. You always need water on you. You don't realise how dehydrated you are until you faint during Florence and the Machine's set.
- A Pillow - if you're going to go heavy then at least get a good night / day / morning's sleep when you can. A crumpled hoody under your head just doesn't cut it.
- A shewee - some people laugh but they soon stop when the portaloos are overflowing. Shewee's are easy to clean and discreet.
Experience: Melt Festival (Berlin), Gotwood, Dimensions (Croatia), Love International (Croatia), Dekmantle (Amsterdam), Field Manoeuvres
Best festival moment: Any single thing in a European festival - the sun, the drinks, the atmosphere.
- 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 rucksack - makes all the difference when you need to fit that extra thing in and then be able to find it later. Plus, if you're walking a long way from the entrance a good bag is a lot better than a cheap and uncomfortable alternative.
- A change of warm clothes for the evening - pack these so you can stay out all night even in the rain.
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: Reading 2005, Isle of Wight 2013, 2014, 2017, Glastonbury (too many times to mention), Kendall Calling 2018
Best festival moment: Watching Fleetwood Mac from my mates shoulders when a touch inebriated. Getting my 90s on with Ocean Colour Scene on my stag do at Kendall surrounded by my best mates. The all-time winner is Springsteen at Glastonbury in 2009. Finally seeing the Boss, and on THAT stage was a dreamlike experience.
- A light wateproof - something you can throw in your pack or tie around your waist and forget about until you need it. A light all-in-one boiler suite is also useful for keeping your festival threads nice and tidy regardless of mud levels.
- Dry shampoo - if you have longer hair (like I used to) then a 5-day Glasto weekend is just too long to let the grease accumulate.
- A decent tent - for too long I went with the £15 from a supermarket option. It never worked out well! Buy yourself a better tent; it will keep you dry and you'll bring it home with you rather than leaving it to litter the field.
- Baby wipes - for the love of the festival gods take babywipes! They are more important than everything but the ticket.
Experience: Leeds/Reading, Nomads (Amsterdam), Nosalive (Lisbon), Kendall Calling, CarFest
Best festival moment: Seeing The Cure live - especially cheering loudly when the sound man came on stage and thinking it was Robert Smith. It wasn't. Also, I once watched a boy eat a bag of glitter.
- Dry Sack - the rain hits Leeds hard
- Sleeping bag liner - the cold hits Leeds hard
- Lantern - the dark hits Leeds hard