Get ready for dirt-filled venues, blasting speakers, cutoff jean shorts and face paint — it’s festival season! Prep for your music event of choice with our handy little packing list so you can head to the concert without a care in the world. Whether you’re ready to go crazy at Coachella, have a blast at Bonnaroo or achieve awesomeness at Austin City Limits, we have a lineup of items that’ll make your festival experience all the more enjoyable.

Clothes and gear

Any member of the SHOLDIT squad is going to want to look fully ready for all of those street style photographers, so we suggest a great pair of boots, a cute pair of shorts, a festival-ready tank and a light jacket. Bring a backpack or fanny pack to tote the larger essentials, and throw on your favorite pocketed scarf to complete the look (plus, it’s perfect for stashing a bit of booze without anyone realizing it — after all, we know you don’t want to shell out $8 for a simple can of Miller Lite). Throw one of those little plastic ponchos in your bag in case of rain, and you’re all set!

Food and booze

A CamelBak is going to be the easiest way to store the most water without the weight of a bunch of plastic bottles, and believe us — you’re going to need it. If you want to get serious, the HydroSport vest houses a full liter of hydration, but if it doesn’t go with your outfit, a trusty and traditional CamelBak will do. Most festivals will have water stations so you can stay hydrated without whipping out your wallet.

As for booze, some festivals will allow you to bring alcohol in, but most are going to be sticklers and go through ALL of your bags. That’s where our basic pocketed scarf comes in! Just stash a few of your favorite airplane shooters or your flask in the hidden zippered pocket, and you can drink for free (at least for a little while). It’s also a good place to keep your ticket, ID and cash while you’re dancing to deep house music in the middle of a massive crowd.

If you’re planning a multi-day festival, you’re going to want to pack enough food to get you through a few days. If you don’t want to go with canned, preserved items (Ramen and canned pasta seem to be favorites for newbie festival-goers), you can bring things like fresh fruits and veggies (avocados, celery, carrots, etc.), oatmeal, and more traditional foods (hot dogs and s’mores) to leave and cook at the campsite. Otherwise, for a single-day festival, light, sustainable foods like granola bars or mixed nuts will do the trick.

Personal items and toiletries

There aren’t always convenient showers available at festivals, so you’re going to have to rough it a bit — but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be prepared! Bring wet wipes for removing makeup and freshening up after a long day of dancing in the dirt, and a small pack of tissues for when the port-a-potties inevitably run out of toilet paper (trust us, it happens every time). Be SURE you have a high SPF sunscreen so you don’t get super fried, and a little travel-sized bottle of dry shampoo will be your new best friend after a hot, sweaty afternoon when you’re headed to an after party.

If you don’t want to hit up the drugstore and drop a small fortune on all of the necessities, check out one of our favorite recent finds, the Pinch Provisions “No Standing, Only Dancing” kit.  It’s a 20-piece festival survival pouch that contains all of the essentials — a poncho, temporary tattoos, dry shampoo, wipes, pain reliever, and pretty much everything else you can think of for just $22.


Your phone WILL die, so pack up a portable phone charger (and make sure it’s fully charged) to give your battery a boost when you need it. An LED light keychain will also do wonders when you have to pee in the middle of a pitch-black port-a-potty. Last but not least, consider bringing a small first aid kit — it’ll be nice to have your own supplies on hand in the event that you trip and cut, scrape or bruise yourself.

With all of these items in tow, you’ll be ready to dance the day and night away. Now, just don’t forget your wristband!

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