We’ve all been there before: It’s the Monday before you leave for that music festival. You’ve picked your outfits. You have your travel planned. It’s time to start packing. But… where do you start? We know that every time we start packing for a festival, we feel like it’s our first time.
In order to take some of those jitters away, the Hawk team presents to you: a guide to what we love to bring to a music festival.
Note: this list is not comprehensive, and maybe even a little over-prepared. These are the personal views of Electric Hawk Managing Director Abby Price-Offermann, who frequently serves as rave mom and pack mule.
This seems obvious. And it is. But on top of ensuring you have your tickets, make sure to review the festival’s entry policies. What time do doors open? What is allowed/not allowed in the venue? If the event mailed wristbands, make sure to pack those too!
Do you need to download an app? If so – do it before you go – you never know what the cell signal will be like! On that note, if your tickets are a QR code or anything that is scanned directly from your phone, take a screenshot (and maybe send copies to your group) to avoid the anxiety of not being able to pull them up or a dead/broken phone.
Also, it’s important to check your festival’s re-entry rules. Much of the following can be left in a car or at camp to retrieve if needed!
Bring as much as you think you’ll need, with a way to access more for emergencies. Be sure to read festival policies on being “cashless” or if they have a way to connect a credit card to a wristband.
Avoid ATM fees by bringing some cash for vendors. Unfortunately, there are bad people everywhere – keep your cash in multiple places so if something is lost or stolen, it’s not all gone.
Your phone will die. Your friend’s phone will die. Portable chargers are your friend! Bonus points if they are a high-quality solar charger so they can recharge in the sun if you need it.
Don’t forget to charge them up before you leave and bring the proper cords, too!
Earplugs have quickly risen to the top of our list of music festival must have’s and also for single-night shows. Whether you’re spending one night or several days immersed in sound, it is crucial to treat your ears as a fragile and precious asset.
Many festivals will have earplugs available for free at Guest Services or to purchase at a vendor. If you forget them, don’t be afraid to find your nearest festival worker and ask!
First Aid supplies
If someone has a scrape or blister, going all the way to the med tent can seem trivial. It’s never a bad idea to pack some Band-Aids, sunscreen, wet wipes, and medical tape. Even some safety pins for those fashion emergencies! Your crew will thank you!
Pashmina or light jacket
Ah, the pashmina. Such a versatile tool. Use it to warm up on chilly nights, or as a place to chill on the ground (a la picnic blanket). We love our “wook towels” and will never let them go!
Even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, hand sanitizer was a must have for any music festival. We all know the feeling of using a port-a-potty only to find out their “sinks” are out of soap or water. Bonus: lotion is key as well. You might have to leave it at camp or in your car, but some festivals are notoriously dusty and dry. Hand sanitizer only makes it worse!
Note: Please talk with a medical professional before taking new supplements, particularly if you are taking other medications, partaking in substance use, or have other health concerns.
Supplements can be a godsend to keep your brain and body functioning both during and after a festival. Here are some suggestions for you to keep on hand:
- Immunity support: Vitamin C, Elderberry
- Sleep support: Melatonin, Valerian root, CBD
- Brain/Mental health support: B-12, Magnesium, 5-HTP
Some other general music festival must haves to keep on you or nearby…
- Clean socks – especially important if the fest is muddy or dusty.
- Small snacks – double check your fest rules so you’re not wasting them when you go through security (…or find a good hiding spot).
- Liquid IV, Raveraide, or other electrolytes.
- Hygiene items – deodorant, dry shampoo, facial mist, lip balm.
- Gum or candy
- Stickers, kandi, or other fun giveaways – remember, community is such a huge part of why we’re here!
- Something to keep your hands busy – flow toys, fidget toys, etc.
Last but certainly not least…
A good attitude and an open mind. Enter the fest with no expectations, know your limits, drink lots of water, and dance all night with your festi-fam! Music festivals are our lifeblood. We are at our best when we feel the bass vibrate our bodies; when we feel our hearts filled with communal love and friendship; and when we feel our legs nearly give out from all the dancing and walking.
We hope this must haves list calms some of your music festival jitters!
Camping? Stay tuned for our next article to see what we think is essential!
Looking for new music? Keep up with our weekly Spotify Playlist, Fresh Hunts. Updated every Friday with all the latest releases. Whether it’s the newest drops from your favorite artists, all your favorite artists, some old-school, or underground…we just want you to hear it.