What Are The Essentials You Should Take To A Music Festival?

We’ve all experienced leaving something behind when going away, but leaving something at a music festival is even more frustrating. If you are planning on going to a music festival, there are certain items that you won’t want to forget to take, or bring back with you. Whether you only want to pack the bare essentials, or an extensive bag of every necessity needed, if you keep a checklist, you won’t end up forgetting anything. What are the essentials you should take to a music festival? To help you avoid frustration, we’ve put together a list that will be useful for any music festival, be it one day or a week long.

1. Tent


If you’re going to a music festival that lasts for a few days, you should have a tent  with you to sleep in. It’s advised that you practise putting up a tent at home so that you’re ready to set it up without any hassle once you arrive at the festival. You’ll want to ensure that your tent can stand up properly and you can get inside it easily. Choose a tent that’s lightweight and easy to pitch. You may want to lock your tent as well; combination locks are the easiest when compared to a key which will likely get lost as soon as your tent is up. 

2. Camping Hammer

A high-quality camping hammer is required for pitching your tent and is also useful for putting up other accessories in your camping area. 

3. Sleeping Bag

Sleeping bag

A good quality sleeping bag is what you need to be able to sleep somewhat comfortably at the music festival. You will also want to make sure that your sleeping bag is lightweight and keeps the warm temperature in. You may also want to add in a roll-up mattress so that you don’t feel too much of the ground through your sleeping bag.

4. Pillow And Blanket

A pillow and blanket complete your bedding setup. Your blanket can also serve as a picnic blanket during the day. They should also be light in weight to carry with your sleeping bag.

5. Torch


Certain areas of the festival may be poorly lit, which is why it’s important to have a torch with you to navigate easily at night. Having a torch will prevent you from tripping over tent poles and other belongings. Head torches like the BioLite HeadLamp 200 Lumen can make your time at the festival much easier at night, and can be recharged via micro USB with 40 hours of life time. 

6. Rubbish Bags

It’s important to be responsible, so bring a few rubbish bags with you to the festival. They are pretty cheap to buy, even if you do so on the way there. You’ll want to keep your camping area clean and free of rubbish to keep the environment clean and be respectful to others. 

7. Camping Chairs

Camping chairs

You don’t have to get expensive camping chairs as there is the possibility of them being stolen at a festival. There are camping chairs that are affordable, provide comfort, and are reasonably priced, at stores like Outdoor Warehouse

8. Umbrella

An umbrella will protect your skin from the sun and the rain, plus your friends may be able to identify you more easily in large crowds.

Personal Care Checklist

While personal hygiene may not be too much of a priority, it’s still important to ensure you have the correct clothing and personal hygiene products for the duration of your time there. 

Here are the personal essentials you should bring to a festival:

1. Hand Sanitiser

Hand sanitiser

As music festivals aren’t the cleanest of places, a waterless hand sanitiser will help you keep your hands clean before and after eating, going to the public toilets, and at the bar if there is one. 

2. Water

If you’re walking around in the sun all day, dancing and consuming alcohol, you must ensure that you try to drink water regularly. A handy water carrier to wear around your neck will remind you to stay hydrated. Often, festivals don’t allow you to bring in your own water bottles, but you will be able to buy water bottles there. You find water and hydration packs from Cape Union Mart

3. Durable, Comfortable Shoes

Comfortable shoes

If you’re going to an outdoor music festival, you will want an appropriate pair of shoes, especially if the event is in an area with thorns or bushes. Make sure your feet are protected with some durable, flat shoes. Gumboots can be useful too. 

4. Wet Wipes

Wet wipes are great for cleaning your face and body, as well as certain items bought there, and even your devices at any time. They will help you to stay refreshed if there aren’t any showers to use at the festival. 

5. Soap


If you have attended a music festival before, chances are you skipped the public shower and found an alternative source to clean. Thus, you will want to bring biodegradable soap along, so you can clean yourself without harming the environment. 

6. Sunscreen

Protecting yourself from the sun at festivals is very important. You’ll be standing and dancing in the sun for hours, and likely won’t notice the extent of a sunburn. Get sunscreen with an SPF of at least 25 for thorough protection. 

Festival Food And Drink Essentials

If you’re going to pack your own food and drink for the festival, certain items will make your experience better.

1. Cooler Box

Cooler box

A cooler box can fit a lot of food and drinks for the weekend, and they can usually keep things inside them cool for up to 5 days. Some even have wheels underneath so you can easily move them around your campsite. You can choose a cooler box from the range of Outdoor Warehouse’s cooler boxes

2. Food

At most festivals, there are usually lots of food stalls with unhealthy favourites. It may be handy to have food at your campsite, especially for that bit of extra energy when you need it. You may want to add the following to your cooler box:

  • Pre-packed sandwiches that can last for a couple of days. You can use ingredients like biltong, cream cheese, and sundried tomatoes that won’t go off quickly and can create a nice flavour for your snack.
  • Snacks like chips, nuts and marshmallows.
  • Enough ice to last the duration of the festival.
  • 2-minute noodles that can easily be made with hot water boiled on a fire.
  • Plastic or disposable plates, cutlery and cups. It’s unlikely that anyone will wash and reuse cutlery and crockery properly or at all.

3. Camping Flask

Camping flask

Generally, glass isn’t allowed into a festival area, you should decanter your drinks. A camping flask like the EcoVessel Aspen 473 ml Water Bottle from Cape Union Mart is made from premium 18/8 stainless steel and TriMax Triple Insulation. The bottle keeps drinks cool for 80 hours and hot for up to 16 hours. That way, you can drink anything while on the go. 

4. Ashtray

If you smoke, make sure you don’t leave your cigarette butts all over the festival grounds. A portable ashtray will let you throw your butts away without having to walk to look for an ashtray. 

Festival Tech Essentials

1. Aux Cable

Aux cable

It’s nice to have an aux cable in the car to be able to listen to music and get excited while you’re on your way there.

2. Power Bank

A portable power bank will be handy to be able to charge your phone and other devices, such as head torches, cameras and more. You may also need your phone to be charged and on for navigating the way back home from the festival. 

3. Jumper Cables

Jumper Cables

You never know, but you may need jumper cables at some stage. It’s better to have them ready instead of having to ask a random person at the festival on the last day to borrow theirs. This festival essential is easy to forget to check for before heading to the destination, so make it a priority before you leave. 

Things Not To Bring To A Music Festival

Festivals will always let you know the details about what they allow in, so make sure you check before you start packing. Here are the items you may not be allowed to bring into the festival:

  • Animals (except for service animals)
  • Weapons
  • Fireworks
  • Glass
  • Drugs or paraphernalia
  • Food and drinks from outside the festival
  • Sound systems
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Depending on the duration of your festival, you may not need all of these items. If you’re going for a multi-day festival, though, you will usually need most of them. You may even think of more items that are essential to you while you’re packing. Some other personal items you might want to have with you are spare underwear and socks, toiletries, dry shampoo, ear plugs, a camping stove, and gas canisters. You can also bring another smaller bag for your simple daytime essentials, and don’t forget to check the requirements, rules or guidelines for the music festival you’re going to be attending.

If you’re searching for that festival fever this summer, check out the 8 best music festivals in South Africa from 2022 to 2023 to add some excitement to your holiday. If you want to be outdoors without all of the hype and music, check out these 5 beautiful hiking trails in Johannesburg

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