10 essentials to help you survive a music festival

Don't commit to four days in a muddy field without these essentials

The the popularity of the UK’s festival season continues to grow and grow. If you’re an old hand, you’ll know that there are some things you just can’t live without when you commit to four days camping with thousands of fellow music fanatics. For those making their debut, Quidco Discover has the following advice…

Dry Shampoo

Nobody is going to judge you if you go four days without washing your hair at a festival, but if you feel like your head is carrying more grease than an East End café you might want to try dry shampoo. Spray it all over your head, comb through and in minutes your hair should smell less like you’ve had a pint of cider thrown at you…which you probably have.

Toilet Roll

You know those rumours you’ve heard about festival toilet facilities? Well they are indeed true. The Scouts live by the motto “Be Prepared” for a reason and if you’re going to spend more than 48 hours in a field so too should you. Toilet roll is an essential in any festivalgoer’s backpack, although wet wipes (which you can also use for a general all-body wipe-down) are probably a more practical option given they take up less space.

Waterproof clothing

It’s Britain. It’s summer. It’s going to rain. Back in the 70s it didn’t really matter what you wore to festivals, if indeed you bothered wearing anything at all, but these days some people seem intent on turning festivals into fashion shows. Of course, the moment it starts pouring with rain all you want is some brightly coloured plastic to keep you dry. Don’t be too proud to invest in a cagoule or disposable poncho – they’ll be en vogue. You just don’t know it yet.

Wellington Boots

Wellies have made something of a comeback in recent years with all manner of trendy designers joining forces with the likes of Hunter to create bespoke designs to cater for all tastes. If you’re struggling to decide between something funky and a clumpy looking pair of green Dunlops, remember that they all look the same once they’re covered in mud. The key is to make sure you own a pair…any pair.


It’s actually quite easy to forget how dark things can get without electricity. Having had a few beers and with the clock approaching 3am, you’re going to need a torch to find your tent. You don’t want to be THAT guy having to explain to the police how you came to be passed out on top of some poor unsuspecting teenage girl.

Folding Chair

It’s amazing how much standing you’re forced to do when the ground is a total mud bath. While having a little rest by lying down in your tent is all well and good, it’s also a sure-fire way of looking antisocial while your mates are all sitting around a camp fire. Relatively cheap and easy to carry, folding chairs are a practical means of enjoying one of life’s little pleasures. Sitting in a field.

Emergency mobile phone charger

There are two things ridiculously annoying about having a mobile phone at a festival. First is trying to get reception to make a call and second is the long queue to recharge your phone for 5 minutes after using all the battery. While there’s little you can do about the former, aside from writing a stern letter to your network provider, we do suggest you solve the latter by taking a battery powered emergency mobile charger. A short burst of juice from these handy gadgets should keep you going for a weekend. As a further tip, if you want a battery that really lasts and lasts your best bet is to swap your smart phone for a very basic model or make a few changes to the way your device uses energy.


If the sun does break through the clouds, you’re well advised to wear something on your head. Alcohol + hours of sunshine = sun stroke. It’s an equation which could well ruin your weekend leaving you disorientated and likely to want nothing more than a bucket for company. It doesn’t really matter what you wear on your head, so longs as it’s covered. While you’re at it, you should also slosh on the sun cream and take regular breaks in the shade.


It doesn’t take long at a festival to start feeling as though you spend more time queuing than you do watching the live acts. Save yourself some bother by setting a budget for the weekend and taking all your cash out in one go before you arrive. Not only will you not have to join a never ending line waiting to use a cashpoint, you’ll likely stop yourself from taking out stupid amounts while you’re not quite thinking straight. It’s best not to keep all your cash on you at once, so be careful to store it safely in a locked bag.

Air mattress

Unless you like the feel of squidgy earth and / or rocks jutting into your neck, your best bet for a decent night’s sleep is an air mattress. Tents are uncomfortable places at the best of times, so a little cushioning feels like a real treat after a long day on your feet. If you don’t think you’ve got the necessary lung power to blow up an air mattress, make sure you invest in a pump. It’s the type of thing, along with owning a bottle opener, which could make you a hero to your new neighbours.

Are you going to any music festivals this summer? If so which would you recommend? Have you got any other packing advice? 

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Andrew Allen / Editor

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