March 20th, 2017

What To Pack For a Music Festival

What To Pack For a Music Festival

Excited to rock out to your favorite band? Before you get ready for a weekend at SXSW, Bonnaroo, or any other days-long music festival, make sure you’re prepared to endure the crowds, brave endless hours on your feet, and pack the essentials to stay comfortable. After all, you’re there for the tunes and, as long as you go in knowing what to expect, you’re sure to have a rocking time.


1. Choose Suitable Bags

Before heading out to head bang, sway, or groove with the best of them, pack accordingly. Keep your destination in mind when choosing travel bags, and remember that you aren’t headed to a five-star hotel. That means no bellhop to carry your tote, no turndown VIP service, and no safe to store your valuables. Plus, you won't want to lug large, heavy suitcases with wheels around dirt-laden camping grounds.

So pack your clothes and larger items in a daypack and keep smaller items like keys and sunglasses in the Pack-It Specter Mini Cube Set. Cubes make smaller items easier to find and help protect them from getting broken or scratching your other belongings in transit.

2. Prepare To Stand

Long lines and hours spent on your feet are the norm, so be prepared to stand. This means comfortable shoes are essential. Throw them in a shoe sac inside your bag whenever you're not wearing them so they don't get the rest of your belongings dirty. Keep your ID and cash on hand in an easy-to-wear money belt that helps keep your pants up during mosh-pit madness and helps keep your valuables safe and hidden.

3. Keep Fluids To A Minimum Beforehand

When you get a good viewing spot at a concert, you can’t just walk away to use the restroom or you may never get your spot back. So be smart. Of course, you'll need to stay hydrated by drinking water if it's a summertime outdoor festival in the heat, but don't overdo it. Try to lay off liquids in the hour before the show.

4. Pack Baby Wipes

With public restrooms your only option for showering and going to the bathroom—and hundreds of others sharing them—baby wipes are a must. Not only will they help you wipe down and wash up in a pinch, but they can also double as an easy way to wipe off used utensils.

For those few times when you’re desperate enough to brave the long line for showers, don’t forget to bring your toiletries with you. Pack your items in a water-repellant, hanging toiletry kit like the Pack-It Specter Wallaby Small so your toiletries stay as germ-free as possible.

5. Consider Weather Necessities

Rain or shine: Be prepared to brave the elements. Bringing along an umbrella—even when the forecast predicts sunny skies—is smart. Consider easy-to-store, lightweight umbrellas like the Rain Away Travel Umbrella that comes with a pouch that makes it easy to tuck away when skies are sunny.

If you’re caught in a rainstorm, or end up sloshing through muddy campgrounds, or just feel like the stink of the day has become woven into your outfit, fear not. Keeping smelly items separate with packs like the Pack-It Sport Laundry Stuffer will not only help prevent the transfer of odors but also help prevent microbial growth.

6. Bring Clothing To Layer

Temperatures can fluctuate greatly from day to night, and what might be a balmy 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius) during the day could cool down to a brisk 30 degrees Fahrenheit (-1 degree Celsius) at night. Pair that with sleeping outdoors in a tent, and you’ll likely want to bring along layers to keep you warm. Keep items to a minimum, but have a variety of tanks, long sleeves, and hoodies on hand.

7. Carry Cash

Bring along an easy-to-strap-on bag that can hold the majority of your daily essentials—including cash. When it comes to festivals, you can’t rely on plastic. Fanny packs work great, but an even better idea is a travel-safe RFID blocking waistband or backpack that fends off even the savviest of electronic pickpockets.

8. Pack A Water Bottle and Non-Perishable Food

Packing fresh food for a three-day festival is impossible, but that doesn’t mean you should leave home without snacks. Bring along non-perishables like granola bars, nuts, and dried fruits. Also pack a reusable water bottle that you can refill on the festival grounds at water fountains. You’ll be doing the earth a solid and saving cash at overpriced stands, too.

9. Keep Emergency Items On Hand

While you don’t want to over pack, having a few items on hand to help you rest easier could help you wake up well rested (or at least on the right side of the blow-up air mattress). Soft earplugs can help you get some shut-eye, even when nearby campsite neighbors are blasting their stereos. (They also come in handy during the day if you find yourself too close to the band’s sound system.) An eye mask can fool your body into thinking that the tent is totally dark (even if a friend is reading by flashlight), and an easy-to-pack, inflatable lumbar pillow can give you the added lower-back support that your body needs after hours spent on your feet.

For a comprehensive packing list, check this out.

What about you? What else would you bring to a music festival? Add your advice in the comments section, below.

Related Links (from Eagle Creek blog):

How to Prepare for an African Safari

Healthy Travel: How to Pack a Travel Fit Kit

Outdoor Fun 101: How to Plan a Group Ski Weekend

by Stephanie Smith

My name is Stephanie. I'm a Boise-based journalist, freelance writer, and fitness fanatic. I've written for publications including MensHealth.comMen’s Health magazine,, and, where I am currently the associate content editor. More of my writing can be seen at 

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