7 Festival Season Essentials You Should Pack This Season

Headed to your first music festival? Here's how to pack smart.

By: Alyssa Scavetta

Bright lights flicker and shine as all your friends are packed in a crowd, dancing together to the sound of your favorite band. It’s not your average concert, it’s a music festival, jam-packed with all of the top musicians and artists of the season over a period of 3 days to a full week.

But what most first-time festival attendees don’t know is that before you enter the park, you have to pack extremely carefully. It’s you against the elements and if the weather doesn’t get you, the venue food will. So with that, here’s our list of festival essentials you need to have packed, like, yesterday.

what most first-time festival attendees don’t know is that before you enter the park, you have to pack extremely carefully.

1. Sunscreen

This sounds like it should be obvious but it’s almost always the forgotten ingredient to the recipe of successful festival attendance. As always, it’s recommended that you shoot for SPF 30 or higher to better weather the day. Don’t forget to make sure it’s water-resistant. You’ll be sweating under that sun and in the midst of all that dancing.AQ-FestivalMustHaves_Body1

2. A brimmed hat

This goes hand-in-hand with the sunscreen. You might look like a tourist but your skin and scalp will thank you for it. What’s better than one hat with a duckbill brim? A hat with a brim that goes all the way around. Find yourself a straw hat or a cowboy hat and keep those rays from touching your shoulders.

3. A portable phone charger

While large crowds abound, cell service can be sorely lacking at festivals. So while you’re spending that intermission trying to upload your favorite pics to Instagram Stories, you’re draining your battery— fast. Save yourself from having to borrow a friends phone to order your Uber later and bring a portable battery charger to take with you on the go.

4. Sunglasses

Even though you have a hat and sunscreen packed in your bag, and even if the forecast predicts overcast weather, bring your sunglasses. The UV rays can still break through all that cloud cover and after standing outside for 8 hours or more, this can start to get extremely painful, very quickly. Don’t skimp on packing these either—pack more than one pair just in case you lose your first one in the throes of a good performance.

5. A Small Beach Towel

You’re going to want to rest your feet at some point throughout the day, and seating is never guaranteed. In fact, you’d be lucky to find a picnic table or a park bench. Avoid getting eaten by ants or sitting directly on itchy grass by bringing a small blanket or towel to sit on while you enjoy a small sandwich or snack.

6. Hand Sanitizer

Trust us, you won’t want to leave your health to the sanitization standards of the festival port-a-potties. Bring a couple small, travel-sized hand sanitizers. You’ll want to use these throughout the weekend and share a few with your friends just in case.

7. Water Bottle

We saved the best for last. Far and away the most important thing you can keep in your backpack all festival long is your water bottle. Oftentimes, festivals will have water refill stations along with water bottles you can purchase onsite, but buying a water bottle while you’re already in the park can cost you.

Bring your own bottle and fill up when you get inside the festival. You’ll be refilling these multiple times a day, depending on how hot the day is and how long you’ll be dancing or standing in the sun. This will make all the difference between swollen feet the day after and feet ready to get back to dancing with the crowd.


Want to do yourself an extra favor? Bring an Aquasana Clean Water Bottle. You never know what’s in the water at the water stations, if they’ve been filtered or if they contain harsh disinfectants like chlorine or chloramines. The Clean Water Bottle filters out 99% of chlorine and is insulated, so your water stays cold all festival long.