The Best Alcohol for Festivals

If you’re planning on taking alcohol into a festival you need to think strategically. First up, you need to establish whether you’re actually allowed to or not. If you’re not, you’ll be better off reading my article on How to Sneak Alcohol into Festivals first. If you are, here’s my advice from over a decade of experience and effort in deciding on the best alcohol for festivals based on cost, weight and taste.

There are a few things to remember in taking alcohol into festivals.

  • You may have to carry it for a long way.
  • And a long time.
  • It will get warm.
  • Or cold.
  • You can’t take glass in.

No matter how long this is though, you will reap the benefits tenfold when you get to your camp and you have cheap booze yours for the taking.

Enjoy my tips for the best alcohol to take to festivals!

Wine

alcohol for festivals

You need the type in a bag, which I like to call Cardboardeaux. Keep it in the box as long as possible for protection and at the final stage take it out so you only have to carry the bag around. You might want to keep it in another plastic bag though, just to be on the safe side if it’s in your rucksack with all your other stuff. I’d go for red though – white or pink is rancid in the sun. Or of course, take one to drink immediately and a few to keep.

Don’t bother with bottles, you’ll never get them in and they’re really heavy.

Top tip: take some frozen fruit to drop into the wine to keep it cool. You can just eat the fruit afterwards. 

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Beer and cider

someecards.com - Let's drink to alcohol.

I’ve never been a fan of taking this to a festival, in fact the most I’ve ever taken is four to drink on the way. What’s the point of beer if it’s not cold? You do often see people carrying a few in on a trolley (you can buy a small trolley for £19.99) or even in a wheelbarrow, all strapped in and down. After a few days they must be rank though, and they take up loads of space in your baggage. I’d advise you concentrate on the higher per cent stuff and save your pennies for a delicious cold beer from the bars when you feel you deserve it. Nothing beats one in the sun. Carrying beer is just too much effort and too much hassle for me, for not enough return. The other problem I have with drinking beer is that I’m constantly at the toilet, and we all know how annoying that is to deal with.

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Spirits

Now we’re talking. I like to have a friendly array of spirits in my backpack when I go to any festival. Rum is always my top choice at festivals, I get a nice buzz and you can easily drink it straight – great for saving money on mixers and time on toilet queues. Gin, always a nice drink, but I prefer that as a fancy drink in a bar rather than at a grimey festival. This was our drink of choice for Dour Festival last year and pretty much knocked us out. Lethal stuff. Vodka, always a no for me.

someecards.com - BABIES?!???!?.... It's Festival Season!! .....Ain't Nobody Got Time Fo' Dat!!!!!

When I went to Glastonbury for the first time and we had to queue for three hours to get in in the rain, we were so happy for our decentered bottle of Jagermeister. We drank the whole litre between the four of us and the queue time became much more fun. Jager is always a good one because it’s delicious to drink straight. My hot tip for Jager is to mix it with Iced Tea. Need to copyright that drink actually.

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Buy miniatures to sneak in to the main arena!

How to Sneak Alcohol into Festivals 

Mixers

I just wouldn’t bother. A nice carton of orange juice might be good to start, but by day two it will be rank. Bottled fizzy drinks are horrible in my opinion – they need to be in a can – and they’re just too darn heavy to carry. Splash out on mixers for your decantered spirits, it’ll be worth it.

someecards.com - Alcohol...because no great story ever starts with a salad.

In short, my basic boozey backpack for a festival contains:

  • Bag or two of red wine
  • Decantered bottle of dark rum
  • Decantered bottle of Jagermeister
  • Extra cash to buy a deliciously fresh beer, cider and cold soft drinks as mixers.

What’s your alcohol of choice for a festival?


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12 Comments

  1. by Lois on January 21, 2014  11:50 am Reply

    My friend and I joke every year that we should go into business selling festival friendly booze. If I could find gin in a plastic bottle, I'd be a very happy camper.

  2. by Bob on January 23, 2014  1:53 pm Reply

    Arrr Vickie, what can I possibly say after receiving such enlightenment from such an eloquent word-smith and connoisseur of fine things as yourself? But wait, there’s a problem. You mentioned that most gracious of by product of sugarcane, “RUM”.
    So where is the problem?
    Well I seem to remember a post recently, that mentioned You planned to head “Down Under”, (this young lady has good taste), this year, 2014. Unfortunately I did not notice any mention of visiting “BUNDABERG”. Put the two words together “BUNDABERG RUM”. Now I don’t even get paid for writing this stuff, but it really is the Mecca of the rum drinking faith. For a disciple to travel half way round the world, and not to partake of the hospitality and the elixir of Bundaberg, would be paramount to sacrilege!
    The high priests preside over regular ceremonies every hour, revealing the mysteries of molasses ferment & blend, and conclude with the blessing of the spirit. You can drink it with some pretty cool mixers. http://www.bundabergrum.com.au/
    I do trust that this inadvertent oversight of your itinerary will be duly amended.
    We also have the best FREE music jam sessions, with some really bloody brilliant musos and an open mike for the taking. Accommodation is also super cheap; just have to know the right people, and tell us when!
    Ohh yare, Australia is the birthplace of Cardboardeaux, GBP£5.88 @ 4 litres. (11% ALC/VOL)

    We grow a lot of sugarcane too!

    Bob

  3. by Arianwen on January 25, 2014  5:30 am Reply

    Good tips! Red wine will always be my tipple of choice! And I'm very much into the boxes. It's just common sense to go for the most economical option, plus it weighs so much less...

    Love the last cartoon. So true!!

  4. by PurpleTravelKate on January 27, 2014  8:24 am Reply

    Cardboardeaux is the best thing i've ever heard! I would also like to extol the virtues of a scarf belt. I just wore a scarf as a belt and tied the end to my bottle! Worked really well.

  5. by Hannah on February 3, 2014  8:01 am Reply

    If beer is not in your list, then Adam will be totally freaked out! Happy happy happy!

  6. by Lola on June 22, 2015  7:07 pm Reply

    Great tips! I'm taking spirits for the festival. How many bottles do you think is likely enough for five days. I have 1 bottle of rum, gin and whisky. More than enough? xx

    • by Vicky on June 22, 2015  7:21 pm Reply

      Ha, I'd have to answer with that annoying response... 'how long is a piece of string?' It really depends on how much you like to drink every day, and how many of you there are sharing it. I'd say mixed up with a few nice cold beers from the bar that would be plenty, but yeah, just depends! x

  7. by Linda on July 6, 2015  4:23 pm Reply

    Great tips .i've just registered for 2016 Glastonbury hope I'm lucky to get a ticket.it will be a first for me AT 65 going with my daughter & grandson. Already brewing some home brew. FRUIT VODKA easy to make. 300gm fruit & same amount of granulated sugar pint of cheap vodka google the recipe . If your going aboard you could always back spirits in plastic bottles . HAPPY BREWING

  8. by Ryan on July 21, 2015  5:31 pm Reply

    This site is a public service!
    Thanks for putting the effort and bringing it together.

    • by Vicky on July 21, 2015  8:17 pm Reply

      No worries Ryan, glad you enjoy it :)

  9. by Torch Cigar Bar on January 9, 2017  5:44 am Reply

    Any festivals wouldn't be complete without alcohols. It adds to the fun and excitement of the event.. But of course, we have to always drink moderately for our own safety. And we have to choose also the best kind of alcohols that can satisfy our needs.

    • by Vicky on January 10, 2017  2:16 pm Reply

      Oh of course – everything in moderation :)

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