Festival Essentials: The A-Z list

Next year’s festivals are starting to announce the line ups – exciting times!

With Christmas around the corner it’s a great time to start thinking about the essentials for festivals so you can get your order in to Santa / Amazon. Here’s a quick A-Z, courtesy of SMC Coach Hire, so you can start to get excited for all the festival fun to come in 2018.

– Post in collaboration with SMC Coach Hire

Advice for festivals

A: Alcohol

Most festivals will allow you to bring your own alcohol but there will be limits. Check how much you are allowed to take into the festival you are going to. If not you may risk it being confiscated. The look of trauma on the faces of those forced to pour away their favourite alcohol at the entrance! Trust us. Nobody wants to go through this.

Some festivals don’t allow glass bottles to be taken in so again, make sure you find out beforehand.

READ MORE: How to Sneak Alcohol into Festivals

B: Bog roll

Let’s admit that most festival toilets do get quite bad. Those horrific portable loos… Nothing is guaranteed and that includes bog roll. Be kind to your behind and make sure to take some tissues in with you.

READ MORE: How to Avoid the Festival Toilets

C: Camping gear

Tent, check.

Sleeping bag, check.

Pillow, check.

Ground sheet, check.

Air bed, check.

Chairs, check.

Enough tent pegs or even the right sized tent poles… D’oh!

Speaking from experience it’s always a good idea to make sure you’ve packed the right poles for your tent before you get there. Make sure you have a checklist for all your camping gear and as for tent pegs, you can never have too many.

If you’re buying a new tent then it’s always better if you buy a slightly bigger one than what you think you will need. Trust me, with all your belongings and a couple of bodies squeezed in you will be grateful for that space.

READ MORE: What Do I Need to Take to Glastonbury?
(Works for all festivals!) 

D: Dancing shoes

Take some footwear that is going to be appropriate for hours upon hours of dancing and potentially very muddy terrain. The worst thing you can do is wear high heels or anything uncomfortable – you might look hot, but day by day the blisters will not!

Regardless of what the weather forecast is showing, always pack your wellies!

READ MORE: The Best Footwear for Festivals

Festival essentials

E: Entry ticket

No ticket, no entry. You might think you could never forget your ticket as this would be really silly, right? Trust us, it happens.

Just imagine the security asking you for your ticket. You pat your pockets and your heart begins to palpitate. The look of horror descends upon your face. Even the people pouring their drinks away will feel sorry for you.

READ MORE: The Best Stories of Sneaking into Glastonbury Without a Ticket

F: Familiarise

Always familiarise yourself with the festival layout. Get to know the location of the stages, food trucks and toilets! Getting your bearings right means you’ll avoid wasting time and getting lost, or, worse, going the wrong way to a stage.

G: Grub

Pack your own food otherwise festivals can end up expensive. Take food that won’t perish and won’t be too heavy to carry so you can stay nourished and energised.

Cereal bars, dried fruit, nuts, beans and flapjacks are perfect for energy and proteins. If you’re allowed to take a gas stove then you’re laughing. Pot noodles galore! Other foods like chocolate and biscuits are also great for munchies.

READ MORE: The Best Food for Festivals

H: Hand antiseptic


Hygiene at festivals can be pretty grim – purchase a little bottle of anti-bacterial hand gel that you can carry around with you at all times, and use it sparingly.

I: ID

Similar to the entry ticket, ID is essential to getting into most festivals. Granted, some festivals might not require this for entry but it still will be needed to be served alcohol at the bar. Better to be safe than sorry, especially any of you with baby faces.

J: Jacket

Even if it’s been a bright hot day drenched in sunshine, British festivals can get pretty nippy in the evenings. A jacket or a jumper might be annoying to carry around in the day, but come night you’ll be so glad you bothered. Take a raincoat too, just in case.

READ MORE: The Best Raincoats for Festivals

K: Kaleidoscope glasses

Swim through a galaxy of polychromatic colour in a pair of funky kaleidoscope glasses! They’re a great accessory at festivals if you have nice scenery to look at. The effects have been likened to ‘beer goggles’ with strange shapes, colours and angles sending your mind spinning.

festival essentials

L: Light

Don’t waste your phone battery by using the torch, take a separate flashlight instead. Guarantee you’ll need it – finding your tent in the dark is so hard when you’re in a field with thousands that look just like yours. Also, perfect for checking the state of the toilet before you commit.

Plus, y’know, guy ropes. Those things are lethal.

M: Money

Try and work out how much money you will need for the duration of the festival. You want to avoid carrying too much on you to avoid losing it. Festivals do have ATMs, but they often charge a fee and the queues are super annoying.

Put your extra cash in a zip pocket or tucked away in a small back pack – guaranteed to lose the wad if you keep it out.

READ MORE: How to Save Money at Festivals

N: Neurofen

Or similar headache tablets. Just go for a supermarket’s own to save some cash. With all the drinking and partying this could be your best friend at times of need. For some of us this is the only cure to survive and pull through a hangover.

Festival essentials

O: Objective

Get the list of timings of all the acts performing that you would like to see at the festival. It helps to be at least a little bit strategic – planning ahead for who you and your friends want to see. Look at the times the artists are performing and the locations of stages too. Having the festival programme can help greatly with set times and navigation so you don’t miss your favourite acts.

P: Portable charger

You or one of your friends will definitely get lost, it happens at every festival. Having a phone with battery can be a time saver, and sometimes even a friend saver too.

Most festivals have a dedicated area where you can charge your phone but they can be expensive, and time consuming.

Just take a portable charger – they’re super easy and can be pretty cheap too.

Q: Quirky clothes

Festivals are a time to free yourself, be creative and get weird. A time for FANCY DRESS.

Shambala is always a good festival for fancy dress. The general clientele is laid back, silly and generally up for a laugh, and the fancy dress theme definitely adds fun to the festival. So many festivals nowadays are starting to incorporate a fancy dress theme.

Get involved with the fancy dress fun, let your hair down and take yourself away from reality.

READ MORE: What to Wear to Festivals in 11 Easy Looks

R: Rubbish bags

You wouldn’t leave your rubbish laying around your house now, would you? Some festivals provide rubbish bags but take some just in case – if you don’t use them they’re always handy for a leaky tent or to keep dirty clothes separate.

S: Sun

Don’t forget your sun cream, sun hat or sunglasses. You can experience a year’s worth of weather in just a few days at a festival, so it pays to prepare for lots of sun as well as infamous festival rain (remember the raincoat!)

T: Travel

This can often be stressful and a burden especially if there are many of you going in a group. At the end of the day the travel to the festival should be easy and part of the fun. You can now hire a minibus or coach with SMC Coach Hire to any UK or European festival.

Every vehicle they provide comes with its own driver, so no one in the group has to worry about being the designated driver. A very cost effective way of travelling as everyone will be able to contribute in the group.

They can pick you and your group up from any location and yes that includes your front doorstep. The party starts as soon as you are picked up!

Essentials for a festival

U: Underwear

A definite must if you’re camping. Treat yourself and take two pairs for every day – gotta stay fresh somehow :). Same applies for socks too.

V: Vitamins

The daily hangover is so much easier to deal with when you have a berocca or two to throw back, trust us.

W: Wet wipes

Don’t rely on showers at festivals – those queues can be a blummin nightmare. Step up, wet wipes. The most important way of staying remotely clean and human in the field. Use liberally. Wipe everywhere.

X: XXX Mints

One of the best ways to look and seem fresh, when you’re so clearly not, is to keeping your breath fresh by popping the mints. After all that booze it’ll make a big difference.

Y: Your mates 

Festivals can be done alone, of course, but life is so much more fun when your friends are in it

Z: ZZZs

Your sleeping pattern may be affected depending on how you do the festival so catching some ZZZs whenever you can is important. Do make sure you do get some even if it means napping in the afternoons. The more sleep you get the more re-energised you will feel which will prepare you for more festival fun!

More on festivals 

What to Wear to Festivals, in 11 Easy Looks

The Best Make Up for Festivals

My Festival Summer for 2018
Why We Should All Go to Victorious Festival
tagged in festival

2 Comments

  1. by Jodie on December 8, 2017  9:10 pm Reply

    Great list of festival essentials here! I would also add Travel Johns - these are my favourite (practical) festival item of all time. No need to leave your tent in the middle of the night!

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