It's taken me a few years but I think I'm finally there. Finally at the stage where I can say 'I know exactly what I'm going to need' when packing for a festival and more importantly, how to carry it all.

Whether you're lucky enough to be getting there in your car - door-to-tent - or having to lug your belongings around the country on public transport, this list should cover everything you may need at a festival.

Festival packing list | The Dress Diaries

The Essentials

(trust me. don't even contemplate any other method and do not spend a good five years
lugging it all around in a holdall like I did)

Your ticket
(probably the only absolute essential)


Sleeping bag

Ground mat
(optional - if you struggle to sleep on rough surfaces or have a bad back,
this may be useful or go one better and bring an air bed)

Money/a debit/credit card
(festivals often have cash machines but bear in mind, they are likely to charge you for a withdrawal and the queues will be LONG)

(usually you will need this to either enter the festival, or to purchase alcoholic drinks in an arena - it's useful to have just in case)


Toothbrush and mini toothpaste

Toilet roll 
(some festivals give this away for free, others charge you a fortune. do your research!)

Dry shampoo
(can't go wrong with Batiste - usually on offer at Boots around festival season)

Baby wipes

Hairbrush (and accessories if needed)

Travel minis
(shampoo, conditioner, shower gel if you have the luxury of a shower)





Wellies or decent walking boots
(invest in a decent pair if you have a lot of festivals lined up - although a cheap pair have done me well in the past!)

Welly socks

A hooded jacket/coat

A light jacket/hoodies
(lots of layers is key!)




(if it's abroad you can bask in the sun in it, if not, use it to shower in or as a bra replacement)

Converse/cheap plimsolls

Rain Poncho

Sunglasses or a hat
(there's no harm in being optimistic for the weather)


(cereal bars, unripened bananas and packets of biscuits are ideal - don't overpack here; it's likely you've got some money prepped for an actual meal or two whilst you're there. sometimes only greasy chips or a bacon sandwich will do after a heavy day of drinking)


(where you can I would recommend leaving this till last. get to the festival first and set up your tent THEN head back out to a shop for the alcohol. lots of festivals offer a bus service to your local supermarket. alcohol is by far the most difficult thing you'll be carrying, so if you have to take it in advance, remember to empty out any glass containers into plastic bottles. don't forget to buy some bottles of water to keep hydrated)

Crockery and Cutlery
(if you plan on cooking your own food, grab various cheap cooking bits from somewhere cheap like Poundworld or Wilkinsons. re-usable mugs are ideal too and you can do your bit for the environment by avoiding using paper plates and polystyrene cups)


Bin bags
(useful for everything: collecting rubbish, makeshift rain ponchos or waterproofing your boots if you fail to bring anything suitable)

Phone charger

Power Pack

First aid kit or medication

(useful for finding your tent in the dark and avoiding the guy rope maze)

(it's a festival! great biodegradable glitter is available online, so protect the environment too)

Are you heading off to a festival this Summer? Let me know if there are any other essentials you'd recommend.