I've been to more festivals than I could possibly ever remember. For over 10 years I've found myself laying in a field surrounded by the best folk I've ever met and all the loud noises I could ever wish to hear.
Over the years I have attended festivals in many a guise; as a customer, as a volunteer and as an employee. And I think I've managed to put together an essential list of items one needs to survive camping for 5 days.
Now most of the festivals I attended, I actually had to fly to, so I had to travel LIGHT. There's no crates of booze or weeks worth of BBQ gear in my backpack. But I did manage to survive over 5 days, in a tent, in sweltering heat OR rain and still come out of the end not covered in mud or missing any limbs.
Without trying to sounds like your mum, plan for all weathers! I've been sunburnt one afternoon and stuck in a downpour the next and believe me, it can be miserable if you're not prepared properly.
- Waterproof coat or plastic poncho - I preferred the plastic disposable type as they saved space and weight for flying.
- Loo roll or wipes - I'm a fan of wipes personally, clean the loo before you go and clean yer lady bits too.
- Dry shampoo - ahh how I love how far dry shampoo has come. Back in 2005 it was like golddust and it smelt like sand and an ashtray had a baby.
- Layers - a jumper or two to keep warm at night or even to double up as a pillow to sleep on. I used to wear a big one on the flight over to save luggage space.
- Ticket, Cash, Card & ID - I'd highly advise buying a locker onsite if you can to keep these safe, plus most festival lockers these days have phone chargers built into them - BONUS! Some festivals even use cashless systems these days so look into the festival websites before heading off.
- Suitable footwear - yes, ok, I may be turning into your Grandma here but believe me, I've made all the mistakes. Just taking trainers so not great when it gets muddy. Just packing boots - well that's not great for 25 degree heat either. I'd advise 2 old pairs of sturdy trainers and some cheap wellies you don't mind leaving behind if they get in a mess.
- Food - for me this wasn't always practical due to luggage restrictions but buying food on site for every meal is damn expensive! I'd tend to buy one hot meal on site a day and you're talking around £7 for that meal but I'd make a point to stop off at a local supermarket on the way to the festival and pick up fruit, water and snacks for the rest of the time. Who can be bothered using hexi stoves and tins of beans these days?
- A torch! Ahh man torches are great, eh? Falling over tents is not fun. Stepping into a minging portaloo is worse. Buy yourself a cheap torch, don't use your phone - dropped that shiny iPhone6 down a bog will break your heart.
- Binbags! ok, sure we'd all love to leave the site lovely and clean afterwards, that'd be great but this one is actually a little more selfish - pack a bin bag that's big enough to fit your backpack in, that way if by chance you do end up stuck in the middle of Glasto's annual mudslide you can protect your backpack/ clothes etc.
- Tent : 'cos y'know, sleep etc.