Well people we are well and truly knee deep in festival season and anyone that knows me knows I love a good gig. So with Longitude coming up this weekend and Electric Picnic fast approaching I thought i’d throw together a list of my Festival Essentials! We all want to have the best time we possibly can when we hit those fields so if there’s anything that I can think of that might bring me down on the day, I like to be prepared to nip those things in the bud! These essentials are things that I never go to a festival without and are guaranteed to minimise the amount of complaining I’m likely to do on the day.
So here you go, and in no particular order (they are all equally important in my books)…
I take my Sunnies everywhere!! It doesn’t matter that Ireland is best known for its rain… the sun has an incredible habit of appearing just when you least expect it and that thing is bright! And then, even when its not particularly sunny,there is glare from clouds… Either way, you want to shade those eyes so you can see what acts are on the main stage and look good doing it. Sunglasses are so diverse these days… there’s something for everyone and they are the ultimate accessory. Plus by the second day of a festival you’ll want something to cover those tired eyes!
2. Small bag
We’re lucky cos small bags are in at the minute, and the size of the bag you bring is super important. My best advice is this… Do bring a bag that only fits your essentials, and that you can stuff your raincoat into. Do not bring a bag that will fit all your mates stuff and your boyfriends stuff too, because guess who ends up carrying your bag all night? Not your mates or your boyfriend anyway! The last thing you want to be doing at a festival is lugging a heavy bag around, its tiring and annoying. And go for a backpack if you can, Its hard not to feel like a 5 year old wearing one but it spreads the weight on your shoulders so no arm cramps!
Or similar weather appropriate footwear. There’s nothing worse than having wet feet for the day, you end up cold and miserable so best to avoid. Wellies are not only recommended for rainy days, if has been raining for a few days previous you can bet that the ground is soft, wet and mucky… so if you are wearing non waterproof shoes or sandals your feet will get wet and you, will be sad. When it comes to choosing wellies all I would recommend is just finding a comfortable pair. I have a pair of Hunter wellies which I wear to festivals every year but I couldn’t find them this year so bought a pair in H&M, and I will say there was no difference. Wellies are all made from rubber and are not breathable, their sole purpose is to keep water out. With this said, i’m going to say as a side note: Get a pair of decent socks. Wellies are sweaty business. If you wear socks with a high polyester percentage, your feet will sweat more and won’t dry very quickly. They hold on to the sweat which then goes cold and your feet still end up cold and wet :(. Socks with a high cotton percentage or even better 100% cotton are much better. They won’t sweat your feet too much and cotton dries out quicker, good quality sports socks would probably be pretty good too as they are designed to wick away sweat and dry quickly (but i have never tried this). Fleece socks are great, especially if its particularly cold, as fleece will keep you warm even when its wet… magical!
4. Rain Jacket
Another one to tackle the rain. Because really, rain is the worst inevitability of a festival in Ireland. When I was younger, I always looked everywhere (well I looked in Penny’s and Newlook :-)) For a lovely stylish rain jacket with a cool print that would fold up to nothing and look good with the rest of the outfit i’d planned. I always got one but then I would get to wherever I was going, it would start lashing, and I’d get soaked because this so called ‘rain jacket’ was really only meant for light showers and wasn’t actually waterproof at all. (You have probably guessed by now that I’m not a big fan of rain). Now that I am a bit older and wiser I can honestly say that when the rain is pelting out of they sky and you are in the middle of a mucky field, fashion goes right out the window. Get yourself a decent rain jacket. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just guaranteed waterproof, and if possible, breathable (which will eliminate the sweating). I have a black Regatta jacket I got a few years ago now for about €50, they still sell them. It was worth every penny and more, its still completely waterproof, its a ladies jacket so its fitted and the collar and pockets are lined with some sort of soft warm material. Perfect for cold nights and keeping those hands warm. Its also lightweight and packs up small so I can stuff it in my small bag when I don’t need it. There has not been one time I have worn it at a festival when I have thought ‘I wish my jacket was more stylish’ because I was dry and warm and still enjoying the gig and feeling sorry only for all those girls walking around soaked to the skin and shivering.
5.Long wearing Lipstick
Reapplying lipstick has to one of my least favourite things to do. Its just inconvenient and you have to interrupt what your doing to have this vain moment to top up your beauty and make sure you still look good. There will be a lot of talking, singing, drinking and eating at any festival which is bound to wear out your lipstick eventually, but the longer you can go without worrying that all your lipstick has worn off, and the more fun you can have being in the moment the better. I love the Rimmel Provocalips…It stays put for hours, doesn’t smudge at all, it’s not expensive (I think about €8) and comes in all the shades you could ever want!
6. A Battery Pack
This is a pre charged portable battery pack which you can bring along in case your phone or camera battery is likely to go dead from over use (or even just normal use in this day and age). If you’re anything like me, you’re bound to be stuck into Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram or the festival App for a good portion of the festival. Its impossible not to be with so much of our social lives on line, but as we all know even trying to get signal at some of the festival locations can be a pain in the arse and a drain on our batteries. I bought a good quality portable charger off Amazon last year for €45 and it charged my phone, my boyfriend’s phone and our friend’s phone for the whole of Electric Picnic. It was an absolute gift. It meant we could take all the pictures we wanted, keep up to date on social media and we never got lost cos we had battery to call each other and find out where we were if we went our separate ways. Really recommend!
7. Hip Flask
We all know how expensive festival pints are and I have been know to sneak a nagan or two into a festival from time to time (ok All of the time). It might not be the most ethical of festival practices but the prices are painful and I’m not that flush with cash. Also there are the queues and the fact i’m on a diet… Vodka is way less calories than beer so I must bring my own. Hip flasks are pretty slim so you sneak them in pretty easy … i’ll let you come up with your own plans… don’t want to get myself caught out here lol. A little festival secret which I have used before too are breast milk bags (you can get them in any chemist). They are like small really secure ziplock bags so you can fill them about half way with drink and they won’t leak. Strategically placed around the body, they will go completely undiscovered. Now there’s one for ya!
Whats a festival without friends! Bring some with ya or make new ones there. Either way its great to be able to share the experience. And just maybe in 20 years you’ll be able to reminisce about the time you got very drunk, time travelled and met you future husband. (Emma you get me hahaha)
Enjoy festival season crazy people, see some of my favourite festival pictures going right back below!