When you go to a festival there’s a good chance you’ll be camping, and it’s useful to check out our camping for festivals list before setting off.

There are a number of differences between festival camping and normal camping, whether in a campsite or in the wilderness, and this article aims to highlight a few of the differences and help you be prepared.

Exactly what you take will  depend on a number of factors:

Which festival?

Glastonbury, Latitude, Download and the Isle of Wight Festival are some of the giant festivals that everyone has heard of, and if you’re going to any of them you’d better be prepared for traffic jams, thousands of people, portaloos and (in many cases) mud, mud, mud.

In addition to these and other massive festivals there are hundreds of smaller festivals all over the country.  Each one is different and each has its own facilities, so it’s a good idea to research the festival before going.

For instance, we regularly go to “Off the Tracks” in Derbyshire, which is a relatively small event.  You don’t need to worry about losing your tent and it has real toilets and showers that you generally don’t have to queue for long to use.

Contrast that with the stories from Glastonbury, of blocked portaloos and massive queues.  So camping for festivals can vary greatly from location to location so it’s always worth doing a little research.

Weather forecast

Camping for festivals - By: Simon Q

By: Simon Q

The weather plays a massive part in festival. Everyone’s seen pictures of festival goers covered in mud and up to their knees in puddles. How well you prepare for the weather conditions can mean the difference between a miserable weekend spent soaking wet and freezing cold.

It’s always worth checking the forecast, but bear in mind that they can be wrong,  and at the very least you may as well take a foldaway coat, even if bright sun is forecast for the full length of the festival.

In addition, if the forecast predicts rain then you should consider the following:

  • Quick drying clothes — If it’s warm but with showers it can often be more comfortable to just get wet in shorts and T-shirt, rather than covering your self up.  You might be dry again in 10 minutes
  • Wellies — the no.1 item on the list for many festival goers
  • Umbrella
  • Waterproof trousers and coat
  • Hat
  • Tarpaulin and extra poles/pegs/guy ropes to make a shelter so you can still sit outside your tent
  • Bin bags — pack everything inside your bags in a bin bag in case your tent gets flooded


Most festivals have a wide variety of food stalls and places to pick up a snack. From burgers and jacket spuds to noodles, falafels and curries, pretty much any kind of food can be found at the bigger festivals.

Even the smaller festivals will have a good range of food, so if you choose, you can probably get away with not taking any food at all, as long as you’re prepared to get up and walk to get your breakfast / first cup of coffee.

If on the other hand you’re taking food with you you should plan for making sure it will last over the period of time you’re there.  It’s no good going on a 3 day festival and assuming you can make your own bacon sarnies on the final day.

If you take frozen food it can keep other things cool as it gradually defrosts, ready to be eaten on the second or third day.

A few recommendations:

  • Take a cool box — It will keep things cool for the first day and possibly into the second day, weather dependent.
  • Drinks — Take milk for the first day or two.  Chuck in some whitener or UHT in case the milk doesn’t last.
  • Breakfasts — Bacon / cooked for the first day, cereal for the second, dry cereal for the third
  • Lunches — fruit, crisps, general packed lunch stuff that will last.
  • Dinner — noodles and veg, soup and bread, curry and rice, pasta and sauce — all should last for the length of your festival


Extras you may need when camping for festivals

  1. Fancy Dress — many people spend part of a festival in fancy dress.  It’s not a necessity but it can be fun if a group of you are doing it.
  2. Flag — it can be useful to have a distinctive flag on a long pole so you can locate your tent in amongst all of the other tents.
  3. Booze — Of course.  Make sure you bring plenty
  4. Glow sticks — Always good fun
  5. Walkie Talkies — In case you can’t get a phone signal, or your phone battery runs flat
  6. Immodium — Just in case you need to slow things down
  7. Pain Killers — It’s a festival, you’re bound to over indulge so make sure you have pain killers for the next day