Packing a few essentials makes for a perfect festival experience

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There you are, in line at the gate waiting to get into the music festival and suddenly you see what everyone else is toting. Maybe – just maybe - you should have brought more than just the hula-hoop and flipflops on your feet. Days are long at a music festival and a few items will make your experience rock. Here’s our top picks to take to a music festival.

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Reusable water bottle

Water Bottle

Yes - there will be a beer garden but you can’t spend the entire day there. Well, maybe YOU can. But do bring a reusable water bottle. Most festivals offer water stations so take advantage of the free water and hydrate. It doesn’t need to be a fancy. Canadian Tire has water bottles for less than five bucks that you won’t panic over if it gets forgotten or kicked out of sight.

Hand wipes

Most portable toilet stations now come with hand sanitizer or handwashing stations but by mid afternoon the stations might get a little bit over-used. Spend a few bucks for a travel-size packet of disinfectant wipes. They come in handy for getting you out of sticky situations too.

Festival chairs

Do you plan to toss a blanket on the lawn in front of the stage and claim an island amongst the concert goers? After a few hours your back and bottom may be wishing for a little ground support. But don’t go bringing an Adirondack or chaise lounger. Eddie Bauer and MEC have light-weight chairs that sit a few inches off the ground – ideal for festivals. But watch the back height! Most festivals now have a maximum height for your festival chair. Don’t exceed 26 inches from the ground or you will be tossed unceremoniously to the back.

Change of clothes

Change of clothes

Back to the flipflops and your festival fashion. Bring something to either layer on or change into. Consider bringing a big scarf and use it as a coverup from the sun or as a shawl in the evening. Bring a fresh pair of shoes to dance the night away. Check the forecast for rain and be prepared because when those people who forget a raincoat run for cover – it will be you in front of the stage dancing like no one is watching.

Ear protection

There seems to be a lot of fifty-somethings sporting hearing aids these days. So my question is…is it a sign of the times or is it because thirty years ago most festival goers didn’t think to protect there ears? Consider that normal conversations are at 65 decibels and concert music reaches between 100 – 120 decibels, you are exposing yourself to potential hearing losses. You can pick up the cheap foam plugs that do the trick but they muffle the music. Look for high fidelity music earplugs. They allow for a flat attenuation of the sound so the music quality stays the same – just dialed down. Many musicians and DJ’s are wearing plugs…so should you.

Phone charger

Phone Charger

Find a pocket-sized phone charger and keep it in your ever-so-cool fanny pack. By the end of the night you will have drained that phone by taking pictures and using it as a flashlight so calling for a cab will be impossible.

Food cooler

Don’t drag the Coleman freezer, just bring a foam-sided cooler that can hold some food and drinks (if the festival allows it). Think ahead and bring a mini charcuterie of bite-sized cheese, meats, fruit and meats. You will be a hit with your concert-going friends.



Everything mentioned - except the festival chairs can easily fit in a backpack. Bring one along to make life easier.

Leave nothing behind

You brought it – you take it home. At least take it to the garbage can!

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