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Everything You Need for a Music Festival (Except the Drugs)

Unlike a Saturday night concert, a music festival is a multi-day marathon that requires a thought-out packing list.


Summer goes by many names: beach season, road trip season, grilling season, and for music fans, festival season. A festival presents the opportunity to catch a crew of one’s favorite bands in one place, all on one ticket (wristband). But festivals typically last three days or more — if a Saturday night concert is a 5k, then a music festival is a marathon. And as in running 26.2 miles, proper preparation is crucial.

There are more or less two types of music festival. The first is your Lollapalooza and Governor’s Ball; often taking place in towns and cities, it’s a go-and-return affair with a start and end time for each day’s events. The second, like Bonnaroo, involves an expedition to a remote field or the side of an inoperative ski mountain for a never-ending saga of music and camping. Each circumstance calls for a packing list, and you’ll need more than a tube of body paint.

For the Day Festival

Custom Z/1 Sandals by Chaco $130
It’s a festival — if the ground isn’t paved, then there will be mud. Express yourself with personalized sandals (there are even patterns Dead Heads will appreciate).

Phil Chukka by Forsake $130
Not a fan of sandals? Forsake’s chukka looks like a shoe you’d wear to work, but is built with waterproof leather and a sole that’s not afraid to hike.

Homestead Roadtripper Pack by The North Face $90
A weatherproof pack for all everything you’ll need throughout the day. The added bonus: its metal strap hooks double as bottle openers.

Baggies by Patagonia $55
Loose and comfy nylon shorts that won’t mind an unexpected rain shower.

The Wayfarer Hat by Coal $45
A wide-brimmed hat that’ll keep the sun out of the eyes and stay secure with a leather cord.

40-ounce Wide Mouth Water Bottle by Hydro Flask $43
Stay hydrated and refreshed with your own stash of fluids, kept temperature-stable in an insulated bottle.

Everyday Sunscreen by Supergoop! $19+
Don’t forget it.

For the Camping Festival

Losi 4-person Tent by Nemo Equipment $450
A packable backpacking tent that still has enough space for you and three friends.

Roo Double by Kammok $99
Sleep minimal with a set-up-anywhere hammock.

Original Puffy Blanket by Rumpl $99
Throw it down picnic-style during a midday set and then wrap up for bed in the tent come nightfall.

Earplugs by Hearos $6
If you plan on sleeping through the 3am DJ set, you’ll want a pair of these.

Expedition 8L Water Bottle by Hydrapak $60
You could haul in a couple of store-bought plastic jugs, or you could fill your own spout-equipped resevoir.

Compressible Pillow by Therm-a-Rest $19+
A bunched up sweatshirt always seem like a good idea, but never is.

RollR 60 by RovR $399
This wheel-equipped cooler has room enough for all the provisions you’ll need throughout the weekend.

Chair One Camp Chair by Helinox $75
No, you’re not expected to dance the entire time.

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