How to survive (and pack for!) a festival

Oh Glastonbury. The iconic English music festival. The place to be in June where you can frolic in fields, listen to great music, see great fashion, party with friends (and strangers) and just generally have a fantastic knees-up in the old British countryside. You’ve probably been inundated with festival highlights and updates over the media waves as Coachella Festival in the US has been in full swing, and hopefully it’s got you in the mood for all the festivals England has to offer in the summer!

As Glastonbury is the place to be if you’re after a quality summer festival in England, it is best to purchase the tickets months in advance or you’ll be left ticket-less with gnawing feelings of jealousy with a dash of heart-aching sadness.

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Unfortunately, I couldn’t afford to even try and get a ticket this year. Missing out on such a great event is  irritating as hell but I’ll grit my teeth and bare it. At least I can ponder over what I would pack and help all of you who are actually lucky enough to be going! If you need a little inspiration and a helping hand in surviving a english festival, then read on.

Glastonbury Festival 2013 - Day 5

An Awesome Tent

Hmmm, ok there is a chance that your tent could get crushed, stolen, washed away in floods… but let’s try think positively, eh? Who wants to do dull dull dull tents anymore when there are so many chic, cute, kitsch ones to choose from?

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Plus, they’ll be easy to spot when you’re stumbling back to your tent by flashlight. Here’s a few that have caught my eye by the fantastic UK based tent company, Field Candy. Get on board and try not to think about the hassle of putting it up…

field candy tents The Travelettes guide to packing for festivals

Wicked Wellies

Come on ladies, Be Prepared. That should always be our motto when dealing with the great outdoors in England.

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To be honest, it might even be easier to forget sandals, trainers, flip flops and bring wellies as your only footwear to wear all weekend (a good pair of Doc Martens will also cut the mustard). Rain and mud will be kept at bay, plus they’ll be warmer when the sun goes down. So make your choice of wellie a good one: Go stylish or go home.

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Go classic with some Hunter wellies, or go a bit more flash like Topshop’s Joules Evedon Ribbon Wellies(love the bow at the back!).

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N.B. heels really will not cut it at Glasto. Don’t bother.

Sunny Sunnies

The perfect accessory to complete your outfit. The perfect disguise for haggard hungover faces. The perfect deflector of painful morning sun to dry eyes.

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Everyone needs a good pair of sunnies to a festival, but make sure you take a few. Variety is what you’ll want, especially if you end up sitting on the first pair, lending your second pair to a crazed hippie and getting your third pair knocked off in a mosh pit (or scrum to the burger stand).

Waterproof Layers

As I said before, always be prepared. To go to Glastonbury without some kind of poncho or anorak would be a sheer amateur’s error. Anoraks aren’t solely for the trainspotters of the world anymore. There are some true chic (not geek) ones knocking around the high street and if Alexa Chung can carry off a Barbour jacket, then we might as well give it a shot. I do prefer the waxed jacket look rather than ‘the drowned rat’.

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Or just get a comedy poncho as everybody needs to smile.

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Face Paint and Glitter

When I camp, the normal everyday make-up just isn’t enough, especially as my wet wipe showers will always keep me feeling a bit cruddy and messy still. I feel that industrial strength foundation is key for me to look relatively human. So why not use fun face paints that will completely cover any facial indiscretions and will look festive! Everyone needs a few stars on their face or a rainbow. Chuck on a load of glitter too and boom: no one can tell what your skin looks like underneath and you’ll look wicked and ready to party!

A close up of the paint splattered festival goer Ross Day at The Secret Garden Party 2012 with Lucie Galt reflected in his sunglasses The Travelettes guide to packing for festivals

Festival Bag

You need something low maintenance. Something that’ll store your belongings but won’t interrupt your dancing. Something that will safely hold your valuables but won’t weigh you down. The top two bags that are a must-have are either bumbags or rucksacks. There are so many awesome ones to choose! Get a proper ‘80’s bumbag to strap onto your waist and have the rest of your body free to run about and be free. Or invest in a lovely vintage leather backpack that’ll store your goodies and be snug as a bug on your back. And as a travelette, a backpack is the way we know and love the best.

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Handy Headscarves and Hats

The weather could turn scorching or be freezing cold, so either way a hat would be useful. A lovely straw hat to keep the sun off your head or a snug beanie to keep your scalp from freezing are perfect partners to your festival. Another advantage is the fact that they can hide your hair. There are no showers at the festival. There might be the odd stall lurking here and there, but the queues often render them useless so just whack on a cool hat and done: looking great and hiding your tent-hair.

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I am a massive fan of headscarves at the moment. A lovely silk scarf or vintage flowered handkerchief can be whipped up into the hair (a bit of dry shampoo in the fringe) and you have an instant stunning look. No shower is no excuse for not looking great.

A versatile but great Festival Wardrobe

It’s hard to plan ahead with festival wardrobes. Make sure you take adequate amounts of shorts and tops, jumpers and dresses, jeans and jackets, in order to mix and match whatever the weather or vibe. Individual style rules, so try not be a cookie cutter version of the generic festival frequenter who bought an entirely well thought-out outfit from Topshop,  and why not have fun and think outside the box?

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However, here are some staples in case you’re struggling with pulling versatile outfits together in the stress of packing:

Denim shorts are a staple in any festival backpack. Levi’s distressed cut-offs and high-waisted vintage pairs are the perfect easy-to-wear item to wear. They look great with wellies, over-sized boyfriend jumpers, printed shirts, ripped up t-shirts, you name it.

Leather jackets will keep any chilly wind out in the day and keep you toasty when the sun goes down. No one can argue with the ‘cool factor’ of a good leather jacket. They’ll toughen up any cute tea-dress and go grunge-ingly well with jeans.

Plaid or Denim Shirts can be layered up or act as a cool protector over a skimpy top. Light and easy to tie around the waist when you get your blood pumping to the music. Fringing and feathers are great to add to the chilled out festival look so embrace your inner festival fan and get involved in the spirit of things!

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So that’s a brief rundown on all the fun things to bring (please don’t forget the obvious and important things i.e. baby wipes, sunscreen, condoms, toothbrush, etc). However most importantly, take a camera to document the adventure. Whether it is polaroid, digital SLR, disposable, smartphone; take it and take as many shots as you can.

Happy Festivals, y’all!

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Taken from my travelettes post.

image 1 Bhopal, image 2 office, image 3 field candy, image 4 art and design news, image 5 ewan pearson, image 6 the clothes whisperer, image 7 shoe daydreams, image 8 two limonades, image 9 the girl outdoors, image 10 the guardian, image 11 band4hope, image 12, image 13 vancity buzz, image 14 anna croswell, image 15a poppy wolff, image 15b inside fruits, image 16a hippie lace, image 16b city beach, image 17a push pr, image 17b the fashion guitar, image 18 paam.

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