Disaster Proof Festival Drill - My 8 festival must haves

    It's approaching festival time and the drunken field nymph inside of me is itching to purchase a ticket back to Leeds fest or something equally as disgustingly dirty and fun. I went to Leeds fest in 2013, it was my first festival and all hopes of neon forest raves fuelled by white cider had been crushed by an early departure and the torrential rain. The rain really wouldn't have been a problem if we brought the tent we had originally planned to take, it was a 3 man mansion tent which we would all be very comfortable in ( me, my cousin and my sister ) but unfortunately due to excitement of getting to Leeds early we forgot the tent.

    My cousin lives in Leeds and we were sleeping at hers that night before the festival began as it was easier to travel to the fields that way, only we didn't sleep at all, we spent the whole night driving to 24 hour supermarkets around Leeds begging for tents. Do you know how hard it is to find a tent in leeds the night before Leeds fest? More chance of finding Kanye West in Tesco! Defeated, deflated and approaching 3am we decided to retire to the house and comfort eat, the thought of not going to Leeds festival after months of anticipation and dreams of mosh pitting to Deftones and Skindred, it was too much to not drown myself in the crumbs of pickled onion monster much. Morning of the fest came and determined to not waste close to £300 we got the train to Pontefract in hopes of finding something to sleep in, to our look B&M bargains had a small red tent left in their display. Possibly the only tent left in the whole of Leeds, we had to have it. The manager of B&M refused us the sale multiple times, we were desperate and in an attempt to salvage the weekend my cousin stole the tent from the display and we ran.

     The 4 days I spent at Leeds fest were amazing, apart from the horrendous weather. Our stolen little red tent was pathetic, the rain was coming down harder than chuck Norris and everything inside was floating. My cousin had gone home the very first night after we had a mud fight and there were no dry clothes for her to change into, out suitcase was completely soaked including our sleeping bags and mobile phones. I stuck it out like a true champ in my nike trainers and knee high mud stains, I dried everything each morning on the tree we based our camp around and felt pretty good for the first few days. Day 4 I had just had enough, having dried everything I own twice a day for the past 3 days only to have it rained on again, I lost my shit. Me and my sister rang our stepdad to come and pick us up early and we missed all of the acts that we originally bought the ticket for. If I had anticipated the horrendous weather that Leeds Fest 2013 had then I would have probably packed appropriately and been prepared.

   Anyway, after this little inside into my horrendous festival experience I have decided to list a few things that I would consider essentials for a breezy festival experience. If you don't want memories like mine and you actually want to see the acts you have paid for, then follow this!

Tent ( OBVS )

A tent is absolutely essential, if you can, invest in a pretty decent one and keep your valuables safe, dry and away from the elements. I have linked a few reasonably priced, if you have a few friends you are sharing with then you can all put money together.

       Suitcase ( Small one! )

If you're thinking of attending Leeds fest this year than a small suitcase is essential, most of Leeds fest is on hills and carrying a huge rucksack up the hills is painful. I'm not sure of other festival layouts but I still think a small suitcase is the easiest way to transport your alcohol, clothes for the weekend.

  Cheap PAYG phone and new sim card

Do not take your everyday mobile phone, I would purchase a cheap disposable mobile phone for the week or weekend depending if you're early bird. Transfer the contacts for home and the people you are with onto the new sim card. With the amount of drinking people do at festivals, a phone is easily misplaced or broken. If you take it you risk it being stolen, lost, broken and I'm pretty sure you don't want that! You can get a disposable phone now for pittance, I have listed a few below that would be perfect.

  Disposable camera

The same reasons above is why I would take a disposable camera, they're really cheap these days and you can get photos developed in Tesco's and boots. Saves you taking your phone or a digital camera that costs a lot of money. I took a disposable camera and when I had my photos developed I was surprised to find they had this awesome vintage look that I probably wouldn't have got with a digital camera. A disposable camera normally comes with around 27 exposures but for the price of them you could get a few if you want more photographs.

 Waterproof coat / poncho

This is something i didn't even consider taking, I knew everyone wore wellies at festivals but for some reason i never expected the torrential weather we had and didn't think twice about taking any sort of coat/protective clothing. I really wish I had. You can get some designer ponchos/waterproof coats these days, stuff that's made especially for festivals and are disposable/cheap with funky designs. Some of them are so cheap that a multiple buy is an option encase they get ripped or ruined, if it doesn't and you have a few spare then you can wrap some clothes or valuables in them to keep them dry encase your tent leaks. You don't want to be left with no dry clothing like me!


Long Wellies

everybody wears wellies to a festival whatever the weather, at least you are prepared. Possibly the only time of the year that wellies are seen as acceptable to wear everyday and fashionable. Do not make the mistake I made and purchase ankle length wellies, the mud was shin deep and my wellies filled with mood instantly. If you are going to take and wear wellies then I would make sure I purchased long wellies to avoid this happening if it did decide to rain repulsively. I have listed a few down below that I think are great for festivals.

Water container

Water is free at festivals, well it is at Leeds festival. You line up at the taps and fill your bottles etc to take back to camp. I would definitely recommend a plastic, foldable, disposable water container that holds a litre or two as it saves you from lining up constantly and ensures that you keep hydrated and fight off the inevitable hangover.

Hygiene essentials

Really easy to purchase and you probably have everything you could pack anyway just lying around the bathroom or your bedroom, if not then £1 shops are you best bet for miniature versions of your fave products or full versions you just want to dispose of afterwards. I did a little list of things that i would find essential for the festival weeks and things I would definitely back:
  • Tissue - use for the toilet as toilet roll runs out FAST and I just prefer to take my own.
  • Baby wipes - take these for the tent wash if you don't fancy lining up for a shower
  • Dry shampoo - Life saver
  • Miniature shower gel, shampoo and conditioner - encase you take a shower.
  • Deodorant - just need it.
  • Hairbrush - obviously
  • Bobbles / hairbands - for the hair that dry shampoo wont fix
  • Plasters - encase you end up with some sort of injury you need to keep clean from mud etc.






  1. Thank you for the tips! A disposable camera is a great idea indeed, I don't understand people with 2000£ DSLRs at such festivals, I would be so afraid of damaging or losing it.

  2. Thanks for the tips! I've never been to a festival, but I'd love to go to Reading or Leeds festival, especially after seeing the line up for this year!

    Carolyn x
    Carolyn’s Simple Life