Festival Essentials

With festival season just around the corner, festival first timers around the country are scratching their heads wondering what do you ACTUALLY need to pack for a successful Irish festival? Read on..

When it comes to packing for festivals, most of the lists are geared at Burning Man-type forays into the desert and seeing as we are unlikely to ever experience such a heatwave here’s a more practical list with a distinctively Irish twist.

  1. Your Ticket.

This goes without saying but, make sure that you have your ticket before you leave the house. The security staff at festivals don’t care if you can tell them exactly which dresser the tickets are left on and, without your actual ticket, chances are you’re not getting in.

2. Wellies or boots.

This is pretty self explanatory. It’s Ireland. It rains. Rain + hundreds of drunken eejits wandering around in circles = mud. It’s definitely worth bringing a spare pair of tackies aswell; walking around in wellies for a whole weekend can really hurt the arches. Long welly socks (try Penneys) also prevent chaffing.


     3. Portable Phone Charger.

Loosing your friends is part and parcel of going to a festival but when you haven’t seen your tent or your crew in 36 hours it’s useful to have a back up charge so that you can make a quick call to track them down. Plus you’ll obviously want to send a few sneaky Snapchats to prove how much fun you’re having. Pics or it didn’t happen, right? This leads on nicely to #4

4. Tent

Don’t make the mistake of taking on a festival without a tent. Even if it’s just a €20 pop-up job, it’s always better to have a base camp, even if it is just to store cans in. If you are going with a group, a gazebo is a great investment but check the festival site before you splash out as many of them do not allow gazebos. To save yourself lugging a tent all the way from the car park, Pamper the Camper lets you order your camping equipment online and pick it up at the festival. The picture below is a complete set for 4 people and costs just €250. Full details are on their Facebook page (Pamper the Camper)


5. Yoga mats/Camp mats/Air Mattresses.

Depending on the budget, you can pick up a cheepie mat in Dealz for about a fiver or an air mattress in Argos for considerably more. Just don’t forget to bring a pump) Regardless, pack something to sleep on. Regardless of how nice the weather it, the ground is freezing at night and lying directly on the ground or the tent’s groundsheet saps the heat from your body. You’d be surprised how much difference a sheet of foam can make.

6. Ear plugs.

If you are unfortunate enough to be camping next to the ALAN! STEVE! brigade or if you plan on taking a disco nap, these guys will be your best friends. Available for about a euro in all decent chemists, stick a pair in your wallet, you’ll thank me at 6AM on Sunday morning.

7. Drugs.

Legal ones, obviously. What kind of blog do you think this is? There’s nothing worse than waking up in a baking hot tent with a mouth like Ghandi’s flip flop and a thumping headache. A Molotov Cocktail of Neurofen Plus (headache), Diaoralite (re-hydration) and Motilium (funny tummy) is just the trick so, when you’re calling in to the pharmacy for the ear plugs, stock up on the medicine while you’re at it. For those fellow heart burn sufferers, grab some Rennie or Gaviscon too!


8. Plastic bags.

Do your bit for the environment and bring along a few black bags for rubbish. They are also handy for storing dirty/wet clothes. Another handy trick is to bring a ziplock bag to keep your phone dry. If you want to be very fancy, stick a little sachet of silica gel (the ones you get in the bottom of new handbags) so that any moisture that does get in is soaked up and doesn’t seep into your phone.

9. Back pack.

Many festivals allow you to bring your own drink into the arenas once the bars have closed so bring a little back pack for carrying booze. It’ll save you wedging cans down the sides of your wellies which is as painful and ineffective as it sounds. Bonus tip, make sure your wallet is waterproof to avoid anything you might have in there from disintegrating. If you’re a smoker, a metal tin is essential to prevent your fags/rollies/skins getting completely waterlogged.

10. Mixer

10 cans in and you’re still not drunk. Time to switch to the hard liquor. Oh wait, no mixer. The going rate for a 500ML bottle of pop at a festival is anywhere from €3-€5. Do yourself a favour and hit up the 2 x 2L bottles before you head off.

Other useful items: Tent pegs, baby wipes, tissues, toilet paper, empty water bottle, torch, food, sun lotion, fleecy jumper, snacks, vaseline or chapstick, spare socks.

Finally, and most importantly, don’t forget to pack a winning attitude. You’re in a field full of like-minded lunatics for 3 days of wreckless abandon before you crawl back to reality, broken but happy. Get in among it and have a tip top weekend.



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