Festival Packing List

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Nightshade, packed and ready for Fractalfest, an annual summer festival hosted by Fractaltribe.

Summer Festival Packing List

(Your mileage may vary)

Summer festival season is upon us. I thought it would be helpful to make a general list of things to bring to a summer festival, or any other appropriate event. Mind you, certain things are very specific to me, but hopefully this festival packing list be considered a starting point for others, and may vary from festival to festival.

  1. Some Form of Shelter – For me, it’s Nightshade, my class B RV, that serves multiple functions and can change day to day. For others, it’s a tent, or an improvised set up in their vehicles.
  2. Clothing – Weather conditions can change suddenly. Warm weather clothing as well as cool weather clothing are crucial. Extra socks and undies (if that is what you wear). Festie-grime IS a stereotype for a reason. Comfortable shoes. Towels. Panchoes, or some form of wet-weather gear.
  3. Food and Water – This goes without saying. I have seen some amazing set ups with complete kitchens, and enjoyed some darned good meals prepared by friends. I like to bring MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) that I pick up from a local military surplus store to go with whatever else I bring.
  4. If you do go with MREs, make sure to bring a fiber-supplement. Trust me.
  5. Coffee or tea. French press, or cold-brew, as needed. Instant, if nothing else.
  6. Propane stove / fuel – Nightshade has her own small galley, others bring some form of propane camp stoves. Mind venue rules. Some are okay with propane stoves but no charcoal grills or open fires are allowed.
  7. Utensils – Knife, Fork, Spoon, Spork, Chopsticks. Whatever. (I travel with all of them)
  8. Soap of some kind – Should be biodegradable and multi purpose. Good for sponge baths, clean up of food, clothing, or shampoo. Camp soap, Dr. Bronner’s, etc.
  9. Toothbrush and toothpaste – Can you imagine three or four days of festival grime on your teeth?..
  10. Menstruation related products – Yes, I am a cis-het male. Yes, I will go to a festival with tampons, pads, baby-wipes, moist towelettes, etc. Someone may need them. Also, if you wear them, period panties can be life changing.
  11. Bug repellant – Expect mosquitoes and ticks to be horrible every year.
  12. Flashlight(s), headlamps, LED lanterns, Chem-Lights/Glow Sticks.
  13. Trash bags – Leave No Trace. If it came with you, it leaves with you. If it did not come from the land, it does not remain on the land.
  14. Phone/Walkie Talkie – If you’re with a group, it’s good to remain in contact with the group
  15. Chargers and batteries for all your electronics – Cigarette Lighter Inverters are a wonderful thing!
  16. Venue Map – Besides knowing where to camp, park, art galleries, unique festival features, and where the stages are it’s more important to know where medical services, porta-potties, security desk, and water stations are.
  17. Performer Time Slots – Who is playing or performing, where, and when
  18. First Aid Kit, Benadryl / epipen / medical ID tags / In Case of Emergency (ICE) Contact List, allergy list, bandages, band aids, tweezers, alcohol wipes, pain relievers, etc
  19. Condoms – You never know

This is not a list that is fixed, and set in stone and should be considered a starting point. What is appropriate for me can be very different for someone else. 

What would you pack in your festival packing list?

By Some guy...

Adrian Feliciano is a creative on-location portrait, headshot, boudoir, and nightlife event photographer specializing in photographing fire-performers, dancers, and other artists around Boston, MA. Adrian also runs a shop over at Americanbogan.com in order to teach Americans a new word and he happens to make one hell of a delicious Filipino adobo. You can always ask him for the recipe whenever you're ready to try something new for dinner.

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