How To Pack For a Festival, According to Me, Who Has Never Done Anything Successfully At All

Please, for the love of god, pack these things (and enter Carlton Dry's Splendour in the Grass UnderthinKIT Hamper competition to cover yourself).
July 9, 2018, 12:07am
Illustration by Kristopher McDuff

This article is supported by Carlton Dry's Splendour in the Grass UnderthinKIT Hamper competition. Call the hotline on 1800-UNDERTHINK to find out more and watch the helpful infomercial below.

Gather round, children. Take a seat around my feet, and let me tell you a tale. A tale I like to call: A Living Hell of Your Very Own Making. The year is whenever. The place is a small, unsuspecting tropical rural parkland, known for its tranquility and serenity all-year round, save two shookening weeks that see a Gang Of Youths (is that copyrighted?) descend, slobbering and howling like hungry, band tee-wearing wolves, devouring its innocence. The hero? You. You with your older brother’s fraying sleeping bag and your friend’s “four” “man” “tent”.

Sure, you arrive with a heart full of promise, a head full a dreams, and a Mac Demarco calf tatt. You and a gaggle of your very best friends (and that one backpacking guy you met out last week that nobody invited and nobody really likes. Honestly how does he keep turning up? What’s with this guy?) fold out of the shuttle bus one-by-one with a collective Thirst For It—a readiness to watch bands you saw just last week and put each other in headlocks while screaming to everybody and also nobody. But let me tell you something bud—something no one, especially not those Fat Cats in Washington, is going to tell you: day three and everything after it is going to suck. Big time.

Don’t believe me? Think you’re immune? You think if you open your third eye wide enough, and align your chakras just right, you’ll be fine? Not freakin' likely, my friend. Don’t you remember anything from last year? You wake up in that crusty, festering tent, your mouth like a sandpit and your nose filled with dirt. Your armpits stink like…. like nothing has ever stunk before. And your head is bowling ball, but filled with water. It doesn’t have to be like this!

And so, here are my tips for not just surviving, y’all, but thriving. Showing that immaculate hinterland some gosh darn respect and giving her your Very Best You. Here we go.


Sure, sure, we go to festivals because we loooove music. Ooh don’t we just adore music and bands and songs and albums and all that? Don’t we? Mmmmmm, percussion sections. MMMMM, melodies and lyrics. Yuuuuuuum. Just kidding! Music sucks! Festivals are about finding probably-hot people in the murky, starlit dark and smooshing your faces together like a couple of drinking fish. Self-care is hot. Keep those lips supple and smelling good. Use a chapstick.

Wet Ones

I know what you’re thinking (you little know-it-all). You’re thinking, 'Duh! Idiot! Everyone knows about Wet Ones! Everyone brings them!'. Oh really? Have you ever actually brought them though? Have you ever actually bought, packed, and used them? Huh?! Nooooo. No you haven’t. Because you figure, 'Eh, somebody will'. Because Mary brings them. Brad brings them. Tom is unnervingly addicted to them and brings the absolute heck out of them. And what happens? Every goddamn year? You never have one when you want one because it’s a festival and no one is ever anywhere when you actually want them to be there. Bring. Your. Own. Wet. Ones. Put them in your Gosha bumbag and TAKE SOME RESPONSIBILITY. It's called a shower in a bag, look it up sweetie.

Portable Charger

No!!! YOU LISTEN TO ME. It’s 2018. Alright? Time to grow up. Time to bite the bullet and buy something you thought was a luxury but you have been shown time and time again, is in fact, the world’s most underrated necessity. I don’t wanna hear any of that, “they’re sOoOo expensiiiive” nonsense. I know you. I am you. We both know you drop more than that down the pub on a Monday night for zero reason. Just go get one. And charge it up good. Thank me later when you’re the only one with a torch on day four.

Thermals, Baby

Here’s another one we all tell ourselves we’ll bring. And unless your parents are Certified Hippies or you’re one of those people who goes camping and hiking for fun or whatever sick game it is that you freaks are playing, you just don’t. You don’t. You know you should, but you don’t. Guess what! This year? You’re doing it. Pop down to your local Big W and pay literally four dollars for thermal pants, long sleeve tops, and some of those psycho thicc woollen socks to boot.

A Whistle

Haha! How funny is that gonna be! Just like, bringing a whistle and then whistling whenever you feel like it, like in the middle of the night and in the middle of a band’s set?? Ha ha. Just like, for a laugh? That’s super random.


Many, Many Plastic Bags

Sorry Mother Nature. Mummy Dearest. Ma ma. We wouldn’t usually stan a plastic bag but this is an emergency! Plastic bags are essential if your soaking wet ass is going to keep a sliver of its sanity during this very cold and dewy time. The only way out is to keep your Wet Things away from your Dry Things. Seem simple? That’s because it is, dummy. (Sorry. Love you).

First Aid Kit

Here’s the thing: the first aid tent at a music festival is not a calming place. It’s just not. It’s no destination for a punter with a knee wound at peak Saturday night. Don’t get me wrong, I respect, value, and deeeeeeply admire the tireless work of our paramedics on the thankless gronks that walk into trees on Night One, I do. But if you’re not in dire need of medical attention: DIY, baby! You are capable. Pack a little toiletry bag with some band aids and gauze and antiseptic cream and tweezers. And when a beautiful stranger gets their eyebrow ring caught in your COOGI jumper during MGMT, you won’t ragret it.

This article is supported by Carlton Dry's Splendour in the Grass UnderthinKIT Hamper competition. You can find out all the details here.