Everybody, buckle your fanny packs; festival season is upon us. If you’re one of the lucky few going to Coachella this year to see acts like Bad Bunny or Frank Ocean, girl, I’m jealous! Coachella is frequented by A-list celebs, and it’s one of the most iconic festivals in the world. This year promises to bring out all the stops, and I’m sure those desert sunsets and sing-alongs are going to be totally unforgettable — as long as you know what to bring to a music festival, and prep for the experience.
Musical festivals are an amazing opportunity to bond with your besties, dance your heart out, or go celeb-spotting. While I’m sure your outfit is already planned, I know from experience the essentials usually get left until the last minute. If this is your first time, you may be at a loss for what to even bring. I know the first time I went to a festival, I was totally clueless.
In the past few years, I’ve gone through every festival disaster you can think of: theft, dehydration, epic sunburn. It drives me crazy that it all could have been averted, had I thought to pack some of these absolute necessities. Whether you’re a festival veteran or a newbie, this list of what to pack for a music festival is a must-read, and all the products I’m recommending are within festival guidelines!
You’ve got this in the bag.
Which bag to bring is always a tough call, especially when you want to take cute outfit pics. But take it from me — don’t sacrifice function for style. Instead, get the best of both worlds! My go-to festival bag is a fanny pack. Your hands are totally free, and you can wade through crowds with ease.
If you want to go for something colorful and camp, this seashell pack from STATE ($65) is calling your name. If you want to go more classic, this pack from Lululemon ($38) goes with any look! If you’re keeping it simple, this basic model from Target ($15) is budget-friendly and trendy.
If you already have a festival bag you’re in love with, I cannot recommend strongly enough that you get a zipper lock ($16)! These are only a few dollars each and can be a legit lifesaver. You don’t want to spend the entire festival paranoid about your wallet, so enjoy peace of mind knowing your valuables are safe. As an extra precaution, putting an AirTag ($30) in your bag is never a bad idea. Not only will you be able to find lost or stolen items, but by sharing their location, you can make it easy for friends to find you even if your phone dies! But enough about the bags. What should you put in them?
The desert is beautiful, but can also be a total vibe killer. These are a few essentials to keep you safe under the desert sun, and having them will make you super popular with other festivalgoers if you’re willing to share.
First on this list has to be sunscreen. You don’t want an embarrassing red glow for your photoshoot in front of the Ferris wheel! For the best protection, mineral sunscreen is ideal but can leave a white cast on your skin. If you’re not willing to sacrifice the makeup look, this moisturizer from CeraVe ($16) has great everyday UV protection, and if you want to add some flair, this Kopari Sun Shield Body Glow from REVOLVE ($40) will make you look like a legit goddess with its infused sparkle.
If you’re going to be in the sun all day, you not only need to defend your skin but also stay hydrated. While bringing your own water pack is a great option, they can be expensive and bulky. If you’re planning to rely on the water stations, consider bringing electrolyte powder ($25) or chews ($4). Not only are these a decent chaser in a pinch, but they will help keep your energy up the entire weekend.
- Anti Chafing Stick
You may have never heard of an anti-chafing stick ($9) before, but trust me, once you try it, you won’t be able to shut up about it. I’m always one to indulge in a fun outfit and show some skin, but girl, you’re gonna sweat! Since you will be walking miles a day from stage to stage, putting some of this on exposed areas like your thighs will keep you dry and chafe-free.
- Pill box
Festivals are a place you can leave the real world behind, but don’t leave any of your meds in the room! If you have to take any of your medications during the festival, these cases are easy to spot in your bag and keep everything secure. This option from Urban Outfitters ($10) is totally adorable.
- Hand sanitizer
This one is self-explanatory — perfect for when you accidentally touch something grimy or come out of a large crowd. These keychains from Bath and Body Works ($2 to $15) are my go-to and come in lots of fun designs!
You’ll want these extras on hand.
These items aren’t make or break, but will make you so much more comfortable, especially if this is your first time at a music festival.
I’m always one to blast the speakers, but when you add in the crowds, it’s so easy to get overwhelmed. These earplugs from Loop ($35) have been making the rounds of the festival circuit, and for good reason — they keep you protected but still have a cute minimalist look. They could even be mistaken for jewelry!
These are such versatile accessories that can be used for pretty much anything: to tie back your hair, extra sun coverage, or an impromptu mask. This one from Free People ($20) is bound to become a staple in your closet.
- Folding fan
Coachella really knows how to turn up the heat, and a folding fan like this holographic one from Amazon ($22) is a fabulous way to take a second to cool off without taking up too much space in your bag.
- Body glitter
An offering of glitter is a surefire way to find some new friends on the festival grounds, not to mention look fabulous yourself! If you’re willing to invest in your makeup, these glitters from Lemonhead LA ($98) are long-lasting, comfortable, and super vibrant. This is actually the product used in Season 1 of Euphoria. For a more budget-friendly alternative, this glitter gel from Colourpop ($10) is a great dupe!
All of this being said, when you’re packing your bag, be sure to trust your gut. Bring anything you would need on an average day, or find a packable alternative! Either way, be sure to focus on the music and have a great time. Say hi to Dominic Fike for me!