“What do I need to take to Glastonbury?”
It’s that time of year again, the Glastonbury gates are soon to open as approximately 200,000 festival-goers will descend into the world’s biggest greenfield festival.
While we count down the days, hours, minutes and yes, some of us even the seconds in anticipation to what will turn out to be another historic weekend of musical immensity and meltdown madness in the many majestic corners of Worthy Farm – there is always that one question that keeps on popping up: What do I need to take to Glastonbury?
Backpack space is tight, and remember that space is at a premium. If you can’t carry or wheel it in, it isn’t coming in. Preparation is key.
There’s far more to surviving a Glastonbury than just tossing up the tent and laying down the sleeping bag, it’s the minutiae details that will help you survive the weekend.
So, as you begin to pack your bags, here is the list of things you absolutely must take to Glastonbury – here is your essential Glastonbury Festival packing list:
Don’t be that muppet taking the walk of shame on what might turn out to be a very long way home.
Money & Cards
Although Glastonbury might feel like another world, British law of the land still applies here and the capitalist system is alive and kicking. Which basically means: No money. No honey.
At least a “two” / “three-person” tent which you can sit up comfortably in. Preferably with a porch so you can have your “most important meal of the day” with your mates while staying high n’ dry – in any case of a raging storm outside. Make sure you know how to put it all up before heading out to Glastonbury. A tent trial run would be a good idea.
For the campers: Coleman BlackOut Tent (3-person).
For the glampers: Coleman Waterfall Tent (5-person).
Because hypothermia is real – one with a hood on it would be a good idea to go for. Stay warm folks, stay warm.
For the campers: Active Era Professional Mummy Sleeping Bag (3-4 Season).
For the glampers: NGT Bedchair with Luxurious Fleece Lined Sleeping Bageeping Bag (3-4 Season).
Roll-Mat / Airbed
Because you’re worth it. A roll-mat is lighter than a blow-up airbed but don’t buy the super thin ones, they’re pretty useless at stopping the ridged ground and cold permeating your bones during a frigid night. If you go for the Airbed, don’t forget the pump.
For the campers: Deeplee Inflatable Sleeping Mat with Pillow.
For the glampers: Exped Megamat 10 LXW Sleeping Mat.
Trying to carry several different bags or god-forbid suitcases into the site just isn’t practical, especially when we’re talking about Glastonbury here. The trek from the car parks or any pedestrian gate you decide to come in through is a long way away from where you’ll finally decide to make camp. For that reason, it would be wise to invest in a good sturdy backpack which will last you for years to come and make that trek from the campsite to your camping spot much easier. What about a trolly we hear you ask? Well, unless you get one of those proper beast-like-looking ones, which are able to champion every kind of terrain it encounters, you best not bother.
Reusable Water Bottle
Water is generally £2 for a small bottle to buy at Glasto. Do yourself and the environment a favor – save plastic and save your pennies. Scattered around the Farm there are more than enough refill spots to serve your water needs. You have the option to pay a £5 deposit when you order your first pint in return for the festival’s reusable pint cup. It saves a ton of plastic and it doesn’t cost you anything as long as you return it to any of the Information Points. Alternatively, you can choose to take it home and continue to use it.
Trolly / wheelbarrowBottle
Some would say that there is no way they’d do Glasto without a trolly – and indeed at times, a trolly it can definitely prove to be an invaluable investment when dust turns to mud. The thing is if you do go ahead and opt for a trolly, barrow or anything else which is get intended to get pushed and pulled along the Glasto fields, you better make sure it’s solid as a rock and above all else has pneumatic wheels.
Comfortable footwear / Sturdy Boots
You’ll be surprised at the amount of walking one does at Glastonbury – So a good pair of walking trainers or boots are essential. Of course, if and when dust turns to mud, then be sure to have your trusty wellies at the ready (see item below).
We know you might find this hard to believe but, these do not have to be Hunter made. On the other hand, don’t go for the cheapest ones you can find as they will fail. If (and when) the heavenly skies do open up and you end up wearing the wellies, keep in mind you’ll be walking long distances in them, so the main thing to make sure of while shopping for a pair, is that they are comfortable. Do not go for the mid-calf ones – when worst comes to shove, and the glorious green grass turns into one big pile of brown, the mud will be deeper than the mid-calfs and that is somewhat of a depressing situation to find yourself in.
Welly-socks and plain old socks
Because welly-rub is your enemy. The tops of wellies will rub against your calves and if they are wet this is double uncomfortable – you will be grateful for long welly-socks, these will have your back, or should we say… feet. Apart from welly-socks, pack lots of regular everyday socks, pack more socks than you think you’ll need.
Great for when the sun comes out and wearing around camp while letting your feet breathe.
We sincerely hope we do not need to explain why you need these.
At least 2 of them – And remember, pockets are your friend.
The funkier the better.
Waterproof coat / Rain-mac / Rain-poncho
Go for one with a hood. You won’t regret bringing it.
It can get (very) cold at night.
T-shirt / Vest / Light top
One per day.
Pair of Shorts / Skirt
Let your legs breath.
The quirkier, the better. Handy if it’s sunny, handy if it’s raining. You’ll be too embarrassed to wear it on Wednesday but by Monday group of steaming herds won’t be able to drag it off your head and for the most part, you’ll be looking haggard enough so every little helps.
With some extra positive thinking, you might just get to use it.
GADGETS AND ACCESSORIES
It might be a good idea swapping out your precious smartphone for something a bit more modest, or shall we dare to say “old school” – if you’re going in a big pack, you WILL get separated from the pack at some point. When that happens, you will then find yourself terribly lost and end up roaming the Farm with your new-found buddies. When you do eventually decide to return to the pack, your trusty phone will help you tell people where to find you. Also, Make sure to write down your real friends’ phone numbers beforehand on a piece of paper, and Bob’s your uncle.
Portable battery pack / Phone charger
You’ll probably be using your phone for photos, videos and the odd call here and there. Before you know it the enviable battery drain will occur. To combat this scenario, get yourself a hefty power pack that’s strong enough to breathe life into your precious phone several charges and will last you through the entire festival. This might be a bit costly, but trust us when we say it is one of the best investments for the festival you can make and will definitely pay off in the long run.
Torch / Head-torch
Carry a hand-held torch it in your backpack during the day for finding the tent at night while trying to navigate through a swarm of tents in pitch black. This is also when a head-torch will do wonders, as it will enable you to go “hands-free” or while clutching on to last cider of the day. Or in the likely case, you’d want to inspect those long-drops before sitting down (especially on the Saturday and Sunday). Multi-tasking is the name of the game. Oh, don’t forget those torch spare batteries while you’re at it. You could also take an extra torch and hang it in your tent.
If anything goes wrong with the tent, airbed or just about anything else rips, tears or leaks. duct tape will be your savior.
Bin Bags / Carrier Bags
Rain macs, weather-proofing for bags and clothes in a leaky tent are just some of the offhand things you can do with (compostable) bags, not to mention the obvious of using them to collect and dispose of your rubbish as well as to put dirty clothes / muddy stuff in when coming home.
We know it’s hard to believe but the sun does actually peek it’s lovely rays out at Glastonbury every one in a while, and when it does Sunglasses protect your eyes from melting and hide the huge eyebags which have been formulating over your face by Sunday. If you don’t fancy taking your most expensive ones, you could always go for a cheap second pair.
Bum Bag / Secure money belt
Oh… yes, the good ol’ bum bags – as controversial as they are. That’s how useful they are.
EXTRAS AND COMFORT
The longest day of the year falls just before Glastonbury. Which in turn means it starts getting light at an unacceptable hour. Combine that with waking up dangerously hungover with the sun blazing straight through your tent walls, just to discover it’s only 5:30 am. An eyemask should do the trick.
Listening to other people’s late-night singing (in the bad case), or their home-made mixtape blasting on repeat at 4 am (in the worst case) can actually be entertaining at first, but that is just at first, before it isn’t entertaining anymore, and you want to go to sleep. If you’re a light sleeper, the plugs are gold.
Inflatable Pillow (or pillowcase to stuff with a jumper)Take care of your neck, and your neck will take care of you.
Blanket / Warm Poncho
Extremely useful for wearing on a super chilly night around camps or wrap up in and head up to the Stone Circle for a late night / early morning. Good for sitting on too. They are available to purchase on site from charity shops around the site for around £10 – £20.
FOOD AND DRINK
“But first coffee.”
Variety of freeze-dried foodstuffs
This is a vital part of Glastonbury survival – rebounding back to your tent, charging up with some munch food and taking stock. Glastonbury is truly quite the eatery, but sometimes the idea of getting dressed and heading out into “the wild” for breakfast doesn’t quite cut the mustard. This is precisely where the cereal bars really shine. From Noodles and Hobnobs to Packet of crisps – the choice of weapon is yours.
Case of Beer / Cider / Wine
The thought of bringing crates of beer and loads of booze in is very tempting, but shipping the d*man thing it is an absolute b*tch and it all tends to get warm very quickly. Rum is a good idea. Please note, no glass bottles are allowed.
TOILETRIES, HEALTH AND HYGIENE
Instead of going for wet wipes, why not opt for a good old fashioned washable flannel.
Self-explanatory. Have some on you at all times.
Because smelling good is better than smelling bad.
Better safe than sorry. Keep a travel size bottle in your day bag.
Suncream “Trust me
on the sunscreen.”
Small hand / face towel for washing at the sink. Unless you queue for a shower you are unlikely to need a large one.
Toothbrush + Toothpaste
“Even a fairy princess needs to brush her teeth.”
Hair shizzle / leave in conditioner / dry shampoo or anything else that will be able to tame the beast.
WHAT NOT TO BRING
- Do not bring more than you need. Remember you’ll need to take all it home again. Most things can be bought on site if necessary.
- Please don’t bring gazebos. They take up valuable tent space in the campsites. We’d also rather you didn’t put tape around your tent enclosures, please. It makes it harder for other people to get to their tents.
- Only food and alcohol for personal consumption can be brought onsite.
- Do not bring excess packaging. If you purchase something new for the Festival, please remove all the excess packing at home, before you arrive.
- Please don’t bring anything made of glass. All glass will be confiscated if found, including perfume and mirrors.
- Please do not bring non-biodegradable body glitter. Biodegradable glitter can be bought from traders onsite.
- Please avoid the use of disposable wipes. Wipes – even biodegradable wipes, which quickly breakdown into micro-plastics – are problematic environmental pollutants. Plant fibre-based biodegradable wipes release greenhouse gases when they decompose, so we would like people to really try to use alternatives. A washcloth and a bar of soap works wonders! (if however you do decide to ignore this advice and still bring wet wipes; please go for – 100% biodegradable, 0% plastic – like these ones).
- You may be searched at the entrance for any items that may be used in an illegal or offensive manner – which will be confiscated. Persons suspected of carrying out illegal and/or offensive activities onsite may also be searched and face eviction. NB: Confiscated items will NOT be returned.
Please do not bring any of these prohibited items:
- No portable laser equipment or pens are permitted.
- No animals (except registered guide dogs).
- No sound systems or drums.
- No generators.
- No sky lanterns or kites, unauthorised fireworks, or wax flares.
- No nitrous oxide (laughing gas). As a contraband good, under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 this substance is banned at Glastonbury.
- Persons using fireworks will be evicted from site and materials confiscated.
- No unauthorised tape recorders, professional film or video equipment are allowed onsite. Cameras for personal use are welcome.
- Flying or filming with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs, or so-called drones) is not allowed on site before, during or after the Festival – and is prohibited by law. We have a working site and the safety of our audience, crew and staff is paramount.
- Although Glastonbury has announced that the sale of plastic bottles is banned at this year’s festival – you can take them in (but please try to bring as little-to-none as possible).
We wish you all good luck, a safe journey and hope our ultimate Glastonbury packing list will serve you well and we’ll see you all on the Farm!