How to Pack Light For a Festival in 2019: Festival Outfits + Complete Packing List
What to pack to a festival? Start with the basics
A festival is no good if you are anything but comfortable. The following basics are an absolute essential in every festival packing list.
The best festival shoes
What should you be wearing to festivals this year? Sneakers are happening in 2019. We’ve all noticed the ‘ugly dad sneaker’ everywhere. Superstars such as Billie Eilish and Ann-Marie also love their chunky sneakers. Leave your platform sneakers or your brand new white fabric sneakers at home.
The desert of Coachella and most of the urban festivals around Europe lend themselves perfectly to a pair of worn-down boots. It will add that instant rock vibe to any dress and will protect your feet. Get your festival ready boots below.
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Prepare for the weather
Before you pack anything, check the weather forecast. Pack for the weather and account for anything else from a thunderstorm to a cold night.
The musts: Sunscreen, Rain Jackets and Sunglasses
At festivals such as Burning Man and Coachella, you can expect high temperatures during the day, cold during the night and the occasional dust storm. Any festival in Australia requires a high degree of sun protection. Festivals in Europe, especially festivals such as Glastonbury, require packing for all weather options. Just in case it starts raining for three days straight. I didn’t say it was going to be easy to pack light for a festival!
Regardless of where in the world you are going, always pack a rain jacket and a good (non-toxic) sunscreen. When it comes to rain jackets, I swear by my RAINS jacket that I got many years ago. It weighs nothing and has saved my camera from rain on multiple occasions. If you want to get into the neon trend this summer, a rain jacket would be a perfect choice!
Sunglasses are another must on your packing list. Go for your favorite pair or have fun with an extravagant pair. There are a few amazing sunglasses brands that allow you to buy high quality polarised sunnies for a decent price. In Europe Ace and Tate and Komono are pretty awesome. In Australia, Bailey Nelson is my go to and I will always love Warby Parker from the US.
Always include a hat
Oh man, guys…bucket hats are back. How do you feel about this trend? A part of me wants to resist them, but I secretly think they’re pretty freaking cool when they’re in a print. We can thank Billy Eilish for the neon green versions floating around though.
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Don’t forget to pack a bandana!
What not to do?
Festival Outfit Ideas based on 2019 trends
The neon trend is massive this summer. Celebs from Hailey Baldwin to Billie Eilish are wearing them and there having many sightings on the fashion weeks around the world.
Personally, I find this trend difficult. Festivals, however, are perfect if you want to go outside of your usual comfort zone and rock a full neon outfit! In everyday life, I would recommend using neon for accent pieces only or toning it down underneath a more neutral piece.
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Are you ready to rock this look? I love it when it’s done well. There are quite a few people who are able to stay feminine while hiding most of their shape. Personally, I would go crop top with oversized pants for a 2019 festival.
You saw Hailey Baldwin rock the look a few times above already, often combined with a second summer trend such as neon or bucket hats. If you’re unsure about this trend, combine different shapes to make it more yourself. A fitting top would contrast well with baggy pants.
Here are my favorite oversized pieces I found you can buy now:
Bike shorts or cycling pants seem to go with just about everything. We see a lot of combinations of bike shorts with another popular summer trend, neon. Add something oversized or a bumbag and you’re right on trend. Biker shorts really are everywhere this year! Another pro about this trend, they are actually pretty cheap to get!
Alright, alright, just one more!
If you’re going to be shopping for any of these trends, it’s probably this one. Here are the best bike shorts at the moment:
Let’s not forget about plaid, there is so much plaid to be spotted on the streets! I love how versatile it has become and it can literally be combined with all of the above trends.
Probably the most wearable combination of bike pants and plaid in this line-up (@weworewhat)
We’re not done yet, here is my favorite plaid look, do you think it’s too much?
The Slip Dress
You can even make it a bit more office worthy by making the straps a bit longer and combining it with a shirt.
Bum Bags are back!
Here are a few of the best fanny packs for this festival season:
The See-Through Dress
Probably the most Instagrammed trend at Coachella 2019: the see-through dress. I’ve owned one for years due to an earlier Coachella look I posted about before, this one:
The see-through dresses this year have definitely gotten a lot more transparent than in the above Coachella look, but they are still going strong. Here are a few of my favs:
How to pack your festival kit
The best trick I learned through packing and unpacking every day during my travels is the joy of packing cubes and/or compression bags. You can organize one packing cube per outfit and another one for nighttime outfits and/or some extras. In that way, you’re getting ready super quick in the morning and you’re never losing anything.
What to pack for camping at a festival?
- A tent: go as lightweight as you want, but leave your fancy hiking tent at home. I can recommend a cheap pop-up tent for festival camping. It won’t be a disaster if it gets destroyed. Don’t be a d*ck though and take your tent back home after the festival.
- A lightweight mat and pillow: If you’re getting top of the line, Sea to Summit offers the best of the best. If you’re looking for a more affordable option, you can sleep on something easier for a few days.
- A lightweight and compressible Sleeping Bag: You don’t need the newest state of the art sleeping bag for a festival. Check the weather forecast and get a sleeping bag warm enough for the circumstances.
- Headtorch: I know it doesn’t look very cool, but it saved your phone’s battery power at the festival which is gold.
- Battery Pack: anything to keep your phone alive for a whole festival. Put it on flight mode when you’re with your friends and make sure to take one (or two) battery packs.
- Earplugs: with the chanting going far into the night, earplugs are essential to get through the night. I recommend these wax earplugs which have saved my life both at festivals and in hostel rooms. Make sure that you bring a different set of earplugs to protect your ears during the concerts as well. There is nothing funny about permanent hear damage.
- Eye mask: Getting in bed at 3 am and trying to sleep in, is a challenge to say the best. Having an eye mask will help out A LOT. Want to protect your eyes against wrinkles? Get a silk eye mask and/or pillow.
- Travel Insurance: If you’re attending a festival in a foreign country, make sure that you are safe and covered. A lot of people faint, sprain an ankle or sunstroke at festivals.
- Biodegradable Baby wipes: essential for staying clean at a festival where water is limited or there might not even be showers. Most baby wipes to do not degrade in nature, so dispose of them properly.
- Hand sanitizer: most festivals have drop toilets or some variation on them. Hand sanitizer is a must after every toilet visit and before you eat anything.
- Your outfits divided up per day and packed in packing cubes or compression bags
- Rain Jacket: as light, compact and windproof as possible
- Food: Think as simple as you can when it comes to food. Don’t bring anything that needs to stay cold: cereal is great for mornings, granola bars for during the day and instant packets of food like pasta or ramen for dinner if you’re not buying something on the festival grounds.
- Water: The heaviest item on the list, but one that is hard to avoid. Expect to have to carry in ALL your water at festivals such as Burning Man. Most festivals these days have refillable drinking taps and it’s key to bring your refillable water bottle. Make sure you always bring in a bit of water, just to be sure.
- Drinks: For years I always brought some small juice cartons with me on the festival grounds. It was great if I was stuck in the crowd and needed some sugar. Drinks on the festival grounds are often more expensive than if you brought some drinks into the camping grounds. Therefore I do recommend bringing a few bottles of whatever you wish to drink before entering the grounds.
- A small camping/hiking stove: If you are planning to cook instant noodles to save some money, the small hiking stoves are super light and compact. Perfect for festival cooking.
A word on waste and consumerism
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