Last year we were lucky enough to experience four festivals - camping for a long weekend at two of them. It was a great experience and from it we now have a better idea of what to take.
What You should take
Tickets: Obviously. Do not forget these!
Tents: The first year we camped at a festival we used our two original explorer tents (there are five of us camping) from FieldCandy – they are stored in compact bags and fairly lightweight, and very easy to put up but you can't really move about in them.
Last year we invested in a 5 metre bell tent from Bell Tent Boutique - we have camped in it twice now and it is fantastic, so spacious and the sides also roll up. Be warned - they are very heavy, you will need something to pull this along on.
Always check you have all the poles and tent pegs before you leave. It was also useful taking a smaller tent to store bags and food.
A trolley or Wagon: Especially if you have a fair walk from the car park - we hired one last year and had to leave a large deposit. You can pick them up on Amazon or grab a cool kids one from Boutique Camping.
Bedding/furniture: Sleeping bags, blankets, pillows and air beds. We’ve learnt from experience that sleeping on the ground can be very uncomfortable so take an air mattress/camp beds and pillows along with a sleeping bags. Inflatable pillows can be quite annoying so I'd recommend a foam one if possible. I would also bring an extra-large blanket as it tends to get pretty chilly during the night. We love Sleeping Bag Beauties and Snooz pillows from FieldCandy. Camping chairs also come in very useful.
Torches/lanterns: Last year I picked up some cheap torches from Poundland (make sure you put batteries in first) and I have a lantern for each tent. Our tents have hooks to hang a light from. These torches were fine but head torches could be useful for finding the toilets at night time there is a great range on Mountain Warehouse.
Clothes: Will it rain? Maybe it will be blazing hot? It's always best to bring a few changes of lightweight clothes (enough to change into dry ones should it be wet) as well as some warm jumpers or ponchos (check out Moomoo for ponchos) - and I think flip flops and wellies are a must. As well as sensible clothes It's good to pack a few nice outfits for the evenings too. Take a bum bag to keep your money and phone in. Don't forget to pack some towels.
Food,Drink & Cooking: There is always a huge amount of food on offer at festivals, but if you’re on a budget like us, you will probably need to bring some food along. Cereal bars, fruit and snacky food is great to keep in your tent. A picnic/cool bag with some plastic plates and cutlery inside will also come in useful. Anevay is a great shop to pick up stoves - we love our Frontier Stove one it heats up our bell tent beautifully in the evenings and you can cook on it. Take some cooking pots, tongs and a bucket for your washing up. Dried noodles, soups and beans are good basics to bring. Don't forget logs or coal, matches and lighter fluid.
Water: There are taps around camp to fill up water bottles, so bring some along and also a good idea is a water carrier, we bought a 5 litre foldable one from Primark for £2 with a tap on. You can also pick these up in places like Poundland and Wilkinsons very cheaply.
Toiletries: There are free hot showers at festivals which can get very busy in the morning, head there mid-afternoon or very early if you want to avoid queuing. I bring dry shampoo, hand sanitiser, toilet paper and wet wipes (I can live without a shower for a couple of days). Don’t forget sun cream and sun hats for the kids and of course toothbrushes and tooth paste and hair brushes. Bin bags are also a good idea for your rubbish and recycling although a lot of festivals provide these.
Camera: Remember to bring a portable charger or Power Bank. Again some festivals will charge phones in their office for a fee.
Accessories: I like to take a few bits just for fun, bunting, some gold tattoos, a few props, some flower crowns, a Mexican serape blanket and some ribbon streamers (obvs non-essential but small enough to pack into a rucksack!).
Money & Security: There are usually no cash points on site, but most of the food and drink vendors will accept card payments. Bring both cash and cards.
I hope I've covered the basics - all that is left to do is enjoy!
*This post contains some affiliate links.