The Definitive Packing Guide to Music Festivals


The vibrant music festival scene draws for partygoers, music lovers, and those craving a break from the ordinary. But, as seasoned festival goers know, your packing list can make or break your experience. With music festival season just around the corner, you want to remember all the essentials for the infamous annual festival, and knowing what nice-to-haves to bring along can mean the difference between just getting through the days and thoroughly enjoying yourself.

The most important thing to bring, other than your toothbrush, is an EcoFlow RIVER 2 Portable Power Station, ensuring you’re ready to not only dance the night away but also live these moments to their fullest with the help of a reliable power source to charge you up.

Read on for a comprehensive packing guide to everything you’ll need for a music festival, whether it’s your first, or just another one added to a long list of festivals past.

What to Pack

What you’ll need to pack depends on what kind of camping situation you’ve chosen, whether tent/car camping, RV camping, or glamping. However, some of the most essential items to consider include:


If you’re not using an RV or glampsite, you must bring a tent to sleep in. Choose a small, one-person, or multi-room tent for many people. Ensure it is sturdy enough to withstand various weather conditions. Consider bringing an additional tarp or two for extra protection from the elements. It’s helpful to lay one tarp on the ground before pitching your tent and keep one handy to lay across the top of your tent if lousy weather shows up.

Sleeping Bag or Air Mattress

Opt for a blow-up mattress over a sleeping bag to make your tent feel more like home. Bring sheets, blankets, and pillows for maximum comfort if you choose the mattress option. You’ll also need an air pump to make the mattress usable. 


Pack a reliable flashlight or headlamp to navigate the festival grounds at night. Also, consider bringing some battery-operated string lights, hangable camp lights, or solar lights to decorate your campsite and make finding your way around in the dark easier.

Camping Stove and Cookware

If you’re tent or car camping, bring a portable stove for cooking meals instead of relying on expensive food vendor options. Remember to pack some pots, pans, utensils, and plates/bowls for cooking and eating your meals. Consider bringing a cooler with ice or a portable fridge to keep perishable foods fresh. Reusable water bottles are also a must to stay hydrated throughout the festival.

Portable Shower

Those who want to maintain hygiene during the festival should bring a portable shower. Campers staying in an RV may have their shower, but if you’re glamping or camping in a tent, having a backup shower option beyond what the festival provides (think: not always the cleanest facilities and always long lines) can be a lifesaver.

Fan or Space Heater

Depending on the weather, you should pack a portable fan or heater for your tent or campsite, as these are especially important if you’re camping in extreme temperatures and need extra help regulating your shelter’s temperature. Other extras that go a long way in ensuring a comfortable experience include hand warmers, fuzzy socks, and light layers. Always ensure you pack enough clothes for a variety of weather conditions.

Solar Generator

Many of the devices listed above require a power supply to run. While some festivals provide charging stations, they can be far from your campsite and often have long lines of people waiting to use them. You might even find your charging time limited by the number of others expecting to use the electricity. Bringing your power supply with something reliable, like a solar generator, is always better.

The EcoFlow RIVER 2 Series of solar generators, including the compact and lightweight EcoFlow RIVER 2, is perfect for powering personal devices and appliances during short trips such as camping festivals and is offered in 3 models depending on the appliances you need powering. The EcoFlow RIVER 2‘s 256Wh storage capacity, 300W AC output, and multiple outlet ports make it an excellent choice for your small camping power needs.

Camping Appropriately

Festivals offer all kinds of accommodation, from the humble tent in the middle of a field to the luxurious convenience of glamping. 

Tent Camping

Camping on-site ensures easy access to the festival, party as late as you want, and wake up and re-join anytime. It helps to save money, as camping is cheaper than renting an RV, glamping, or staying at a hotel or Airbnb. Furthermore, tent camping provides the opportunity to make a communal space to share with friends.

Alternatively, tent camping leaves you vulnerable to unpredictable weather, whether on scorching hot days or cold or rainy nights. A lack of hygiene due to no personal bathroom with long lines for the public porta-potty may put people off this accommodation type.

If your festival experience involves pitching a tent, expect to bring everything you need yourself. All you’ll get is a cleared spot of land to set up camp (and potentially space to park your car nearby), so you’ll be responsible for all camping essentials and the comforts of home. The type of camp is up to you, whether you’re comfortable with a bare-bones style or prefer something a bit more elevated with niceties like a camp stove, canopy, and camp chairs.

Similarly, you have to provide a power supply for any devices or appliances you want to bring. With a portable power station such as the River 2, you can charge various electronic devices without stress, thanks to the six outlet ports and it’s compact and lightweight.

RV Camping

People who opt for RV or motorhome camping bring their living quarters with all the conveniences of home. This option is ideal for those wanting to get out of a tent but stay in the same festival spirit while enjoying more comfort and space. Many RVs come with a bed, storage, refrigerator, and bathroom, making the camping experience a bit nicer and allowing you to enjoy some indoor moments. 

The EcoFlow River 2 Pro is ideal for RV camping due to having 11 outlet ports for charging appliances in an RV. The EcoFlow River 2 Pro can also be a dedicated power source for appliances such as fridges to keep food from spoiling throughout your trip. To avoid any power outages, set the EcoFlow River 2 Pro to auto-switch on, and it’ll power your devices in 30 milliseconds once RV power stops.

However, RV camping requires an investment in either the purchase or renting of an RV, with additional parking permits and vehicle maintenance fees. Unlike tent camping, RV camping restricts the number of people you can camp with. 


Glamping, short for glamorous camping, involves a pre-set-up tent that’s usually spacious and well-equipped with furnishings and amenities like a bed, chairs, and sometimes even electricity. They’re ideal for upgrading from primitive camping without losing the festival vibe, offering ultimate comfort and convenience without sacrificing the camping experience. With everything already provided, there is no need to set up camping gear. It’s still camping but on a more comfortable level.

That said, glamping is often the most expensive and has limited availability. Some feel less connected to the festival atmosphere than tent camping due to the ease and distance.

Top 10 Music Festivals

The top 10 music festivals in the US bring in some of the largest crowds and most prominent names in music to perform. If you’re ready to dip your toes into the music festival scene, consider starting with one of these ten legendary events.

  1. Coachella – Indio, California
  2. Bonnaroo – Manchester, Tennessee
  3. Burning Man – Black Rock City, Nevada
  4. Electric Forest – Rothbury, Michigan
  5. Lost Lands – Thornville, Ohio
  6. Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) / Camp EDC – Multiple Locations
  7. Lightning in a Bottle – Central Valley, California
  8. Country Thunder – Kissimmee, Florida
  9. Firefly – Dover, Delaware
  10. Hulaween – Live Oak, Florida

Frequently Asked Questions

What Not To Bring to a Festival?

Leave all valuables and items considered dangerous or illegal at home, including glass, weapons, and fireworks. Don’t bring illegal or illicit drugs. Don’t bring more cash than you’ll spend. Always check the festival’s rules for a detailed list of prohibited items before packing.

What Type of Bag is Best for a Festival?

A compact, durable backpack or crossbody with enough room for essentials and adjustable straps for comfort is ideal. Bonus points if it’s water-resistant to protect your gear from the elements. Some festivals may require clear bags, so check the rules before you pack to ensure you can bring your bag.

How Do You Avoid Pickpockets at Music Festivals?

Stay vigilant, secure your belongings, and avoid keeping all your valuables in one place. Consider a money belt or hidden pockets in your clothing. Don’t leave essential items unattended at your campsite, such as your phone, wallet, or car keys. Bring a portable safe if necessary, or leave items in your locked car.

Final Thoughts

Each camping music festival is a unique experience, and your preparation ensures you’ll have everything you need to add to the beauty of the experience, not detract from it by missing something important. With the River 2 series from EcoFlow, you’ll be free to charge what you need when you need it. Life’s too short to be tethered to a charging station.

EcoFlow is a portable power and renewable energy solutions company. Since its founding in 2017, EcoFlow has provided peace-of-mind power to customers in over 85 markets through its DELTA and RIVER product lines of portable power stations and eco-friendly accessories.

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