The Most Essential Festival Gear 2023

The Most Essential Festival Gear 2023

It’s t-minus twelve hours until you wake up, pile your friends and frenemies into the people mover and take off for a weekend of tunes (and if you’re looking for a festival, you can check out our 2023 festival guide here). Obviously you’ve packed the tent, costumes, and nothing illegal, but have you forgotten something? In this guide, we’ll discuss some additional things you might want to pack to ensure the best possible live music experience.

Are You Drinking Enough Water? Free Drink Tracking App

For a variety of reasons, festival goers typically end up dehydrated and headachey -- a potent combination, particularly when the headliner is about to take the stage. The last thing you want to do is end up back at the tent, convalescing when your friends are making memories -- a free drink tracking app is a good way to ensure you’re keeping hydrated all weekend long. (Please note: beer does not count as half a water).

Our pick? Water Reminder - Daily Tracker, a free smartphone app available on Android and iPhone, that quite simply tracks how much water you’ve had that day, while also reminding you to have another drink. You can adjust notifications based on when you wake up and go to sleep, while also setting different goals depending on how much you’re drinking or dancing over the course of the day. You don’t have to be this high tech, either, you can also just alternate one water for every alcoholic drink, or aim to have one drink an hour, or anything. Just make sure you rule is consistent, you have something to remind you of it (write in sharpie on your arm) and you adjust depending on how hot it is or how much you’re moving.

water drinking app

Break In Case Of Emergency: Your Own Custom First Aid Kit

Look, I know we sound like your mum right now, but there’s nothing worse than developing blisters on the second day and spending an hour in line at the first aid tent, waiting for them to pick the glass out of Damo’s knee and patch up Tilly after she stage dived into a bollard. The majority of little camping maladies you’ll face are easily dealt with on your own, but so many people forget to pack even the most rudimentary first aid kit. All you need is a tupperware and about ten to twenty bucks and you can pack:

  • Thick waterproof bandaids in different sizes. A great way to deal with blisters, knicks and cuts. If you’re ambitious, you could pack gauze and bandage for custom sizing, but double check the restrictions for the festival -- some won’t let you in with scissors, even medical ones!
  • Antibacterial cream. For when you trip over slice your knee open on someone’s discarded stubby, a good way of avoiding infected sores.
  • Panadol, nurofen, and (most importantly) oral rehydration powder. Headaches and hangovers are day ruiners and you simply don’t have time to have a day ruined. The oral rehydration powder is a double whammy: in the off chance you get sick, it’ll ensure you’re flush with electrolytes but (and you didn’t hear this from me) they’re a great hangover cure on those dusty mornings before the long drive back.

  • The best part is, it’ll store itself indefinitely. You can keep these safely packed away in the boot of your car or in your stuff drawer and very rarely need to actually replace any of the elements (though double check use-by dates). Better still, they’re very valuable bartering chips during the desperate final days away: one tablet of paracetamol might be worth two or three of the beers your mate snuck in.

    A set of good looking music ear plugs

    Earjobs MusicMate ($27.99)

    If you want something that’s more inconspicuous, you can’t look past the MusicMate. There’s a reason it’s our best seller. The clear body with red accent is almost invisible when worn, they’re comfortable and hardwearing, with a strong aluminium case that’s going to survive at the bottom of a hastily packed duffle bag. Like the Loop, the MusicMate’s high fidelity acoustic filters processes music clearly at a safe volume. If you love live music, the MusicMate should be on your keyring at all times.

    A special advantage of the MusicMate is that it’s a little more hardwearing than the Loop. You can wash it easily with warm water and a clean cloth, the tips are not removable so it’s not going to break even after going through forty-eight hours of festival chaos. The tips are comfortable for long term wear and, unlike the free foam plugs the event marshalls make available, there’s no muffling or diminution of sound quality.


    As an added bonus, it’s now available in a children’s size, great for younger music fans or people with smaller ear canals.

    Taking the Bub?

    Joey Noise Cancelling Baby Earmuffs ($29.99)

    Baby ears are much more sensitive than our own, a noise that seems insignificant to an adult can actually be piercing or damaging to a young child. That said, there’s no reason why a festival can’t be a perfectly safe atmosphere for a baby (and really, we can’t keep leaving the bub with mum and dad…). A pair of baby earmuffs are a cheap and effective solution, the Joey is rated to 22 SNR, which means it’s going to block out about 22 decibels of noise, sufficient to keep your baby comfortable and safe in loud environments.

    The Joey is made of hypoallergenic baby-safe materials (nothing detachable or sharp, no choking hazards) and is rated for babies three months to three years. It comes with a carry case and some fun stickers that let you personalise your set. The benefit of a set of baby earmuffs is their versatility: sure, you can take them to the festival, but they’re also good for live sport, noisy shopping centres, or even going to a movie (the baby’s a little young for Tenet). They’re softly padded all over, with very little pressure from the earcups, ensuring comfort over long periods.

    Must Pack Festival Checklist:

  • High fidelity musician’s ear plugs. Protect your ears, hear music better. Our pick is the MusicMate.
  • Baby Earmuffs (for parents). Hypoallergenic hearing protection avoids grizzling and damage to sensitive little ears. Start with the Joey.
  • Water tracking app. Make sure you stay hydrated, even when you’re partying, with Water Reminder. There are a lot of free apps, just pick the one you like the look of (though ideally it should have reminders built-in).
  • Homemade first aid kit. Cheap insurance against hangovers and scraped knees, makes you everyone else’s saviour, barter bandages for booze.
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