Everything you need to prepare for Glastonbury Festival

·7-min read
 (Getty Images/iStock)
(Getty Images/iStock)

Finally, after three years Glastonbury Festival is back. And it couldn’t come any sooner.

If you are one of the 135,000 people who managed to secure a ticket back in 2019 (they sold out in 27 minutes), congratulations.

The festival had been due to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2020 but, well, we all know what happened next.

Spirits were raised once again for 2021, but once again, coronavirus put paid to the festivities and the event was cancelled for the second time.

Hence why anticipation for this year’s proceedings are exceedingly high.

On the lineup, attendees can expect major names like Billie Eilish, Paul McCartney, and Kendrick Lamar.

But as any seasoned festival attendee will know, Glastonbury is about much more than just the music.

Stretching over five days, the festival itself is quite the camping event. With minimal access to washing facilities and the possibility of extreme weather conditions, it can be a taxing affair if you’re not properly prepared.

Hence why we have compiled the ultimate guide to preparing for Glastonbury Festival. Here’s everything you need to know before packing your bags and descending onto Worthy Farm.

What to know

The toilets at Glastonbury are quite an experience (Getty Images)
The toilets at Glastonbury are quite an experience (Getty Images)

Hygiene

One of the first things people will tell you about Glastonbury is the toilets. That’s to say that their potent scent is fairly hard to forget in a hurry. With this in mind, let’s start with hygiene.

You will already have heard that babywipes are a festival essential. But these are hardly the most sustainable option when it comes to keeping clean. Instead, we advise investing in some body wash bars. There are plenty of varieties that you can use to wash your body and even your hair. Try these plastic-free mint and poppyseed body bars or this all-natural cleansing spray for a more eco-friendly washing solution.

Other obvious hygiene essentials you will want to bring include plenty of hair bands, toilet roll, deodorant, sun cream, insect repellant, and anything else you’d bring on holiday. Except you need to remember that on this holiday there is no bathroom.

Self-care

This might sound like an odd thing to bear in mind when going to festival but there are certain logistical things you’ll need to know when it comes to self-care. Firstly, you need to know that, with a permiter of around eight-and-a-half miles, Glastonbury Festival is huge.

Try to pack as lightly as you can, because you will be walking around the festival a lot. Ditch your pretty strappy sandals and instead opt for one pair of sturdy boots or trainers, depending on the weather. If it’s raining, look no further than a reliable pair of Hunter wellies. The brand is Kate Moss’s go-to for Glastonbury and it can be yours too.

If it’s trainers you’re after, try these new flatform Superga shoes from the brand’s recent collaboration with Emily Ratajkowski.

Putting the comfort of your feet aside, the other main thing about self-care when it comes to Glastonbury is sleep. Again, it might be the last thing on your mind, but it’s worth remembering that camping is not a quiet experience. Don’t forget to bring an eye mask and ear plugs to ensure you can get some shut-eye at the festival.

Finally, consider your beauty regime and how you might adapt it for a festival. You could try investing in a travel kit from your favourite brand, there are some great ones at Dr Barbara Sturm and The Organic Pharmacy, and remember to pack an SPF. Even if it’s raining, you’ll want something to protect your skin, like this day cream with SPF 15.

If you’re planning on dousing yourself in glitter, you’ll also want to pay special attention to your skin as this can aggravate sensitive skin types. This serum is great at reducing irritation and signs of redness.

What to bring

There are some essentials you need to pack (Getty Images)
There are some essentials you need to pack (Getty Images)

Camping

You are going to spend five nights in a field surrounded by fellow unwashed festival-goers. There are a few things you need in order to make this bearable. The first is a good tent. You want to aim for something a little bigger than you need; tents are always smaller than you think they are once you’ve loaded all of your bags inside them.

If you are not au fait with the technicalities of putting up a tent, you might want to consider getting a pop-up one. These are as easy as they sound and simply require you to pull a few chords and your job is done; this is a good option from Quechua. The blackout lining will ensure you get at least a few hours of sleep.

If you’re looking for something a bit bigger, you will inevitably need to assemble the tent yourself. There are some good affordable options on Amazon, like this one.

The next thing you need is a sleeping bag, and possibly also a blow-up mattress and pillow. Despite falling in mid-June, Glastonbury can be a cold place at night, regardless of what the weather is like during the day. Don’t think you’ll be okay with a flimsy old sleeping bag, you will want something substantial to ensure you’re comfortable.

There are some great options at Blacks, but you’ll want to combine these with either a sleeping matt or blow-up mattress so you’re not just sleeping on the ground. You can pick these up in most camping shops. If you’re keen to try something different, you can also opt fot an all-in-one portable bed that includes a mattress, duvet and pillow - a great option for those wanting to keep packing to a minimum.

Finally, you need a decent backpack. This brings me back to the sheer size of Glastonbury. It will take time for you to get from the gate to your tent, possibly an hour of more. So bear this in mind when choosing which backpack to take along for the ride. Try and pick something with a strap around the body, like this one from Chrome Industries, so you will be as comfortable as possbile while trudging around the festival site.

Useful tech

In recent years, plenty of gadgets have emerged to make your camping experience easier. There are the obvious things, like portable phone chargers, which you should stock up on.

But there are other things you might not have considered, like a small portable speaker to use while you’re getting ready for the day in your tent. We love this small one from Bang & Olufsen. You might also want to consider investing in something to ensure you don’t forget where your tent is, like one of these Tile trackers.

Also, be sure to download Glastonbury Festival’s official app. Created with the festival’s tech partner, EE, the app allows you to stay up-to-date with any news, personalise your lineups and see a map of the site. It’s an invaluable tool you’ll come to rely on. Download it now here.

What to wear

Kate Moss pictured with Pete Doherty at Glastonbury in  200 (Getty Images)
Kate Moss pictured with Pete Doherty at Glastonbury in 200 (Getty Images)

Festival fashion used to mean throwing on a pair of denim cut-offs and a band T-shirt. Now, though, it has become an entire industry in its own right. Brands release entire collections dedicated to festival fashion, while others make it their specialty.

Which means it can be a little overwhelming when it comes to choosing what to wear. The thing is, as much as you might want to follow the trends, you will find that the days are long at Glastonbury, and comfort should be your priority above anything else.

This starts and ends with layers. Think slip dresses and oversized coats; mini skirts with tights stuffed in your pockets. You’ll want to bring a jumper with you at night, and possibly even a waterproof jacket.

Once you’ve sorted out the layers, it’s time to think about what’s underneath. This is where you can have some fun. Think co-ords, mesh mini dresses, and flares. There are some great festival collections at ASOS and Jaded right now - we love this lace mini dress. For those wanting to splash out on the festival wardrobe, look no further than Ganni, where the summer drop is ideal for anyone looking to channel a relaxed but playful aesthetic at Worthy Farm.

Your hair will start to look a little ratty after a few days, this is simply inevitable. But fear not, this is where you can play with wigs and hair extensions. Think braids, giant ponytails, and bright pink bobs. You can find some great options here.

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