Research is the biggest preparation you could do in order to attend a festival successfully. Given the popularity of some places the crowds can be off putting. Knowing how to get tickets, where to stand and when to go can put you in good stead.
Study the program carefully and decide which performers you want to see. Similarly do some research into performers and genre you are not familiar with so you know what lies in store.
Sometimes the best preparation is getting there early. That might mean guarding a spot outside the Palais du Festival in Cannes to get a glimpse of a movie star. Or going hours early to mind a spot in the Campo square of Siena so you get a good view of the horse races.
Also spend some time planning with your friends who will take what. Dividing everything up will make transport much easier and ensure you don’t double up on items.
Gear Requirements/Packing lists
Always pack light as carrying bulky gear into the festival or carting it around with you is a nightmare. Avoid bringing valuables, or if you must, keep them on you at all times. Never leave them in the tent at campsites. If you do need to stock up on anything before you arrive it should probably be snacks and water bottles. Bring some collapsible water containers that will pack well and that you can fill up on-site.
If you are planning on camping you will need a tent, sleeping bag, ground sheet and fly (it could rain), a pillow or rolled up towel to suffice, a camping chair and a tent flag so you can find your tent in the small camping cities that can develop around festivals. Cooking utensils and stoves are a good idea if you plan to do any cooking.
Baby wipes or deodorant are a great idea if there are no showers available during the week, or you’re not game to try them (pack some plastic flip flops for the experience). Moisturizer is another good item to keep your skin smooth in rough environments. Hats, sunglasses and sunscreen are essential for days out in the sun and torches and batteries for moving around at night. A toilet roll is absolutely essential at most festivals unless the organizers specifically request you don’t bring one.
Wellington boots can be a lifesaver at events that soon turn to mush if it rains. Similarly a waterproof jacket is a great idea and bin bags to keep your clothes dry. Take an extra set of clothes if it does rain or gets cold.
Walk talkies are a great way of not losing your festival buddies. They are better than mobile phones as reception might not be available. If you are bringing a mobile, charge it fully before you come and only use it when you need it. Queues for charging can be long.