Still trying to decide what to wear to a music festival? We can help! We have tips, tricks, and helpful hints so you can pack your bag perfectly for your next festival. Check out our tips below and use our packing checklist to ensure you have all the essentials.
Basic Tips for All Festival Clothing
Before we dive into the music festival packing checklist, we have a few general tips to help you curate your rave outfits.
- Keep It Comfortable: When planning your festival outfits, our most important tip is to keep them comfortable. Wear comfortable shoes, pants, tops, and even comfy underwear! You won’t be wearing these outfits for an hour or two; you could be wearing them for 8+ hours, so be kind to your future self and choose comfortable clothing.
- Stay True to Your Style: There are many rave outfit trends and suggestions for outfits to wear to a music festival, but stay true to yourself. If you hate holographic gear, don’t get it! If you’re obsessed with polka dots, find some cute dotted clothing. You don’t have to follow the trends because festivals and raves are all about people being themselves freely.
- Try It On: Even if you ordered your usual size and have bought from this brand before, don’t leave anything to chance. Try on your rave clothes as soon as you get them, and make sure they fit well and feel comfortable. Try them on again when packing for the festival to ensure everything still fits properly!
- Plan for Weather: Coordinate your outfits with the forecasted weather, but stay prepared. If the forecast is sunny and sweltering, wear lightweight clothing, a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. If it’s supposed to rain, choose waterproof items and carry a small umbrella or rain poncho.
- Add a Bag: Every festival fit needs a bag! You can choose a neck pouch, small backpack, fanny pack, or purse. Unless all your outfits have stellar pockets, you’ll need a decent bag to carry around your belongings and keep everything safe.
- Have a Statement Piece: If you’re struggling to curate your rave outfit, we recommend finding a statement piece that you are head over heels for and using that as your outfit inspiration. Your statement piece can be a top, pants, sunglasses, shoes, a mask, a hat, or anything else bold and eye-catching.
Your Festival Clothing Packing List
Keep this festival clothing packing list handy, so you don’t forget any of your accessories or layers when putting your bag together.
Start With Footwear
You will be on your feet almost the entire time, so make sure you start your packing list with your most comfortable and durable footwear. We recommend sneakers, sandals, flip-flops, or boots, as these are conducive for walking and dancing but also comfortable and stylish. We know that comfortable shoes can ruin an outfit’s aesthetic, but you’ll regret choosing unpleasant shoes when you’ve been walking around and dancing for eight hours straight. Anyone who knows how to dress for a music festival will tell you that comfortable shoes should be your top priority.
Music festivals often have a hippie-dippie vibe with flower crowns and fringed clothing. Bringing a frigid item can help make your outfits cohesive and give you an extra piece of clothing to work with. You can bring a fringed pair of boots, a vest, a jacket, or pants to add to any outfit for a casual flower child style. If fringes are not your thing, consider swapping this out for something sequined or bejeweled.
Opt for a Hat Instead of a Flower Crown
Flower crowns are another classic music festival accessory. While ravers love flower crowns because of the sweet botanical style, they can also help keep the sun out of your eyes and off your face. But if a flower crown is not your style, you can opt for a hat instead! Ravers often wear bucket hats, wide-brimmed hats, baseball caps, straw Panama hats, fedoras, and sun hats. But any hat that can block the sun will do, including insane mad hatter headwear or steampunk top hats. As long as you bring something to protect your head, face, and neck from the scorching sun, you’ll be good to go.
We know it can get annoying to apply and reapply sunscreen. It usually smells weird and can leave an unpleasant residue. However, nothing is worse than trying to enjoy the second day of a festival when your skin is tender, bright red, and peeling. You’ll be happy you brought sunscreen when you see all the lobsters on the second or third day of a festival. We recommend splurging for higher-end sunscreens that smell better and rub into your skin thoroughly. Sunscreens with hydrating properties are ideal! But even if you use a cheap store bran, your skin will thank you! So when people ask what to wear at a music festival, the correct answer is sunscreen!
It’s hard to enjoy your favorite artists when the sun glares at your eyes. Instead of awkwardly squinting until the sun goes down, pack a pair of sunglasses. You’ll be grateful for the sunglasses because they’ll protect your eyes, but they’re also a stylish addition to any rave outfit. Raver sunglasses come in many styles, so you can find a pair that perfectly complement your stunning raver outfit. Whether you bring sunglasses as a trendy accessory or pack your most basic pair to shield your eyes, sunglasses are a must-have at any daytime music festival.
Wear Your Hair Up or In Braids
Make sure you pack hair elastics, clips, bobby pins, and any other hair accessories you need to pull your hair back or put it up. While you may want to wear your hair down for pictures at the beginning of the day, you’ll want to put it up soon after. Between the dust and dirt on festival grounds and the sweat from dancing, your hair will only get gross and in the way when it's down. To avoid this, we recommend finding a funky hairstyle that will keep your hair out of your face while dancing and prevent knots and matting. You can try stunning rave hairstyles, many of which incorporate tight braids that will keep your hair in place through all the dancing!
A moisture-wicking t-shirt is a smart item to bring because it can keep your call even on the hot, sweaty dance floor. Men often prefer to wear these types of shirts to festivals because they help sweat evaporate and keep you cooler. But if you are staying on festival grounds overnight, sleeping in a moisture-wicking shirt can drastically increase your comfort.
Raincoat or Poncho
Even if rain is not forecasted, you should always pack a raincoat or waterproof poncho for a music festival. It’s wildly unpleasant to be trapped at a festival soaking wet. If you’re damp and shivering, enjoying your favorite songs and dancing to your heart’s content becomes difficult. We highly recommend purchasing a compact, foldable raincoat that can fit into a fanny pack or your pocket, so it’s ready to go. But if you have a favorite raincoat, you’ll be happy you brought it when it drizzles.
Wear a Crossbody Bag
Crossbody bags or fanny packs are essential items for a music festival. When you’re wondering, “what do you wear to a music festival?” make sure you incorporate a bag into your outfit. Crossbody bags and fanny packs are ideal because they cannot be easily taken off of you or lost. These bags allow you to easily carry your essential belongings without having to think about holding them or putting them down.
Go Light on the Makeup
We’re all about crazy makeup for raves and festivals. However, it’s unwise to pack every piece of makeup you own. Try to choose only the essentials when loading your makeup bag. Don’t bring multiple mascaras or eyeliners if you only need one. Don’t pack extra eyeshadow palettes or body paint you don’t need for your outfits. There are many more important items you should pack over extra makeup, so pack lightly with the makeup to leave room for vital things.
A Bandana Is a Must!
Lastly, pack a bandana. Bandanas are one of the most useful items to bring to a festival or rave. They can shield you from dust, dirt, smoke, and germs, making the entire festival experience more comfortable. People also wear them while they sleep to keep them warm or use them to wipe off sweat during an intense dance. Bandanas have a million brilliant uses at a festival, so this is an essential item!