Summer festival survival kit: everything you need, plus bubbles

Summer festival survival kit: everything you need, plus bubbles
Photo by Liv Martin

Summer festivals, whether they're music-oriented or all about art, are a huge part of our Midwestern culture. We spend six months indoors, so when the weather turns, we want to enjoy every possible moment soaking up the sun and warm temps. But spending a day (or two or three) at an outdoor festival means you'll need to pack an arsenal of essentials to keep comfortable. Read on and take notes.


In our experience, a backpack is superior to other carrying cases for a number of reasons, included but not limited to its size and comfort level. In general, they're also pretty unisex, so you and your S.O. can take turns carrying it.

Baby wipes

Of all the items on the list, this is the most essential. Did a bird just drop a hot, white shit on your arm? Grab a baby wipe. Is that makeup that you so ambitiously applied this morning dripping down your face? Grab a baby wipe. Is the porta-potty out of toilet paper? Grab a baby wipe. Did that mustard-covered corn dog you paid $12 for make a mess of your hands? You get the picture.

Halo charger (not pictured)

Inevitably you're going to be doing a lot of Snapchatting, Instagramming, and general internet documentation on this, the best day of your life. You cannot allow your lifeline to die.

Empty water bottle

For obvious reasons, festival attendees are often not permitted to bring in liquid. Pack an empty water bottle to avoid paying out the nose for hydration.

Cigarettes (not pictured)

Disclaimer: We do not condone or encourage the smoking of tobacco. But, if you're going to get drunk and start feeling some kind of way, don't be that person who tries to bum a smoke off those who pay $9 a pack.


For you, or to lend to those in need.


Hair inevitably gets in the way at a summer festival. Pack a bandana to help tame the mane.

Hand towel

Especially if you're a sweaty person by nature. Also, you could use it to hide ... things ... but you didn't hear that from us.

Small bandages

Maybe those super cute flat white sneakers that you just bought are carving a crater in your heel. Or maybe you cut your finger on that $6 can of Bud Light. Or maybe you stepped on a bee. Really, the number of bandage-requiring situations that could possibly arise are endless.

Flip flops

Your best bet is to wear comfortable flat sneakers and socks if you're spending the day trekking around the grounds of an outdoor festival. But, sometimes those tootsies need to breathe. Pack a pair of flip flops and #FreeTheToes.


This one's pretty self-explanatory. No one wants a sunburn. Or skin cancer.


If you started pregaming at 10 a.m., you might need to pop a few of these babies by 5 p.m. You know, preventative measures and everything.

Ear plugs

These are small and cheap, but they make a big difference. Like, the difference between having a hearing aid at age 40 and not having a hearing aid at age 40. Bring a few pairs and share with a friend.


Some of us have stronger body odor than others. Some of us are more comfortable with that odor. If you tend to produce a strong musk and prefer that your constituents aren't subjected to the smell of sauteed onions all day, then pack (and reapply) your deodorant.


For funsies.

About The Author

Alysa Zavala-Offman

Alysa Zavala-Offman is the managing editor of Detroit Metro Times. She lives in the downriver city of Wyandotte with her husband, toddler, mutt, and two orange cats.
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