As nice as a multi-day concert marathon outdoors may be, every festival also has its pitfalls - caused by limited hygiene, a lot of noise, unstable weather or, to put it another way: little comfort. It doesn't take much to be able to enjoy the time to the full despite all the restrictions. You just need to know which gadgets are essential at a festival. Below we present a small selection that our author (after ten years of festival experience) would recommend to every open-air concert-goer.
It is not without reason that a headline in recent years has been called "Hurricane over Scheeßel" after the festival was surprised by a storm and downright flooded. In fact, it wasn't the first time that open-air events like the Hurricane or Rock am Ring were accompanied by torrential rain showers - and the concert meadows turned into muddy fields. For this reason, rubber boots are among the most important items that festival-goers should always have with them. Alternatively, there are also waterproof shoe covers that you can wear over your normal shoes.
Unfortunately, our author only discovered this hearing protection after her active festival time, but still swears by it - after all, it can also be used at every "normal" concert: These are special earplugs that dampen the noise, but still the ambient noise in the same way preserve sound quality. In other words, you still listen to your favorite band at a healthy volume. On the other hand, if you want to be quiet at night (spoiler: it's loud 24/7 at festivals), you should use ordinary earplugs. Unless you're a sound sleeper and can block out all noise.
Yes, there are showers on the festival site. But what many people don't know is that sometimes the water is too cold – or too hot. Or, in the early hours of the morning, long queues form so that you can only enjoy fresh water with a bit of luck. Apart from the fact that there are not always individual cabins, there are also shared showers for men and women. It is much easier and easier to plan if you simply bring your own solar shower (incl. hose). This heats up with the power of the sun and holds 20 liters: enough water to wash yourself with.
You're probably wondering why a rain poncho should be better suited for a festival than a rain jacket. Clearly: he is not. But: In contrast to a (warming) jacket, the poncho can be folded up to a minimum and can be easily stowed in any pocket or backpack. Because the fact is that the weather at festivals is usually so changeable that you should be prepared for everything: rain and sunshine, heat and cold. Since the poncho can be worn over normal clothing (including a backpack) due to its one size, you are always on the safe side.
Those who do not arrive by car are forced to carry their entire camping gear to the campsite. In order to take as little luggage as possible, our author recommends a self-inflating air mattress. It can be folded up very small and still offers more comfort than a thin sleeping pad. What's more, you don't have to lug around an air pump to inflate the mattress. There are different models with different thicknesses: 60 centimeters are the cheapest, 65 centimeters offer even more comfort. Of course, there are also inflatable cushions to match.
You'd think festival-goers would be able to just hold their cups in their hands, but far from it. In the heat of the moment, it's easy to lose, spill or forget your drink. In addition, the prices for water and soft drinks on the festival site are usually the same as for alcoholic drinks, so it is a good idea to bring your own drinks to the concerts. In order to have your hands free while dancing and still not have to die of thirst, a practical bottle holder has proven its worth. There are simple models or unusual ones made of macrame.
If there's one thing festivals don't have, it's free power outlets. However, since most events last several days, the mobile phone can only be charged several times using an external battery - i.e. a mobile power bank. However, since these capacities are also limited, it is advisable to choose a portable solar charger: in this case, you simply use the power of the sun to recharge the power bank. You can then use your smartphone as usual and thus always remain mobile (if you have reception at all on the festival site).
As nice as a normal towel made of terry cloth is, it still takes up a lot of space in the backpack. A microfiber towel, on the other hand, is much smaller and can be folded up very small – and what’s more, it dries much faster in the fresh air. This advantage is especially useful on rainy days when the humidity is so high that a normal towel would dry very slowly or not at all. But if we're honest, personal hygiene isn't at the top of most festival-goers' lists anyway. A small towel is still better than none.
Even if the lights stay on the whole time throughout the festival area, it gets really dark in the campgrounds (depending on the location) - especially in the tents, but also in the sanitary facilities, which are becoming more and more dirty over time. If you don't always want to use your mobile phone light and thus drain the battery, you can rely on practical LED camping lamps. These can be clipped anywhere with a snap hook and will light your way in the darkest hours (using batteries).
There is enough drinking water on the festival grounds, but it's still pointless (and doesn't take up much space in your backpack) to always have an empty bottle with you. Collapsible water bottles with a capacity of 500 milliliters are ideal here. These can easily be stowed in any pocket and filled with water or other drinks at any time if necessary. There are four different colors in this set. And of course the BPA-free bottles are also reusable.
And one last tip: You can get tickets for "Rock am Ring" from June 2nd to 4th, 2023 here.
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