Festy Friday: Festival Essentials

Glitter Spy Essentials for Festivals
These essential items will level up your festival experience!

Utility Belt
A utility belt will be one of the best investments you make not only for festivals, but for life. This nifty combination of a wallet and fanny pack allows you to be hands free while you ride your bike across the playa, dance up a storm on top of an art car. This one item can hold your headlamp, goggles,  cup, chapstick, ID and essential oils, but we will get to all those items a little later.

Cup w/ Carabiner
Make sure to always have a cup with a handle with you whenever you leave camp. An easy way to keep track of it is to use a carabiner to attach it to your utility belt or backpack. You can find a 4 pack at the 99 cent store or order them on Amazon. That way, you’ll be able to fill up at all the incredible cocktail bars peppered throughout the playa. One of our personal favorites is called 7 Deadly Gins. Not only do they have the best Gin & Tonic cocktail we’ve ever tasted, it is also inside an air-conditioned tent with misters! Very refreshing.  Festivals are a gifting economy so drinks are complimentary from these incredible camps. Just make sure you have something to “trade.” This could be a smile, a hug, a little gift or just about anything! Contributing to the community is the most rewarding part of festivals.

Glitter Spies Pro Tip: Make sure to have at least 1 more backup cup and a few carabiners at camp. That way, if you lose one, you’ll still be able to partake in all the festivities. A carabiner or cup could also be a great gift to have on you.

Face Mask
You never know when the wind is going to pick up on the playa. To avoid getting a mouth and nose full of dust in 2 seconds flat, make sure to always have a face mask or bandana with you. Our favorite option is to use a square scarf as a bandana tied around the neck that adds an element to our outfit. That way, it is fashionable and functional. You can simply pull it up from around your neck to cover your mouth and nose.

Glitter Spies Pro Tip: Put a little bit of peppermint oil on your face mask for breathing assistance. (a little goes a long way)


Festivals are known for its extreme temperatures. It can get up to 105 during the day! A fan is a great way to provide some relief even though it won't actually cool down your body temperature.

Glitter Spies Pro-Tip: Invest in a sturdy wood fan. You can find plastic sequin ones for cheap online but they always break within a day or 2 of use. 

Goggles- Never ever leave camp without your goggles. We repeat never leave camp without your goggles. Dust storms happen out of nowhere. You will need both a tinted day time pair of goggles and a clear night time pair. Use a carabiner to clip your goggles to you so you have them rigged and ready.

Faux Fur Coat

The Playa can get frigid. With temperatures sometimes dropping down to the 40s and in a couple cases the 30s, a festival coat is necessary. We often opt for the faux fur version since they are lighter to carry and come in an array of colors.

Glitter Spies Pro-Tip: Having both a long and short coat allow for many styling options when those freezing temps arrive.

It is important to have comfortable boots that you can ride a bike in. Remember, the festival has a 2.3 mile wide diameter and nearly a 7 mile circumference!
Platform boots are fashionable and can be fine for half the day, but believe us, it’s more important to have boots that are comfortable for 12 hours or more. One of the most beautiful things about festivals is adventuring around without a particular plan and you don’t want to be that girl that has to go all the way back to camp because her feet hurt.

Glitter Spies Pro Tip: If your boots have zippers, make sure to rub the zipper with a candle. The wax will help the zipper slide easily up and down and not get clogged with dust.  It is also important to oil up your leather boots before arrival and spray them down with a mixture of ¼ vinegar ¾ water each night.

The playa is notorious for breaking zippers and destroying leather if it’s not properly cared for!

Beyond the items listed above. Make sure to have these items as well.

  • Sunscreen
  • Chapstick
  • Zip Ties
  • Rebar (for staking down your tent)
  • Headlamp
  • Camelbak
  • Ear plugs
  • Eyemask

*** This list is by no means extensive. Make sure to look up festival packing list for everything you’ll need on the Playa.

All photos by Haley Busch.

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.