A guide to Glastonbury 2024: packing and planning tips from someone who's done it

June is here. Festival season is upon us. And, as with every year, tickets for Glastonbury were all snapped up months ago.

For those of you lucky enough to be going to Worthy Farm on June 26 to 30, you could be seeing Dua Lipa, SZA and Coldplay on the Pyramid stage, with Shania Twain making her Glasto debut in Sunday’s legend’s slot. Other Pyramid performers include Keane, the Streets, PJ Harvey, Olivia Dean and Janelle Monae, with many other acts across different stages and event spaces throughout the weekend. The late BBC Radio 1 DJ Annie Nightingale will be celebrated at various daytime and after-dark sets, playing songs from some of the acts she loved and championed in her years at the festival.

Now you’ve got an idea of what music you’re going to hear and which acts you’re going to see, the only thing you need to worry about is how to best experience the whole event. With some strategic and sensible packing, the right attitude and a versatile wardrobe (there’s always that risk of rain!), here’s how to survive and thrive at one of the most iconic music festivals in the world. 

A festival goer drags a fully loaded trolley full of camping stuff up a hill at a campsite
When packing, remember you have to carry everything back as well © REBEL Media / Getty Images

Pack like a pro: backpack, holdall, tent and snacks

When packing your bag, the quickest way to eliminate non-essential items from the pile is to remember that everything you bring, you have to bring back with you. Enthusiasm carries you and your heavy luggage through Glastonbury’s gates on Wednesday morning, but when you’re a brittle shell of a human on Monday morning, you deserve an easy exit. Limit your belongings to one backpack, and one holdall bag full of snacks, and leave one hand free to share the weight of the tent with your camping gang.

Need more guidance on getting those bags just right? Check out our guide on how to pack for any festival

Festival goers are helped onto a bus by supervisors at the end of a music event
There will be traffic both there and back, so settle in for the ride © Matt Cardy / Getty Images

Getting there will be quite the journey

No matter where you’re coming from, you have a long journey ahead of you and can expect serious traffic. If you’re using the coach service, use this time to stock up on shut-eye. There will be plenty of time for drinking, so hold your horses until you’ve found the perfect camping spot (up next). If you’re driving, be very kind to your designated driver. Buy them treats, shower them with praise, and let them have the final say on the playlist.

Missed out on Glasto tickets? Here are some other UK festivals happening this summer

Festival goers trudge down a muddy path between tents at a campsite
Avoid wet gear by camping further up the hill © AOP.Press / Corbis via Getty Images

The perfect camping spot is uphill

It’s easy to get stressed out about snagging a spot in the coolest campsite but each area fills up on a first-come, first-serve basis, so if you don’t get your top campsite, be tactical in where you pitch your tent. Our number one tip is to aim for an uphill spot to avoid any possible flooding. The rest is about compromise.

If you camp along a pathway, you’ll hear snippets of hilarious conversations all weekend long which might keep you awake at night but will make for good anecdotes later. If you camp near the portaloos, you’ll have to face the wrath of the stench but preemptively get ahead of the queues at peak times. If you camp near the entrance, you’ll have a long walk into the main arena but your exit on Monday will be made a bit easier. Before you commit to hammering in those pegs, let it be known that Pennard Hill Ground is the “lively” campsite, Lime Kiln and Hitchen Hill are generally on the quieter side.

Function vs fashion: prepare for rain, mud and sun

There are two types of Glastonbury: the wet kind, and the dry kind. If the forecast is for rain, don’t cheap out on a raincoat or underestimate the power of a solid welly boot. The wonderful thing about wet gear is that you can rock your best-sequined gear beneath a waterproof exterior and do a sparkling reveal once you’ve found shelter in a dance tent. If you’re pairing wellies with shorts, wear knee-length socks or roll your boots down because calf burn is real. If the sun does decide to make an appearance, wear sunscreen and keep layers tied around your waist because sun-scorched skin at night is no reveler’s delight.

A woman walking through thick mud wearing wellies
Good, strong wellies are essential gear © Gideon Mendel / Corbis via Getty Images

Create your own first aid kit: here’s what you need

During your five-day stint, you will endure the following: sleepless nights, irregular meal times, dance marathons, explosive hangovers, bouts of dehydration and the constant threat of hayfever. While prevention is the best cure, preparation is the best remedy. Pack a ziplock bag with painkillers, anti-nausea medication, gentle laxatives, electrolyte powders, antihistamines, plasters, heartburn medication and the all-important anti-diarrhea medication. You and your bowels will communicate like never before at this festival.

Carry the essentials at all times (and that doesn’t include a phone) 

At all times, have the following on your person: a reusable water bottle, toilet paper, hand sanitizer and sun lotion. Bring a portable charger pack but remember that your phone is not an essential item – live in the moment! Phones are infamously unreliable in festival situations, so wear a watch and on your first day there, pick out different landmarks or stalls that will act as your official meeting spots all weekend long. If your gig plans vary from your friends’ plans, all you have to say is, “see you around midnight in front of the katsu curry stand,” rather than constantly trying to find cell phone signal. Or, even better, bring a tall, personalized flag so your friends can spot you from the back end of the Pyramid Stage.

Want to extend your time on the road? Here are the best driving routes in England

Someone wearing huge rainbow coloured wings that are lit up by a colourful ride in the background
Be flexible with your schedule to make the most of Glastonbury © Matt Cardy / Getty Images

Fight the FOMO and pace yourself…

With over 1100 acres and close to 100 music venues or stages to explore, you might feel like you have to be everywhere at once and do everything that Glasto veterans told you to do. But, a little tip from the top – you can’t do everything, and you shouldn’t try to. Due to the size of the site and with over 210,000 people to wade through, splitting half a set might suck the enjoyment out of the night. So be flexible with your timetable and accept that you simply cannot be in two places at once. Fun is on tap 24 hours a day at Glastonbury, so if you need to sneak a nap in during the day, fight the FOMO and rest safe in the knowledge there’s a lot of fun in your near future.

…but don’t waste the day away at the campsite

Watch the sunrise at Stone Circle. Contemplate your relatioship with tecnology while gazing at Arcadia’s new Dragonfly installation. Throw some moves when Dua Lipa belts out “Dance the Night” from the Barbie (2023) soundtrack. Watch Shania perform at the Sunday legend’s slot on the Pyramid Stage. Find the tunnel under the railway track that connects the Greenpeace Field and Green Futures. Get into Shangri-La early and got lost in there for the night. Dance until 6am in the NYC Downlow. Look for the new wellness space called Room in the Silver Hayes area. But most importantly, throw out the rulebook, and enjoy your lucky self.

This article was first published Jun 18, 2019 and updated Jun 4, 2024.

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