Fall Festival Checklist!

Posted by Whole Earth | 09.27.2021

An aerial view of the Great Lawn at Zilker Park in Austin filled with festival goers.



Fall Festival Checklist!


Fall Festival season is here at last! Austin City Limits, Oktoberfest and the Renaissance Festival, to name only a few, will be opening their gates once again in the coming days. Here are some suggestions to help make the festival one to remember, for all the right reasons.


1. Don’t forget your ticket!


2. Visit the festival website before you go. It’s your best source of information about what you can and cannot bring, what facilities are available (recharging stations, for example), and be sure to look over the frequently asked questions so you won't have any surprises at the gate. 


3. Dress comfortably. What’s the weather forecast? In Texas we can have 40 degree temperature swings in the course of a day in October. Do you need layers? Do you need some rain gear? Are umbrellas allowed? And please be kind to your feet – wear your most comfortable shoes.


4. Check the FAQs to see what sort of bag you can take into the festival grounds. There may be size restrictions and see through bags may be required. Hydration packs with pockets may also be allowed.


5. Drink lots of water. Frequent trips to the port-a-let are far more pleasant than a visit to the first aid tent.


6. It can be useful to have a meeting place or note a close landmark if you lose your friends or want to see different bands. Phones can’t always be relied upon – service is often spotty at best at large festivals.


7. Make a list of the artists you would like to see, but be open to the new as well.


8. What is essential for one person may not be so necessary for another. That said, here are a few suggestions:


Sunglasses and a hat

A charged phone – a good case and a waterproof bag will protect it from the elements and yourself plus a charger to keep it running.

Refillable water bottle or hydration pack - ditch plastic!


Blanket or collapsible chair – check to make sure chairs are allowed

Sunscreen and lip balm – apply often and liberally

Small flashlight or headlamp – night port-a-let visits can be troublesome and it’s inevitable that someone will drop something when it gets dark

Bandana or two

Any meds you might need

Map of the grounds and schedule for the festival (or download it beforehand)

Insect repellent 

If you can bring food – energy or granola bars – festival prices are notoriously high with long lines

Hand sanitizer and toilet paper/wet wipes – trust us on this one

Koozie – because a cold beverage is a better beverage

Photo ID, insurance card, cash and credit/debit card – bring more cash than you think you'll need

Poncho or rain jacket – when it rains, it pours

Jacket or sweatshirt – in case it gets chilly at night


9. Goodwill and consideration for others


Have a great time!


Campout Festival Checklist


Many festivals offer camping, which is a great way to fully immerse yourself in the festival experience.  Be sure to check if you need to book a spot in advance, as some camping areas sell out prior to the event, and be sure to arrive early for the widest choice of campsites.  Here are some additional items you will want to consider for camping:


Tents, poles, sleeping bag, pillow and sleeping pad

Camping stove, extra canister, pans, utensils, plates and cups

Food and snacks

Headlamp, flashlight or lantern

Toothpaste, toothbrush, towel, soap, shampoo

Bag for dirty clothes

First aid kit

Portable phone charger

Extra hoodie/sweater – in tends to get cold at night

Cooler with lots of ice

Ear plugs


Extra set of clothing

Tarps or pop up canopy for shade

Garbage bags

Flag to find your tent





Kids Love Festivals Too!


Festivals aren’t just for grown-ups anymore.  Many events now welcome families.  There are often open spaces for kids to run around, bands and even events catering to the young and young-at-heart.  Here are a few suggestions to help you prepare for a smooth festival experience with kids.


If your kids haven’t camped before, make sure that your family is comfortable sleeping in a tent before you buy your tickets.  A backyard campout can serve this purpose and, as a bonus, you’ll have practiced setting up your tent before you arrive at the campground.


Make a note of the best places available for families to camp before you arrive.  Some campgrounds are divided into sections for family and quiet camping areas with noise restrictions. You will likely want to stay away from drum circles and places where festival goers participate in extracurricular activities.


Pack familiar foods that your kids like – don’t depend on finding something they’ll enjoy eating at the festival. 


Plan for a few activities to keep your children occupied such as books, coloring books, games or balls.


Don’t forget your child’s favorite cuddly toys or a blanket that they like snuggling with so they’ll feel more at home in the tent.


Noise protection earmuffs are an absolute must for sensitive ears.


Don’t forget a first aid kit with antiseptics, bandaids, something for upset stomachs, sunburn, and whatever else you think you may need.


Wet wipes can serve all kinds of purposes, from their traditional use to removing facepaint before the kids crawl into their sleeping bags.


Have a plan in case you and the kids are separated and be sure they understand it.



Here's hoping you have a fabulous festival experience with lots of great memories to treasure in years to come!




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