Things NOT to Bring to Summer Festivals

A lot of articles out there will prepare you for the summer heat of large festivals across the US, they’ll let you in on the secrets and tips that most people don’t know about, and they’ll even prepare you for what to expect when inclement weather occurs, but not too many pieces out there tell you what to leave behind.

I felt that giving a heads up on the things you can leave at home is just as useful as what you must have, as some people tend to overpack and bring things that they’ll simply never use.

So, let’s dive in to explore the items that you really can just say no to when packing with your friends, family, or significant others.

Charcoal grills.

While these are allowed at Bonnaroo with certain specifications, I can say from firsthand experience that gas grills are the way to go. If you can get your hands on a portable gas grill, you’ll much prefer it to the time needed for charcoal to get going. Besides, charcoal grills can cause fires much easier and require you to tend to them even after using them. You don’t want to be responsible for something that accidentally happens, such as a drunk guy stumbling into your camp and knocking the charcoal out on the grass, do you?


Okay, some people may find this counterintuitive considering you’re literally camping among tens of thousands of other people, but the point I’m trying to make with this is that you’re camping among tens of thousands of people in the Tennessee summer heat. There’s no reason you can’t bring cots instead and sleep underneath your canopy, especially if you want to get decent rest and not be sweating to death at 8 a.m. Trust me when I say that the smart Bonnaroovians out there know to forego the tents and just bring cots and EZ Up tents instead.


While a pair of sweat pants is fine for chilling at your campsite in the evening, I highly advise against trying to wear any type of pants to summer festivals simply because it’s going to be unbearably hot all day if you were to go with jeans or leggings or anything else. While some people thrive during festival season simply because of the wacky outfits they come up with, I wouldn’t wish a pair of pants on my worst enemy, at least during the dead of summer like this.


A lot of people seem to pack a few candy boxes for snacks during the day, but this amount of sugar (especially unhealthy sugars) during the heat isn’t great for you. Instead of candy boxes, opt for granola bars, trail mix, and fruits. You’ll want to be conscious of your diet during such a high energy weekend of hiking and heat, so opt for healthier options instead.

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