Summer festival tech survival kit

Headphones. Speaker. Back-up phone battery. Camera. Essential festival gadget checklist - check

The festival season is upon us - two months of amazing bands, up-for-it crowds, beer in plastic cups and mud.

From Arcade Fire at Glastonbury to Arctic Monkeys at Reading, a massive summer of music stretches before you.

But if you're going to make it through the weekend in one piece you need to be prepared. Check out our essential gadgets feature.

Glasto Crowd

Essential festival check list - gadgets

  • Good headphones

  • Polaroid-style camera

  • Portable battery

  • Wireless speaker

Good headphones are great for…

  • Blocking out the noise from rowdy campsite neighbours when you're trying to get to sleep
  • The long and tedious train and bus journey to the festival site
  • Dancing in the 'silent disco'

Example  - Beats Solo 2 

Beats Solo 2

Festivals such as Glastonbury take place in the middle of nowhere - on fields which soon become pretty muddy. These fields take quite a bit of getting to. If you're travelling by train or bus you'll want some tunes to help pass the time.

And with the Beats Solo 2 you can enjoy improved sound on their Beats HD predecessors. Noise-isolation technology means your tunes are only enjoyed by you, not your fellow travellers. 

Silent discos are a big thing at festivals. People dance together but listen to their own music via headphones and an iPod. The Beats Solo 2 headphones are perfect for this. When you're done they fold small enough to fit in your handbag.

Festivals are also about looking cool. Supermodels hang out with rock stars and everyone postures and poses.

Created by rapper Dr Dre, recently bought by Apple and endorsed by a stack of celebs, Beats are the headphones for making a style statement.


Polaroid-style digital camera is great for

  • Taking pictures of you and your mates in the crowd, pulling daft faces
  • Creating unique souvenirs of your festival trip
  • Celebrating new mosh-pit friendships by taking a picture and printing it for your new pal

Example -Fujifilm Instax Mini 90  

Fuji Instax 90

Festivals are all about memories, and memories are captured with photos. With the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 camera you can create keepsakes for fellow festival-goers on the spot.

It allows you to print out photos, Polaroid style. Spent hours dancing with someone in front of your favourite band? Snap a selfie of the two of you and give them something to remember you by.

Fancy the person? Scrawl your name and number on the white space below the pic.

It also works as a regular digital camera - record every moment of your festival experience from packing for the train ride and putting up the tent to muddy fields at 2am and headline acts. 

The retro-style camera wouldn't look out of place on Mad Men. It comes with 20 free print shots too. Get snapping.


Portable battery pack is great for

  • One full smartphone charge even though your battery is totally flat
  • Helping you find friends in an emergency

Example - Monster Powercard

Monster Powercard


Festivals go on for a couple of days, far longer than a full charge on your smartphone. Sure, the bigger ones like Glastonbury and Reading have plenty of charge points, but forgetting your phone charger is easily done.

With the Monster Powercard you have one full battery charge packed into a device that's around the size of a credit card.  It takes up hardly any space inside your bag, but can be called upon in your hour of need.

As many as 175,000 people visited Glastonbury last year. The thought of losing your friends amid crowds like that isn't nice. With the Monster Powercard, you can always get in touch - even when your phone's out of juice.


A portable speaker is great for…

  • Carrying on the party back at your tent after the bands have finished
  • Hooking up with your smartphone wirelessly to play music
  • Taking your tunes with you wherever you go

Example - Beats Pill

Beats Pill

Festivals are all about the music. But what about when the music stops? If you want to keep the party going after the headliners have played their final encore, then the Beats Pill is the way to go.

This portable wireless speaker is a real pocket-rocket. It can play music stored on your smartphone without the need for a cable.

All you have to do is tap the phone against the speaker - and near field communication (NFC) and Bluetooth will do the rest.

Get a few friends outside your tent, break out the deckchairs and chat about the festival with your own personal soundtrack of favourite artists via this Beats Pill speaker. 

It boasts 8-hour battery life, so you've enough juice to keep going 'til the twilight hours.

Its lightweight, cylindrical shape means it can be slid into already tightly-packed rucksacks. If there really is no room among your festival gear, you can clip it on to your bag with a handy carabineer. 

Top UK festivals this summer 

Still not decided which festival to visit? Here are a few ideas.

1) Glastonbury

When: June 25-29

Headliners: Arcade Fire, Metallica, Kasabian

More info

2) V Festival

When: August 16-17

Headliners: Justin Timberlake, The Killers

More info

3) Reading  

When: August 23-24

Headliners: Queens of the Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys, Blink 1982

More info


Essential festival survival guide - NHS

That's the tech covered. If you want the lowdown on surviving a festival, check out the NHS Festival Survival Guide.

Heading to a festival this summer? Let us know which one and  why in the comments below…