The Hooping Harlots festival packing list

So you’re going to a festival.  Brilliant.  Send notice to the memory musuem to prepare for a sizeable influx, set operational mode to ‘playful’ and fun receptors to maximum capacity.  I could wax lyrical about the beauty, and benefits, of festivals at length – especially when it comes to my hypothesis of Glastonbury being a wonder of the human world… but instead! I will share the words used by David and Stephen Dewaele from Soulwax to sum up the experience in a recent Guardian guide:

For us, festivals are the lifeblood of live music, where you can come together with like-minded people, release your inhibitions and meet some wonderful new friends in the rain.  They’re a place to listen to crazy music you’d otherwise never hear, make out with people you’d never kiss, eat exotic food you’d never normally consider eating… and embark on voyages of discovery surrounded by mud and Portakabins

YES.  To make the most of your voyage of discovery a little forward planning goes a long way.  I’m talking about what to pack: that is, items which will optimise your fabulousness and mitigate instances of lowered fabulousness.  The best bit is that the thinking on the matter has already been done! Presenting the festival packing list for Hooping Harlots and other carnivalesque creatures wishing to supercharge the senses…

To liven up your lair:
A tent/ porch area large enough to accommodate soirees.
Alcohol supplies for afterparties – sugary spirits such as Amaretto and Baileys keep the emptiest of tanks running.
Solar powered fairy lights/ tea lights.
A boombox.
Cute blankets/ throws – for lining your tent floor, it makes tents so much cosier and homely.

Lucy's birthday grotto, nestled between the tents

Lucy’s birthday grotto, nestled between the tents

Things to share:
At least one hula hoop or other prop to express yourself with – we always take a huge stash.
Bubbles of assorted sizes: pocketsize, wands and especially those huge ones you can stand in.  Serious.
Party poppers.
Love glasses to zone out and make all the lights heart-shaped..
A camera plus extra battery.
Tokens to hand out to new mates – perhaps sweeties (lovehearts are especially good).
Lip balm.
An autograph book/journal/ art project – I came across a good one where new mates were asked to draw an image representing how they felt: big positive vibes, the results were ace.
Your Secret Santa gift: such a fun festival ritual, which usually results in more props.
A birthday/ thank you/ best fancy dress award/ any excuse really cake.
Smiles and compliments.

Bubbles at BOMfest

Things to wear:
Leotards, unitards, anything vibrant and stretchy for maximum dance movement.
Fancy dress – tie in with the festival theme, create a theme for your festival crew, pay homage to one of the acts (strong looks work well here: Dolly Parton at Glastonbury, Public Enemy at Parklife),, or simply, your knock out fancy dress outfit.
A fur coat, making it shower-proof by adding one of those clear ponchos you get from Alton Towers/ ebay.
Following on from the last point, anything that turns you into an animal – we are in nature, after all.  Think animal print, ears, face paint…
A disco cape over mandatory practical clothing if it’s getting cold adds instant jazzy-ness.
A onesie that can be tied around the waist if it gets hot .
Tights and long socks: lots of colours and layers.  Ripped fishnets over bright coloured tights is a win.

My serene disco cape moment at Secret Garden Party

To take care of your hair:
Dry shampoo.
Hair powder and a comb for back-combing.
Fabulous head wear (extra points if it keeps you warm like ear muffs or a furry animal hat).
Flowers (see earlier point about being in nature).

Hooping harlots wigs

Mel and Rach working the wigs at Kendal Calling

Vanity fair:
Bindhis/ any other gems to adorn the face.
Fake eyelashes.
A good quality eyelash glue (so even the flimsiest stay on).
Glitter – my personal fave is the loose variety so you can create the desired intensity, using the secret adhesive ingredient of hair gel.
Perfume/ after shave.  Makes hugs even nicer – may need smuggling in as some festivals don’ allow glass, check the event website.
Sunglasses.  Standard.
Some sort of mirror.

Facepaints at BOMfest

Facepaints at BOMfest

To sprinkle everywhere:
Your most flamboyant jewellery.
Nipple tassles for the brave – I’ve seen some ingenius mud creations at Glasto.
More glitter.

So there you have it! Hopefully this list has helped throw some brain juice at your festival fancy ideas.  I’ve used it to help organise my festival extras for Kaya this weekend, The Hooping Harlots’ first festival of 2013, woo yeah! It’s not exhaustive, so please feel free to add your top flamboyant festival props to the comments section below to keep the inspiration coming.

Happy Festival season!


Disclaimer: this post is not a packing list full of practical items to look after you, keep you hydrated, protect you from pneumonia, shield you from the elements, help you survive in an emergency, etc.  For such a comprehensive list, I refer to the definitive Sarah Jones guide which comes heartily recommended Any Brown Owl worth their salt would agree.

2 responses to “The Hooping Harlots festival packing list

  1. Pingback: Festival fashion, Hooping Harlot style | thehoopingharlots·

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