Five days can be a long time. I mean, that’s a full working week. Throw in a few thousand workmates, the noise of a transient mini-city that never sleeps and the irrepressible scents from a food court for the ages, and you’re looking at potentially one of the bigger undertakings of your life. While Bluesfest is beyond well-equipped for even the most forgetful of punters, there are a handful of things you should absolutely pack in order to hit the road smug.
A no-brainer. Notorious for its enjoyment of dumping water in biblical fashion, the sky above Byron Bay is an ornery old mate. Gumboots are a must, if not to keep your own feet dry then to keep that sleeping bag funk-free for as long as possible.
It goes in this order: sunglasses, hat, sunscreen. You might think sunscreen should be number one, but no, that’s the last resort. Wake up in the morning to a sun-drenched plain with no sunglasses? You won’t leave the tent until dark. Pack three pairs of servo specials just in case. Also bring a huge hat that both shades you from the sun and ensures no one stands behind you in a crowd, thus preserving precious airflow.
Yeah they sell a bunch of the good stuff here, but five-days of Vegie Burgers is going to do unnatural things to your intestinal flora. So buy your main meals if you like them hot, but pack some dependable snacks for in-between: dried fruits, biscuits, lollies, a veritable keg of upmarket scroggin. If you’re feeling particularly hoity-toity, and the weather’s not looking too intense, a wheel of brie and a vinyl crate of crackers – instant poetry slam.
Stuff to do that isn’t music festival
Not so much creature comforts as enablers of brain space. Books, board games, crosswords – all are applicable here. Perhaps several mosquito slappers and a yoga mat to while away the early morning hours. Or put it this way: you won’t be able to use your phone. Start planning alternative stress-reduction therapies now.
Earplugs: for music and for getting some sleep, whether in a tent or back in Byron town.
Babywipes: essential for refreshing oneself first thing in the morning as well as before crawling into your sleeping bag.
Mozzie repellent: Byron Shire’s mosquitos are currently just as excited as you about gathering in their thousands to engage with a lush farm full of scantily-clad people. They’re probably writing their own guide to the event. (“Bloodsheet?”)
Lip Balm: Don’t let the sun in your mouth.
A poncho: fits in your pocket, keeps your party dress dry.
A beanie: your body heat escapes through your head, meaning you can keep your sarong on. A beanie also disguises a day’s worth of hat-hair.
A torch: your phone will be dead, remember.