Below you will find a list of recommended music festival essentials you should consider bringing with you to CES. Will you die with these? No, I'm pretty sure you will still be breathing at the end of the weekend if you don't have some of the things below. The point is, however, these small purchases can make your weekend so much better. Below is a full list of items we strongly recommend you consider snagging for CES. This list is created from personal experience, tips from friends, and the Reddit music festival community. Most are small purchases that make a BIG difference.
Camelbak's are a music festival staple. Nearly every festival has free water refill stations, making these a great way to easily carry around a lot of water with you. The main advantage is you can bring 50+ ounches of water with you around CES, givng you more time at the stages enjoy shows and less time running to get water. Plus it's easy to get dehydrated in the sun while partying at CES - keep water handy and stay hydrated out there. Camelbak's are great not just for CES, or music festivals, but for hiking, the beach or many outdoor activites.
Phone reception at CES and pretty much all music festivals sucks. There's just so many people in one area that your phone is constantly looking for a signal and dies fairly quickly. Snag a battery case for CES so your phone makes it through the day. You don't want to need an Uber at the end of the night or to text your squad to meet back up and have no juice left. They're fairly inexpensive now and can be used outside of just CES
Classic festival debate: to backpack or not to backpack. Put me on the pro-backpack side of things. It's just nice to carry around your merch you buy, store your sunglasses at night, pack your water bottle, or have a hoodie for later in the night when it cools down. Generally it's really not that big of a deal to carry it around and set it on the ground while you are enjoying a show. I really like bringing one with me.
Drinking at CES or any music festival can get pricey. Plus many of them have restricted areas where all your drinking must take place, which generally isn't in great view of the stage. Get around this with a handy dandy plastic flask. You will need to be creative on how you sneak it in, but at least it will be metal detector proof! I personally like the bag ones for maximum flexibility, but you can also go with the old fashioned style if thats your cup of tea.
Ever been in a CES porta potty after it's been baking in the sun and used all day? Even I, who am not easily grossed out, hold my breath and say a prayer as I go in one of those suckers. Making things worse is you never know what will be on the seat or if there will be any tissue still in there. Make this experience at least 3% more sanitary by having some tissues with you. Good luck and God Speed in there.
May seem counterintuitive if you are new to festivals, but if you like to be close to the CES stages that means you are going to be close to the massive speaker systems too. Earplugs are one of the most recommended items for regular CES goers and festival lovers. Be sure your ears aren't ringing all night so you can rest up for the next day.
Dust, dirt, soot and other crap can get in your eyes all day at CES. Whether you wear contacts or not, you will be glad you have these at CES. Just make sure it's still sealed or else security might confiscate it.
CES can get hot, potentailly really hot. Cooling towels are a great way to help combat the heat and stay cool. Honestly I love these little guys for a lot more than just CES. It's a really inexpensive way to cool off anywhere.
There you have it, all the little items I recommend you consider before heading off to CES. Everyone has their own little tricks and items, so if you use something not on this list you think is helpful feel free to let me know so I can add it. Like I said, you don't need any of these things at CES, but they're easy and inexpensive ways to really improve your CES experience.