A Paranoid Girl’s Guide to Packing for a Music Festival

From heavy-duty foot cream to a USB-charging suitcase, writer Caitlin Agnew explains what to pack for a music festival for the paranoid, high-maintenance set

I’m loath to admit it, but it’s been an actual decade since I’ve attended a music festival. The last one was held on an island, the Toronto Island to be exact, with a characteristically mid-2000s line-up that included M.I.A., The Killers and Tokyo Police Club. While admission did not require sleeping in a tent (something I haven’t done in probably double as long), it did involve taking a public ferry, which is considered roughing it in some circles.  

This July, I’ll be breaking my no-fun streak at Chicago’s Pitchfork Music Festival. A lot has changed since 2007, specifically the advent of the outrageous festival-fashion market and all of its #Instaworthy trappings. I’m more of a type-A city slicker than a go-with-the-flow, outdoorsy queen, and my impending date with LCD Soundsystem has brought up a lot of existential style questions, particularly surrounding how I define my own personal “festival fashion” look: When are you too old for a floral crown? How much will a personal trainer charge for some crop-top abs? Is Peaches my personal style icon, or am I more Karen O? Was Jim Morrison wrong to wear leather pants in the summer? Will I finally meet A$AP Rocky? And what if we fall in love?

While making my packing list, I’ve had to come face to face with my paranoid, high-maintenance demons, a fruitful exercise that’s brought me to the conclusion that I refuse to be apologetic for my lifestyle. There comes a time in life, my friends, where comfort surpasses any cheap thrills, and no potential Rocky sighting is worth enduring unnecessary personal agony.

To that end, here’s a list of things this paranoid Old will be packing for Pitchfork.

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