Our 3 Favourite Roka Bags for Festival Season…

… and our top tips to the festival essentials you need to get you through the weekend.

A Little Festival History

Although we’ve been enjoying music events for hundreds of years, the music festival as we know it today really only started in the 1960s.  Woodstock is one of the most well known, which took place in August of 1969 near White Lake in Bethel, New York.  Over three days more than 400,000 people enjoyed ‘Peace & Music’.  A year later Michael Eavis decided to put on a festival on Worthy Farm, Somerset in September 1970.  He was inspired by an open air festival where he had seen Led Zeppelin play.  Early on he called it the Pilton Pop, Folk and Blues festival.  Back then a ticket would have cost you a £1 and an impressive 1,500 tickets were sold in the first year.  It was later that it became known as Glastonbury Festival and today a full weekend ticket price is £250 and around 175,000 people go in what is the largest greenfield festival in the World.

Josh T Pearson Crowd Photo End of The Road

Our love affair with festivals has grown and you can now cherry pick from hundreds of locally organised events targeted at different types of music, age groups and ‘tribes’; from super family friendly events, such as Camp Bestival in the grounds of the incredible Lulworth Castle very near the Jurassic Coast in Dorset.  The End of the Road Festival in the Cranborne Chase AONB, is where you would head for independent rock and folk music.  Its location at Larmer Tree Gardens , a beautiful setting, with free range peacocks and views of rolling countryside.  And they’re sometimes created to raise money for charity such as Teddy Rocks, a charity rock festival right near us here in Blandford in Dorset which was started to raise money for Teddy20, a children’s cancer charity.

Mark Ronson at Camp Bestival 2011
Mark Ronson at Camp Bestival 2011

The Lovely British Weather

In this country for certain, the one thing we can never predict during festival season is the weather.  So, when you’re packing for your fun filled weekend, it’s better to plan for rain and for sunshine, that way you should be pretty well prepared.

You’ll need to think carefully about what you take.  Having the right things with you will change how enjoyable your time is.  If you’re going with a group of friends try to divvy up who takes what.  You don’t want to end up with ten bars of soap but no towels.  Nor do you want a dozen bottles of sunscreen, but no one remembered a waterproof.  You’ll want to keep your valuables with you all the time and have your festival essentials handy, but you don’t want to be lugging about a huge great bag all the time.  Trollies are handy, but imagine dragging one about through the mud.

Roka London is a new London based company making a bit of a storm in the reasonably priced accessories market and they do a range of small, but Tardis like bags which we think are the perfect festival accessory.  

Roka London Bags

All Roka bags are vegan friendly and they are made from weather resistant nylon which is brilliant in our unpredictable summers, so you can be sure your wallet won’t get soggy in a rain shower.  They have sturdy zips and strong cotton or nylon webbing straps made to last.

1 – The Paddington Cross Body Bag


Roka Paddington Cross Body Bag leaf green

This circular gem of handiness is ideal.  Wear it across the body to give you two free hands while you’re struggling to put your tent up or waving your hands in the air later on.  It is surprisingly generous for a small bag and can easily fit all you essential items in.  It has a big central pocket with an internal zip pocket and two additional pockets perfect for your phone and purse.  It also has an external zip pocket, which is a good size for a packet of tissues, some chewing gum and a rain poncho. If you do put your bag down in a puddle of mud, don’t worry as there is an extra waterproof fabric insert giving extra protection against the elements for your precious possessions.

You can choose your colour here

2 – The Canfield B Small Backpack


Roka Small Canfield Backpack

This little Rucksack is a smaller version of the very popular Canfield Medium Backpack. It’s about the same height as a school ruler, so pretty compact, but it has so many good features.  As with the Paddington Cross Body, the Canfield has a waterproof gusset which will stop water seeping into your bag if you do put it down in a puddle. The bag has two adjustable cotton webbing shoulder straps, but also two carry straps on the top, which means you can have the bag in your hand rather than you back if you want to. There is a zip up front pocket which is useful for a your sunscreen or rain poncho and in the side there is a ‘secret’ zip pocket which is big enough for a book.  The sturdy zip at the top of the bag has a useful magnetic flap which adds security.  Inside there are loads of pockets.  The padded one is handy for an iPad, and the others with zips help you keep things organised while you’re finding your way to the main stage. 

Not sure what colour to go for?  Choose here

3 – The Bond Bum Bag


Roka Bond Bum Bag

It’s a slight throwback to the ninety nineties, but it’s been updated with the practical elements we love from Roka.  The Bond is made from vegan friendly materials. The nylon is weather resistant so things inside will stay dry in a rain shower.  The bum bag has two pockets, the main one makes up most of the body of the bag and you could easily put a 500ml bottle inside along with loads of other essentials.  The their pocket is extra secure as it lies against the body, so it’s a good place to put your purse, phone and cash.  It has a nylon strap with a clip fastening and it can be adjusted so you can wear it around your waste or across the body.  It also has a handy metal loop from which you could hang keys or the whistle you’ll need in the ‘nut nut’ tent when you return to the 1990s.

What colour do you fancy, pick one here

Our guide to your essentials for summer festivals.


The absolute essentials, do not leave home without these!

Festival ticket – it seems obvious, but you’re not getting in without it.

ID – if you’re fresh faced and youthful you’ll definitely need this if you want to be served any drinks during your party weekend.

Credit card and cash – there’s no such thing as a free lunch and you won’t get far without some means of paying for that high caffeine mochachoccalatte that’ll help you through the second day.

Don’t leave home without these either!

Tent – you do need somewhere to sleep and make it an easy tent to pack up.  This will avoid any temptation to leave it behind at the end of the weekend, when you’re tired and you just want to get back to the comfort of home.

Sleeping bag – it’s not often so gorgeously warm at night that you’ll manage without.

Roll mat – only the really hard core can manage without a little added protection from the ground of a field.  A roll mat will give you this and also a little insulation from the cold ground.

Festival Essentials Check List

Things to have with you in your bag all the time

Cash, card, ID



Sun hat, cowboy hat, baseball hat or maybe a trilby

Rain poncho


Paracetemol or ibuprofen

Lip balm or lip gloss

Extra things you should take with you

Blister plasters and a first aid kit – all that walking from your tent to the loo and dancing might make your feet sore.

A torch – there’s one on your phone, but it uses a lot of juice and what if you lose it?  You won’t be able to find your tent in the dark.

A phone charger, solar power would be good.

Scarf or sarong – to sit on or cover up or wave in the air.

Frisbee or beach ball – to play with your friends while you’re queuing for your jackfruit burger.

Clothes pegs and a length of nylon string (if it’s been wet and the sun comes out, you can put up a washing line to dry your soggy clothes.

Ear plugs and an eye mask, you’ll want to get some sleep at some point and it might be in the day and the music might be load.

Glitter, make up, dry shampoo and maybe a fancy dress outfit – it’s a great opportunity to try something new, thousands of people you’ll never see again.

A Few Other Ideas

We’re all trying to be a little more eco.  If each of us does our bit, we can make a big difference.  According to The Independent newspaper an estimated 7 million disposable cups are used each day in this country, do us a favour and get yourself a reusable one like a KeepCup

KeepCup reusable drinks cup, a reusable festival essential

Bite cream – pesky insects might fancy you.

Net Shopping Bag – super handy, you can stuff it in your bag until you need it to carry glow sticks and all that festival memorabilia you might later wonder why you needed.  Later on you can use if for your weekly shop.

Cotton Net Shopping Bag perfect for festival essentials


Nail file – you never know when you might need a manicure

Brush or comb – maybe pack a compact version.  Brushed locks will make you feel like ‘you’ve just stepped out of the salon’.

A little mirror – would sometimes be nice to know whether your face is covered in mud or whether your glitter make up has slid down your cheek.

And take a few drawstring bags with you.  Even though you’re getting down with nature there’s no need to let things go completely.  Put your dirties undies in one of these.  If you take a few, they are really handy for separating out your belongings and when you’re back home you can wash them and use them when you’re doing your grocery shop.

Organic Cotton Produce bags

So, now you’re festival ready, grab your choice of our Roka Bags and get packed and don’t forget your toothbrush!

Categories: Lifestyle, Tips & Tricks