The Art Of Keeping Your Drinks Cold At A Music Festival

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How to keep drinks cool at a music festival

There’s no better feeling when getting into a festival… your tent is up, your wristband is on and it’s time to crack open that first can. But, it’s warm. This article is all about keeping those precious cans COLD while attending a multi-day music festival that involves sleeping in a tent.

This article contains products that were gifted by Mountain Warehouse.

When Beethoven penned the legendary Fifth Symphony, it was not to the tune of the chirping cicadas or the rustling leaves, nor under the majestic canopy of the night.

He, most certainly, did not worry about his drink turning lukewarm in the ambient warmth of his surroundings.

But here we are, uncharted adventurers in the era of tunes and beats, finding our groove in the rhythm of nature. From open-air concerts to music festivals nestled in the heart of the wilderness, the universe is our amphitheatre.

And like any maestro deserving of their metronome, we demand a chilled drink by our side.

So how do we keep our drinks cold when camping?

The symphony of coolness is about to begin…. because no one likes a warm cider (let’s be real).

Part 1: Pre-Chill Your Drinks At Home

Before we embark on our escapade, we must prepare the coolers, the ice packs, and the drinks.

Pre-chill your beverages and your cooler, ensuring that they’re in perfect harmony with the expected temperature!

Put all of your drinks in the fridge or freezer at least 48 hours in advance of leaving for the festival – and pack them in closely as this will help them stay as cool as possible.

Part 2: The Composition of the Cooler

Your cooler is not merely a box of plastic; it’s the maestro of the orchestra, the conductor of coolness.

Invest in a high-quality, well-insulated cooler. However, coolers are heavy, bulky, non-collapsible and notoriously difficult to carry. Therefore, we highly recommend investing in a semi-structured cooler bag instead of a solid box.

These are perfect for festivals, as you won’t have to carry a bulky box home with you afterward, as the bag collapses down. Also, we took this to Glastonbury 2023 (which had soaring hot temperatures) and our drinks stayed icy cold the whole time (with a little help of daily ice runs to the on-site Co-Op).

Also, it wasn’t difficult to carry as the strap was very comfortable.

Part 3: The Ballad of the Ice Pack

Choose your ice wisely.

You could go for conventional ice packs (remember to pre-freeze these too – see part 1) or pull actual frost from your freezer at home.

This is a science-y part now, as frost and ice are not the same thing!

Ice Vs. Frost

Ice is frozen water. Yep, we all know that.

But frost occurs when humid air freezes. The air inside your freezer at home is extremely humid, so it’s the perfect place for frost to build up.

Frost is perfect for packing into your festival cooler! Pack it in between all those little spaces between your cans and packets of food.

Part 4: The Art of Arrangement (Drinks Tetris)

Arrange your drinks and ice in a harmonious composition.

Place your block ice at the bottom, orchestrating a solid base.

Then layer the drinks, followed by the crushed ice or frost, allowing it to get in all those little spaces in between the cans.

The more tightly packed everything is, the easier it is to keep everything cold!

The Ode to the Shade

Keep your cooler away from the scorching solos of the sun. The shade is your sanctuary, your ally in the battle against heat.

It’s hard to keep a cool box ‘cool’ when its in a tent! All products in this photo were provided by Mountain Warehouse

Find the shadiest, coolest spot in or around your tent and store your cooler here. If you’ve packed all your drinks in correctly, it should stay cold for 24-48 hours.

Most festivals have an on-site supermarket (Glastonbury & Download Festival have a Co-Op) where ice is sold for about £3-4 for 2kg. Top up your cooler with 1-2 bags of ice each day to keep your remaining drinks cool.

Final Thoughts

The challenge of keeping our drinks cold at a music festival, much like an avant-garde composition, seemed daunting at first. However, armed with the right tools, a dash of creativity, and a sprinkle of science, we’ve transformed it into a delightful, rhythmic experience, harmonising with the symphony of the festival.

So next time you venture out into the carnival of music, melodies, and memories, remember to keep your drinks chilled, your spirits high, and your heart open to the rhythm of the moment. For at the end of the day, it’s not just about the music, the camping, or the ice-cold drinks; it’s about the memories we create and the stories we tell.

Here’s to the cold drinks, the warm hearts, and the music that brings us all together. Until the next festival, keep your drinks cold and your festival spirit warm.

Let the music play on, and the drinks stay chilled.

See you in a field!

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