I get high anxiety before leaving for a show, fearful that I will forgot something I really need, which can cause overpacking and unnecessary weight. Since concerts and music festivals are often noisy endurance contests, you want to go as light as possible, so I’ve streamlined and created a guide of the basic essentials for showpurses. If you are a nice female, you will find yourself carrying sunglass cases and keys and wallets of the men in your life, so picking out the perfect concert purse is very important. I’ve compiled a few types of bags and their pro’s and con’s, and included a Must Have Item List. Most of this was figured out by touring the country with Phish last year, when suddenly a good showpurse became as necessary as shoes. All advice works on the regular ole sized concert experience, though.
Awesome backpack, right? Can hold soooo much. Can turn into a thirty pound bag real quick. Also, everyone behind you at shows hates you, you are taking up space and a half. Use if carrying camera equipment or laptops, otherwise, just use it for regular backpack stuff, school or carryon bag. Lots of 13-25 year old women will say “Ooh I like your bag!” Buy it here: Deena & Ozzy Mermaid Backpack
I never wear these, they make the back of your skirt or shirt get weird if you dance. Good for walking around when not at the show. Some people can make these work, I just fidget with my outfit, though.
Great bag for festivals or big concerts where beer will be spilled. It’s an army bag with shoulder strap (all showpurses must have a shoulder strap) so you can toss it on that dirty floor and who cares. Room for up to three sunglass cases (important when doors open at 5:30 but show goes until midnight), two separate outside pockets that can hold a water bottle or even a 20 oz. Coke. The pins were all given to me by randos, but the “I’m Killing It” pin glows in the dark. Way important when your purse is on the ground in front of you, you glance down and see it glowing bright, peace of mind. painted by Denver artist Dustin McNa
San Diego Zoo Safari sells these. Water bottle part, shoulder strap, sturdy material that can get beer on it, they know what they are doing. And for $18.95 and it came with water, suntan lotion AND a huge bag of their own trail mix. A deal at that place was more rare than the cheetah. Grab one if you visit.
Important Things that HAVE to be in my Showpurse
water bottle cap – they take them from you at many venues so you can’t throw a full bottle at the band you came to see. Spoilsports. Also, a full water bottle can make someone step on it and slip and win a lawsuit. I always bring a Pepsi one, a Coca-cola one, and one from whatever the local water bottle is. Every vendor is going to be selling one of these, so grab the local water bottle at a gas station near the venue, drink water, save cap. Having your hands free is a top priority, and if I don’t have a top I drink it fast then have to go to the bathroom at the beginning of the show. Who wants that? Bring your cap.
three hair ties – two in case ponytail isn’t cutting it and you have to move to pigtails, one for the girl or guy with longhair who keeps messing with their hair and obviously forgot their hairtie. They will deem you a saint. I’ve also given them to throwing up girls in the bathroom, they are grateful, too.
toothpicks – you’d be amazed
Burt’s Bees Wipes – I carry the smaller packages in my bag and keep a big package in the car. Great for making you feel just a little refreshed after a scorching, disgustingly sweaty summer show. As always, share with others, these things are cheap and a godsend. Buy them here: hippie shower wipes
Earplugs – I wear them before the music, the audience is actually louder than the band usually. They are cheap as anything when bought in bulk on Amazon. Give them to the older dudes that don’t realize how loud some sound systems are now, and parents of children who forgot to bring Baby Banz earmuffs
Now go have fun, and stay hydrated.