Crowd dancing in front of festival stage. Crowd dancing in front of festival stage.
Hygiene tips at music festivals

Hand hygiene at music festivals:
What to know

Illustration of two hands with drops.
As the world gradually recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, the return of festivals brings joy and excitement to millions of people. After the restrictions of the past summers, we can now gather again to enjoy music, dance, and celebrate like before Covid. Although the pandemic is nearly over, it's crucial to maintain hygiene at festivals. Let’s talk about how to safeguard yourself and others.
A woman dancing at a festival.
In 2023, most festivals will take place without pandemic-related hygiene rules. To be safe, visitors again have to watch out for themselves.

We've been waiting for this moment for a long time, and now it's finally here: the pandemic is officially over. For the first time in three years, we can enjoy the summer as before. And what would a summer be without going to festivals?

Obviously, some smaller events also took place during the pandemic – provided they implemented hygiene restrictions. Nevertheless, for many people, 2023 is the first summer in which they can fully enjoy festivals again, without masks, distancing, or other restrictions.

But before we light-heartedly throw ourselves into the crowd, lose ourselves in the music and euphorically hug random strangers, we need to realize that events with large crowds are still places where pathogens can be transmitted easily. Germs spread particularly well where thousands of people camp, dance, and party. And because most festivals no longer have pandemic-related hygiene concepts that include disinfectant dispensers or distancing, for example, it is again up to festival-goers to take responsibility for our own health.

Essential hand hygiene at festivals

From the door handle of the porta-potty to the counter at the burger stand to high-fiving a new acquaintance on the dance floor: at festivals, we touch lots of things that can harbor germs. And since germs can most often be transmitted via the hands (1), proper hand hygiene is one of the most effective measures to prevent infecting yourself or others at festivals.

What does this mean at festivals? Pay attention to the following tips:

  1. Wash your hands regularly: More and more festivals provide washrooms or at least mobile washbasins. Take advantage of these opportunities, especially after using the toilet and before eating. Make sure to wash your hands for at least 30 seconds with max. lukewarm water at the most and use enough soap.
  2. Bring your own disinfectant: Even though there are sanitary facilities, most festivals offer limited handwashing opportunities. Thus, pack a hand disinfectant you can carry with you everywhere on the festival grounds. Use it before eating or after touching surfaces. The 100 ml version of Sterillium® Gel and Sterillium® Protect & Care Disinfection Gel Hands, for example, is well suited for this purpose.
  3. Disinfect your hands properly: Spread the disinfectant thoroughly on both hands, including the spaces between the fingers and the wrists. Rub the disinfectant in for at least 30 seconds and make sure your hands are completely dry at the end.
  4. Disinfect surfaces: In certain situations, it can be useful to disinfect objects – like your smartphone, the door handle of the porta-potty or the camping table. For this, you can use products that have been specially developed for surface disinfection, such as Sterillium® Protect & Care Disinfection Tissues Surface.
  5. Don’t touch your face or wounds: Try not to touch your face or wounds you might have. This reduces the spread of germs, which is especially true if you have been out for a while and haven’t had a chance to wash or disinfect your hands. Germs often enter the body through the hands. If you get a wound during the festival, visit the first aid station.
A man and a woman at a mobile water dispenser at a festival.
Regularly washing or disinfecting your hands greatly minimises the risk of infection at festivals.

Your best festival friend: Hand disinfectant

Sterillium hand disinfectant in various sizes.
The perfect companion at festivals: Sterillium®.

Normally, washing hands is perfectly sufficient to protect yourself from pathogens. However, festival-goers know that sanitary facilities with running water and washing facilities are not always available at the event site. True, many organizers now set up mobile washbasins and sometimes even showers. Depending on the size of the festival, however, these can sometimes mean long walks or long waits.

To be safe, it thus makes sense to always carry a hand disinfectant with you. A product in a small bottle, such as Sterillium® Gel in the 100 ml version, is best, because you can easily put it in any trouser pocket or fanny pack. This way, you can protect yourself from pathogens anywhere and anytime – even if there’s nowhere to wash your hands.

Good to know: Sterillium® hand disinfectants are available in many different variants. This way, all festivalgoers can find exactly the right product. For example, if you prefer liquid disinfectants, we recommend the classic Sterillium®. If, on the other hand, you prefer gel-based products that don’t drip, Sterillium® Gel is right for you. By the way, Sterillium® products are also available in perfumed or fragrance-free versions.

When should I disinfect my hands?

Festivals are usually stomped out of farmland and fields. Therefore, there is not always and everywhere an infrastructure with running water. In order not to have to do without good hand hygiene, you can use your hand disinfectant in the following situations:

  • After using the toilet: What happens in the porta-potty stays in the porta-potty. Since hundreds of people do their business here, usually without washing their hands, it is advisable to thoroughly disinfect your hands afterwards.
  • Before eating: Festival food often involves fast food or finger food. Whether it’s burgers, fries, burritos, or pizza, definitely disinfect your hands before you eat. This greatly reduces the risk of gastrointestinal infections.
  • After touching surfaces: Viruses and bacteria are not only found where you would most expect them, such as on porta-potty door handles. Basically, they are on all surfaces at festivals that people frequently touch. This includes bar counters or the railings of crowd control barriers. It is advisable to disinfect your hands after touching such surfaces.
A woman eats fries with her fingers.
Pathogens can quickly collect on hands. Definitely wash or disinfect your hands before eating.

More tips for festival hygiene

Several people queue up in front of porta-potties at a festival.
Find out in advance where hygiene facilities are located on the festival site.

Of course, there are a few other things you can do besides hand hygiene to minimise the risk of infections at festivals. These are the most important:

  • Keep your distance: In crowds, keep your distance from other festivalgoers as much as possible. This can reduce the risk of droplet infections.
  • Take care of your personal hygiene: In addition to hand hygiene, it is important to take care of other aspects of personal hygiene. This includes showering regularly, brushing your teeth, changing clothes, and wearing fresh underwear.
  • Read up on hygiene facilities: Find out in advance about the availability of washrooms, showers, and toilets at the festival site. This way you can plan accordingly and make sure you have access to the necessary hygiene facilities.
  • Sharing isn’t always caring: Festivals are all about getting together and having fun. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you should drink from the same cup or eat from the same plate because this increases the risk of transmitting pathogens.
  • Taking care of injuries: Of course, injuries cannot always be avoided. However, if it should happen, the paramedics on site will take good care of you. Various HARTMANN products such as Cosmopor® wound plasters or the HARTMANN Idealflex® universal are also available for first aid.
  • Fill up your drinking water: Please make sure that you get water at water stations that are marked "drinking water".
  • Safer sex: Festivals are places where we can get closer to each other. Therefore, think about protection.

Must-haves for taking to festivals

Ready for the festival summer? Here are some important hygiene items to take along:

  • Hand and surface disinfectant
  • Wet wipes
  • Soap or shower gel
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Toilet paper
  • Tampons/pads
  • First aid kit
  • Medication if necessary
  • Sufficient water (plan on about 2 litres per person per day)
  • Condoms
A woman packs a travel backpack.
Everything packed? For festival safety, prepare well and remember all essentials.


[1] / information on how to wash hands

Use disinfectant carefully.
Always read the label and product information before use.

Explore more stories