30 Stadium-Approved Bags For Hands-Free Fangirling

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As any concert-loving fangirl or music festival devotee worth their weight in Ticketmaster presale codes, blister plasters and DIYed costumes knows, not all concert and festival bags are made equal. You need something small and compact enough to fit your venue’s size restrictions: most British stadiums and arenas and day festivals specify an A4 bag policy, which are bags no bigger than 29.7cm x 21cm x 21cm, but some ask for A5, which are bags no bigger than approximately 21cm x 15cm. But of course, you also don’t want to piss off those around you (there’s nothing worse than being bruised and battered by someone’s bulky backpack while in a packed crowd). But given that it’ll take you hours to get home after, you also need something big enough to carry all the essentials (backup power bank, phone, purse, tissues, earplugs, hand sanitiser, emergency plasters and painkillers, camera…). Not to mention you’ll want to go full hands-free, carefree sports mode when your favourite song plays — so, a crossbody situation that doesn’t dig into and rub against your sweaty skin and that won’t irritate your outfit (a big consideration if your costume is majority sequin-based). I would also add material choice to the list of considerations. Whether it’s a sudden downpour, rogue pint of lukewarm beer or your own tears, you need something that is water resistant, wipe down or easily washable.
Perhaps it’s also a clear design that you’re after — currently in the UK, the majority of stadiums and arenas don’t specify a clear bag policy like our friends across the pond, but increasingly sports events are requiring fans to use clear bags so the contents can be easily seen by security. Considering that some stadiums and arenas still implement in-person bag searches, a clear bag could be in your best interest. Take it from me, you want to make their job easier when a barrier spot is in sight.
Photo courtesy of Esther Newman.
Esther with her trusty pink Nunoo Ellie bag on the way to see Harry Styles' Love On Tour in 2023
Photo courtesy of Esther Newman.
Esther's black Nunoo Ellie bag whilst waiting to watch Boygenius live, 2023.
Personally, as someone who has spent way more money on concerts and festivals than they would like to admit, I think I’ve pretty much nailed it with my trusty Ellie bag from Núnoo. With its shoulder strap, it fits snugly alongside my rib (not too high, not too low), but it also comes with a crossbody strap; both of which are comfortable to wear. It’s made with a tough leather and sturdy zips, two roomy, main sections (perfect for dividing up essentials — phone and charger in one, small water bottle in another), and a couple of handy mini pockets for stashing small items or hiding away valuables like my keys and purse. I’ve carried it everywhere — to several Glastonbury festivals, to see Harry Styles’ Love On Tour, to lose my mind over a Boygenius x Ethel Cain x MUNA triple-whammy at Gunnersbury Park — and it’s never failed me. In fact, I now own it in three colourways: a washed black with stud details, a ultra-shiny silver (which will be seeing me to the Eras Tour this summer), and a hot pink (that is no longer available).
Ahead, I’ve taken all my own gig-going experience and channelled it into a master list of the best concert and festival bags on the market right now — all of which will fit A4 and A5 stadium size restrictions and that come in a whole host of different styles and colours; the final puzzle piece to your much-planned concert fit.

The best A4-sized, stadium-approved bags for concerts & festivals

The majority of UK stadiums and arenas (such as Wembley Stadium, Scottish Gas Murrayfield Stadium, Aviva Stadium, Principality Stadium, Emirates Stadium, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Etihad Stadium, O2 Arena and Utilita Arena Birmingham) require bags no bigger than A4. It’s a similar story for major festivals like Reading and Leeds, Wireless, Download, All Points East, Field Day and British Summer Time. This most often includes the entirety of the bag, so including the straps — bags that are half full and folded over to reduce their size won’t be accepted. If you’re after the exact measurements for an A4 size bag they are 29.7cm x 21cm x 21cm (this is what Wembley Stadium specifies). Though slightly different, Cardiff’s Principality Stadium requires bags to be 35cm x 40cm x 19cm, so it’s always best to double check your specific venue’s bag policy.
This bag is so popular it’s practically a meme at this point, but that’s just testament to how brilliant it is. It’s made with a water-repellent nylon that is naturally wrinkled so it can easily be balled up inside your suitcase or backpack; it’s been shaped to perfectly hug the body and — Tardis-like — fits more than it appears. The zippered pocket on the inside is a big bonus too for hiding away your keys. (Not to mention it’s a very attractive price point and comes in a whole array of colours).
This really is my ride or die — I’m already planning to extend my Ellie collection with this gold version to match a pair of gold cowboy boots I have (factor in a shimmery, gold sequin dress and you have the perfect Taylor Swift Fearless Era outfit!).
Yes, there are practically sized sequin bags out there! This one shares a lot of similarities with Uniqlo’s Shoulder Bag, but the design is dialled way up. Compared to lots of other sequin and bedazzled bags I’ve seen out there with flag or magnetic popper closures, this one has a zip which is a must if you want to be 100% comfortable dancing, in a crowd or on public transport.
This square bag is super functional. Outside may be simple but it’s made with soft, wipeable vegan leather and comes with an extra wide, adjustable crossbody strap for comfort (this can be switched out for one of the brand’s patterned fabric straps for more personality). I’m a big fan of the zipper closing — far more trustworthy than a popper when in a large crowd. Inside you get two roomy compartments, smaller, individual pockets and a clip for your keys.
You basically get three in one with this bag: a mini zippered pocket on the front, a half-size section secured with a magnetic popper and a large zippered compartment which you can fold out. As long as you don’t stuff this too full and can keep the bag folded down, I reckon you could get away with it for a stadium event.
If you’re a fan of the silhouette of the Uniqlo Shoulder Bag, but after something a little more sturdy, then this is for you. The studded strap adds a touch of boho edge but aesthetics aside, this is a really practical design that lends itself to hands-free dancing. What cinched it for me was the zippered front pocket — I would use this for easy access to hand sanitiser and tissues after using infamously terrible festival toilets.
You can’t go wrong with an on-trend half moon shape like this, especially if you’re after one bag that does it all and can accompany you on nights out and day trips too (circular bags are big news in 2024, FYI). You can also swap between a chain shoulder strap (party mode for pictures) and an adjustable, crossbody canvas strap for the event (sport mode).
Sling bags like this are brilliant for easy access to your phone — especially if you don’t have pockets and want to quickly capture a moment (this one is zippered so even better for security). I also love that you can adapt to your preference, whether you’re right- or left-handed.
No need to limit yourself to one colour with this rainbow design — it’s the perfect choice if you’re going to the Eras Tour.
Upon first glance this is simply a stylish shoulder bag with a unique shape, but in fact it’s a clever crossbody with an adjustable strap; hidden by those gold buttons on the straps.
If you’re after one go-to black bag that will see you everywhere — concerts, the club, running errands, weekend hikes, why, even a wedding — then you can’t go wrong with this design from Mango. It has a zip closure, is made with a padded, wipeable polyester material, and has a choice of shoulder or crossbody straps.

The best A5-sized, stadium-approved bags for concerts & festivals

Some stadiums — especially those that are also football grounds like Liverpool’s Anfield Stadium and Manchester’s Old Trafford — tend to require even smaller bags of an A5 size (approximately 21cm x 15cm). Their requirements for concerts and sporting events may differ though, so it’s always a good idea to contact the venue directly and ask about your particular event.
Travelling further afield for your event? This Coach pouch works overtime as a wallet, wristlet or clutch and a crossbody bag, depending on your needs (and packing restrictions).
No need to pack your purse — this bag comes complete with its own zippered front pocket for quick access to your card or ID.
Simple and compact, this crossbody makes a real statement in this punchy hot pink shade. Even better, it’s just big enough to fit your phone.
Not sure what colour to go for? You can’t go wrong with a metallic — it’s basically a neutral and a lot more fun than a black or brown. This structured, lock-style bag can easily be adjusted to be worn crossbody or on the shoulder.
One pouch for your phone and card holder, the other for emergency lipgloss touch ups. Bish, bash, bosh — simple and affordable!
When in doubt over your venue’s size restrictions, you can’t go wrong with what is essentially just a wallet on straps. It’s just big enough for the very essentials: card case, phone, keys, lip balm and tissues.
Another camera box style, this roomy crossbody bag doesn’t scrimp on style despite its mini size. Bonus points for the zipper closures, front pocket and removable straps (you could reuse this as a clutch in the future — I would probably swap out this chain strap for a more comfortable leather bag strap, which you can find on Amazon).
Whatever your outfit vibe, whatever colour palette, Apatchy London offers this design in an endless array of finishes and colours, with interchangeable patterned straps.
A sporty, water-repellant design perfectly suited to festivals or open-air concerts (and impending showers).
If you’re concerned about the weather but want something more elevated, look no further than Danish brand Rains — it’s all about practical, rainproof designs that also look great (and that you’ll want to use for multiple occasions).

The best clear bags for stadium concerts, festivals & sports events

In the UK, a number of sports venues — especially major football stadiums that double up for music concerts — require that any bags brought inside must be clear, so the contents can be easily seen by security. If you’re planning to travel for an event, the same can also be true, so it’s a great idea to prepare yourself just in case. A few years ago, when standards changed for US stadiums, this created a frenzy of last-minute Amazon bag purchases and an overall flood of PVC plastic bags on the market. The upside of this demand is there are actually a lot of actually stylish clear stadium bags to choose from that are also available to ship to the UK; designs that you’ll want to use long after game day or your concert.
According to our anonymous shopping data, you’ve all been buying this clear crossbody, and we understand why. It’s available in several colours and can be customised with patches for extra personality.
This clear mini backpack is a savvy choice. The body is made from GRS-certified PVC and the straps can be converted to wear the style as a crossbody or shoulder bag.
This is a great budget option if you don’t expect to be using a clear bag too often, and also want the versatility of a sling bag (it can be worn crossbody or on your back).
Simple and stylish, you can’t go wrong with a classic top handle. Want to go hands free? Never fear, Lulus provides a matching clear crossbody strap.
Who said that clear bags have to be boring? This statement buckle design certainly didn’t.
If you’re after a clear bag that fits within the A5 size restrictions, Kipling (and Barbie) have got you covered.
Simple and spacious to hold everything you could ever think of needing, from a foldable poncho to a hefty, backup battery pack.

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