It’s easy to have fun at a festival. It’s also easy to end up as a sunburned lump on the ground. Take these 18 survival tips into consideration and you’ll make it through festival season with a nice tan and some new songs stuck in your head.
Do: Go hat shopping beforehand. It’s time to start incorporating a big ol’ brimmed hat into your summer concert wardrobe. Find something you like so you’ll want to wear it. And don’t worry, you don’t have to wear it every time you step outside, just, you know, when you’re out in the sun for 12 hours. Wear it then. In addition to creating your own shade, a sizeable hat will help your friends locate you amidst the sea of swaying revelers.
Don’t: Drink Liquor all afternoon. Grab a water in-between drinks. Dehydration is no joke. You’ve got a long summer ahead of you, don’t ruin it now. As a matter of fact…
Do: Bring a reusable water bottle. Plastic bottles of water for sale at a festival are like $147 each. Lots of festivals have water stations where it’s free! But unless you want to dive into the trough like a horse, bring your own reusable water bottle.
Do: Get off your phone! Experience the show. Stop taking pictures of it all weekend and watch it. Stop texting and start listening.
Don’t: Eat dumb stuff. If you know your stomach can’t handle corndogs, stay away from corndogs. Don’t make your friends leave early because you couldn’t resist the smell of corndogs.
Do: Wear comfortable shoes. Would you take a 15-mile walk in sandals with no arch support? Because the average Festival goer walks 15 miles in a festival weekend. But…
Don’t: Wear your best shoes or accessories. Some festivals stay muddy for weeks after the rain. Sunglasses get bumped off and trampled.
Do: Get a raincoat you can roll up. They make some that you can fit in your pocket or purse. And check the weather that morning.
Don’t: Mess with the sound engineer or his gear! If you’re reading this blog you probably know better. But it still needs to be said. During festivals, sound techs are more exposed than when they’re working an indoor venue. Live sound also has some unique hazards, like dealing with the elements, so it could actually be dangerous to bother the sound tech. Even if you’re curious, stay away from the gear. If you like it that much, just get yourself a job running sound at a festival.
Do: Have a plan. Make a schedule. It doesn’t need to be set in stone (unless you’re one of “those” people). But have an idea of which bands you want to hit, and when you’re going to get food or take a break. That way you won’t miss an act you really want to see, and the built-in breaks will force you to pace yourself.
Don’t: Freak out if you lose your friends. That’s what texts are for. They’ll notice you’re missing in a minute and check their phone expecting a text from you. And if you can’t reunite immediately, relax, I’m sure you can find something to see or do in the meantime. But if you are the worrying type, you can always set up a designated meeting spot ahead of time.
Do: Get in the pit. C’mon, that’s what concerts are for. You paid for the experience, now go mosh it up in the front and scream like a teenager.
Don’t: Forget your charger.
Do: Wear deodorant. Your friends might be nice enough or nose-blind-enough not to tell you how you smell when you’re hanging out. But be considerate of the strangers who are going to be trapped near you from time to time.
Do: Make friends. You’re all there for the same reason; you dig that band! Or music festivals in general.
Do: Bring wet wipes and hand sanitizer. Festivals are sticky, and they have gross porta potties.
Do: Bring cash. Most places are set up to accept your swipes most of the time, but not all.
Do I have to tell you to wear sunscreen? Maybe you need to be reminded to reapply it every two hours if you want it to work. And it has to be at least 30 SPF. (Do they even make sunscreen under 30 anymore?)
Happy Festival Season! Have fun out there.
And don’t be this guy:
Or this guy:
Or this guy, well, be like this guy if you want to: