Music festivals are awesome, but boy can get it hectic. You can’t see, get stepped on, dehydrated, overwhelmed and get lost. I’ve been to 10+ festivals. This makes me no expert but I make a good effort to ensure that I can grow from each experience and make the next festival a better one. Here’s some tips I’ve come up with based on mistakes past!
The essentials meaning: sunglasses, money, ID, ticket, sunblock, water bottle, a sweater and hand sanitizer (you’ll thank me later). You’d be surprised how helpful hand sanitizer can be when you are using a restroom that at LEAST 100 other people have already used.
A sweater is key, even if you don’t think it will get cold, it will get cold. An alternative to bringing a sweater would just be to bury yourself amongst the middle of the crowd where the most heat is generated.
- Stay with a buddy
Say you’re waiting to see your favorite artist, you want to use the restroom before they come on but your friends decide to stay and hold the spot. You will loose them. After waiting for the bathroom and getting back to your spot, a large amount of people will already have joined the crowd. It’s going to be a nightmare to find your friends. Stick with your buddy as much as possible, and figure out a meet up spot nearby the restrooms.
If one of you leaves the group at any point make sure you bring someone with you. Worst case scenario – you don’t join the group but you at least have company watching it from another area.
- Make sure your cell phone is charged (check it twice an hour)
If you are going in a group, as I mentioned, when you separate it is hard to meet back up. They usually have charging stations at festivals but you don’t want to waste time by standing there and waiting. Bring a portable charger with you to ensure a full battery at all times.
The battery life will also come in handy when you have to use the portable potty at night and once the door closes, you really can’t see shit (no pun intended). It’s helpful to use the light of your cell phone to make sure you don’t step in something gross or pee on the ground. Trust me, your cellphone could be your most reliable companion throughout your festival experience — so utilize it.
- Arrive early to your must-see bands
If there is an artist you are dying to see, don’t come to the stage 20 minutes before their set starts. Other people have been waiting there for much longer. You need to be one of the early birds if you want to get to the front, or even the middle. If you don’t, then no worries! There should be screens by the stage made easy for those in the back to view as well.
- Eat beforehand
Food lines are always long but you can save some time by eating beforehand. The longer you can hold out on buying food the more time you get to avoid by waiting in lines. The lunch rush “12-2” exists everywhere and is really difficult to avoid.
Quick tip: Check the festival site in advance to see if you can bring in any sealed snacks.
- Have good festival etiquette
You paid a lot of money to be there, but so did everyone else. It’s important to be kind to others and respect their space and avoid blocking their view if you can. Getting up on someone’s shoulders for an entire set is rude and just know that the whole crowd behind you is really pissed off at you. If you bump into someone, apologize. Don’t cut people in line without asking first. Just because you are in a crowd doesn’t mean manners don’t apply.
When properly prepared, you can make any festival a great experience. Hope these tips will help you make your next festival an enjoyable one!