Festivals are magical, whimsical places. A place where you can see all your favorite artists and bands one after the other over the course of a few of the best days of your life. But, although the festival season is truly the most wonderful time of the year, it can come with its own difficulties. Here are a few tips to help you live out your festival to the fullest.
- Drink water, like seriously, a lot of water. Whether you’ve been waiting nine hours in the blistering 30-degree heat (flashback to the RHCP show), or you’ve gone absolutely nuts in the mosh pit, the be-all-end-all rule to surviving festivals is to be constantly hydrating. You don’t want to end up being the person who has to get carried by a stretcher to the first aid tent because you passed out due to dehydration. I mean for one, you’ll feel terrible until you get some water back in your system, but secondly, you’ll miss the show you’ve been waiting for and anticipating for so long.
- Flip-flops are the enemy. Chances are you’ll be walking all day long. First, you have to get to the festival, which will require walking, then you’ll have to get from stage-t0-stage, which will require walking, and lastly, once you get to the stage, you’ll have to stand. Yep, there will definitely be a lot of standing. Wear the most comfortable shoes you have. Always go for comfort over style, because honestly, no one will be looking at your shoes. And if you’re attending an outdoor festival, by the end of the day, your shoes will be covered in mud. RIP, white converse.
- Portable chargers are your best friend. Most of us don’t have a high-quality camera on hand and with the new technology available in iPhone and android cameras, your best bet is to leave the expensive and heavy cameras at home. You won’t have very much space in the crowd and with mosh pits breaking out in every direction, your camera may not live to see the end of the show. Use the camera on your phone instead, the quality is almost as good, and you’ll be able to keep in contact with your friends if you get lost and keep up to date on festival news and last minute changes. The downside to this, is that your phone’s battery will be drained halfway through the day. Thankfully you can find portable chargers in any electronic store for a decent price. They’re seriously a life-saver. A-MEN.
- Know the times and locations of the artists you want to see. One of the most devastating realizations a festivalgoer can make is that while they were waiting in line for one show, they had missed another one. Make a list on your phone with the times and stages of where your favorite artists are playing so you never miss a show. You might have to prioritize shows if there’s more than one going on at the same time. You have to think about which show will still mean the world to you in the years to come.
- Have a designated meeting place. Festivals attract hundreds of thousands of people, and within these massive crowds, it’s possible you’ll get separated from your group. Before you hit up all the shows you’ve been dying to see, quickly scope out the area and pick out a spot that is easy to see and stands out from everything else going on. This is where everyone will meet up if at any point one of you gets lost. You won’t waste time walking around in circles searching for your friends, and it’s reassuring to have a place to go if you have no other means of contact (because you didn’t bring a portable charger and your phone died obviously…).
- Don’t get too crazy t0o early in the day. Most festivals have a 19+ (21 + in the US) booth for people of age. Here you can buy majorly overpriced alcohol, and waste endless amounts of money on $12 Coors lite. Sure, it’s the summer and you’re at the festival having a great time, but don’t go too hard too fast. I’ve seen it many-a-times before, where that one poor soul passes out in the middle of a set and it’s barely even noon. Other than that, you’ll be running back and forth to the restrooms all day long, and you won’t be able to bask in the glory of your favorite artist’s show. So, my advice is to save the partying until your second or last show or even wait until after the festival closes to hit up some of the local bars. Take it easy out there kids.
A few last tips to conclude this survival guide: always wear sunscreen, even if it’s not sunny outside, those UV rays will turn you into a tomato. Lastly, always have extra cash on hand, you never know when you’ll need and it can be a lifesaver. Happy festival-ing!