There’s a festival out there for every kind of music lover, from EDM events with roaring crowds and pulsating bass lines to folk festivals deep in the serene woods.
But having a good time isn’t as easy as just showing up. Hitting a must-see music festival requires some thoughtful preparation to make the most of the experience. Surrender to the flow.
These Pro Tips can help you plan, no matter if you’re headed to a one-day outing or multiple-day extravaganza. By coming prepared, you can focus on finding your way to the front of the crowd for your favorite band instead of worrying about the one thing you left behind.
There are some items you should check multiple times to make sure you have them. Don’t forget your ticket or wristband! You don’t want to be left on the outside of the venue while everyone else is enjoying your favorite artists.
You’ll need identification and cash, too. Also, consider bringing along your medical information with any allergies or medical conditions in case of an emergency. A day pack, fanny pack or purse can help keep everything organized — but be sure to first check on the festival’s rules on bringing these items into the venue.
Also, make sure you know the festival schedule beforehand. You don’t want to miss a must-see act. Many festivals also offer other activities throughout the day such as yoga, art displays, clinics and more.
Festival attire has become its own fashion category, but how should you really dress for the fest? First, make sure to know the forecast before heading out. You’re going to be outside for most of the day and the clothes you wear might get messy. If there is rain in the forecast, bring a poncho or rain jacket. Sometimes you need to live in the moment and dance in the rain.
Even if it is a summer festival, bring some warmer clothes in case the temperature drops when the sun goes down. Layering is always a good idea; it’s easy to add or subtract a layer as the temperature fluctuates throughout the day.
Whatever you do, take care of your shoes. Make sure your footwear is comfortable, too. You could spend hours standing or dancing while watching performances. Add some flair to your ensemble and express yourself with face and body paints and other fun accessories.
If you’re attending the festival with a group of friends, remember that there will be hundreds or even thousands of other music fans there. Remember what colors or costumes your friends are wearing or plan on wearing to help stand out in the crowd in case you happen to get separated. If the venue allows them, bring flags or “totems” to help locate your campsite.
Some festivals will allow you to camp out over multiple days. Come with a tent big enough for you and your friends, plus extra space for some of your gear. Don’t forget a tent footprint to set under your tent for an extra layer between you and the ground. Need a refresher course on setting up your tent? Check out our article on How to Set up a Tent. Bring along sleeping bags, blankets, pillows, a sleeping pad and maybe an air mattress to make your sleeping situation as comfortable as possible. Blankets or tapestries can also be helpful if you want a spot to sit between sets.
Seek shelter under a canopy (or two) if you want to escape the sun or the rain. You can put folding tables underneath your canopy to set food on or to play games. And a campsite isn’t complete without portable camping chairs.
You’ll need a cooler to help keep your food fresh and your drinks chilled, while food bins can help keep food organized. You’ll also want a mini grill or camping stove, camp cookware and plenty of water. Consider packing twice as much water as you expect to use. It’s always better to have more than not enough!
Don’t forget to bring activities to pass the time at your campsite in the mornings and in between sets. These can range from outdoor games like cornhole and washer toss to playing cards and hula hoops, too.
Bring along lanterns, flashlights and headlamps to help get to and from the stage area and navigate around your campsite.
A portable shower can help you feel fresh for days at the festival. Hand sanitizer and baby wipes can be life savers when running water isn’t available, and baby powder can help prevent chafing.
Now that you have what you need, you’re ready to make the most of this lively experience. Come prepared to your next music festival and you can leave your worries behind. Once you have everything set up, relax and just be in the moment. Have fun, enjoy the music and make memories that can last a lifetime.
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