Tuesday, April 9, 2013

[How To] Survive a Music Festival

The first round of Coachella is this weekend, marking the beginning of festival season all over the world. Music festivals bring people together from all over to share in more than just music, but an experience. Although each festival has it's own style, and the outfits chosen range along the spectrum, there are a few things all summer festivals have in common. Here are a few of my tips to make sure you have the best possible time:

1. Handsfree. Try a small backpack or a fanny pack to hold all of the little things you might need with you throughout the day. Tickets, your ID, safety pins for outfit mishaps, your phone, etc. are all necessities you won't want to lose. Make sure your bag has zippered pouches so that nothing will fall out while you're getting down with your bad self on the dance floor. My rule of thumb for what to pack for the day is "Don't bring or wear anything you wouldn't mind losing".

2. Hydrate. Festival days are usually long and hot. Be sure to drink water throughout the day, especially if you're enjoying alcoholic beverages as well. Some festivals will let you bring in an empty water bottle to be filled up throughout the day. If you have that opportunity, take it! Put your water bottle on a carabiner clip to attach it to your bag and save yourself the hassle of wasting time in line to purchase expensive bottled water.

3. Layer. Weather can be unpredictable in the rural spots where festivals flourish, but the show goes on, rain or shine. Check the weather before you leave and keep a cheapy plastic poncho in your bag if there's any chance of rain. For festival days that go from dusk to dawn, the temperature will change with the light. Dress in layers that you can put on and take off to stay comfortable all day. Try to wear light layers that aren't a hassle to carry around when you aren't wearing them.

4. Phone. Many festivals have little to no cell service. Instead of letting your battery run down while it searches for service, put your little gadget on airplane mode and only check for texts every couple of hours. Use your camera phone to take pictures, note apps to save set times, and check the clock throughout the day, but keep your phone zipped away in your bag as much as possible and enjoy the music!

5. Shoes. This should go without saying, but wear comfortable shoes. There are rarely places to sit down, so you can't count on resting between sets. You will be standing, walking between stages, and hanging out on your feet all day, so ditch the heels and go for fuss-free, well-broken-in shoes.

6. Meet Up. When you arrive at the festival the first day and everyone is still together, choose a meeting spot away from any stages or busy areas. For festivals that include camping, you can easily meet back at that home base, but for larger festivals without in-and-out privileges, choose a section number or an art installation and promise to return there every few hours if your group gets separated.

7. Attitude. Any festival will be fun if you go into it with the right mind set. Don't let drama with your festival family or other stressors get you down. Plan your stay and rides to and from the venue ahead of time, but go with the flow if plans change. If you will be drinking, do it responsibly and stay well within your limits-- you want to be able to remember the fun time you had, and drinking too much in a strange place surrounded by strange people is a huge risk! Trust that everything will run smoothly, be positive, and keep a smile on your face.

Whatever festivals you get to attend this summer, have a great time and be safe! Did I miss anything? Leave a comment with your tips for enjoying festival season!

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