Music festivals are a hallmark of the summer season. And while we’re creeping toward the end of it, you can still nab festival tickets for August.
Music festivals are plenty of fun, but they also require some smart planning. Here’s how to prepare.
Do layer on the sunscreen
Don’t ignore the sun; most music festivals take place outdoors. Be sure to protect your skin from sunburn by reapplying sunscreen every two hours. Save space in your bag by opting for one that you can use on both your face and your body. You’ll want a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
Don’t show up without a reuseable water bottle
For one, plastic water bottles are terrible for the environment. They’re also often overpriced at festival venues. (Think $5 for a bottle that would usually cost $1.) Given the high temps and large crowds, there’s bound to be a water station. Take a reuseable water bottle to refill on-the-go and save your funds for the merch. Or food. Food is also good.
Do pack hand sanitizer and wet wipes
Don’t forget that public bathrooms can a) have long lines and b) be filthy. Bringing a bottle of hand sanitizer will undoubtedly come in handy. And a pack of wet wipes. Do we need to explain?
Don’t privilege style over comfort
You’ll be walking and sitting on grass for hours on end. Forget heels or shoes that pinch. Comfort is key at a music festival. Opt for light and easy pieces like sandals or sneakers and denim shorts or a dress. Hats and sunglasses are also good to have on hand.
Do bring a portable charger
Don’t forget that your phone’s battery will drain. Many music festivals have charging stations (because it’s 2018, after all!). Don’t take the risk, though, and pack a small portable charger. Just make sure its full of juice before you head out.
Don’t forget cash
Don’t rely on your plastic credit card or debit card for small transactions. Cash is king at these kinds of events. It’s tempting to want to swipe for every little thing, but you don’t want to put your information at risk. The last thing you want is to have a hold placed on your card for “suspicious activity” when you’re repeatedly swiping all day.
Do buy your merch early
Don’t wait til the last minute only to find out your favorite band’s stuff is sold out! Get to the music festival early and scope out the available merch. You’ll get a sense of what’s available, competing prices (if there are multiple vendors), and find what you love. Getting anything at a discount is unlikely to happen at a music festival, so there’s no use in waiting.
Don’t wing it
Music festivals release their sets beforehand so you can plan your time at the festival. If you’re going in a group, make sure to get on the same page with your friends ahead of time. You don’t want to arrive only to find out your besties aren’t as into your fav act as you are. Better yet, get a sense of the space and where the different stages are located. When you arrive, walk around to each and see how long it’ll take you to jump from one spot to another.
Do have a meeting spot for friends at the music festival
Choose a spot where you can meet friends in case of an emergency or where you can link up in-between sets. Cell phone service can be a nightmare and you don’t want to waste time trying to find someone among hundreds, if not thousands of other music festival attendees.
Don’t foget to memorize or write down at least one emergency contact
Do use the buddy system. Our phone dies. We lose our phone. Or we lose track of our friends. It happens to the best of us. Avoid the potential for panic and, for safety reasons, make sure to have someone else with you at all times. Do your best to memorize at least one emergency contact or the number of another person at the event. You’ll feel much better knowing you have a backup plan in case anything should go awry.
That’s it! Go enjoy your music festival and take plenty of pics for the ‘gram. And if you’re looking for a free or cheaper list of options for things to do this summer, we’ve got you covered.