Music festivals are supposed to be fun and exciting, but the odds of that happening are less about the artists playing as it is the decisions you make in advance. It only takes a little planning to have a lot of success in surviving music festival season. Keep reading to learn seven tips you can use to get through the festivals you want, and you might just have enough left to squeeze in one or two more shows than you thought.
1. Be Ready For Photos
When you’re getting dressed for a festival, you’re likely thinking about what’s going to look cool, but remember to keep your comfort in mind as well. What you should really think about is how you’re going to look in the inevitable Instagram images. A sunscreen of at least 30 SPF or higher will mean you don’t get a sunburn that gets memorialized forever in a photo, and the right sunglasses and hat will block out enough sunlight that you can see what’s going on on stage.
2. Trust Your CamelBak
You have to stay hydrated. Between the constant sun, hot temperatures, throbbing crowd and hopefully dancing, your body will get really drained. Most music festivals won’t let in beverages from outside for safety reasons, but hydration stations are frequently available where you can fill up your filtered water bottle. Just saving on the expensive water from the show might help you afford one more show.
3. Know Where The Medical Tent Is
The key here is knowing where the medical tent is in case you need it, but it’s best to actually not go there. Many cases in there are dehydration, which you should to be avoiding anyway if you read and used the last tip. However, drug use is the other big reason people wind up in there. Alcohol can dehydrate you and make you miss your favorite artist, as can illegal drugs. They’re dangerous enough by themselves, but considering how some festival-goers lace them with something toxic, taking something someone gives you could kill you. You’ll definitely miss the rest of that show!
4. Keep Up With The Set Times
It’s a music festival, so what about the artists? If there are particular artists you want to hear or see, then you need to know what their set time is and what time they’re going to play. Popular artists can draw bigger crowds, so you need to get there early if you want a good spot. Also keep in mind that set times might get moved back and even overlap on the actual day, so pay attention to the changes so you don’t miss anyone.
5. Don’t Trust Your Phone
Of course you’re going to take your phone. You need it for all those great Instagram pictures that prove you were there. It’s also great for games and texting in between sets. Still, the reception might not be great. Have your friends all pick FireChat or a similar app so you can stay in touch using Bluetooth technology instead of relying on spotty cell service, which is known to happen at Burning Man and EDC. A portable phone charger is also a must so you can juice your phone back up halfway through the day.
6. Pick Your Spot
This isn’t just about trying to get a good spot during a particular set, but actually having a meeting place outside of the crowds in front of stages. Even if you and your friends keep in touch with the right app, as you should, it’s still good to have a pre-established meeting place if anyone gets separated in the crowd, which will happen, especially if you split up to see different sets or if someone does wind up in the medical tent.
7. Make Early Plans
If you’re going to a music festival outside of your local area, then you need to arrange for transportation and even a place to stay. The later you wait, the more likely that hotels, Airbnb options and campgrounds will have increased their rates. They might even get overbooked, leaving you out in the cold at the last minute. Also, get your tickets as early as you can to save money before those prices go up too. Don’t count on Lyft or Uber either, as they might have super high rates or even not enough cars. See if you can find mass transit that will be specially arranged to get people in and out. Hopefully, you’ll be either too tired to drive or just need time to upload all those great photos.
When you pick the right music festivals to go to with the right people, then you should have memories that last a lifetime. However, you don’t want to leave with the hangover of a lifetime, or worse yet, problems that plague you for a lifetime. Use the life experiences you’ve gathered, as well as these tips, so you can successfully survive and enjoy the music festival season.