Whether you’ve been to 0 concerts or 100, nothing can quite prepare you for your first music fest. The experience varies from person to person, festival to festival; but with these foolproof tips you’re sure to have the weekend of a lifetime!!
The festival season is just gearing up with Coachella only months away and dozens of exciting festivals this summer...my personal fave is Outside Lands in San Francisco!! So, with plenty of time to prepare these are my tips for having a great music filled time.
Tip #1 - Bring an empty water bottle
Most music festivals won’t allow you to bring liquids in but they will have fill-up stations so make sure to bring an empty Camelbak or Hydro Flask to stay hydrated throughout the day.
Tip #2 - Be sure to decide on a meeting spot with whoever you’re with
I know you don’t think you’ll get lost or separated from your group but you will. At some point or another groups tend to split up due to conflicting set times. Imagine Kendrick Lamar and The Black Keys are playing at the same time ((true story)) that might affect where you and your friends go. At the start of your day find a unique but accessible spot for you and your pals to meet up at by the end of the night. To take this tip to the next level, set a specific meeting time that way you don’t have to worry about spotty cell service when it’s time to head out.
Tip #3 - Don’t film everything on your phone
I know I know you want to show all your friends how amazing J. Cole is live but PLEASE don’t be that person filming the entire set. The more present you are will not only allow you to have a better experience but the people around you will too. If you want to watch your favorite song again, there is usually a professional film crew documenting the performance and you can access that footage online. Dance with your friends, your family, strangers. Sing every word to your favorite song. Take in the energy. Keep your phone in your backpack, there will be plenty of opportunities to take photos in between sets.
Tip #4 - Dress practically
I have a passion for fashion and I love witnessing the sort of style only found at a festival but make sure you keep in mind why you’re going. It isn’t fashion week, it’s a concert filled weekend. Have fun with your outfits but make sure they’re not the emphasis of your experience. Dress appropriately so that you can dance freely and enjoy the music all day and all night. Remember that even if the morning starts off warm you might be freezing by midnight so make sure to pack layers. That being said, throwing in a comfortable pair of flats isn’t such a bad idea either just in case your cute boots aren’t ideal from running between stages all day.
Tip #5 - You don’t need to be at the front of the crowd for every set
Pushing and shoving is sometimes necessary to be up against the barricade at your favorite band's show, but for a lot of sets the fight isn’t worth the prize. Not only is being in the center of the crowd fun in its own way, if you have the option, sitting on the grass nearby the stage is another great way to enjoy the music. Hungry but don’t want to miss a laid back performance? Grab some amazing festival food and watch Beach House ((or the band of your choice)) picnic style like I did in 2016!!
Tip #6 - Eat everything
Melted chocolate bars? Giant bowls of miso soup? Fried chicken and waffles? Churros? Try it all. There is no better time to expand your palette than at a music festival. The booths of fresh made food are endless and usually insanely delicious. The prices are often steep so grab your friends and all order something different so you can try a bit of everything.
Tip #7 - Take advantage of activities
At the festivals I have been to the fun isn’t limited to music. Sponsors often hold events throughout the day at different locations which are perfect to enjoy in between sets. At Desert Trip there was a Ferris Wheel, Photo Exhibition, and a groovy record store to check out!!
Tip #8 - Start saving $$
Once you go to one festival you’ll want to go to them all so start saving up that extra cash and stay up to date on lineups and ticket sales ((there are often discounts for the early birds)).