Advice For Your First Time At A Music Festival

Your Phone Will Not Work

Think of it as more of a really expensive camera and a flashlight for the weekend, because you will not have service. Even if you do..whoever you’re trying to get in touch will probably won’t.
This is is why you will see people carrying around “totems” (long sticks that hold a balloon or stuffed animal or another strange object in the air for their friends to recognize and find their group should they be separated.)

Tip: You should plan a system with your group for finding each other. Make an emergency meeting spot for anyone who gets lost, brings walkie talkies, makes your own totem, uses the buddy system. Just make sure there is a plan in place.. Nothing is worse than missing out on one of your favorite artists because you’re off looking for a wandering pack member.

“Drink Lots Of Water” Is Not Just A Suggestion

You will not still be dancing and having fun by day three or four if you weren’t taking care of yourself on days one and two. I’ve seen people pass out, throw up, miss entire days, have to go home entirely because they didn’t want to take the time to stand in the water refill line…don’t let this be you.

As a fun experiment, a friend and I wore pedometers this past year to Tomorrowworld, a four-day camping EDM festival in the Atlanta area. Sure, we may not be the best route planners and that may have contributed, But we found that on average we were walking 5.7 miles per day. You will be having a blast and may not realize it, but you’ll be walking several miles per day, as well as dancing, and sweating, and whatever else you do…please hydrate.

Tip: Bring a fanny pack or backpack. Keep a refillable water bottle in it – there will be refill stations everywhere. This will help you avoid buying a $5 water bottle several times per day. Some people also bring camelbacks which is another great idea.

The Porter Potties Will Run Out Of Toilet Paper

Pack some. Pack some extra for your friends who didn’t get the chance to read my awesome article. **Obviously this one is monumentally important for females

Comfort Beats Fashion

I know what you’re already thinking: “but I’m going to the festival so I can be boho chic and have been planning my outfits forever… You want me to look ugly?!!”

No, I didn’t say that. Be boho chic, wear those hippie outfits you would never normally wear, be free! BUT when it comes to a choice on wearing something you won’t be comfortable in all day that goes with the outfit versus something you will be able to walk miles in that maybe isn’t the cutest..just go with option 2.

For example: don’t wear heels or those sandals that pinch your toes and think they won’t bother you. Remember what I said above: 5.7 miles! Plus..there will be people there dressed as power rangers, dressed as Easter bunnies, naked, everything. Trust me, there will be nobody judging you because your shoes don’t “go” and festivals are an overall judgment-free atmosphere. It’s cool. You’ll see 🙂

Tough Decisions Will Be Made

Sometimes two of the artists you realllyyyyy want to see are going to play at the same time. On Opposite sides of the festival.

This is a bummer, and the bigger festivals mean well when they do this. They are trying to control the size of the crowd usually for safety, but this means that unfortunately, you will have to choose.

Tip: Unless you are comfortable with basically beating your way through a crowd or are fine with standing in the VERY back, I would advise against trying to do “half and half.” Pick one, get there early, and enjoy the set. Trust me, there will be other opportunities. Once you’ve been to a festival, you will want to go to more and a lot of these Artists stay on the “festival track” for years.

Having An Open Mind Will Make It Infinitely More Fun

We all know high-fives aren’t cool anymore. However, 60% of Bonaroovians ( Bonaroo festival attendees) from 2014 reported high-fiving at least 11-14 people per day throughout the weekend …Why is this?

We all know it’s not Halloween. it’s the middle of the summer. But you will be surrounded by festival-goers in power ranger suits, dressed as cartoon characters, Bigfoot, cartoon characters, or even wearing nothing at all. And most people won’t even give this a second look. …Why is this?

The answer is simple: it’s the festival spirit.

Whats socially unacceptable becomes the norm at music festivals. Festival-goers have an understood agreement to let everyone live free for the weekend. Free of judgment or pressure to fit in. Many people see this weekend as an escape to a different type of society, and in a lot of ways, it is.

You should adopt this spirit as well. It will lead to new friendships, trying things you’ve never thought to try before, finding out about great music you’ve never heard, and meeting unique individuals you’d probably never have the chance to meet outside of the festival.

Tip: Go with a friend to an artist you’ve never heard before (especially early in the day.) These guys will be giving it their all and taking full advantage of the opportunity to play at a big event. I’ve discovered some of my favorite bands this way and watched them move from festival to festival up to some of the top names on the lineup

Tip: Say “hello” back when someone says hi. High-five when someone holds up their Hand. You’ll meet some great folks at these things, and probably see them again at a future festival

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