Festival Survival Guide

Photo by Joey Thompson on Unsplash


Festival season is coming up. Whether you’re into music, film, art, food, etc., you gotta know what you’re doing. As someone who goes to music festivals frequently, I have curated a list of must-have items to make (and keep) your fest experience the best it can possibly be.


Wet Wipes

Any sort of moist hand towelette is a must have. At the bathrooms (read: porta-potties) there are no hand wash stations and the germ-x dispenser is usually empty. This leaves you in a very compromising position: first, ew. Who doesn’t wash their hands? Disgusting. Two, you’re probably going to eat, touch your face and/or get a booboo/mosquito bite and touch it later; and that’s grody. Don’t catch something because you forgot your own germ-x or wet wipes.



You would think this would be a no brainer, but take it from me, a very forgetful person, and pack it in your bag/fanny pack THE NIGHT BEFORE. I literally forget this every time I go to a festival. You would think I would learn, but I’m dumb and don’t. Don’t be like me. Remember your sunscreen because you really won’t regret it. I promise. That being said, re-apply your sunscreen frequently. Chances are you will get sunburnt most during your first day at the fest, and the rest of the weekend, where people will constantly bump into you or accidentally scratch you, will not be fun. Trust. Me.


Also, don’t take an aerosol or a bottle over 3 ounces. Security will take it from you. Not a might, a will. They don’t care. It’s not allowed and they will feel no remorse.


Bag/Fanny Pack

Now, I’m a fanny pack girl. Fanny packs till I die, okay? They always fit the bag policy requirements, and they carry everything you need. You literally can’t go wrong. Props to you if it’s multi-pocketed as well.


However, for the fests that do allow (slightly) larger bags, I’m looking at you ACL, that’s always nice. Just make sure it meets requirements, because security will take it and won’t feel bad.

Image via Pinterest



You will be outside all day. From approximately 11 AM to 11 PM. You will want sunglasses. Your eyeballs can get sunburnt. Protect your eyes. Don’t tire them out.


Water Bottle/Hydration Pack

This may be one of the most important things to remember for multiple reasons.

  1. Water will be expensive.

  2. You don’t want to be dehydrated.

  3. It is hot. You will faint.

  4. If you have to spend time in a med tent, you will miss a set.

  5. Hydrate or die-drate, my friends.

Hydration packs are super cool, too, because you can carry more water and your stuff. So handy. Just make sure that it meets bag requirements.

Image via Food52


Baby Wipes

These are mostly space permitting, but sometimes porta potties run out of toilet paper. Nuff said.


Ziplock Bag for Cards and Keys

Weather is so pesky sometimes. You truly never know what it’s going to do, so use a ziplock bag to protect the important things.



You can buy emergency ones from drugstores for less than a dollar. They’re hella expensive at the fest. Be prepared.



Buy a 3-pack because you can’t take opened chapsticks into fest gates. It sucks, but they’re just trying to keep illegal substances out of the gates and people safe. You will need this though. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t.


A Good Attitude

No one likes a negative Nelly. No one wants to party with someone who’s in a bad mood. Also it’s super easy to make friends with people from fests! I still talk to my friends I made at Hangout 2018. As we say at Hangout, be nice or go home.



Perhaps the most important of them all. The wristband. You cannot get into the fest at all without it, and there’s always a no tolerance policy. I have actually forgotten a wristband before, and it sucks. Some festivals, thank you ACL, have replacement policies BUT there’s always a fee. Save your money, and your time, and check to make sure you have your freaking wristband. That thing cost too much money for you to lose or forget it.


There you have it. My must haves for any festival I go to. So, my friends, take my advice and don’t get caught looking like a newbie at your festivals this season.