It might only be the beginning of February, but if you’re a fellow music festival junkie chances are you’re already counting down the days until you’re in your pride and glory dancing your tush off to your favorite artist. Before you first-timers go ahead and spend a solid paycheck on a ticket, here are some tips that should give you a better idea of what to expect.
1) Plan your traveling expenses as far ahead as you can. Do research on the music festival of your choice. Most festivals offer payment plans that require a small down payment before your month-to-month charges. If you need to fly into where your festival of choice is, purchase your plane ticket as early as possible to get the best deal. If you’re planning on driving, get a group together and rent a car to split the expenses and make it easier on everyone.
2) Pack light and only bring what you need. I did the complete opposite when I went to my first music festival (typical mistake) and will always stress this tip to all of my friends. The last thing you want to do is lose your possessions or have Mother Nature rain on your parade, literally.
3) If you decide to camp at your festival, treat it exactly like what it is: a camping trip. You’re going to get dirty. While some festivals offer shower services, they tend to be pricey and require a long wait in line. Bring lots of baby wipes with you. I promise, they’ll be your best friend during your trip.
4) Stay hydrated and don’t forget to eat. Being out in the sun for days straight can take a toll on your body. Always try and have a canteen on you to fill up with water at the local water stations. Keep some cash on you just in case you get hungry and need to buy food from a local vendor on festival grounds.
5) You’re probably going to run into some weird situations. This is okay! Just remember that your safety is the most important thing while you’re out at a festival, or anywhere for that matter. Music festivals attract people from all sorts of places. Be friendly, but remember to be street smart as well.
6) Travel with a group of good friends and stick together. If you do have to split up, set up a definitive meeting place and be as specific as possible. You’re more likely to find your friends at “the speaker to the right of the stage behind the blue art installation” rather than “in the crowd on the right-hand side.”
7) Have fun! Embrace your vacation away from the real world. For many of us, music festivals hold great meaning and become more than just watching a band play. You’re going to meet a ton of awesome people and miss every minute of your experience once you’re gone. I sure know I miss my Bonnaroo family over in Tennessee!
Aside from Coachella, Bonnaroo, and Pitchfork, there are an endless amount of music festivals you can choose from depending on what type of music you listen to. For all you redditors (non-redditors are invited, too), this subreddit will be a huge help when researching where you want to go. Now let the good times roll! Spoiler alert: Keep an eye out for an article providing you with your very own music festival style guide within the next couple of months!