For many, music festival season is the most wonderful time of the year. You gather your group of best friends, splurge on a festival ticket, and spend an entire weekend dancing/sweating your butt off, sleeping outside and acting in ways you may later regret. But, who cares? Behavioral etiquette and daily structure pretty much don’t exist this weekend, and it’s like a whole other world. With that said, if you want to make it through the weekend, and really enjoy the festival experience, there are some essentials you absolutely can’t go without.
The Basic Essentials
You’re in the middle of a field surrounded by thousands and thousands of people who came dressed to impress. Pretty soon the sweat takes over the perfume and the scent from lack of showers follows you in a dark cloud, your phone dies in the middle of the first day and you’ve probably attracted so many germs your fingernails could kill Ebola. To avoid looking and smelling messy, or depleting your energy, there are basic necessities you need to have with you.
1. A Trash Bag
A trash bag makes a good poncho in the rain, a place to sit so your butt doesn’t get wet, or can be a pillow to rest your tired (and probably drunk) head in that grassy spot that just looked so comfy you had to try it.
2. Sunscreen, Sunglasses And A Hat
Forget fashion, these items are essential to protect yourself from the sun. A little sun-kissed is expected, but it is really not fun when you can barely move because you decided to bring your pasty-white winterized skin out in the sun for a shock.
3. Mini Bottle Of Hand Sanitizer
You will probably use a port-o-potty more times in this one weekend then you will in two lifetimes. It’s inevitable. I don’t think I need to say anything more.
4. A Refillable Water Bottle
Water is extremely important at an event like this. Between the heat, the dancing sweating and the booze, it is so easy to get dehydrated. It’s no fun if you miss the concert because you have to get taken out by an ambulance for passing out from dehydration, and it’s obviously not good for your body either. Buy gallons of spring water to have handy, or even consider bringing a Camelbak (if they are allowed).
5. A Portable Mini Fan
It’s hot and you’re sweaty. Get yourself a mini hand-held fan! This one has an extendable cord so you can even hang it around your neck, that way you won’t lose it!
6. A Portable Phone Charger
We all know the naked and disconnected feeling that takes over when our phone dies, imagine it happening when you’re trying to find your friends in a thick crowd of 100,000 people. If you don’t have a car you can charge your phone in, invest in a portable charger. It will save your life…possibly literally.
7. A Pair Of Ear Plugs
Sometimes you’ve just got to give your ears a break, especially if you are close to a speaker. You’ll be thanking yourself for packing these later on.
8. Plastic Baggies
These will come in handy to put accessories and electronics in. It keeps your phone and other devices free of dirt and scratches, and keeps your accessories (jewelry, hair stuff, etc.) from getting lost.
9. An Emergency Kit
You can never wrong with having a stash of band-aids, aspirin, gauze or medical tape to care for you or your friends drunken boo-boos.
10 A Selfie Stick
You’re feelin’ your look, and you’ve got to take as many full-body selfies as possible, or you can’t see the stage because some guy in front of you decided to double his height by putting his girlfriend on his shoulders. Either way, the selfie stick will sure come in handy.
11. Snacks on Snacks on Snacks!
Whether you’re camping out at the festival or not, you will need some fuel. Pack some granola or energy bars, chips, nuts, crackers, and other easily-packed snacks. Festival food can be super expensive, so it’s nice and convenient when you just want a little something.
12. Sports Drinks
For extra hydration. Dancing is really good exercise, and you will definitely work up a sweat. Better replaces those electrolytes!
1. Flash Tattoos Are A Must
These have become a staple in festival fashion. They’re super easy to use, and they complete a perfect outfit, no matter what you’re wearing.
2. Boots To Protect Those Toes
You probably want to gear towards closed-toed shoes over sandals. People will be undoubtedly stepping all over you. And they are much more comfortable and festival-friendly than heels. Also, rain boots will definitely be great to have if it rains and your forced to trudge through festival mud.
It can get cold at night, and you’ll be wishing you had one, especially if it starts raining.
4. A Cross-Body Bag Or Fanny-Pack
Ah, sweet freedom. Your hands love it too. Stick everything you need in a cross-body bag or fanny-pack, which are making a serious comeback and come in all kinds of styles, so you don’t have to worry about carrying anything but your $8 beer. It also lessens the chance of you losing something because your bag will be somewhat connected to you.
5. Loose-Fitting Clothes
Sweat has been mentioned a lot. Because there will be a lot of that happening. It’s no fun wearing skin tight clothing, while sweating out Niagara Falls. Try wearing flowing clothes, or even a crop top.
Extra. This is a pretty self-explanatory one.
2. Dry shampoo For The Win
Let’s be honest, showers will be unlikely to happen, and this is probably the one time it is acceptable. Dry shampoo will be your lifesaver.
3. Blotting Wipes Will Be A Life Saver
Because sweat gives you pimples and makes you look greasy – which you are, but at least try and hide it.
If you and your friends decide you’re going to use campsites that are sometimes available at music festival venues, you will need some of this stuff.
1. A Camping Tent
If you’re not sleeping in your car, you’ll probably need one of these.
2. A Flag
A flag really comes in handy when you’re walking/stumbling around trying to find your campsite among the hundreds of other tents. Get a flag to stick on top of your tent, or in the ground so you can more easily spot your site.
3. Toilet Paper
It’s kind of gross to admit how much of a serious essential the good ‘ol TP is at a music festival. There will be times when the porta potty has none left, or is just to disgusting you’re forced to pop a squat. You will be jealous of everyone who has their own and cursing yourself for not doing the same.
4. A Cooler
For your beer, water, beer and vodka. You can even make your own cooler with a plastic tub or anything else you can find!
5. A Portable Grill
A little portable grill will also be a great thing to pack along in case you and your friends decide to cook out! They’re super convenient and don’t take up a lot of space.
Buns, bread, burger, hot dogs, trail mix, chips, deli meat, condiments (peanut butter, ketchup, mustard, relish…etc). A good thing to keep in mind – it’s going to be hot, so eat the stuff that will go bad first. Save the PB&Js for the end of the weekend.
7. Spatulas And Silverware
You don’t want to use your dirty fingers, even though your drunk self probably won’t care. Get yourself some plastic utensils and dig in!
8. An Air Mattress
A lot more comfortable than a plain old sleeping bag or the bumpy bed of a pickup truck.
9. Folding Lawn Chairs
Believe it or not, you’re going to actually want to sit and relax for a little bit.
It’s going to get chilly at night, and you’re probably going to want to snuggle with that hot guy.
11. A Flashlight Is Necessary
For when you’re drunk and can’t find your phone, or your keys, or the bathroom, or the slice of pizza you tried to stick in your mouth but missed. A flashlight keychain is a great way to carry it around, just attack it to your fanny pack or lanyard! There are so many cute ones to choose from.
12. Gas And Jumping Cables
After all, you’d rather be safe than sorry.
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Featured image source: puravidabracelets.com
Amanda is a graduate of Emerson College with a degree in Journalism.