Music festival season is coming up and while you should be super excited to have a great time, it’s incredibly easy to have a disaster at these all weekend events. Here are 10 tips for surviving your next music festival so you don’t take the L!
1. Sunscreen, and More Sunscreen
If you’re like me and believe that you won’t get sunburnt; trust me, you will. Most music festivals are outside, and when you’re out there all day in the sun you will most definitely get a nasty sunburn. I made this mistake at the second music festival I went to and seriously suffered. Even if you don’t get sunburnt, it’s a great idea just to wear some to reduce your risk of getting melanoma. If that doesn’t convince you, being in the sun sans sunscreen can make you look older faster, so slather that stuff on and re-apply every two hours!
2. Every Drink You Take, Pair it With a Cup of Water
Going to the porta-potties at a music festival is the worst, but being dehydrated and puking your guts out is grosser than taking extra trips to the bathroom. I’m a seasoned music festival attendee, and I’ve seen one too many girls basically passed out drunk and in pretty bad shape. Pairing each drink you take with eight ounces of water is a good way to prevent dehydration and worth going to the bathroom a few extra times. Being outside makes you get dehydrated so much faster than you think, and even if you’re not drinking you should definitely drink eight ounces of water for every two hours you’re there. No one wants to miss out because they got too drunk or sick, so don’t be that person!
3. Make a Meetup Plan
While you may think you and your squad will stay tight the whole time, getting separated happens and you need a plan to find your friends again. Cell service is usually pretty bad at a festival, so it can be really hard to contact your friends even if you have lots of battery. Before you go in, make a detailed plan with your friends of when are where you’ll meet up if you get separated from them. It will save you so much anxiety and make you feel a lot safer so you can spend more time actually enjoying the festival.
4. Bring a Portable Charger
Having your battery die at a music festival is the ultimate nightmare and can lead to dangerous situations. I once had my battery die at a festival when I already couldn’t find my friends so I had to take the train home instead of an Uber, which was super scary. You’ll definitely want to Snapchat and Instagram while you’re there, which can eat up precious battery faster than you think. Bringing a portable charger is super important and you can buy really cheap ones at Walmart or Target before you go so it’s a no-brainer. Plus, you could help out a friend who didn’t plan as well as you did.
5. Wear Sneakers
Have you ever looked at the ground during a music festival? Most don’t allow any glass bottles but there are aluminum cans and cigarette butts everywhere. Wearing sneakers keeps your feet safe from stepping on all that nasty stuff and you definitely won’t lose your shoes. I am honestly appalled when I see people barefoot at these things and if you wear sandals you could lose them and be that person. With all the crowds, toes will get stepped on and sneakers protect you from those injuries.
6. Be Careful Who you Talk To
Part of the whole fun of being at a music festival is meeting new people but you have to be careful. Trust your gut, and if someone weirds you out, get away from them. Even if you’re in a crowd, you can move away from people who you think are sketchy. Unfortunately, being a woman can be hard and there are many men who can and will try to take advantage of you. You shouldn’t worry too much, but you should stand up for yourself if someone’s making you uncomfortable. If it gets really bad, there’s usually security everywhere so don’t be afraid to get help. Better safe than sorry!
7. Have a Buddy
If you’re going with a big squad, chances are that you will get separated. People want to see different things, the crowd gets rough, and suddenly all your friends are gone. Even though it can be really fun to be solo, it can be super scary if you’re stranded against your choice, especially if you have been drinking. Before you go, choose one person to be your buddy and stick together so that neither of you is ever alone. Also, having a buddy is great for toughing out that bathroom or drink line!
8. Have an Exit Plan
At the end of the night, and after many drinks, it can be hard to figure out how to get home if you didn’t plan ahead. That’s why it’s important to clearly plan with your squad what time you’re going to leave and how you’re going to get out of there. If you’re using a rideshare and have a big group, split people up into different cars before you go so you don’t have to deal with that when the festival ends. Another tip is to go a few blocks away from where the festival is so that you can actually find your Uber or Lyft. This stuff can be anxiety provoking so planning ahead allows you to have stress free fun while you’re there!
9. Make a Spending Cutoff
Things are SO expensive at music festivals racking up expenses happens really fast. Most drinks are anywhere between ten and fifteen bucks so just a few of those can really cost a lot. If you have a spending limit that you’ve decided ahead of time, you can plan out what you’re going to buy and how much of it. It also helps with not spending recklessly and on things you don’t need. I once had a friend spend eighty dollars on just popsicles, which is absolutely ridiculous. If you’re worried about spending too much money you can pregame before you get there and if the festival allows it, bring in snacks so you don’t have to spend exorbitant amounts of money on food.
10. Go With People Who Like What You Like
Nothing is worse than fighting with your friends over which set you’re going to see next, so choose your companions based off of your music tastes. Another thing you can do is plan which artists you want to see ahead of time and compare, then plan how you guys will split up and get back together if you want to see different shows at the same time. You may have to make some compromises, but if you’re going to shell out all this money for a ticket, you’ll want to see the people you’ve been dying to see live. Also, pick people who have the same temperament as you. For example, if you don’t want to be there all day, don’t go with people who want to get there at eleven in the morning. Going with the right people will ensure that you have the time of your life and not have a nightmare of an experience!
What tips do you have for surviving a music festival? Let us know in the comments below!
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I've got a case of wanderlust, I'll never stop traveling because my goal is to go to every single continent. I've made it to four out of seven so far. I graduated from Emory University in May of 2018 with a degree in English and Political Science. I will be attending law school this fall but in the meantime I write, travel, and love to be outside in nature.