Your Guide to Music Festivals
If you attend a music festival this year, make sure you have the best experience and leave with some amazing memories! It doesn’t matter what music genre you love, how old you are, or where the fest is…here’s your ultimate guide to a great time.
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Do a little more than just tossing a sleeping bag and case of beer in your trunk and start truckin’ down the road, especially if the music fest is a 3 day camping venue. Make sure you have extra cash on hand for that cool tie dye or summer tour t-shirt you can’t live without. Here’s the basic list of what you’ll need for a fun and comfy music festival experience.
Basic Gear to Bring to a Music Fest…
- Phone and charger
- Clothes, rain gear, change of shoes and socks
- Money, credit card, ATM card, ID, insurance card
- Water, sports drinks, coffee and other beverages
- Food, cooler (the kind with wheels is nice), ice
- First aid kit, prescriptions and over the counter meds
- Tent, sleeping bag, air mattress, pillows
- Shade tent or tarps, extra poles, stakes and cordage
- Sunscreen, hat
- Personal care items (wipes, hand sanitizer, TP, deodorant, toothbrush & paste, ladies – feminine products)
- Fanny pack, purse or backpack
- Music for base camp
- Freak Flag
Get Your Ride Ready…
Reduce the chances of a bad trip on your magical mystery tour…
- Fill the gas tank
- Get the oil changed
- Top off all fluids
- Have a spare tire or fix-a-flat kit in the trunk
- Check air pressure and tread on tires
- Make sure you have your license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance
- Grab an extra set of keys
Navigating Your Way…
Don’t get lost! Get directions ahead of time and make sure you have an alternate route in case of construction or heavy traffic. GPS is a good idea if you don’t have a smartphone.
Find Your Tribe
Getting in sync is especially important when traveling with a group. Make sure you have each other’s #s on your phones, and set up the following…
- Departure time
- Places to stay on the way if you’ll be on the road for more than a day
- Which bands you want to catch
- Meals, snacks, drinks
- Who is paying for what (don’t expect the driver to pay for everything!)
- Emergencies: who to contact, where to meet up, how to stay safe
Enjoying the Music Festival
Of course you want to have the best fest possible. So follow these pointers from the pros (that’s us!)…
Don’t overdo it! If you don’t remember the fest, why bother going? Sure, we all like to have a few beers and get happy, but no one wants to drown in their own vomit (or anyone else’s vomit). So pace yourself, stay hydrated, eat decent food, remember how to get back to your tent, and be alert.
Shit happens. Sometimes we just can’t help it. However, there are steps to take to make your music festival experience as safe and fun as possible.
- Keep your phone with you and keep it charged
- Know where the first aid tent and security staff are located
- Bring a first aid kit to the camping area
- Use the buddy system and stay in touch with friends
- Be alert for theft and violent behavior
- Make sure you have necessary medications for health issues
- Stay hydrated with water and sports drinks (alcohol does not hydrate your body)
- Know your limits
- Use common sense
- Make sure at least one member of your group is a responsible adult (or a reasonable facsimile thereof)
Don’t Be That Guy
You want to have fun and let loose, we get it. But it’s no fun hanging out with that guy. We know this isn’t you, of course, but here’s the Good Karma list anyway:
- Pick up your garbage.
- Treat your fellow fans with respect – they paid for tickets, too.
- Be nice to the festival staff.
- It’s okay to take photos and video clips…it’s not cool to record entire songs or shows. At some venues, this could get you kicked off the grounds.
- Don’t bring glass containers to the camping venue. We like good beer too, and that usually comes in bottles. But cans are lighter and they don’t break, and you can find decent beer in cans these days.
- Leave your pets, weapons, and fireworks at home.
How Keep the Vibe Alive After a Music Fest
Your awesome weekend is over. It’s time to drive home and return to work, school…you know, normal life. This is the hard part of being a funky music festival fan…the letdown after the show. So how do you transition from the adventure back to life as usual? Here are some tips for keeping some of that festival adventure in your life…
- Take photos at the show and share them on social media.
- Stay in touch with your fest friends and go camping, have a party, or go to some local music venues.
- Check out recordings, videos, and websites of the festival bands (especially the ones you missed). If you like the band, support them by purchasing their music.
- Get involved with your local music scene and support local musicians.
- Start a music festival blog! (Ahem)
Did I forget anything? Leave a comment…
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