Going to any music festival is an adventure. Thousands of people gather to see dozens of the hottest artists playing several different stages at the same time. Here at clubZone, many of us have learned the hard way how NOT being prepared for a music festival sucks, and we don’t want you to suffer like we did. Here are 10 tips to help you avoid the pitfalls and be ready to have an amazing time.
#10 Comfortable shoes are a must. You’re going to walk. A lot. From the minute you park your car (possibly miles and miles away from the campsite) it is going to be nonstop walking: jumping from stage to stage, grabbing drinks, heading for the bathroom. And it can always rain, so wear shoes that will protect you from the mud (and that you don’t mind getting a little dirty).
#9 Going to the bathroom is a marathon. Chemical bathrooms (portable toilets) are a piece of work. No matter how many they put in the venue, there will never be enough. Expect long lines, no toilet paper in sight, sticky floors (with who knows what on them), and a not-so-pleasant smell. (It always makes you wonder about whether or not you should have the next beer). Pro tip: Avoid the lines by going before the next big act goes on, or five minutes before your artist is set to end their performance.
#8 You’re going to lose your friends. This usually happens when you’re out to get a drink at the bar, or hurrying to the bathroom thinking, “I’ll be right back.” No, you won’t. And you probably won’t see your friends until the next artist comes onstage, if you’re lucky. These places are usually far, far away from the madness you and you’re friends are, and it’s not easy to spot a familiar face with thousands of people jumping up and down in front of you, especially after that third drink. Pro tip: Make sure you always bring one friend along to join you in any of these excursions, so you’ll at least have each other until you meet back up with your group.
#7 You will make new friends. Festivals open up a whole new world, making it very easy to make friends with random people. Maybe you walk and stumble upon them…you spill a drink, apologize, and BAM–the conversation starts flowing. Or you wait in line for a drink for 20 (long) minutes, and you click over how hard it is to get served in this place (“I know, right?”) Or you freak out about how awesome that DJ is, and the person right next to you is their no. 1 fan, too. There are endless possibilities.
#6 It’s essential to bring a backpack. You’re going to spend the day (or longer) partying hard. Pack your bag with the essentials: a tent, shirt, towel, bottle of water, SUNSCREEN, and toilet paper. If you have no idea where to begin, ask your experienced friends what they usually bring with them. We can’t stress enough how essential is to check the rules for each event before you leave. Sometimes, you can carry a small bottle of water and a few snacks, while other times these items get confiscated. So check their website beforehand. Pro tip: Pack light, because you’re going to be carrying this weight everywhere with you.
#5 Mind your booze ingestion. There’s nothing worse than getting drunk to the point of missing all the fun–or being the party pooper and ruining everyone else’s. Drink moderately, and be sure to have plenty of water in between.
#4 Get the early-birds. The ticket prices increase absurdly as it comes closer to the event, so nab the tickets as soon as they go on sale. That way, you can spend the rest of your money on all the overpriced beer to keep you pumped. Pro tip: Check to see if you can grab pre-sale tickets; you’ll save even more usually.
#3 Read about the event before going. Again, these places are huge, and there are several artists playing at the same time on different stages that are far away from each other. Decide which performances you want to attend before you get there. This will make your life so much easier. Also, there’ll be plenty of other activities taking place onsite. Many of them have hidden gems, such as promotional areas, massage parlors, relaxing lounges, and art expositions. Go explore!
#2 Leave the headliners earlier. Yeah we know who you’re coming to see, and that you struggled 40 minutes just to get THIS close to the stage. But so will everyone else around you. And when the main act finishes the last song, everyone will want to leave at the same time. The result? CHAOS. People pushing you, stumping on your feet… and if you haven’t lost your friends by now, you will at this point. If they’re the last performance, the exit queue will be even worse. So be smart and leave before the sky falls down and you lose your cool.
#1 Put away your phone. Don’t be the douche putting your arms up and disturbing everyone behind you with your phone or tablet every five seconds. Taking a few pictures every once in a while is cool, but don’t make this your priority. Keep in mind the best experiences aren’t captured on film–live in the moment. Music festivals are liberating experiences when done right, so enjoy your time!
– Carolina Galli