Whether you’re planning on escaping out to the Woodlands of Dover, Delaware to watch Weezer and Jack Johnson under starry skies at Firefly Festival, or road tripping out to the Woodstock-esque vibes of Bonnaroo for Vampire Weekend and the Arctic Monkeys, festival season is upon us – and that requires a decent amount of preparation to make sure your live music experience is just about flawless. From how to navigate the on-site camping experience to exactly which essentials to pack, check out Trim’s survival tips for having the best festival getaway, well… ever.
#1: Be a packing pro: stay lightweight, and don’t forget the essentials.
Stuffing your backpack to the brim with an abundance of makeup, potential outfit changes, and a bunch of other random-but-totally-necessary items might make you feel prepared before actually leaving the house, but once you’re out on your feet under the hot sun with all that extra weight giving you early-onset back problems, you’re going to have regrets. Try your best to carry a lightweight cross body bag or small leather backpack filled with only the most necessary items: sun screen, some cash, a debit card, sun glasses, earplugs, baby wipes, granola bars, a disposable camera, chapstick/lipgloss, and a refillable water bottle. Try to separate your photo ID, cash, and credit card in case you lose your wallet or have anything stolen – keep your credit card and ID in one case and the emergency cash tucked into a different inside pocket. You’ll feel much better when you’re not lugging around a giant bag throughout the day and can actually enjoy yourself from the crowd without feeling like a pack mule. A mophie phone case is also very much worth the investment – for around $80, the rechargeable case can give your iPhone battery double the battery life and save you from trying to find your friends without a cell phone.
#2: Plan out your set times and map out the festival grounds.
Most festivals will post their set times and a map of the festival grounds days before it’s time to depart for your trip – take advantage of that and print out multiple copies for yourself and your friends. Make a list of every artist you want to see and which stage they’ll be on so that you don’t end up getting lost between a main Stage and a side stage and missing one of your favorite bands. Most festivals also charge $5 for copies of this on the actual grounds, so save yourself the money and just come prepared with it early.
#3: Festival dress doesn’t mean overdress.
After dealing with the more conservative wardrobe constraints of school and work, it’s definitely a lot of fun to break out all of the fun trends and accessories for festival season – but that doesn’t necessarily mean going completely overboard and looking like you fell headfirst into the new arrivals rack at Free People. Stick to your tried-and-true wardrobe staples updated with one or two trends of the season – that means it’s probably not a good idea to combine a giant Lana del Rey-style flower crown, fringe leather jacket, massive platforms, bell bottoms, flower bustier, and feathered earrings in the same sitting unless you really are trying to show up looking like you’re in costume. Try a printed romper and chelsea boots with statement jewelry or a gauzy sheer maxi dress with a coordinating two-piece set underneath to incorporate some new trends while still channeling a classic look.
#4: Be prepared if you’re camping out.
If you’re sleeping on the festival grounds for the weekend in a tent, make sure that your tent and everything you need to set it up is on-site and fully functional. Have a plan for what you’ll do if it rains and make sure you bring enough blankets and pillows – something that may seem like common sense, but in hindsight will save you a lot of neck and back problems if you forget any of it at home. If you’re planning on showering on-site, bring flip-flops, towels, shampoo/dry shampoo, and baby wipes/wash cloths. Make yourself a checklist of every single item you think you might need to bring with you and don’t allow yourself to leave the house until you’ve checked it all off.
#5: Don’t worry about updating your social media and end up missing out on what’s going on around you for the weekend.
I know it’s tempting to rub it in to all your friends back home that you crowd surfed to Kanye or got to nap in a hammock beneath a ceiling of fairy lights at Firefly, but be careful not to get too wrapped up in your Instagram or snap chat videos while you’re out at your festival of choice. Keep your eyes in front of you and you might end up making some really cool memories for yourself that you’d have missed out on otherwise if you were too focused on Twitter or Facebook – not to mention the fact that you’re really better off not draining your phone battery anyway.
All in all, as long as you pack light, dress appropriately, and remember to pack all your essentials, any festival weekend should be a total breeze. I’ll be out at Warped Tour, Skate and Surf Festival, Bled Fest, and Governor’s Ball this summer – hope to see some of you guys there!