Preparing for your first festival? Or are you looking for some quick hacks to better prepare yourself for your next festival experience? We’ve put together a simple guide that includes several tips & tricks for festival-goers that will ensure your weekend runs as smooth as possible.
We put this on the top of the list simply because it is one of the most important things for festivals, especially the summer ones. Remaining hydrated is one of the easiest things to neglect at festivals. The smartest thing to do is investing in a hydration pack (Camel Back) that you can continue to reuse at future festivals. When it comes to purchasing one, there are a lot of different options that will suit whatever budget you have. I recommend finding one on Amazon, mostly because you can compare prices and reviews to find the best deal. It’s smart to find one with pockets that you can keep other small items in.
Plan Out Your Days
After going to a few festivals, I’ve noticed one of the most annoying things is missing a set that I really wanted to see only because I didn’t have my days planned out. The majority of the big festivals allow you to create your own schedule on their websites so you can save and print out. If the festival you are planning on attending doesn’t offer this, simply make your own (using excel or even just pen and paper).
Staying With Your Group
A lot of people go to festivals with a group of friends, which can cause some issues throughout the days. The best way to ensure no one gets lost is establishing a meetup point as soon as you get to the festival. Make sure it’s somewhere that everyone can find and remember. Making it a unique spot is key, too. I remember reading that for EDC Chicago, a group decided to meet under the big daisy at a certain time, but realized that hundreds of other people had the same idea and made it very hard to spot their group. If you plan on meeting at sets or traveling from stage to stage together, bringing or wearing some sort of distinct object is really smart, like a totem. What I like to do is find a cheap head dress (pictured above) from Party City or somewhere online that sticks out in crowds and that I can hold up when leading the group through the sea of people.
Save Your Body
One of the worst things to see at a festival is someone getting taken away in an ambulance. 9/10 it’s something that the individual could have prevented, whether it’s remaining hydrated throughout the day or being responsible with whatever extra you plan on putting in your body. In no way are we condoning the use of drugs, but if you are planning on partaking in certain activities, it’s best to be as informed and prepared as possible. Stocking up on 5-HTP is very smart to help balance out your serotonin levels (you can find this online or at many health supplement or natural grocery stores). Testing kits are another smart investment to make to ensure you know what is going into your body (check out Dance Safe).
Assuming you are attending a festival that will have you exposed to a lot of sun, do not forget to put on some strong sun block. It’s smart to apply it before entering the festival since many of them will confiscate any bottles as you enter (that’s how it was at UMF). The worst thing is having a wicked sun burn the second day of a festival and bumping into and rubbing against other people all day. It’s no fun.
For a lot of peoples first time attending a festival, they like to go all out and try to wear the most extravagant outfit they can. While this may be fun for the first part of the weekend, they soon learn that being uncomfortable really blows dancing in the sun all day. Be sure to pack clothes that you know you will be comfortable in while spending hours in the sun, most likely sweating and moving around. A comfortable raver is a happy raver.
It seems that shows have been getting progressively louder every year. While this makes the atmosphere more about the music, too much exposure to those loud speakers can do some serious and permanent damage to your ears. I’ve started to bring cheap ear plugs with me to shows and festivals, even if I don’t plan on initially using them. The last thing you want to happen 10-20 years down the road is experience some serious hearing loss because you didn’t think to protect your ears when you were young and dumb at shows and festivals.
Maximize Your Phone’s Battery Life
Have you ever noticed that your phone rarely works when you’re in a really large crowd of people? This happens at just about every festival, and all it does is drain your battery at a really fast rate. If you’re like me, you like being able to take your phone out to snap a quick picture or video, and one of the most annoying things to happen is having your phone die half way through the day. What I suggest doing is turning your phone on airplane mode, or even turning it off when you don’t use it, to prevent it from searching for service and draining the battery.
Don’t Be A Dick
It’s as simple as the title says it: don’t be a dick. Remember that everyone is at the festival to have a good time. If it’s your first festival, you will notice the overwhelming positive attitude of the atmosphere. Try to keep it in the back of your mind that no one is there to piss you or anyone else off, but to have a great weekend just like you. You’re going to find yourself fighting through crowds and bumping into people on accident. Just by saying “excuse me” or “sorry” goes a very long way and will help keep smiles on everyone’s faces. Additionally, if you see someone that needs help, whether they’re looking for friends or need water, try to help them out if you’re able to. Keep the good vibes flowing at the festivals with little acts of kindness. Check out this thread from /r/aves of some examples of people showing what PLUR is all about.