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Dos and Don’ts to Help You Get the Most Out of a Music Festival

You’ve just sent your last work email and you’re only moments away from piling in a car with friends to let loose with cool drinks in the sun and a lineup of top performers. The epic time ahead seems inevitable, but there are absolutely ways to maximize the experience and ensure your festival season is one for the books.

1. Look good, but not too good

We live in a time when certain music fests have blown up into huge events with international attention. This has spawned in-depth media coverage that often deviates from the music and focuses on festival fashion.

Pack your summer favorites but resist the temptation to bring your designer romper and new Yeezys. You will be outside partying rain or shine. Expect to sweat through your clothes and have them drenched by Mother Nature or a cooling station you won’t be able to resist while you bake in the sun. The Festival Travelers who have the most fun are the ones who can relax, shrug off some spilt beer and not lose sleep when their Forever 21 sunglasses fall off in a crowd.

2. Carry the essentials

There are certain items you should have on you or at an arms length. Supplies that are so basic they are easy to leave behind, but not having them can severely impact your vibe.

Toilet paper – you may never have to use your personal stash, but being without the 2-ply is not a scenario you want to experience. There is nobody to spare you a square in an outhouse.

Hat – never underestimate a wicked bout of sunstroke.

Sunscreen – forget the health risks of not protecting your skin, a scaly cayenne-coloured burn makes you a bummer to look at.

Water – obviously.

3. Respect the fest

Buying a ticket doesn’t mean you forfeit your duty to be a decent human. Pick up your garbage and don’t trash the set-up or surrounding properties. Many music festivals work with surprisingly modest budgets and may be surrounded by private properties. Hooligans on a path of destruction not only contribute to higher ticket prices in the future, but too many complaints from neighbors who find human waste on their front lawns can kill an event.

Also, be kind to festival staff. They’re likely volunteers who are just as excited as you for the lineup and willing to sling some shaved ice to catch a few performances.

4. Don’t be a good friend

It’s tempting to stick with your posse 24/7 but every once in awhile you need to separate from the pack and meet new people. Some of the best memories come from being lost and as a result sharing a meal or dancing and screaming lyrics back at a stage with complete strangers that become new friends.

5. Toss your agenda

When a festival lineup is announced, it’s natural to mentally draft a plan for when you will have a meal or go back to the hotel for a nap. These breaks typically revolve around when your favorites are on stage—names that grabbed your attention on the festival poster. Enjoy the big artists but stick around for some performers you are unfamiliar with. There is absolutely no better way to discover new talent before they become household names.

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