Throughout high school and early college, going to music festivals were amongst my most memorable experiences. Without these weekend bonanzas, I might’ve died feeling like my life was only half lived. There’s something electric about live music and 10,000 bodies smashed together all bobbing to the same rhythm. With each new festival I went to, I learned more and more tricks of the trade
1. Be careful of the drugs you do
A stigma behind many music festivals is you have to be on ecstasy or molly in order to have fun and enjoy the entire festival experience. This can be true for some people — and I am not against doing these drugs in any way — but it is important to know where they are coming from. If you decide to do drugs at a music festival, make sure you’re with people you know and know what you’re taking. Do not be the girl I saw at Coachella tripping on ecstasy, crawling on the ground barking at people and then asleep in front on the porta-potties the next morning.
When a musical festival offers the opportunity to camp, take it! Yes, you can always stay at a hotel close by, but then you have to deal with the hassle of getting to and from the actual festival grounds. Sneaking in your own supplies is a great perk too. When you camp, you are at most a 10-minute walk from the festival entrance. There are also a lot of cool things to do in the campgrounds, many of which feature art tents and small little stores. The sense of community with the people who camp around you and the relationships you form with them is truly incredible.
3. Looking good is important but don’t try too hard
Dressing to impress at music festivals has been a big deal in our culture lately; the style sections in magazines showing what celebrities wore, etc. Wearing something cool is part of the festival experience, yes, but remember that you’ll likely be 90 degree heat all day, jumping around and having fun. Furthermore, the celebrities in long dresses and full faces of make up are backstage watching the shows, and in the shade most of the day. Always wear what you think looks good and you feel comfortable all day in. Short skirts paired with bikini tops and rompers are my outfits of choice. And remember, flower headbands are a choice not a necessity.
4. Bring disposable cameras
Carrying around nice bulky cameras is a terrible idea. You are constantly worried that something bad is going to happen to it, and will end up watching the shows through a lens. I have the one camera a day rule. Meaning, I carry around a disposable camera all day and night, and simply snap quick pictures. This way my pictures are more of a surprise, and I’m not spending my whole day looking through the pictures I took.
5. $10 a day rule
When you get into the festival grounds all the food looks so appetizing — you will be tempted to spend all your money, but DON’T! Only bring $10 with you each day so you can help yourself. Yes, this requires extreme self control, but it’s essential to find ways to cut down on costs (for instance, bring a canteen to refill). Only allow your self to buy what you need, and pack some granola bars for when you get hungry.
6. Let your phone lose its charge
The energy is electrifying, but being on your phone the whole time snap chatting and tweeting really kills the mood. Don’t let the battery percentage on your phone determine the mood your in. It’s not the end of the world if your phone dies — it’s all about staying present and enjoying what you paid for. If you’re scared about losing the people you came with, bring walkie-talkies.
7. Do everything that is offered
It can be hard to bring yourself to go to a show of a band you have never heard of when you have had your heart set on going to the big head liners, but truth is you can do anything you want, and going to see a new band is something you SHOULD DO! There’s going to be time gaps between the people you want to see, so instead of just sitting on a table near the food tents wasting your time, go to a random show! Go to all the shops and different events that are going on, you have nothing to lose.
8. It’s okay to do your own thing
If you’re going with a group of people and they start planning out shows they are going to and some of them don’t match up with what you’re planning on going to, that’s ok. At the end of the day you are there for your own enjoyment, so be sure to always keep that in mind and resolve to do what you actually want to do.