Music festival season is finally here! And while you may still figure out your festival calendar or the acts you’d like to see at an upcoming music event, there are other things you will need to plan out on any weekend that you’re there. Although many music festivals execute detailed builds to create a fun and multi-sensory experience for attendees, the long hours standing in the sun and, drinking too much can wear on the body. Additionally, attendees can face the possibility of the sun disappearing and being replaced with rain clouds.. And of course, there’s the porta potty situation. So how do you get yourself ready for all of this? There are several essentials that you should have with you or some kind of music festival survival kit that will get you through these multi-day outdoor events.
When people think of music festival style, Coachella usually comes to mind. And yes, while the California event has become the go-to for all things music festival style, many will quickly see that most of the styles that people – famous or not – wear are either not the most comfortable or so elaborate that it is impractical.
So while you want to look cute, consider a few things before grabbing pieces out of your closet. First, check the weather so you’re not stuck in skinny jeans in the middle of a heat wave or in a tank while everyone’s wearing a hoodie. And although the idea of going for practical dress might not sound cool, there are several affordable shops like ASOS that dedicate clothing lines to festival style as well as provide clothing that will keep you warm or cool.
Pick the Right Footwear
Similar to the fashion advice above, picking the right footwear is key to being comfortable at a music festival. Not only do you need to protect your feet from other feet and muddy patches, but proper footwear will also keep you warm in case it pours. So, even though sandals and flip-flops are easy and cute, you’re more likely to lose your flip-flop in a mosh pit or easily injure your foot.
With all the people at the music festivals, many don’t always look at where they are going. We suggest you pick a pair that both covers your foot and also has traction. And, sure, that usually points to a pair of combat boots, but they can get pretty heavy. So if you’re not into doing an extra leg workout at the event, consider looking into a good pair of gym sneakers or shoes from Dr. Martens canvas footwear line. And add more protection to your shoes by spraying them with a waterproof formula.
Since childhood, your mom may have covered you in sunscreen and then continued to re-apply throughout the day. And when you’re at an outdoor event, it’s more important than ever to have sunblock in your music festival survival kit. Although there are many fests that build out shaded areas or have trees where you can camp out while waiting for the headliner, you should make sure to protect yourself from the sun.
A good 50 SPF (or higher if you need it) will keep you from burning during the performances. But be sure to bring a new, unopened bottle of sunscreen on each day of the festival. While it might be a pain, grabbing a few travel-sized bottles instead of the full-size one means security won’t have a reason to toss your sunblock in the trash.
Grab the Sunnies
Unless you have no choice but to wear your eyeglasses to a festival, bringing a pair of sunglasses is very important. The sun is at its highest point during the early afternoon, which will make it very bright.
If you’re into your second or third day and a little hung over, a simple pair of sunnies will help you get through the day.
Choose The Right Bag
When you receive your festival wristband, you’ll also find out what bag you can bring to the event. Usually, there are sizes you can and can’t bring; you’ll want to keep the bag as small as possible.
A crossbody bag or even a fanny pack are great options. But if you need a little more room, clear bags are usually allowed. Stay away from standard size backpacks, as they will be thoroughly checked and will delay you from getting to the stage.
Bring a Waterproof Cover of Some Kind
Although some people would like to “rough it” and dance around in the rain, there are many who’d prefer to stay dry. So it would be a good idea to bring some kind of waterproof coat.
Ponchos are usually the first thing people think of, but there are many waterproof jackets that fold up and are very portable. Outdoorsy labels like Patagonia, North Face and REI are great brands that make travel-friendly rain jackets.
Bring a Battery Pack
With everyone on social media, this addition to your music festival survival kit is a no-brainer. Carrying around a portable charger or battery pack will ensure that you can use your phone at the end of the night.
Festivals do offer phone charging stations, however, they are at the perimeters of the festival grounds and far away from the stage. So if you want to stay close to the action, you’ll want to keep a portable charger handy.
Earplugs Are Your Best Friend
Although it feel like the nerdiest thing you do, earplugs will definitely save you in the long run. It will protect your ears from excessive feedback (that high-pitched noise that speakers sometimes emit) or even just block out voices around you during a set.
Have Some Cash on Hand
With debit cards and payment apps, many people don’t see the need to carry cash around anymore. However, it would be good to keep some cash in your pocket.
Sometimes the wifi is down and vendors can’t swipe your credit card for the burger you just ordered or there’s hardly any service, so you can’t call a car to take you home. So it’s good to keep some monies handy in case of an emergency.
This is another no-brainer for summer festivals: Between the high temperatures and hours of drinking sweet or alcoholic beverages, your body will quickly lose fluids. So make sure to always have a bottle of water handy.
And although many festivals won’t allow you to bring bottles of water to the festival, you can check if there are water stations available there. If there are, you can bring a reusable water bottle or even a Camelbak and refill whenever you need to during the weekend.
What music festival(s) will you be hitting up this summer? Let us know in the comments!