With Coachella now behind us (at least for this year), the music festival season is about to kick into high gear! Which means there’s a good chance you and a large group of your friends will be camping out in a field somewhere in the coming weeks and months. Whether it will be worth the effort or not, we can’t say, but we can give you some tips on how to survive this festival season. Here is your step-by-step guide for braving music festivals and coming out on the other side!
Bring (and Drink) Lots of Water!
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! In temperatures at the upper end of the range (around 100 degrees), it is recommended that you drink four cups of water per hour while outdoors. That is a lot of water. If at any point you feel thirsty, that is a sign that you are not drinking enough. If you stay properly hydrated, even while outdoors under the sun, you should not feel thirsty at any time.
Needless to say, you should bring plenty of water with you into the festival. Most festivals will allow you to bring water, and they should provide filling stations as well, so you can fill up your bottles throughout the day. If you feel weak, excessively thirsty, or start feeling nauseous or light-headed, you may be suffering from heat exhaustion. Don’t let that happen to you!
Don’t Forget Sunscreen and Sun Protection
Not only is it important to stay hydrated, but you should also take active measures to protect yourself against the sun. Yes, you may feel inclined to strip down to a bathing suit at some point, not only to deal with the heat, but to fit in with the spirit of the festival, but be forewarned: You will be at much higher risk for sunburn, sun exposure, and heat exhaustion.
To help counteract the damaging effects of sun exposure, wear lots of sunscreen (with an SPF rating of 30 or higher) and consider layering clothing. If temperature of comfort are a concern, consider buying lightweight fabrics that offer SPF protection. Doing so will help you stay comfortable and protected while you’re at the festival.
Pack a Small Bag (Even for a One-day Event)
Speaking of clothing, it’s always a good idea to pack some layers when attending a music festival. It can rain, the temperature can fluctuate, and you may find there’s a lot less shade than you had anticipated. Pack a rain poncho, a light sweatshirt, sunglasses, and a hat at the very least. You can also pack sunscreen, water, small snacks, and some extra cash in case the on-site vendors don’t take credit or debit cards. Think of attending a music festival like camping, and you’ll be taking a step in the right direction. Some festivals even require a sleeping bag and tent for the full experience, so it isn’t far off!
Bring Your Phone and Come Prepared
Music festivals can sprawl out over dozens of acres, so the chances are good that you’ll be separated from your friends at some point in time. Your phone may be the simplest, most effective way for everyone in your group to stay in touch and connected (plus, you and I both know that your Instagram and Facebook feeds are going to be inundated with your photos from the event). So make sure that you’re prepared.
Fully charge your phone the day before and pack a charger in your bag, just in case the festival provides charging stations. And consider getting an unlimited data plan in advance if you plan to be viewing or uploading large files while at the festival. This will help you avoid unnecessary and surprise overages on your phone bill, and will also help prevent data throttling.
Work Out the Logistics
Before you go to your festival, it pays to do some basic logistical planning. How will you be getting there? Who will be going with you? Where will you meet should you become separated? Where will you be staying? Think of all of these questions in advance so that you already know the answers when you’re at the festival. The last thing that you want is for there to be confusion or chaos during the event.
Book a hotel room or AirBnB stay ahead of time, designate drivers and vehicles, pre-determine meet up locations, and pack everything you’ll need a couple of nights ahead of time. The more that you take care of in advance, the more you’ll be able to enjoy the festival when you’re there. And that’s important, because our last tip is perhaps the most fundamental one.
Music festivals can be overwhelming and exhausting. But they can also create memories and experiences to last a lifetime. Take some basic precautions, work out logistics in advance, prepare for common eventualities, and you will find that even the largest festival is a great time. So have fun and enjoy the music (and camaraderie)!