10 Festival Survival Tips
Festivals: There's lots of 'em and lots to do at 'em. Since we're seasoned professionals and festival veterans, we know what to anticipate. We've learned how to prepare for 12-hour days in the hot sun; navigate the dozens of acts we want to see, even though they're spread across five stages located nowhere near one another; and deal with the raging desire to avoid using public toilets. That's why we are offering up our Top 10 Festival Survival Tips. Some are obvious. Some aren't. But rest assured, all of them are viable and should be followed to ensure an enjoyable festival experience.
Sunblock is key, preferably of the spray variety and at least 30 SPF. It's not greasy. It's easier to apply. And it is totally totable and will protect your skin as you bake all day in the blazing hot rays of the sun. You usually don't realize you're picking up a nasty burn when you're rocking out a festival. You'll look like a lobster the next day, and that's never flattering. So spray sunblock liberally on all exposed skin. Protect ya neck!
Don’t fill up on McDonalds or fast food junk before you arrive, and don't even throw money at the concessions. The foods are expensive and too heavy, so that means that they will pass through you quick, and who wants to use the Porto Potty? Not us. Instead, snack on healthier alternatives, like fruits and veggies, namely apples, carrots, celery. They can also be toted easily in plastic bags.
Remember Where You Park
Be sure to make a note of the parking lot number and letter, if there is one. Send yourself a text message or write it down. There is nothing more annoying than leaving a festival and wading through a sea of cars, trying to locate your own. Getting off the grounds is hard enough, due to all the traffic. Don't complicate it by “losing” your ride.
Many festivals have interactive online calendars with drag-and-drop functions, so you can create customized schedules. That way, you don’t miss any of the acts you're dying to see. It will help you make the most of your time and ensure that you won't be kicking yourself for missing Coldplay's set because you were checking out an unknown side-stage act.
Pace your drinking, since you don't want to end up puking and passing out before your most anticipated band of the event goes on. Rome wasn't built in a day, and there is plenty of time to get your drink on. We suggest waiting until the sun goes down and drinking when it's a bit cooler. Take it easy. Your liver will thank us for that suggestion.
Safety in Numbers
Make sure your and your festival-going friends travel in pairs. Since you'll likely drain your cell phone battery from texting your bros about a new band you just discovered on one of the remote stages, or from taking photos of the event, make sure to stick together. If you must go your separate ways, even for a minute, be sure and pick a meeting place to return to an an appointed time.
Wear Sensible Shoes
Sneakers, people! No flip-flops, since your toes will get dirty and gross, as festival grounds tend to get muddy even when it doesn't rain. Wear sneakers and prepare for them to get ruined. They will protect your toes — you don't want to get stomped on in a moshpit — and keep you clean and supported for a long day of standing.
Wear a hat and shades so you protect your eyes. The shades will help you see better while the sun is glaring down on the acts you want to watch. A baseball cap or a floppy topper is fine. Yer shades should cover a good portion of skin around your eyes, which are prime wrinkle real estate.
Pack a Backpack
Keep your backpack lightly stocked with your wallet in a Ziplock baggie, in case it rains, as well as a poncho, which is lightweight and necessary if the skies open up. Make sure to bring extra money, hair ties and socks. Those are small, easy-to-carry amenities that will improve your festival experience.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Drink lots and lots of water. Before. During. After. And be prepared to pee. But the good thing is that you will sweat out much of what you consume, so you won't have to use the gross Porto Potties too much. But gulp down as much water as you can, as often as possible, in order to remain hydrated