How To: Survive a Music Festival

Whether it is the highly coveted festival in the desert known as Coachella, or something more like Bonnaroo or Hangout Fest, planning for a music festival can be an overwhelming experience. Between buying tickets, deciding whether to book a hotel or campout, and saving up enough cash to pay for all of it as well as a t-shirt (or two), there is a lot to be done before you even pack your bags for the time of your life. So, to make your experience run a bit smoother here is a step-by-step guide on how to survive a music festival.

The first step is to follow the festival on all of their social media accounts and make sure to check their website often. Festivals tend to post additions to their lineups after the first announcement, as well as post general updates about the festival in general . This can come in handy when wondering how large your backpack can be or what food vendors will be at the event. Use their social media and website as your main source while planning your trip and don’t be afraid to call, e-mail, or tweet them any questions or concerns you may have. They want your experience to be as great as it can be!

The next step is one that will save you a lot of hassle and make your festival experience 20 times better, find friends that are going! Even if it is just one friend, this helps save a little money when it comes to travel expenses and also gives you someone to share the whole adventure with. A friend or two is also useful for saving spots when you or someone else needs to retrieve food or take a bathroom break. Using the buddy system makes keeping that awesome front row spot and staying hydrated an attainable goal.

Once you have your friends onboard it is time for you guys to wait until the festival’s daily schedule is released. This typically happens about a month before the festival, but it can vary. Figure out which acts are a must see, and which ones you wouldn’t mind missing. The best thing to do after this is to write out a schedule or type one up in your phone, especially if the group is going to be splitting up at any point in the day. Make sure to put the stage names on the schedule as well, so that you can find each other if something was to happen or someone forgets where they are going. Using this schedule tip will make your festival overall more enjoyable because you won’t be wasting time trying to figure out who is playing at what stage and when, with a schedule your day is already planned and will run a lot more smoothly for everyone in your party.

While this isn’t necessarily a step, I would also suggest checking to see if your festival offers charging stations for your cell phone during the planning process. Between texting friends, taking pictures and videos, and posting things to Snapchat your phone battery will die rather quickly. For example, Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis, Tennessee, offered a free air-conditioned phone charging area with the purchase of a storage locker. If your festival offers something like this then a trip to the charging station can be written into your schedule when you have large gaps of empty time in between acts.

However, if this is something not offered by your festival, I would highly suggest purchasing a portable phone charger. These devices can usually be found for about $15 at Wal-Mart or CVS and are small enough to fit in your pocket so they are hassle free and super useful. Having a portable charging station will ensure that you can capture every song you want to cherish forever as well as enough pictures for every #throwbackthursday from now until next year.

Speaking of pictures, the final and most important step, is to capture moments you never want to forget, but also take time to put your phone away and just soak in the experience. Music festivals are full of awesome scenery, cool people, and of course amazing music. Try not to get too wrapped up in snapping, texting, and taking selfies with your favorite act in the background that you forget to enjoy the atmosphere.

While your feet will be wrecked, your sleep schedule will be ruined, and you may have a terrible sunburn attending a music festival will be an unforgettable time if you use these tips. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the fantastic adventure and it will be totally worth it.

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