Attending Your First Music Fest? 12 Quick & Helpful Tips!
Written by Amanda Baltazar
Music festivals are popping up everywhere. Literally!
All types of music and different scenes are emerging with their own festival. But music festivals didn’t come to be over night; they’ve been around for a long time. Coachella has been around since 1999, and EDC started in 1997! But more and more are emerging all the time, and the popularity of these festivals has increased immensely over the past few years.
I went to my first festival this year, the FYF Fest in Los Angeles. It was amazing! It was fun, exciting, and so crazy! Phoenix and The Strokes absolutely rocked all of L.A., and I heard some new music that totally won me over, like Blood Orange and Earl Sweatshirt.
But amongst all the excitement and craziness, it wasn’t all daisies and roses. As a festival noob, I definitely should have done my homework. So, for all you festival first-timers, or any festival-goers for that matter, I have complied some tips for anyone and everyone who is planning on going to a music festival.
Here are some things I learned at my first festival, and I hope these tips will help you out!
Plan out your schedule.
Seems pretty obvious, but I need to say it because it is crucial! If you have multiple artists you want to see, check out where and when they are playing. Chances are you might have to pick one over the other due to scheduling conflicts. But plan ahead of time and you’ll be able to maximize your time! This brings me to my next tip...
Maps and Apps.
Grab a map of the venue; when I went, they ran out pretty early. Get your hands on one first thing so you know where everything is, from bathrooms to the different stages, and you’ll be able to plan even better! Also, check out if your festival has their own app for your smartphone. They are super helpful for schedules, reminders, and other festival info!
Get there early!
This isn’t necessary but it is very helpful. If you can, get there early and scope out the place. Festivals have a lot of vendors and various food trucks so getting a quick look at everything before it gets busy will help you figure out what you want to do and what you want to buy.
Sunblock, hats, sunglasses, etc.
Depending on the festival, it might be advantageous to bring sunscreen, hats, etc., to protect yourself from the heat and the sun. If it’s a cold region, then jackets, boots, etc. The weather plays a big part in festivals, especially at outdoor venues.
Comfortable shoes and clothes.
You will be walking A LOT. So wear comfy shoes and clothes. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all about looking cute. I guess. Haha. But plan out your outfits before hand, if that’s a concern. I thought about wearing heels on the second day and laughed at myself for the mere thought of wearing heels and how much walking I was going to do. But if you can do it, props! Try out and plan your outfits before hand!
Bring an empty water canteen.
Most festivals won’t let you bring in liquids like airport security, especially festivals without campsites. But they will let you bring in an empty bottle or canteen. Most festivals also have water-refilling stations so you’re set!
Many festivals have phone charging stations, so don’t forget your charger for when you run down your battery taking all those videos and selfies! Simple as that!
Try to minimize the amount of items you want to bring. A lot of festivals have lockers, but if you’re anything like me, I don’t want to pay for it. Try to condense everything into one bag that isn’t uncomfortable to wear and isn’t too big to lug around everywhere.
Antibacterial/hand sanitizer and baby wipes.
Any of my friends will tell you that I am probably one of the most annoying germaphobes to walk the planet, so I always have my hand sanitizer handy. Someone spills their drink on you? Food and crumbs all over your hands? You never know when you’ll need it! Also, baby wipes can be extremely helpful, especially when bathroom situations are not the most comfortable. Baby wipes come in cute, compact packs now and make awesome substitute toilet paper.
Get your merch in the beginning.
The memories are awesome, but my FYF shirt will always be a wonderful reminder of my festival experience. In addition, festivals will usually sell merchandise of the bands/artists performing. I was lucky that I decided to buy my shirt early because they ran out quick! So, if you want something, especially souveniers, get it early before they run out!
Try to avoid lines near the entrance.
This is something I noticed -- the ID checks, food trucks, bathrooms, and other lines near the entrance had HUGE. But as I walked further into the venue, there were other ID checks and food trucks with less people lined up. The points of interest near the entrance are the first one that people see, so everyone goes for it. Check things out, walk around; chances are lines will be shorter as you get further into the venue.
Last, but not least, bring cash! Many food trucks and vendors don’t accept credit or debit cards. So don’t forget your cash!
Hope these festival tips will help you out at your next music festival! Tell us if you have any other festival tips!