Whether you can’t count how many festivals you’ve been to, or you’re going to your first, there are always ways to improve upon your experience. There’s so much anticipation about getting to see all the artists you love that it’s enough to make anyone’s head spin.
Then you have to try and rally your rave family together and meet up with them before you enter the grounds. Oh, and you have to pack your car with everything to make it through the weekend, especially if you’re camping.
We’ve asked our expert team of ravers and compiled the ultimate checklist and tips for getting the most out of your next festival.
Before you even leave the house, here’s a downloadable checklist for all the items we recommend packing, buying, and bringing with you. You might not need all these items, but we promise there is a reason behind each one.
Top 25 Pro Festival Tips
Now that you’ve gone shopping and started packing your bags, here are The Top 25 Tips you need to know about festivals. These are not in any order of importance but they are crucial to being able to escape the outside world for the weekend while still paying enough attention to enjoy yourself and still be comfortable.
Before you head out for the weekend
1) Check the weather!
Even if the weather app says it won’t rain, it’s lying to you. Just to be safe, pack that poncho and place a bandana in the bottom of your cooler to wrap around your neck when you get hot.
2) If you need a hotel, buy it immediately after buying your ticket.
You need a place to stay and sometimes festivals come with a hotel + ticket deal, choose that one. It’s just easier that way.
3) Pack up the car the night before.
If you plan on heading out Friday morning, save yourself the stress by packing your bags, your cooler, and the car on Thursday night. That way Friday morning you can do a quick last minute check and hit the road.
4) Plan and try on all your outfits at home.
You’ll need an outfit for everyday and then something comfortable to change into at night. Once you’ve planned them all out, try them on in front of your full length mirror before you leave. Take a picture of each one wearing the right accessories and throw those in a ziplock bag.
5) Bring comfortable shoes.
6) Download the festival app.
Festivals create an app that allows you to make your schedule, includes a map of the grounds, and text you if anything changes, like lineups or rain delays. They usually include a do’s and dont’s section so give it a quick glance.
7) Invest in a portable charger.
These things will literally save your phone’s life. They aren’t expensive and they’re perfect for charging your phone while you’re inside the festival. Make sure you have a charging cord and throw it in your backpack for an hour while you dance around.
8) Figure out who you NEED to see.
Unfortunately you can’t see every single artist on the lineup, it just won’t happen. But having a list of your must sees will let all your friends know that we have to make it to these dubstep or trance shows or you’ll just die.
9) Don’t bring anything you wouldn’t want stolen.
Learn from our mistakes because if you’re not going to be on top of your phone every single second, don’t bring it. It’s better to leave something you love at home and have it be there when you get back then leave the festival without it.
10) Designate a backpack or a fanny pack for the weekend.
Pack up all your essential items in it and you’ll always have everything you need at your fingertips. Be sure to include things like sunglasses and kaleidoscope glasses, TP, chapstick, hand sanitizer, portable phone charger and cord, etc. Throw in your portable speaker and a towel if possible.
11) Hit a gas station on the way into the festival.
You can use this as a final bathroom stop, grab anything last minute you might need, and fill your gas tank up. Plus then you won’t feel guilty for cranking the AC in the heat. Also get cash back or use their ATM to avoid the outrageous fees once you get inside.
Once you make it inside the festival
12) Establish a meeting point inside the festival!
This is crucial so do this asap. Find the biggest landmark you can and make that the meeting place so no matter how lost in the sauce you get, you can always find your family and head home. Or just hold hands the entire weekend. When going to a new stage, establish a meeting point in the back so that after the show, everyone can meet up and head to the next stage.
13) Know and expect to not have service.
So try to download some music on your phone beforehand to play without service. Text your mom as soon as you get to the festival and let her know you’re there safe. The app will still work without service.
14) Drink water!!
You won’t realize how thirsty you are until you’re passing out from dehydration. We’ve all seen that girl getting carried out of the crowd, so don’t be her. It helps to invest in a hydration pack so that the water is attached to you. Most festivals offer free water refill stations so plan on stopping by one before heading deep into a crowd. Every night before you go to bed, chug a bottle that you brought with you. When you can’t drink water anymore, coconut water or Pedialyte are hydrating and have yummy flavors.
15) Use the first day to get a feel for the layout of the festival grounds.
Wander around, meet your neighbors, understand your home for the weekend so you can run around like a chicken with your head cut off later. Take note of where important stuff is like the medical tents are. When you actually need one, there might not be enough time to search for it. Same goes for the water refill stations.
16) If you’re camping at this festival, make your campsite feel like home.
Say hi to your neighbors, first. They’ll be next to you all weekend. Buy a balloon to tie to the top of your tent to mark your campsite so you can see it from far away. Add tapestries to block the wind and set up lights so you can see at night.
17) Be nice to the event staff.
These people are here to help you, not crush your vibe. Don’t be rude if they told you to empty your camelbak. Also don’t be afraid to go to the medical tent if you need help. They don’t care what happened, they just want to help.
18) Leave nothing but footprints.
Clean up after yourself. This goes for when you’re at your campsite and inside the festival. Before heading into the fest for the day, grab your family and tidy up real quick. Throw away and recycle any trash, you’ll be glad you did when you come home to a clean campsite.
19) Buy your merch on the first day!
You have the most options to choose from in terms of styles and sizes. We recommend getting the one with the lineup on it and you’ll be glad you did. Once you leave for the weekend, the shirt will remind you of all the fun you had every time you wear it.
20) Stretch it out.
You’re dancing and walking miles everyday and you’re body is going to feel it. Before heading into the festival every morning, have a quick fam stretch sess. Count off and show everyone your yoga skills and your body will thank you.
21) Have a going home plan and bag packed.
Pack a bag separate and leave it in the car with a change of clothes, clean socks, some advil, and a snack. Have an idea for when you need to be home and plan your last day accordingly. Extra pro tip: on the car ride home, make a playlist of all the jams you heard from this weekend.
22) Live in the moment!
Put your phone away in your backpack, the videos never come out as good as they feel when you’re watching them live. Dance next to a stranger who is jamming out to your favorite song. Don’t sweat the small stuff and enjoy the weekend for everything it has to offer. Take a few pictures to remember the day but don’t make your whole day about taking pictures.
23) Try something new.
Festivals are known for being care and judgment free places so branch out and try something new. Pick up a flow toy and swing it around. Order something you wouldn’t normally at the food truck.
24) Get lost at least once.
Wonder to a new stage for 30 minutes in between your sets, leave the group and do your own thing for awhile (assuming you’ve already established your meeting point) and make new friends! Don’t get stuck at the main stage all weekend.
25) Have fun and be safe!
Festivals are your chance to be yourself and let loose for the weekend. Forget about the world outside the festival and focus on the music and spreading positive vibes. These weekends are made for bettering yourself and connecting with and making new friends. But please be safe. Know your limits and lend a helping hand to a friend, or stranger, in danger. Take care of each other and have a kick ass weekend!