Festival season is fully upon us and is only going to continue to grow stronger in the coming months. There is a fine art to successfully surviving through those insanely long days jammed packed with music and socializing, so we put together a list of festival DO's and DON'T's. So before you hit up Firefly or Vans Warped Tour read through our list and make sure you're prepared to enjoy your time!
DO: Bring sunscreen
I get it, it smells weird and usually leaves your skin feelin' some type of way BUT it's 100% necessary. Don't be "too cool" for it because sun poisoning is real and no one wants to put themselves at an increased risk for skin cancer. Chances are it'll be very sunny (especially for my friends in the South/West Coast) and you need to protect yourself from that. Alongside sunscreen, it wouldn't be a bad idea to wear a hat and protect your head.
DON'T: Forget your water bottle
This is a big one! Unless you enjoy paying like $6 for one water bottle (and find me a person who does so I can slap them) you're going to want to bring a water bottle with you and fill that sucker up frequently throughout the day. Again, it's hot as shit out and sunny more often than not at festivals you're going to need to stay hydrated if you want any chance of making it through the day. Keep drinking your water because you're really going to want to feel well enough to make it to that 2am The White Panda set.
DO: Dress comfortably
Again, I get it! You want to dress to make an impression, festival season brings cool fashion and everyone wants to look super hot in hopes of catching someone's eye; BUT you have to be mindful of how much walking around you'll be doing in the hot ass sun. You're not going to want to wear shoes that don't offer you any type of support and for the love of all that is holy keep your flips flops at home. My ladies, think twice about the hotter outfit that isn't comfortable and reconsider wearing that romper (you're not going to want to go to the bathroom in a port-o-potty with a romper on I can promise you that). I can promise you that you can still look 10/10 and dress comfortably and appropriately.
DON'T: Show up late
This is going to be a bit more relevant for festivals like Vans Warped Tour which doesn't necessarily announce the times that bands will play until the day of/within the festival, but it is very important you try and get to the festival on time! Festivals are awesome because you get to experience so many bands in such a little time frame, but because of that you have to be sure to keep an eye on the timetables so you don't miss your favorite set. Throwing it back to Warped Tour 2012, Of Mice & Men(a hot commodity then as well) played the very first set of the day at the Darien Center date and while I was able to catch it, many of my friends missed their set because they didn't show up on time. Moral of the story, be there early or you may miss the set you wanted to see most!
DO: Check out bands you've never heard of
Festivals offer a huge array of artists from massive headliners to unsigned acts and everything in between, if you don't take full advantage of that then you're a big dummy. There are bound to breaks in your schedule where there is just no one you know playing and that is the perfect opportunity to explore the festival and find a new band to fall in love with. Strolling between stages and listening out for something that catches your ear, or picking a band name you like and just checking out their set. It helps pass the time and you have the opportunity to find the next band you can watch grow!
DON'T: Spend the day on your phone
You've got a long day ahead of you, champ. Do you really want to spend the first half of the day glued to your phone just to have it die on you? Do you really want to miss out on the very entertaining people watching you could be doing and the real life interactions you could be having right now? NO! Absolutely not. There is way too much to see/do at a festival to spend your time doing anything but exploring and taking it all in. Turn your phone onto airplane mode to save your battery, this way you can still whip it out and take fire group selfies and photos of all of the interesting things you run into along the way. Other than that, forget that sucker even exists and enjoy your time!
DO: Try new things
Festivals are a beacon of opportunity to try new things and again, if you don't take advantage of that, you're a dingus. Haven't crowdsurfed? Give it a go, it's oddly empowering. Never been to a Silent Disco before and they have one? Put those headphones on and dance like Jagger has taken over your feet. There's bound to be something new for you to experience and what better setting than in a place full of other people that are just as stoked on music as you are?
DON'T: Binge drink/do hard drugs
I know, what's the fun in that right? But seriously, again it's going to be hot as hell out and drinking alcohol dehydrates you, you have to be smart about your choices. Festival days are longer and more intense than most, you don't want to be the drunken asshole that is puking by 8pm and wants to pass out before the late night sets start. If you're going to drink, pace yourself and be sure to be drinking water in between to avoid dehydration. People have gotten seriously injured and in extreme cases have died from mixing alcohol and drugs on these hot festival days, you need to make sure you're around to see the next year of shows.
DON'T: Forget to bring a backpack
Bringing a backpack/drawstring bag is a huge help to get through a festival. On top of the sunscreen and water bottle you're going to bring with you, you're going to want to have a place for your wallet and for you to safely store the merch you're going to buy. Plus, there are always a million and three ways to get free stuff at festivals (especially Warped) so make sure you're prepared to make the most of it!
DO: Have fun!
At the end of the day, that's what it's all about. You're supposed to enjoy yourself, the days you spend at festivals will be the days you tell your kids about. So kick back, have a good time, and don't let anything stop you from making the most of the event! If you follow the do's and don't's you'll be sure to have a killer time!