Surviving Music Festivals 101
By: Katie Hovde
Cover Photo credit: Aditya Chinchure
Alas, summer is upon us. This is my favorite time of year, and not just because sunshine finally remembers that the Pacific Northwest exists, but because it’s finally festival season! Festivals are my happiest of happy places. I love the freedom of abandoning my inhibitions and dancing my heart out. I love the magic that happens just sitting and enjoying music with the people that you hold most dear (I met my now fiancé at a festival and he proposed to me a year later at the same festival). And obviously I am obsessed with festival fashion; that’s got to be one of the best parts. If this is your first experience attending festivals, you’ve come to the right place. I have been to all kinds of festivals; from Paradiso to Contact, to Pain in the Grass and this summer I’ll be going to Summer Meltdown for the first time; and I’ve learned a ton of do’s and don’ts that I wish to impart on you.
1. Never, ever, ever, ever wear sandals inside the venue. Unless you like getting painful blisters that get infected with dirt and sweat, getting your toes stepped on every six seconds, and generally hating life, wearing sandals is probably one of the worst things you could do at a festival. Trust me you will have a shitty time. My personal favorite festival shoes are Vans, but I’m confident you will be happy in literally anything other than sandals…and probably stilettos too.
2. Water is your best friend. You are going to be gettin’ down witchyo bad self, which means you need to keep your body fueled. When in doubt, drink more water.
3. Embrace the fanny pack. Fanny packs have a pretty dorky history, but let me tell you, you are hard pressed to find me at any festival without one. Nothing sucks more than trying to dance while simultaneously trying to keep your phone, glasses, wallet, and water bottle from falling out of your sweaty grasp. Not to mention, you make an awesome retro fashion statement when you rock the fanny pack. Or, if you are really feeling adventurous, purchase a camel back! Besides carrying all of your belongings, you can also fill it with water and easily accomplish number 2 on this list. Vibedration is a great one-stop-shop for utilitarian festival packs.
4. Take plenty of breaks. These things last the entire day, so take advantage of it. The larger festivals are designed to keep you movin’ and walking miles upon miles. Plus you have all the time in the world to dance yourself into a puddle, so take care of yourself from the get-go. Learn to enjoy the show from the lawn seats too.
5. Wear sunscreen. Wear hats. I don’t think this one needs an explanation.
There are so many other bits of wisdom I could give you, but those are by far the most important, and life-saving (sometimes literally) ones. Let us know what festivals you’re planning on attending this year in the comments, and add any of your favorite tips! Have a kick-ass festival season, everyone. Party hard and be safe!