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How To: Music Festivals

Tips and Tricks for a First-Time Festival Goer.

Eva Rinaldi

Eva Rinaldi

Karah Nance

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Close your eyes. Now, imagine you’re as close as you can possibly be to thousands of strangers, all pressed up to get the perfect view which will probably serve as nothing more than a gateway to a perfect Snapchat story. Add ninety-degree weather. Subtract water, because you already drank all of that (and there’s definitely no way you can get out to get any more.) If you’re loving all this math, you can feel free to take the two hours that you’ll probably be in this cramped position to estimate the area you’re in and the people in that area to find that you have now become a human sardine. Hope you brought extra deodorant.

Okay, I’m making this sound terrible. Music festivals aren’t always like that. In fact, that’s only if you decide to make the brave attempt to get anywhere relatively close to a headliner at the end of the night, which brings me to my first tip:

1. Don’t feel like you have to be in the front row for every act you decide to see. I say this mainly because that is literally impossible. Unless you’ve only come for one act that day, and make a point to camp out in front of their stage until they come on, (which people do) then there’s no way you’ll be up front for everyone you want to see. Don’t stress yourself out about it. I promise, it’ll be much more enjoyable if you spread a blanket on a nearby hill under the shade of a tree than if you’re running to and from each stage, not even getting to see each act you want in full.

2. Take a few good pictures or snapchats when you get to the festival, and then be done with them. It’s so easy to get caught up in trying to get the perfect shot for Instagram these days, but Music Festivals are ultimately about music. Find a nice sunny spot, capture a couple selfies, and try to only pull your phone out if you’re just dying to get some pictures of one of the acts. Don’t get whisked away by trying too hard to make sure everyone knows what you’re doing. Music festivals are magical experiences, and while it’s tempting to want to document it all, take the time to get lost in the moment. Memories are worth a thousand pictures.

3. The Port-a-Potties will not kill you. Go to the bathroom as soon as you need to! Make the trek to the nearest cluster of to-go toilets and leave your shame at the plastic door. You will regret not going when you’re packed in tight at a headliner concert and don’t see a possible exit. Trust me.

4. Food and drinks are your friends. It will be hot, and even though you might not think you’re getting dehydrated, every time someone asks you if you want some water and you say no, you’re furthering the process. Having to make a few extra pit stops at the portable restroom is better for your health than declining necessary hydration. Food is just as important. When you’re jumping and dancing around shamelessly in the blazing heat, your body will get tired. Protein will keep you upbeat and ready to dance the night away.

5. Have the time of your life. It took me way too many concerts to realize that I shouldn’t care how the strangers around me feel about me dancing like a complete fool if I’m having fun. Never sacrifice your happiness for someone else’s comfort. Dance your tail off. Forget to care what everyone else thinks.

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How To: Music Festivals