On average, over 30 million people attend music festivals in the U.S. every year. Festivals are a fantastic way to enjoy live music and make amazing memories. A lot of them run over several days, so you can see so many different artists.
But how do you prepare for a multi-day music festival? It might seem like an overwhelming task if it is your first time. Luckily, this festival survival guide is here to help you get the most out of your experience.
We will cover how to create a festival schedule, plus which essentials and clothes to pack. We also cover safety and security when you’re at a festival. Let’s jump into it!
Prepare a Schedule
When you are going to a multi-day festival, it is key that you plan ahead. Most world music festivals will have stage times up ahead of the festival, so you can plan. Making a schedule of which artists are playing will help you get the most out of your time.
It can be time-consuming to keep checking back on the festival website for times and areas. So a great hack is to take a screenshot of your festival plan and set it as your lock screen. That way, it is easy to access and it is easy to share with your friends.
Packing The Essentials
It is important to be prepared when you go to a music festival, so you need to pack some essentials. Here are a few things that you can’t go without!
Taking a backpack to carry your things in is an essential item for a festival. Try and get a bag made with durable material that has plenty of pockets. If possible, get something that is also waterproof in case of unexpected bad weather.
If you don’t want to carry a huge bag around with you during the day, then you could always take a fanny pack with you as well. Then you could put your clothes in the backpack and use the fanny pack for personal possessions.
If you are going to be standing close to the stage, then it is vital that you protect your hearing with earplugs. Extended exposure to very loud music can lead to permanent hearing damage.
Try to take regular breaks away from the loudest areas to give your hearing a break. But if you are seeing back-to-back artists, then you should opt for earplugs.
Many festivals take place during the summer months when the sun is at its strongest. Remember to pack plenty of sun protection, including sun cream and SPF lip balm.
Don’t forget to protect your eyes from the sun using sunglasses. This will also help you to enjoy the festival more, as you won’t have to keep squinting to see the artists!
First Aid Kit
When you are in a big crowd, accidents can happen! Having a first aid kit available helps prevent infections.
Some essentials to include are band-aids, anti-bacterial wipes, and hand sanitizer. Also, take some pain relief and insect repellant.
It can often be difficult to keep clean and fresh during a multi-day festival. It is common that there are either no or limited shower facilities. So you need to take other means of getting a wash.
Using body wipes is great for a quick clean-up in the evening. If you want to be better for the environment, then you can find some biodegradable wipes to use.
For those with long hair then, pack some dry shampoo. This will keep your hair from getting too oily, and can even help to keep some hairstyles in place!
If you are a person that has periods, then don’t forget to take your period product of choice. Having an extra tampon or pad could be a lifesaver for you or for someone else.
Also, take some tissues or a loo roll with you. You don’t want to get caught off guard when you go to the bathrooms at the festival!
You are going to be using your phone to take loads of amazing photos of your time at the festival. So your battery is going to get used up fast!
Festivals often have charging points for devices. But making a trip there could cost you valuable music time. In this case, get a portable battery pack so that you can charge on the go.
You can save a lot of money on buying water if you take your own bottle to festivals. Most festivals have water points throughout the venue so that you can refill your bottle.
If you’re worried about the quality of the water, you could always opt for a bottle that has an inbuilt filter.
What to Wear
Figuring out what to wear is one of the most fun parts of preparing for a festival. Whilst looking fabulous is great, it is also important to be practical and prepared. Here are some of the things you should try and pack in your festival kit.
Wearing durable and comfortable footwear is a must for festivals. You don’t want to get blisters when walking a lot. Plus, you will want a bit of protection in case someone stands on your foot.
Festival sites that are on grass can also get muddy, so wear shoes you don’t mind getting dirty! White shoes won’t stay that color for long when you’re in a crowd full of people.
Clothing and Accessories
With your festival clothing and accessories, try to balance practical and statement styles. Aim for comfortable, versatile pieces that will keep you cool all day long.
One way to liven up a basic outfit is to add a colorful jacket or bag to the look. This way, you can mix and match your basic outfits whilst still standing out from the crowd. This also helps you avoid overpacking and saves you space.
Festivals are all about having fun and expressing yourself. So don’t forget to add some fun dress-up items to your festival wardrobe. You can also add some colorful makeup to complete the look!
Glitter and press-on rhinestones are also a great addition to your festival kit. You can now buy biodegradable glitter, so it is better for the environment. You could also pack some glowsticks for some cool nighttime looks.
Plan Your Meals
It can be easy when you go to a festival to forget about what you are going to eat. Although festivals usually have food available, this can be both unhealthy and expensive. It can be worth your while to plan ahead!
For the first day, you can have some chilled items if you have a cool box. This includes pasta salads, sandwiches, sausage rolls, or skewers. You could also bring a thermal flask with hot soup or stew.
For later days, you could pack cereals, protein bars, crisps, nuts, and popcorn. You could also pack some fruit, like apples which can ripen over time.
It is also a good idea to eat well and take good care of your body before the festival. This way, you will have plenty of energy to carry you through the days of the festival.
When going to a festival, you must not forget your festival equipment. This includes your sleeping items, seating, and a good tent. Let’s look at some of these items in more detail.
You are likely to be camping out if you are going to a multi-day festival. So you are going to need a good tent to sleep in and store the items you are not using during the day.
Buying a good-quality pop-up tent will save you time when pitching. You also won’t have to worry about breaking tent poles or not having enough pegs.
Pack a good sleeping bag, that will keep you warm even if the temperatures dip during the night. If you don’t have space to put down an air mattress, then try using a yoga mat instead.
During the night, if you need to move around, then bring a camping lamp or torch. Also, if it is hot weather, adding a mosquito net will help keep the biting at bay!
There might be times throughout the festival when you want to have a rest from dancing and jumping. Having some seating options available is a good idea when you are having some downtime.
Take a foldable or inflatable chair so that you can chill out. If they come with a bag to carry them, then that is even better. This way you can take a seat anywhere you want to at the festival site.
You can also consider a lightweight foldable picnic table with chairs for your tent area. If you are camping with a few friends, then it is handy to have somewhere to sit all together and eat meals if you need to.
Keep Safe and Secure
Keeping safe and secure during festivals is important. You don’t want to have anything stolen or for you to have a negative experience with other people.
Theft and pick-pocketing are common at festivals. So try and keep your hands on your valuables at all times. Make sure that your phone has a passcode lock on it, as well as find my phone installed.
To help keep your items secure, you can stash things in internal pockets where they are out of view.
For bags that are being left unattended in tents, you can always put a small padlock on. If you have items that you can’t leave alone, festivals often have cloakrooms or lockers for a fee.
Personal safety is something to be very cautious of when you are at festivals. Most of the time, you will have an amazing time, and you don’t have to worry about anything. But you should still be aware of these tips so you can stay happy and safe.
Always try to stick with your friends and don’t wander off on your own. If you are going to the bathroom, try and always go with one friend. If you get separated from your friends, agree on a meeting place that you can all find your way back to.
If you are buying drinks in open cups, then make sure you don’t leave them unattended. You should also avoid taking drinks from strangers.
If you ever feel unsafe or get lost, then many festivals have apps for your mobile where you can ask for help. If they don’t have an app, they will always have security and help points throughout the venue.
Read Festival Rules
Something that people often forget to do before they head to the festival is to read the rules. Most festivals will have their own regulations to make sure everyone is safe and having a good time.
This could include limits on what items you can bring, as well as on food and drink. Make sure you take the time to familiarize yourself with them, so you don’t get your trip cut short.
Enjoy Your Music Festival!
Going to a multi-day music festival is one of the best experiences you can have. There is nothing better than enjoying great music with some of your best friends. Now you have read this guide; you will be well-prepared so you can get on with having a great time.
If you found this article helpful, then check out our entertainment section. There you can find lots of great content about music and more!