8 Tips for Surviving Your Next Music Festival
Glamazons, Am I obsessed with the music festival? It’s a valid question to ask right now because I just realized I’m in between two of them: Coachella in Palm Springs and Jazz Fest in New Orleans. I love concerts, fashion and food — and any good music festival basically has all of that in droves. There are few things better than a day of concert-hopping, dancing, eating good food, shopping, and just hanging out with friends. BUT I’ve been to enough music festivals to know they can be frustrating if you’re not prepared. At Coachella — which was hands down the best music festival I’ve ever been to — there were moments when we were melting in the desert heat or coughing up a storm from dust or freezing as the temperatures dropped at night. Definitely NOT the move! And at Governor’s Ball, it was such a pain leaving the music festival every day, whether we were waiting forever for the bus, or walking for hours to find an Uber.
Below, a few tips for making sure your music festival experience is full of good vibes and good vibes only!
Festivals have become a mecca for street style, but you don’t have to sacrifice comfort to look the part. A good festival outfit starts with a pair of shoes you don’t mind walking in all day (sneakers, boots are my go-to) and it ends with layers you can peel on and off as temperatures change. I’d also recommend a hat if the sun is blazing to shade you from the heat.
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-Bring a sheet.
Might sound crazy but on the last day of Coachella, I packed a bed sheet and it really came in handy. During down time between sets, we just plopped right down on the sheet and hung out and relaxed before the next show. A sheet really works wonders when your crew wants to sit down but there are no chairs available. I just stuffed it in my drawstring bag so it wasn’t even a pain to carry.
-At Coachella, a bandana is actually necessary.
Silly me, I thought people wear wearing bandanas at Coachella as a fashion statement. I swore it was some sort of Western-inspired trend. WRONG. There’s dust being kicked up all over the festival grounds at Coachella (#desertproblems) and breathing it in is not the best experience, especially if you have asthma like me. The first day I was super sick (and some of my friends were, too) and I learned there’s a thing called ‘Coachella cough’ that people get afterwards. Yikes. The next two days, I wore the bandana and I felt so much better, especially when we were walking from set to set.
Speaking of feeling better, hydration is so important at music festivals. It’s hot — the sun is beaming down — and you may have a cocktail or two while you’re there. Before you know it, you’re drained, sick and tired — and you’re left wondering why you feel so horrible. The solve for that? Water. I experienced the same thing at Carnival, and once I started drinking water throughout the day, I felt significantly better.
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-Go later in the day.
If you’re not here for the hot sun, it may be better to go later in the day. The best acts at Coachella came on around 5/6pm, so we headed there every day around that time. The sun was just setting, and we didn’t have to wait hours in the heat to see our faves.
-Invest in a portable charger.
Posting to IG stories, checking the Coachella schedule on the app, texting/calling your friends and taking a ton of pictures will inevitably lead to a 0% battery. I brought two portable chargers with me to Coachella so I never ran out of power. It definitely paid off when we trying to link up with everyone by the end of the night. There are also some charging stations so it pays to bring your adaptor, too.
-Bring a bag that’s easy to carry.
OK before I got to Coachella, I heard a guy went wild pick-pocketing people’s phones and took 100-plus devices. That’s actually nuts. With that in mind, I brought a few bags that were easy to carry and hard to pry open: a zippered crossbody bag, a backbag (that I wore hanging in front of me), and a fanny pack that I turned to the front as well. I love a good hands-off bag that is harder to pry open – pick-pocketers are out of control!
-Figure out transportation before hand.
Post-festival transportation is always a headache. If you stay for the last act, everyone usually leaves at the same time and it’s a nightmare trying to file crowds out of the festival. I remember at Meadows, I left my friends and ended up stuck in a sea of people trying to get to the subway. It gave me so much anxiety because there was no place to run if something happened. I hate that feeling.
That said, I’ve learned that it pays to figure out transportation ahead of time. There are some taxi apps you can use to schedule pick-ups — and if you go that route, perhaps pick a location near the festival (but outside the festival grounds) so you can get picked up quickly. Prefer public transportation? It’ll help a TON to leave a few minutes before the last set is over so you can miss some of the crowds. We were lucky to have a shuttle waiting for us at Coachella, and we just met them in a private pick-up area every day. If you’re going to a festival with a big group, a shuttle may be worth the investment. Either way, don’t end up like me inching through a crowd at Meadows or waiting in line for hours for the bus at Governor’s Ball.
Any festival survival tips I missed, Glamazons? I’d love to hear from you in the comments! Happy festival season!