How to survive your first music festival

Attending your first music festival is an exciting new venture that will fill you with endless memories, happiness, and good tunes.

But it's not all flower crowns and free love.

 Music festivals are, in a word: imperfect. They are filled with unpredictable weather, long lines, crowds, Port-O-Potties, and tons of walking in the hot, hot, heat.. In the Kipling office, we have over 40 music festivals worth of experience under our belt. We’ve put together some festival hacks and packing essentials to help you have a stress-free weekend.

Festival Hacks

Food/Drink

So you’re rocking out, the show ends, and it's lunchtime. Odds are, everyone is going to head for the concession stands at the exact same time. From one foodie to another: look at the schedule and leave 10 mins before the show ends and head to the food area. Don't wait in line with your friends, divide and conquer. Send some people to get drinks, others to get meals, and be sure to send someone to find a shady place to eat on the grass or at a vacant table. Ps. Most music festivals have free water bottle fill stations , so save yourself some money and consider bringing a collapsible water bottle. Keep your friend close We hate to break it to you, but festivals have the worst service. Too many phones in one area tend to jam the signal and make it impossible to use basic features like calling or texting. If you come to the festival with a group of friends, designate at least two meeting areas. Find one place to regroup when the festival ends, and another meeting area in case someone gets lots throughout the day. It is always a smart idea to find a place near the drink tents because people will likely be sitting down and it’s easier to spot someone standing. For those who like to get a little creative; bring a bright colored flag or something you can hoist in the air with distinct features. Text your friend a pic of the flag in advanced so they can spot it in a crowd or if their phone doesn’t work.  

What to pack for a music festival

There are a few things you can do before you get to the festival so you’re ready for the whole day! Pack a portable phone charger, hand sanitizer, a portable toilet paper roll or flushable wipes, sunscreen and wear comfortable shoes.

Take Charge

Your IG has been blowing up with #FestivalVibe tags all day and now your phone is about to die.  Avoid being terrified of losing your friends OR wandering around searching for them forever! Easy solution: Bring a small portable phone charger and don’t let anyone borrow it . 

Comfortable Shoes

You spent weeks planning the perfect festival outfit, bought flash tattoos and found the perfect flower crown, but before you pack your trendy new shoes consider this advice: wear the most functional, comfortable shoes you can find. There are very few places to sit within the festival grounds, which means you are likely going to be standing all day long. Believe us, your feet are going to hurt no matter what you wear, but wearing anything but flats is just foolish. And don't even think about wearing brand new shoes. Breaking them in will leave you with blisters and regrets. 

Restrooms

Port-O-Potties... Ew. Enough said! When you’ve really got to go, the lines are usually longest! Our reco is to look at the schedule and go in the middle of a show that you don’t really care about watching. The lines will be short and you won’t feel as rushed to hurry. Now you’re in the bathroom and there’s no more tp. Lovely. Take out that small roll/wipes you packed in your trendy waist pack. The later on in the day it gets, bathrooms are replenished less frequently so bringing an emergency stash will be important. The same idea goes with hand-washing stations. Soap and water are dispensed at the beginning of the day but you’ll find it runs out by the evening. Pull out your hand sanitizer and call it a day.  

Stay fresh

So you’re fed, your battery is charged, and you’ve dealt with the bathroom sitch. Those are the biggest things on our festival checklist. Festivals usually take place smack dab in the middle of summer so you can bet it will be hot! Bringing a travel size deodorant will keep you dry, smelling fresh and you can avoid sweat marks running your carefully curated festival outfit. This is especially important when you’re jammed in a crowd at the front of the stage, waving your hands from side to side.  Okay! You’ve got our inside knowledge of how to avoid lines, find your friends, take charge and stay so fresh and so clean.  Now you’re ready to keep it weird! Mic drop.