As the summer officially gets underway, now is the time to solidify bangin’ plans for the summer. For some, it means long weekends down on the shore, road trips with your friends, or a big family vacation somewhere tropical. For me, however, it means one thing: music festivals. Not only are the tickets fairly cheap, but it gives you the opportunity to see so many different acts all at once. There are so many festivals this summer that feature every genre of music you could think of. However, in order to survive and make the most out of these festivals, especially the crazier ones that I like to frequent, there are a few guidelines you should follow and some things to prepare yourself for.
Concerts can bring out some of the craziest and most out-of-control people you will ever meet. There is always going to be the one guy who is completely tripping balls and running naked out of control (can someone say Naked Wizard?); you can and should stay away from him. However, most people are there to have a good time and for the pure love of music. Some may choose to drink while others prefer their favorite drugs. Even if you’re not into the drug scene, don’t judge them too hard. Everyone has their own idea of a good time and they’re not going to hurt you at all. One of my biggest pet peeves about concerts are people who push and shove. There is no need to be an asshole to everyone around you. Make friends with everyone instead and you’ll have an even bigger group to spend the day or weekend with.
By far the greatest part of a music festival for me is the fact that you really don’t have to bring that much besides a few basics, yourself, and your love of music. My definite festival must-haves are my favorite pair of sneakers, a new pair of outrageous sunglasses, a few glowsticks, a huge bottle of rum and any possible drugs of choice for the day. If you are going to an overnight or multi-day festival like Bonnaroo next weekend, then of course you need to bring a few basics: a tent, pillow, blankets, grill, and some burgers and snacks. Other than that, it’s very simple packing for a festival.
It may seem a little childish to set up a game plan with your friends ahead of time, but it is absolutely a must if you want a successful day, especially if you plan on getting any kind of fucked up. Check out the set list and schedule ahead of time so you have at least a vague idea of where you want to be and at what times otherwise you are going to miss one of the acts or spend half your time running around trying to find the stage you are looking for. A definite must is making sure you and your friends have a meeting spot like the bathrooms, the front gate, or an attraction like a certain stage or the tagging bus above from electric zoo because I guarantee you are going to lose at least one of your friends. I have lost a friend at every single festival I have gone to; and forget trying to call them while you’re raging in a loud, sweaty crowd to your favorite band.
Music festivals tend to intimidate some people because they don’t think they handle the drug-addicted crowds moshing in front of the stage, the lack of cleanliness in bathrooms, or the sweltering heat in the sun. I promise they are absolutely worth any of the stress or worry. All you need to do is worry about yourself and focus on having fun and remember that everyone is there for same reason.