- Festivals are super fun, but there are ways you can prepare to make sure that you have the best experience possible.
- Keeping your ears safe is vital. Noise levels at music festivals can reach 120 dB (the same level as a power saw), which can damage your hearing. Wearing noise-reducing earplugs can enhance your experience and protect your ears at the same time.
- Hygiene facilities are often lacking. Take toilet paper, hand sanitizer and wet wipes with you to make sure you feel fresh.
- Our music festival guide will tell you – safety is key. Wear sunscreen, hats and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun. And always set up a meeting place in case you get lost.
- Prepare for all weather. Whether it’s sunny or rainy, you’ll need the right gear to make sure you’re covered.
- It’s important to hydrate and eat the right foods to stay energized.
- Remember, have fun! With these top festival survival tips and tricks, you’ll have a first-time festival experience to remember.
The atmosphere is electric.
You are one among thousands in a buzzing crowd. Surrounded by pumping music, strobes of flashing lights and magnetic energy (oh, and not to mention the glowsticks).
There’s nothing quite like the epic adventure of your first festival.
But while festivals are full of fun, frolics and a total sense of freedom, it’s still a good idea to make sure you’re prepared.
Your phone will run out of battery, you’ll get lost a lot and you’ll inevitably come face-to-face with a Porta-Potty.
But hey, it’s all part of the magic, right? Festivals can bring with them crazy weather, expensive food and busy crowds, which can often be overwhelming.
Having a proper plan in place will enhance your experience, and ensure your first festival experience is one to remember.
That’s why we’ve put together this article, full of our music festival tips and tricks for the festival season.
Let’s take a look.
TIP #1 MAKE A RENDEZVOUS POINT
Festivals are crazy busy.
Navigating the crowds is challenging enough, but add a few drinks into the mix and your sense of direction is sure to be thrown off balance, making it super easy to get lost.
Decide on a meeting place with your friends, somewhere that’s easy for the whole group to remember. Maybe back at your tent, or next to your favorite food stall. And if someone heads off for a toilet break or to grab a bite, make sure that the whole group waits in one place until they’re back.
TIP #2 BRING WET WIPES AND SANITIZER WITH YOU
There’s no denying it: Festivals are grimy.
We’re talking mounds of mud, sweaty bodies and “the dreaded toilets” sort of grimy.
Showers are sometimes available (for a fee), but you can’t always bank on their appeal. You might decide to take the plunge – but chances are you’ll soon be running away in horror at the sight of them.
Wet wipes and sanitizer will be your savior. OK, you won’t be sparkling clean, but you’ll feel a little fresher. Clean enough to cope and ready to take on the day.
TIP #3 PREPARE FOR ALL WEATHER CONDITIONS
Festivals in the sun are awesome.
Everyone is busy soaking up the feel-good vibes and feeling the Vitamin D on their skin. But you need to make sure your skin is protected. Sunburn, or even worse - sunstroke – can be unbearable. So, pack your sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat. Even if you’re used to the sun, make looking after your skin a priority.
And if it rains? It can be a whole lot of fun (we’ve all heard about the Glastonbury mudslides and the Bonnaroo mud pits).
But being drenched and cold can get miserable pretty quickly, especially when the temperatures drop at night. To stay dry, pack some waterproof clothing, such as a poncho or a light raincoat. And whatever you do, make sure your tent is leakproof – no one wants puddles appearing when they’re trying to get some shut-eye.
TIP #4 USE NOISE-REDUCING EARPLUGS
Hearing your favorite bands play live for the first time is unforgettable. We all remember where we were the first time a live performance truly transported us.
And you’ll want to be experiencing the moment to the fullest. And you can! But you need to make sure that your ears are safe.
The thing is, when you’re exposed to sound above 75 decibels (dB), you can damage your hearing. And music at festivals usually ranges from 100 dB to 120 dB. This is roughly the same as being exposed to the sound of a power saw for extended periods of time. Not nice!
So while you may have had an epic experience, you could be leaving the festival with ear damage, such as tinnitus or - worse - hearing loss.
The telltale sign? That light little buzzing sound in your ears as you leave the festival. It can spell out big consequences down the line.
Try wearing noise-reducing earplugs that are especially designed to protect your ears, while allowing you to embrace those epic moments. Earplugs such as Loop Experience will only enhance your experience. You’ll still hear everything crystal clear, all while elevating your look and keeping super comfortable.
They also make the ideal gift for frequent festival goers.
When you get sleepy and it’s time to hit the hay, give Loop Quiet a try. They block out the festival noise by up to 27 dB, giving you the vital sleep you’ll need to dive right into Day Two.
Your festival kit
TIP #5 BRING YOUR OWN FOOD
While everyone loves a burger, or an obligatory noodle-based food bowl, festival food can wind up being super expensive, especially if you’re there for a few days.
So, take as much food with you as you can. Fruit, crackers, cereal bars - they’re all easy to take with you and will give you fuel for the day ahead.
If you’re camping, you might want to consider bringing a small stove. It will be sure to save you money on larger meals, and it’s actually fun sitting around the stove cooking up some food together. Just make sure to check the campsite rules before you go.
TIP #6 PRINT A MAP AND ARTIST SCHEDULE
Printing a map and artist schedule is a smart plan. The one thing you don’t want to do is miss your favorite artist on stage.
Check out the map before you go, it’s a great way to get your bearings. You can identify where the important facilities are, like toilets, first-aid, lost property, information points and much more.
If you can’t print them off in advance, pick one up when you arrive. Just make sure that you leave some time to have a little look around before the fun starts.
TIP #7 BRING YOUR OWN TOILET PAPER
The toilets at festivals have a bad rep, and unfortunately, it’s for good reason.
Of course, they’re meant to be stocked with toilet paper, but that’s not to say they will be. And even if they are, it might have been dropped on the floor, or - even worse - down the toilet.
So, come prepared. Bring your own roll (or three) and stay one step ahead. You’ll be glad you did.
TIP #8 STAY ENERGIZED
Festivals are non-stop, so you’re going to need to keep yourself energized. Remember that food and water are your friends, and the key to keeping you going.
Eat foods that will also help keep you hydrated, such as bananas, kale and watermelon. Fruit will help cool your body down. And nuts are an ideal choice as they’re packed full of protein, and you can buy them in bulk to bring with you. They’re healthy, portable and super tasty, too.
TIP #9 PACK A PORTABLE CHARGER
Odds are, your phone battery is going to die on you. At least three times.
And let’s face it, you’re going to want it charded and alive, ready to take that perfect selfie, or film that live set you’ve been dying to see.
So take a portable charger with you, or a power bank. They’ll often last the entire festival.
It’s also becoming more common for festivals to offer charging facilities for phones and iPads. And sometimes these facilities are even solar powered. So keep a lookout!
TIP #10 PACK LIGHT
It may be tempting to pack tons of great, festival-ready outfits, especially if you’re a first-timer. But try to resist this urge. The last thing you’ll want to do is lug around a heavy bag, especially when you have camping gear to transport, too.
So pack minimally. Yes, air mattresses are comfy, but sleeping pads are just as nice and a lot easier to deal with. Backpacking tents are much lighter than regular tents too - something to keep in mind.
TIP #11 BUY A WRIST STRAP FOR YOUR PHONE OR CAMERA
To get the best view, most people want to hold their phone or camera above their heads. This works well, until someone bumps into you and it spirals to the floor, becoming one with the mud.
Investing in a wrist strap means that even if you lose your grip, you’ll keep your camera attached to you. You can even buy a phone case with a wrist strap attached, for double phone protection.
TIP #12 REMEMBER YOUR CAMPING ESSENTIALS
You don’t need a lot, but there are some vital essentials that you’ll be happy you brought along for the ride. A first-aid kit is a must. As is a solar-powered lantern. It can be dark outside your tent if you’re a way away from the center of everything.
Make sure you choose a smart camping spot, too. You might want to be in the middle of the action, but for the light sleepers out there it’s wise to find a spot that’s not too close to the stage or other tents. Find the balance somewhere in between - not too close, but not so far that it’s a huge hike back to the festival the next morning.
Be sure to check out all the festival camping tips published by the festival before you go.
TIP #13 YOUR SHOE CHOICE MATTERS
There’s no doubt: festivals are full of fashion inspiration. So while a lot of thought may go into aesthetics when it comes to your shoe choice, be sure to remember the practicalities too. People will step on your toes a lot. You’ll be standing even more. And by the end it’ll seem like you’ve been walking for days (because you will have been). Keeping your feet happy means that you’ll enjoy your festival experience for longer.
TIP #14 KEEP HYDRATED
You’re having fun in the sun, dancing and enjoying a few beers – it’s easy to forget to drink water.
But as you’re going to be doing a lot of walking in the summer heat, the last thing you want is to become dehydrated, which is sure to spoil the fun.
The thing is, when your body is dehydrated, it can lead to low blood pressure, reduced cognitive performance and, in some extreme cases, medical emergencies. So it’s important you keep up your fluid intake.
And remember, it’s likely that you’ll be facing long queues to buy expensive bottled water. So think about taking your own refillable water bottle – it’s cheaper, eco-friendly, and you’ll avoid the queues.
#TIP 15 HAVE FUN
Attending a music festival for the first time can be both exhilarating and overwhelming. With so much to see and do, it's easy to forget about taking care of yourself. That's why it's important to prepare beforehand to make sure you have a great time while staying safe and healthy.
Remember, festivals are meant to be fun, so don't forget to have a good time! After all, it's the memories that you'll cherish for years to come. So dance, sing along, and enjoy the experience.
Who knows, you may even discover your new favorite artist or genre of music. With these tips and tricks, you're sure to have a first-time festival experience to remember. So get out there and enjoy the festivities!
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