– By Brendan Reid, Editor –
Since the days of Woodstock, the music festival has been an important part of youth and music culture. More festivals seem to arise with each passing year, and with the likes of Coachella, Governor’s Ball, Osheaga, Bonaroo and now Wayhome sweeping North America, there has never been a better time to be a music fan. While festivals can bring about some of your best memories, they can also be a test of endurance. Most festivals go on for three days, many with camping, and there is much to overlook in their preparations. But with the help of this guide, you can avoid technical mishaps and reach peak festival enjoyment.
1. Stay Hydrated
Running low on fluids during a festival can be incredibly easy, especially if it’s hot and sunny. You get lost in the fervor of a show and dehydrate pretty quickly. Be sure to visit the water stations often, and carry an H2O receptacle that you won’t lose. A Camelbak can be a lifesaver. The pouch can carry a great deal more water than a bottle, and it leaves your hands free. Furthermore, the Camelbak’s water pouch resides in a backpack, in which you can store many other useful supplies.
2. Food! Be sure to eat
Festivals take a toll on your body after three days of musical celebration, but you can avoid much potential discomfort by eating regularly. If you are going to a camping type of festival and can bring a large amount of supplies, you can plan and prepare your meals ahead of time. That way, when you’re hungry, you can simply eat what you have prepared and then continue on with the festivities. In the type of festival that doesn’t have camping, nuts, bars, apples, carrots and snow peas are your best friend. Bring things in small bags and store them in your backpack to snack on throughout the day, and you’ll be amazed by how much more energy you have. A little bit can go a long way, and if you’re the sharing type, you’ll no doubt make friends with other hungry concert goers around you.
3. Pack all needed supplies
In addition to food, there are great deal of other supplies you can pack in your bag to make your experience as smooth as possible. When at a festival, you are truly at the mercy of the elements, so you must prepare for all sorts of weather. Sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, proper camping supplies and a rain poncho are essential. You may think it will make you look silly, but that poncho is crucial. Nothing keeps you dry quite like one, and it can go over your backpack too.
4. Be your own person
I went to Osheaga last year with a group of about ten people. As you might imagine, it is near impossible to coordinate such a large number of people in a meaningful way, especially when conflicting musical tastes are involved. The group will inevitably be split up, so a pre-ordained meeting spot is a good idea, Some people use visuals, for example tying a helium balloon to a backpack. A well-charged cell phone is a lifesaver, but charging can be an ordeal and sometimes signals can be weak.
While you will undoubtedly see many of the acts with friends, if there is something that you want to see and no one else seems interested, don’t be afraid to venture off on your own. I’ve had some of my most enriching festival experiences solo, and it’s staggeringly easy to make new friends and get lost in the music together. It you send out positivity, it will inevitably return to you, and this is more applicable then ever in the festival environment
5. Have a good time!
Once you enter the festival gates, let all worldly stress fall from your shoulders. For the next few days, you are in a place where nothing but the music matters. Whether you’re listening to an artist you know and love or discovering someone entirely new, you will always find something exciting to see and hear. If you are friendly, those around you will be too, and countless moments of carefree fun are guaranteed to ensue. With these simple guidelines in hand, there’s no way your festival experience won’t be incredible.