Summertime is officially upon us and with that comes the festival season. From Lollapalooza in Chicago to Bumbershoot in Seattle, you have your fair share of festivals to pick from in the United States, all ranging from genre focused to the best up-and-coming acts. But this isn’t about the festivals themselves, this is about how to best prepare for the festival. Festivals are expensive and need preparation (I look up to people who can spontaneously go to a festival without overpreparing). They last one or two weekends and take place outside in the blaring sun. Food is sold in carts but are expensive and often not worth it. You also want to have pictures and videos for memories so you want to look your best while having the time of your life. That’s what we are here for. Whether you’re a newbie to the festival scene or are a professional, we have the list to end all lists (related to the festival season at least).
Top Five From KBVR Staff and Friends:
Water. The overlooked but most important. If you have ever attended a festival or concert, you have most likely seen someone faint in the crowd. This isn’t the 60s, where girls fainted over The Beatles. Fainting at concerts is caused by overheating and dehydration. Take care of yourself out there. Drink water all day, bring a refillable water bottle that you can fill up throughout the day. Most venues and festival grounds will have multiple water stations. If you don’t have a water bottle, ask a staff member at the concert for a cup. Water is free, it’s only the container that costs money. For an added bonus, bring a bottle of Pedialyte to prevent dehydration.
Comfy Shoes/Comfy Outfit. Festivals take place across grounds and are less likely to have available seating options to watch the performances. Concerts are more likely to have seating, but only if you arrive early or buy seats specifically. That’s where comfortable shoes come in handy. While looking good for the camera may be the goal, standing in awkward shoes for over four hours. Heels are great in small amounts of time. (All the respect to people who can stand in heeled or platform shoes for over 30 minutes without pain. You are so strong). Being comfortable makes the experience better as you look back. You’re able to enjoy the concert more when you are able to move and dance.
Portable Charger/Charge Phone Before. Imagine you’re at a concert, three rows from the stage. The artist just announced they are going to perform your favorite song. You reach for your phone, only to see it’s at 10%. Now imagine that for an entire day. Making sure your phone is charged, or you have a portable charger handy could save you time, give you access to emergency contacts, and let you take pictures/record videos. Having a portable charger is great when waiting in line for a concert. That time spent waiting can be boring and we all have the itch to play games on our phones. With a charger, you don’t have to worry (too much) about your phone’s battery pre-concert.
Make Friends. I cannot stress how helpful it is to make friends at concerts or festivals. Making friends can save you a lot of hassle in line if you need to use the restroom and want to save your spot. I like to go to concerts alone and find myself making conversations with the people around me. It’s nice to have people to talk to while waiting for the show to start. You have this moment in common with them. You don’t have to stay in touch with them when it ends (you can if you want). That’s what makes this moment like magic. You make temporary best friends for the night. Who doesn’t want that?
Hair Ties. I repeat, hair ties. So important at shows. Caught between bodies as they push and shove their way to the front, you will either pull someone’s hair accidentally or get your own hair pulled. At an Ed Sheeran concert in 2014, I remember clearly a girl’s long hair getting stuck to my sweaty face. Don’t let that happen to you. If you have enough hair that it gets in your way, more often than not it will be in the way of the people around you at the show.
Other Honorary Mentions:
Stay safe out there and have a great time this festival season!