Music and art festivals are exciting and fun events where you can listen to your favourite bands, eat delicious food, and admire the work of artists. If you’re going to a festival, make sure you plan your trip carefully to ensure your safety and enjoyment. When packing for the festival, remember to bring layers of clothing as well as any other items you may require. That way, when you arrive, you can immediately begin dancing and having fun!
Method 1 Getting Ready for the Festival
1. To avoid price gouging and scams, buy your tickets well in advance. Set money aside throughout the year so that you can buy festival tickets as soon as they become available. If you miss the ticket sales, you may have to buy your passes from an official ticket exchange, which is the preferred method, or from a reseller, which can be riskier.
Purchase tickets from an independent seller only if you can verify that they are genuine by providing you with an order confirmation or receipt for their purchase.
Unfortunately, if you purchase a fake ticket, you will be unable to enter the festival.
2. Bring layers of clothing that you can wear to stay warm or cool. Pack a raincoat or poncho, some light tank tops, and a sweater or sweatshirt in addition to your fun festival attire. Longer pants are essential for cool evenings or inclement weather.
In general, it is best to leave your umbrella at home because they can be dangerous in crowded places.
Bring a clear poncho if you want people to be able to see your fun outfit even if it’s raining. You won’t have to cover up completely, and you’ll still be safe from the rain!
3. For multi-day festivals, purchase a low-cost tent and sleeping bag. Most people throw their tents away after a long festival because they usually break from use. Pick up a low-cost tent with enough space for you and your friends at a supermarket or outdoor store, and bring a comfortable sleeping bag for yourself.
Bring a cheap foam mattress pad or air mattress to lay on the floor of your tent for added comfort.
If you do not want to camp at the festival, make a reservation for an AirBnB or hotel room nearby so you can easily get to the venue!
4. Personal hygiene items such as wet wipes and toiletries should be packed. Because of the large number of people attending the festival, lines for bathrooms and showers can be long. Bring wipes to quickly clean your body before applying deodorant every day, as well as toothpaste, a toothbrush, shampoo, and body wash for when the shower lines are shorter.
In a pinch, you can also use your cleansing wipes to clean dirty utensils, clothes, or seating areas.
5. In case of minor injuries, keep a first-aid kit in your bag or car. Purchase a small, portable first aid kit that includes bandages, antibiotic ointment, and any medication that you require prior to the festival. Keep it in a secure, easily accessible location, such as your bag, tent, or car. You should also bring anti-inflammatory medication in case you get a headache or a minor sprain.
If you have allergies or asthma, make sure to bring any medication you might need in case of an allergic reaction.
6. If the venue allows it, bring your own food to save money and time. Pack a cooler with your favourite drinks and snacks if you are permitted to bring outside food into the venue. Make sandwiches for lunch and salads for dinner to keep your energy levels high. Remember to bring water bottles with you so you don’t have to buy them.
Food can be very expensive inside the venue, so bringing your own can save you a lot of money. You can also avoid having to wait in line for food trucks and vendors!
Keep in mind that not all festivals permit this, so double-check the rules before packing your cooler.
7. Carry a spare phone charger or battery pack. You’ll most likely be using your phone a lot during the festival, and if you’re outside, you may not have access to an outlet. Charge your phone and the battery pack the night before the festival, and plug in your phone when the battery runs low. Then, when you need it, you can use it without having to worry about draining the battery!
If you can’t find a portable battery pack locally, try ordering one from Amazon or eBay, which sell small, inexpensive chargers that are ideal for the festival!
You may also want to purchase a short USB cable to use with the battery pack. A shorter cord will keep it from tangling in your bag or backpack.
8. To transport your belongings, choose a cross-body bag or a fanny pack. You want your phone, money, and other items close to your body during performances and while walking around. Choose a bag that is lightweight and wraps around your body, allowing you to use both hands. Check the venue’s rules before choosing a bag, as some require festival-goers to bring clear bags for all of their belongings.
If you’re concerned about your belongings getting wet in your bag as a result of rain or water features during the shows, put your wallet and phone in a resealable bag and stow the plastic bag in your purse or fanny pack for extra protection.
9. To avoid traffic, look into parking and transportation options for the venue. Plan to park in the venue lot, which can be expensive for single-day festivals. Check the festival website to see if you need to reserve a parking spot in the venue where you can set up your tent for multi-day festivals. If there is no parking at the venue, park in a nearby lot and make sure to pay for each day you will be there.
If you’re going to a festival in a big city, it’s best to use a ride-hailing app or public transportation to get there because parking is likely to be limited.
Method 2 Participating in Activities
1. Find pictures of the festival online and try to match the outfits of the attendees. The majority of attendees at the festival will be dressed in themed attire and wearing themed makeup. Plan your outfits ahead of time so you know what to wear, and use face makeup and body glitter to elevate your look. Most people go all out for their outfits at these events, so don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone!
People tend to dress in hippie-style clothing at the Coachella festival, for example. If you want to dress up, you could wear a long, flowing dress if you prefer a more feminine look. To keep cool, stick to light-colored pants or shorts and a plain t-shirt for a more masculine look.
Depending on where you are and the weather, you may want to bring a bandana to tie around your face to protect yourself from dirt or sand kicked up by people walking around.
2. Look through the schedule and map online to find events that interest you. Most festivals have a schedule of events that includes the times and locations of each performance. Choose 1-3 shows to see each day and mark their locations on the grounds map so you can plan your route between them.
If you know a band you want to see is performing early in the day, allow plenty of time to get to the venue and find the right stage, as lines to enter the venue can be extremely long.
Keep in mind that in larger venues, walking from one stage to another can take up to 45 minutes.
3. Be prepared to change your plans at the last minute. If you’re going with a group of friends, you’re likely to have a variety of interests. Try not to be upset or hurt if you are unable to do something you want to do. Before you arrive at the venue, decide which events are “musts” for you and which are “maybes,” and be prepared to compromise.
It’s nearly impossible to do and see everything at a large festival in the few days you’re there. Stick to 1-3 music shows per day and try to squeeze in 1-2 other activities, such as visiting vendor tents or grabbing a snack from a food truck.
4. Arrive early to get a good spot in the front row for your favourite performers. If your favourite band or singer is performing at the festival, get to the stage as early as possible to get to the front of the “pit,” which is the standing area in front of the stage. If you aren’t the first person there, try to get a spot along the barrier or a little further back from the stage. Go to a place where no one is yet standing and feel free to make new friends while singing and dancing to the music.
Each seating or standing area has its own set of benefits, so don’t be afraid to move to the back of the crowd if you feel unsafe in the pit. You’ll have more space to move around in the back of the crowd and won’t be surrounded by as many people.
If you happen to be standing behind someone taller than you, politely request that they move over so you can see. If they won’t or can’t, try not to be upset and look for another place to stand.
5. Carry cash with you to buy food, drinks, and merchandise. Depending on where you are, some vendors may only accept cash or one other type of payment, such as a debit card or a money-transfer app. Throughout the event, keep $20-40 in your bag or pocket in case you need to buy a snack, a drink, or see a small souvenir that you want.
Most festivals have ATMs if you come across something more expensive that you want.
6. Throughout the festival, take photos and videos. Having your phone out to take pictures is usually acceptable during shows and performances. Try to limit taking pictures or recording the performance to the first song or so for the most enjoyment. Then you can put down your phone or camera and dance to the music!
In general, if you’re in the pit, it’s best to leave your phone in your bag or pocket after the first song, because it can be crowded and people may not be able to see if you hold your phone up.
During slow songs, some bands or singers will encourage you to take out your phone and turn on the flashlight for a mini light show.
Method 3 Staying Safe
1. To avoid pickpocketing, keep your valuables close to your body. When you’re not paying attention, people will try to steal cash, phones, jewellery, and wallets from festivalgoers. Always keep your phone in your front pocket, a purse in your front pocket, or in your hand. When you’re in a crowded place, keep one hand on your wallet, purse, or phone to make sure no one steals it.
A pickpocket will frequently pretend to bump into you in a large crowd while reaching into your bag or pocket to steal your phone or wallet. Then, by the time you notice something is missing, it’s too late.
2. Each day of the festival, drink at least 11 cups (2,600 mL) of water. If you’re going to be spending the day outside, staying hydrated is critical. Carry a water bottle with you at all times, whether you’re sober or drinking, so you can drink from it as needed. If you’re drinking alcohol, drink a cup of water between each drink to avoid dehydration.
Even if the weather isn’t scorching, it’s critical to stay hydrated because you’ll be moving around a lot during the shows and events.
3. Wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to keep your skin protected and cool. No matter what the weather, if you are outside for an extended period of time, the sun can cause skin damage. Wear a hat or visor and sunglasses during the day. Apply sunscreen before going outside for events and reapply it every 3-4 hours throughout the day.
If you are in a very sunny area, reapply your sunscreen every 2 hours to ensure that it is protecting your skin.
4. Carry your phone with you at all times in case of an emergency. Festivals typically have a large number of people congregating in one location at the same time. If something goes wrong, have your phone at the ready to call for assistance. Make a note of the security tent’s phone number in case you require assistance.
This is also a great way to stay in touch with your friends, make plans, and keep them updated on your location.
5. If you’re going to an event, use the buddy system. Even if you’ve been to this festival before and know exactly where you’re going, it’s best to travel in pairs to avoid crowds. Stick with the person you’re going to the event with for safety, and spend the day doing things that both of you want to do.
Keep in mind that you may have to make some concessions on certain events and activities to ensure that you both enjoy what you want to do.
If your companion isn’t feeling well or becomes tired, find a place where you can rest together.
6. Be cautious of strangers who offer you drinks or food. Accepting food or drinks that you did not purchase or bring yourself is never a good idea, as date rape drugs are common at large events. Always keep an eye on your beverage and never leave it unattended. If you start to feel tired or lethargic after eating, find a public place to sit and tell someone you trust to call security.
Keep your drinks in a lidded container if possible to make it more difficult for someone to drop pills or powder into the liquid.
Remember that it is acceptable to attend a festival while sober. You can still have a good time and participate in all of the events. If you are offered a drink, politely decline it by saying something like, “I’ve already had too much, sorry!” or “I’m the designated driver!”
7. Between activities, take some time to rest and relax. Plan to spend at least half an hour relaxing in the shade 2-3 times per day. This will help you maintain your energy and prevent exhaustion. Make time to visit your tent and nap around midday at multi-day festivals so you can stay up later to enjoy nighttime activities.
If you start to feel weak or exhausted at any point, go to the medical tent for help. You’ll be able to sit or lay down and rehydrate in the shade there.
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