How to Prep for a Music Festival

Updated on September 18, 2018
Jessica Rougas profile image

Jessica is an avid music fan. She currently lives in Boulder, CO. where she frequents music festivals.

Electric Forest Festival 2015
Electric Forest Festival 2015

Going to a music festival can be one of the most rewarding experiences you can give yourself. However, if you are not a seasoned attendee, the task of preparing and packing can be daunting! I have put together this article to ease your mind and make the preparation process easier on you. So sit back, enjoy, and take notes. Here we go!

How to Prep for a Music Festival

  • Step 1: Research your location.
  • Step 2: Create a festival essentials list.
  • Step 3: Research tips and DIY ideas.

Step 1: Research Your Location.

Each music festival is in a different location, so properly prepare by doing some research.

Before each festival that I attend, I do these two things:

  1. Search the weather: Make sure to search the weather conditions of the location at the time of year you will be attending. This will give you an idea of what to pack. Make sure you look at night and day highs and lows. It is a good idea to consider all times of the day. You never know how late you will be exploring.
  2. Utilize social media: Getting on discussion boards for the festival you are attending gives you first hand advice from people who have previous experience. You can learn useful information by reading about what experiences others have had.

Step 2: Create a Festival Essentials List.

This year marks my ninth festival season. Over the years, I've learned some important lessons. This is my essentials list. Hopefully, this gets you thinking about what you want at your campsite.

Festival Essentials List

Essentials
Explanation
Tent
Stay warm and cozy while you sleep.
Easy up
Shade is key.
Rope
Bring extra. You never know what you will have to tie down.
Stakes
It might get windy.
Mallet
You've got to hammer down those stakes!
Tarps
It always seems to rain at least once.
Tapestries
Tapestries are nice to sit on and give added shade to your home.
Sleeping mat
Personally, two Moon Mats and I am good.
Coolers
Bring one for food and one for drinks.
Hot plate
This is a a quick and cheap way to have a meal.
Reusable plates and cutlery
Again, be good to the environment.
French press for coffee
You'll save so much money.
Chairs and table
Have a place to play games and eat with friends.
Lantern, head lamp, flashlight
Keep from getting lost or losing items.
Sunscreen
Nothing's worse than spending the whole time in pain.
Sunglasses and hats
Keep your face from getting burnt.
Battery packs
For charging phones, lights, etc.
Jumper cables
You just never know.
Garbage bags
Do not litter.
5 HTP
Trust me!
Comfy clothes
Bring what makes you feel best.
Glow sticks
Yes, you need them.
Biodegradable glitter
Be good to the environment.
Dry shampoo
I use an all organic product and my hair stays fresh all weekend.
Bubbles
Just for fun.
Charcoal infused face wipes
Remove makeup, dirt, and debris.
Activated charcoal tablets
Just in case someone parties too hard!
Lighter leash
You will never loose it!
Fanny pack
Keep your hands free while you dance.
Heart shaped sunglasses
Let them know you're full of love!
Lighters
Obviously.
Hair ties and bobby pins
Keep your hair from getting pulled accidentally.
Solar charger
You'll have all those fun lights to charge!
A watch
No one wants to use their phone.
Water bottle or water pouch
Nothing's worse than trying to party while dehydrated.

Step 3: Research Tips and DIY Ideas.

Wherever your music journey takes you, enjoy every moment. Live for the times and memories you will make with new friends and old. This is the time to experience life.

Tips for enjoying your journey:

  • Make a schedule: This is one of my favorite tips. For each day of the festival, write out an index card that includes set times, the artist name, and where they are performing. I color code my stages, this way you can just glance at the card. It's better than checking your phone for a screen shot.
  • Set up camp first: Always finish setting up camp before you begin partying too hard. No one wants to be the guy passed out with your tent half set up. Setting up your home first makes for a cozy spot to come back to later.
  • Create a flag: Create a flag or something identifiable. That way you'll have an easy time finding your home. The worst feeling is walking out of a venue at four A.M. and looking into a sea of tents, unaware of where yours is.
  • Get the lay of the land: The first day I arrive at a festival (normally on early arrival day) I will walk around the venue to get the lay of the land. If you are attending a huge festival, such as Electric Forest, this is key! It will be such a relief to know where you're going after long evenings of partying.
  • Do a run through: Make sure all your equipment works and that your atren't missing any pieces. This will ease your mind.
  • Do not over spend: This is so hard to avoid, but what I have practiced over the seasons is to set aside a certain predetermined amount of money. I place the money in envelopes marked for each day. This gives me a spending limit that's easier to stick to. Always have a budget prepared before you leave. Also, make sure to save enough money for an emergency fund.

Electric Forest Festival, 2014.
Electric Forest Festival, 2014.
Sit back and take a breath! Sherwood Forest, Electric Forest 2014.
Sit back and take a breath! Sherwood Forest, Electric Forest 2014.

Ask Yourself

Do you research the locations of festivals you attend?

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