Each music festival has its own vibe, fashion, and distinct genres; you could be relaxing on a picnic blanket at Outside Lands, or moshing at Warped Tour. Either way, there’s a long list of essentials that are key for your safety, survival, and most importantly, fun!
1. Beat the Heat: sunscreen, hat with brim, cheap sunglasses, hair ties
It’s a no-brainer: you’ll need sunscreen if you plan to be in direct sunlight for 12 hours (and reapply often!). Being at an outdoor music festival all day is basically the same as going hiking all day — make sure to take the extra precautions! If you’re super sun-sensitive, bring a breathable hat to shade your face (bucket hats are totally in) and cheap sunglasses (in case they get smooshed in the pit). As always, extra hair ties and bobby pins are a girl’s best friend. Oh yeah, and please wear deodorant. Music festivals are densely populated.
2. Fashion Forward: comfortable sneakers, bandana, appropriate purse
When planning your outfits, remember to take into account what you’ll actually be doing at the festival. Crowdsurfing to a punk band? Maybe you should take off all those dangling necklaces and earrings. Swaying back and forth to an indie folk duo? Feel free to wear that flower crown and delicate gladiator sandals. If you plan to be active and dance around, go for comfortable sneakers, a bandana (to protect your face from all the dust), and a fanny pack or small purse. If you just want to walk around the tents and relax, feel free to tailor your outfit to be more trendy. Keep in mind that you will receive A LOT of free pamphlets, stickers, posters, and other free promotional materials, in addition to any band merchandise you may purchase. If you want to take these home, make sure you have some extra space in your bag!
3. Just In Case: Hand sanitizer, rain poncho, external battery
While none of these are absolutely necessary, you may want them to prevent any sticky situations. Always check the weather the night before, just in case you need to bring any rain ponchos (the show will still go on!). If you plan on snapchatting, instagramming, and livetweeting the whole day, a small external battery for your phone will be your absolute best friend. Check on Amazon for small batteries: about the size of a tube of lipstick and only $20! Hand sanitizer is always a great idea, especially with the lack of real restrooms and prevalence of port-a-potties. Thankfully, there are always multiple first aid stations at every festival, so no worries about bringing band-aids or other medical emergency materials. They got you covered!
4. The Big 6: Cash, ID, lip balm, car keys, water bottle, phone
Instead of bringing your huge wallet, filled with odd stamp cards, random gift cards, and a way too many old receipts, opt for just a small wad of cash. It’s lightweight and takes up nearly no space, plus most food stands and kiosks take cash only. The other 5 are main essentials for any location.
If you’re trying to save space in your bag, pair up with a friend! Only one tube of sunscreen or hand sanitizer is needed between the two of you, so split up the essentials for a lighter bag. Remember: it’s not a fashion show nor speed dating. You’re there for the music, so watch some awesome bands and have fun!