Whether you’re planning on soaking up the sun at Coachella, getting down and dirty in the mud at Glastonbury or raving at Tomorrowland, heading to a music festival is a hugely exciting experience. After all, it’s a full weekend (or potentially even longer) of top-class music, campsite fires, and time with friends. But, if you’ve never been to a music festival before, you may struggle to know what to pack or how to organize yourself. To help, we’ve put together this guide to the best music festival hacks, tips, and must-haves.
1. Pack Your Waterproofs
No matter what the weather forecast tells you, it’s vital you pack your waterproofs. In the open countryside, a lot can change in a short period of time, and one sharp shower can ruin your weekend if you’re not prepared.
So, you’ll need to pack a rain jacket, waterproof trousers and a good pair of walking shoes or wellington boots (depending on your style). If you’re buying these items, you’re also much better off investing in good-quality outdoor clothing, rather than simply buying the cheapest item you can find – otherwise, you may find your gear isn’t up to the challenge if you get stuck in the mud.
Do your research on your chosen retailer before you buy it. If your retailer has excellent feedback from customers, like these Feefo‘s millets.co.uk reviews, you can relax safe in the knowledge that you’re purchasing a product you can rely on even if you’re greeted by the harshest weather conditions.
2. Pack a Charging Bank
Remember that at your campsite you’re unlikely to have access to power at any point in the festival. So, it’s a good idea to take at least one charging bank with you so you can power your phone.
At a festival, it’s really easy to lose your friends, so you need to make sure you can get in touch with them whenever you need to. Plus, if you have a guaranteed source of power, you can still use your phone to upload as many envy-inducing Instagram photos, Snapchat stories, and TikTok videos as you like. It’s a win-win.
3. Take a Unique Tent Marker
More than 150,000 people attend each of the world’s largest music festivals every year. As a result, it’s well worth taking something you can use to mark your tents, like an innovative marker, flag, or a balloon. This way, you’ll be able to spot your tent from a distance and you’ll be able to direct people to come and see you.
4. Score Freebies from Sponsors
Festivals are normally sponsored events, and each of the little tents that are occupied by sponsors can unveil something new. In fact, most of them even contain really useful freebies like drinks, torches, or ponchos.
So, if you’ve reached a lull in the day and there isn’t a band that you’re desperate to see, you’re best off spending half-an-hour or so roaming around the corporate areas. Who knows what excellent freebies you might find?
5. Choose Where You Stand Carefully
At a festival, roadies generally only have around 20 minutes between acts to set the stage and do the soundcheck. As a result, it’s a bit of a rush for them to get everything ready for the upcoming performance and the sound man has to battle to set the levels in time.
Due to this, you’ll find that the sound quality isn’t as good as if you saw each act at one of their own gigs. But, thankfully, if you stand next to the sound deck, you’ll get the best possible sound quality.
6. Snacks, Snacks, Snacks
At most music festivals, the music starts around midday and continues until midnight. Because of this, it’s very rare that you’ll head back to your tent and sit down for a full meal.
For this reason, you should pack plenty of snacks for the weekend. Things like bananas, breakfast bars, sweets, and chocolate bars are great because you can fit them into your pocket and take them into the arena with you. This way, you’ll always have something to hand and you can save your meals for the morning and after the headliner.
If you’d rather buy food when you’re there, then this Guardian article shows you how to find all the best bits. Just be careful though – buying food like this can be expensive.
7. Check Out the Unsigned Acts
Most people buy their tickets because they love the headliners. This is understandable, but there’s much more going on and it’s well worth doing your research on the other acts before you arrive.
After all, future headliners have to start somewhere. According to the Telegraph, future Glastonbury headliner, Ed Sheeran played at the festival’s smallest possible tent in 2011. Just six years later, he pulled in a crowd of more than 80,000 as the headliner. If you do your research beforehand, you could have a real ‘I was there moment’ to tell all your friends about in the years to come.
8. It’s About More than Just Music
Although for many people festivals are all about the music, there’s so much more going on and you should take a little bit of time away from the main stage and appreciate your surroundings.
After all, large-scale festivals like Coachella and Glastonbury are actually performing arts festivals, so you can also see a world-class comedy, underground piano bars, and flame-throwing mechanical spiders. Search the site and you’ll be able to find sights beyond your wildest dreams.
9. Plan Your Day
With so much to see and do at each festival, it can feel like you’re being pushed and pulled in every direction. For this reason, you should buy a timetable when you arrive and plan your weekend.
You can use your timetable to see what time each band is playing and use this information to structure your day. If you don’t, you may find yourself wandering from stage to stage and missing bands who you really wanted to see. Just remember though, each stage is usually a five- to 10-minute walk away from the others, so you’ll need to plan in traveling time between sets.
10. Remember Your Hygiene
Some people dislike the thought of attending a music festival because they hate the idea of not having their home comforts or access to a shower and running water. But, if you pack the right hygiene products with you, you’ll never struggle to stay clean and fresh.
Baby wipes are a universally great product because they can keep you clean and they can also remove any mud that’s on your clothes or tent. Equally, dry shampoo will be your best friend and it can really stop your hair from appearing greasy. Just add a bit of deodorant and you’ll feel as fresh as a daisy.
Follow these top 10 hacks, tips, and must-haves and you’ll have no problem creating memories that will last a lifetime!