Surviving Music Festivals: things you should know

Surviving Music Festivals: What You Should Know

If I had to choose my favorite thing about summer, I would instantly say the music festivals. I love everything about them, the atmosphere, listening to your favorite bands, discovering new ones, making new friends. As I wrote before, I love traveling for concerts and although I’ve only been to one festival abroad (currently called Nos Alive, in Portugal), I’ve been to countless festivals in my home country. Like I said, it’s my favorite thing about summer, so when Maximise asked me to share some of my festival hacks, I was excited to finally write this post. Here are some of my best tips to have a great time at music festivals. 

1. Must have: wet wipes, sunscreen (or raincoat)

First things first: toilets are always dirty. Despite the best efforts of the organizers, after people have had one too many beers, toilets can’t be too clean, and in my experience they often run out of water. So wet wipes will be a life saver. Same goes for sunscreen or raincoats. Before leaving, check the weather forecast and take one or if you’re unsure, both. Sunburns or getting drenched can ruin your mood instantly.

2. Get cash

Without sounding like your mother or an Android phone that doesn’t let you listen to music on high volumes, you should consider having some cash with you. I’m not saying to empty your bank account, but you never know if the ATM will work, if there will be extra charges or if there’s going to be a long line when you’re super thirsty and want a drink right at that moment.

3. Please forget about photos and Snapchat at music festivals

Surviving Music Festivals: things you should know
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For the love of god, put your phone (or worse, tablet) down at music festivals! Look, you guys know I looove photographing everything, but over the years, I’ve stopped taking a bunch of photos at concerts. I never have my good camera with me and the results will be poor. Sure, I’ll take a few photos to remember the night, but the rest of the time I’ll be too busy singing and dancing. I was at an Ellie Goulding concert and she asked the audience to put their phone down before a song, to just enjoy the moment. Everyone put their phone down….for 10 seconds at the most. So rude! Don’t even get me started on all the teens around me who were on Snapchat the whole time, instead of watching the concert through their eyes. (I do realize saying this makes me sound like an old person, shut up 😛 )

4. Comfy clothes and shoes = happy time

Speaking of checking the weather forecast, dress according to the weather. Dress comfortably at music festivals. And more importantly, dress for yourself, not others.

5. Go early to your favorite bands

Surviving Music Festivals: things you should know
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Although my concert style (as well as travel style) has changed over the years, one thing hasn’t: I still like to be in front for my favorite artists. It’s just not the same as listening from the back. Sadly, this also means waiting in front of the stage or at the gates for a few hours. But being a few meters away from your favorite bands will be worth it.

6. Get a map of the venue

Music festival areas can be huuuuge! A map of the area can be a game changer, especially if it’s your first time there. I always take maps from a festival I go to every year, even though I know my way around, but I like keeping them as souvenirs. 🙂

7. Don’t be afraid to go alone

Not having someone to go with shouldn’t stop you from seeing your favorite bands. You can make new friends or have a great time on your own. A few years ago, Garbage were coming to a festival and I really wanted to see them, as I love them. Except the festival was out of town, in the middle of nowhere. And they were playing at midnight. And nobody wanted to go. Did I go? Well I can’t say it was an instant decision, but I realized that I would regret not seeing them, so I did go. And it was one awesome concert! 😀

The most important thing you should remember though is to have fun, summer festivals are the best!

Surviving Music Festivals: things you should know
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Are you going to any music festivals this summer? I’d love to hear your tips, you can share them on Twitter using #UltimateFestHacks

Note: all comics in this post are made by the talented Irma Eriksson (who designed my banner too!) for her Imy webcomic. Source for the cover image.

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  • Haha LOVE this! Very useful article and awesomely funny comic strips! 🙂
    I’m hoping to go to the RHCP concert in Budapest in September, so if I can get tickets, this article will definitely come in handy! 😀

    • Thanks! 😀 For years I’m hoping to go to Sziget in Budapest, fingers crossed I’ll go next year! 😀

  • Love the idea of going to music festivals – though to be honest it never seems to work out for us. Your tips are useful though, and well worth reading and remembering.

    Irma, you did a fab job on those comic strips! 😀

    • Thanks, Linda! Irma’s comics are always so great 😀

  • I’ve never attended this kind of music festivals. When I was young they didn’t have them in Romania and when I came to the States I had no more interest in them. In fact I was always more interested in classical music than in pop music. Your advice is great for those who want to attend music festivals these days.

    • Thanks, Anda! 🙂