Festivals are all fun and games. Right?
Festivals can be a great time, but being unprepared can make or break your experience, especially for a first time festival-goer. A little bit of planning can go a long way.
Here are ten essential must haves for the first time festie:
1. A CamelBak (or other water carrying pack)
This is a must. Most festivals are held during the blazing summer months, making it way easier than you would think to become dehydrated. Dehydration doesn’t hit slowly, either. One second you’re having a blast, listening to your favorite band with all your friends and the next second you have a headache, are throwing up and can’t see straight. CamelBaks can be used to store water and keep it cold for hours. Plus, they have pockets and pouches for your money and snacks. They’re easy, useful and you’ll thank yourself later for investing in one. Even if you think you’re responsible enough to go without, don’t. This is the number one must have.
2. Comfortable sandals
Think dad sandals: the ones that strap your feet in and act like tennis shoes, but have holes all over them so your feet can breathe. You aren’t going to want to wear shoes because of the heat. Being barefoot is nice, but there are unidentifiable liquids and semi-solids all over the place. Bring the shoes, shirk your inner fashionista and learn to love your dad sandals.
3. Baby wipes
Most festivals don’t offer showers unless you pay extra for them. After a long day of dancing, sweating and singing, you’re going to be exhausted and not willing to pay for a shower when it’s the same price as a slice of pizza as big as your face and you’re hungry. Sleeping in a tent or RV when you’re sticky and dusty is a recipe for disaster. Stretch your dollar, get some baby wipes and give yourself a wipe down before you go to sleep. You’ll feel refreshed and relatively clean. Don’t be fancy, generic ones will do.
4. A canopy
Many festivals offer free camping with the purchase of an admission ticket. How you want to camp is entirely up to you, you can keep it simple or you can be extravagant. One thing you need no matter which is shade. The simplest way to acquire it is with a canopy. It’s hot, you’re tired, you need shade.
This is cliche, but bring bandanas. They’re a staple. You never realize how many uses a bandana has until you’re away from home for a week with thousands of sweaty drunk people in the middle of summer.
This is something I missed out on my first fest! Bring body paint. It adds so much to the experience. Seeing other people’s body art and having them admire yours is an aspect not many talk about. Plus, it’s a great way to make festie friends. You’d be surprised at how many people ask to paint you or for you to paint them. Glitter is also acceptable.
I feel like I shouldn’t even have to say this, but I must. You WILL get burnt. Bring sunscreen and use it. You don’t look like a loser putting it on. You look like a loser when at the end of the fest, you can’t sit down in your car to go home because you’re too burnt for your leather seats.
8. A disposable camera
Nothing is better than bringing a Kodak camera (or other disposable camera) to a festival. You’d be amazed at how well the pictures turn out compared to the ones on your phone. I promise you, this is something you HAVE to do. Put your cell phones away, spend time with your fest mates and bring plenty of disposables! The results are beautiful.
It doesn’t matter what festival you go to, make kandi and bring it. People are always on standby to trade with you. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, just make something you like that’s from the heart. You meet some really cool people when you understand how to get involved in the festival scene.
Without the festival attitude, the experience is nothing. There isn’t anything like a festival in this world. Understand that things will go wrong, you will be inexplicably dirty and you’ll probably lose something during your time there. Also understand that everyone is kind, people help you out and that fest friends are the best friends you’ll ever find. Festivals are truly amazing, not so much because of what they are, but because of who goes. By going, you’re committing yourself to multiple days of happiness. Don’t be that person that gets upset because their favorite shirt got ruined or something stupid like that. Be happy, be kind, be generous.
See something that I missed? Would you bring something else instead? Tell me your thoughts! What are your 10 festie must haves?
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