9 Tips For Your First Music Festival— After You Wash Away The Shame Of Waiting This Long

9 Tips For Your First Music Festival— After You Wash Away The Shame Of Waiting This Long

It will be the best and craziest weekend of your life.

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So I had the chance to go to Music Midtown in Atlanta a few weeks ago. This was my first music festival and I was expecting a good time. I knew it was going cool but boy I was not expecting it to go down the way that it did. Since festival season is closing out, I wanted to give my advice from my experience at my first music festival.

1. Stick to your original plan

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Have a game plan and stick to it. If the gates open at 12, then get there before 11 to not be in the long lines outside the venue. If you're leaving at eight, leave at eight before you get stuck in the traffic of people and cars leaving the venue. Multiple artists are performing at different stages through the whole event so you need to know what time sets are and where to go.

2. Have a budget

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Festivals tickets are expensive but so is getting there. If it's out of state, then you have to think about plane tickets or driving, and hotel stays. The cheapest tickets to get are Spirit airlines or Southwest. I know it's the bottom but a $200 Delta ticket versus a $89 Southwest ticket is not debatable. Book your hotel a month before the festival because they book up quick as soon as the festival dates drop. Keep it simple and save your coins.

3. Hydrate the whole day

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No matter what festival you go to, it's going to be hot. Bring your own water bottle and drink two bottles of water before you go to the festival. The water stations have long lines and bottles of water are overpriced.

4. Get the festival map

Make sure to get the festival map on your phone so you won't get lost. Know where the stages are and where to find the restrooms by getting the festival app. It will have your location and a live view of the whole festival venue.

5. Prepare to swim through the crowds

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The crowds in festivals are insane. It's crowded and hot the whole day. You are going to be pressed and pushed up against people you've only known for two hours. Be prepared to swim and dive through the crowds to get some oxygen and go to where you wants to be.

6. Festival food is expensive

Festival food is not cheap and vendors are always overpricing their food when they book these big festivals. You don't have to starve but have breakfast before you go. I would be $40 for to two sets of meals for lunch and dinner plus a couple of drinks, if you are 21 and over.

7. You don't have to buy merchandise for the memories

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Festival merchandise is going to be expensive and the cheapest thing you'll find is a hat for $10. If you want to get some merch from the festival vendors, I would go for the cheapest shirt. Also, a lot of the sponsors will have free merchandise for attendees at the festival so you don't have to spend $50 on a shirt and a poster.

8. People will be turnt to the max

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People get wild at these festivals and have leway to have a good time. People are leaving their everyday lives for the weekend and problems so it will get pretty crazy. People are crowd surfing, smoke weed, drink to the nines. Just be aware that you'll be seeing some things in two or three days you're out there.

9. Have Fun

Remember to enjoy the experience and have a good time. You are living your best life and should enjoy the time of your life.

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A Survival Guide For Electric Forest

A list of things to bring, the most important being a positive attitude.
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With summer festival season in full swing, and one of the most talked about festivals only a few days away, I thought I’d feature an article on how to best prepare yourself for a camping festival, specifically Electric Forest. On June 23-26, thousands of people from all over the country will occupy the small town of Rothbury, Michigan. For many, it is their first year and are quite unsure of what to expect. I was not as prepared as I could have been my first year. You can never be too prepared, but you have to experience something yourself to truly know what to expect. I hope these tips offer insight into how to have the best weekend.

Have a good attitude and be flexible. Be open to the fact that things do not always go as planned. Everyone has a special forest experience meant for them and sometimes that includes doing things you did not expect and meeting people you would not have met otherwise.

Live with and love whatever the weather decides to do. At any festival you have to be ready for anything, especially in Michigan where the weather is unpredictable. One minute it can be sunny and hot, next minute there could be a thunderstorm. It is best to bring multiple pairs of shoes, ones you do not care how muddy or dusty they get. Or you could go barefoot. No one really cares how much clothing you have on in the Forest.

Bring clothes that you love (including extra underwear). I suggest pulling the largest duffel bag out of your closet and filling it with all of your favorite clothes. Keep in mind to pack warm clothes, it gets cold at night. Also, do not forget a rain poncho, jacket or suit and boots.

Bring baby wipes. They are good for just about anything. They provide you with an alternative to soap and running water by cleaning off yesterday’s makeup and glitter and scrubbing away a day’s worth of dirt and sweat. Baby wipes, or some other form of wet wipe, is a must.

Reusable water bottles. Bring at least two, if you don’t have a camelback. It is easy to get dehydrated when out in the sun all day and dancing the night away. Staying hydrated is just as important as eating an ample amount of food each day.

Bring an abundance of food so you can avoid paying high prices from vendors; although, you should indulge in Spice Pie pizza at least once while there. The best food to bring is food that can handle being in a cooler for a few days. Foods like eggs, hot dogs, rice and beans, and fruits such as, apples, oranges and bananas and more. A portable grill is a must, as well as a cooler to keep everything fresh. Ice is sold on site.

Bring towels. They serve multiple purposes like using them to sit on the ground or for drenching up sweat.

Wear sunblock and sunglasses or a hat. The sun beats down during the day and you do not want to have a sunburn by the second day.

Bring trash bags to pick up after yourself and keep the campsite clean.

Although you should try to be minimal on paper products, toilet paper, paper towels, tissue and paper plates are all good things to pack.

Bring miscellaneous toiletries like toothpaste and brush, soup, lotion, face wash, baby powder, body spray, deodorant, Q-tips, cotton balls, hairbrush, razor, hair ties, dry shampoo.

Bring a first aid kit, you never know when you may need it. You are exposed to the elements all day, so if you tend to get sick easily, bring your favorite allergy medication and Emergen-C.

Print out a festival map and schedule since they will not have paper copies there and you do not want to have to rely on the app on your phone.

Bring campground essentials. Canopy, folding chairs, table, tapestry, blankets, pillows, tent, canopy, duct tape, sleeping bag, camping pad or cot.

Don't forget flashlights and a lantern. The campgrounds do not provide any sort of lighting.

Bring your hammock to relax. If you do not have one, they are sold there.

Jumper cables are important, too. It is a guarantee that you or someone near you will need to jumpstart a car at some point during the festival, especially if the car charges phones while it is turned off. If you bring jumper cables, then you have nothing to worry about.

Ear plugs for if you need some shut-eye and can still hear bass thumping from faraway stages or your neighbors are up later than you.

Just for fun things like body paint, kandi supplies, selfie stick, LED toys, Frisbee, hoola hoops, glitter, bubbles -- whatever you can think of that you might want to play with there.

Bring spending money for a variety of things, like buying unique items from the vendors.

Don’t forget to fill your tank up with gas before entering the lines to get in. It takes multiple hours to get in before setting up camp, and your car idles the entire time, moving a few feet every couple minutes. Also, you do not want to wait in a long line to fill up your tank at the only gas station when leaving Monday morning.

Don’t forget to have fun! Check out a set you have never heard of before, or take a break from your friends and go explore on your own. Do not be afraid to lose yourself in the forest.

Cover Image Credit: google

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Pharrell Williams Lights Up Napa's BottleRock

"Yezzir."

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If we want to take a pair of binoculars and zoom into one specific moment in my most recent trip to California, then the focus should stay onto BottleRock Napa. While the name itself gives away where this was located, it does not elicit the weather, food, music, and vibes – as we all know, I have a soft spot for music.

Day 2, Saturday (May 25th), included artists such as Sir Sly, Gary Clark Jr., Cypress Hill, Juanes, White Panda, and Pharrell Williams. A music festival in Napa Valley lives up to the perceived expectation – Michelin-star chefs and food vendors, wine galore, liquor, craft beers (IPA heaven), and a beautiful landscape. This is quite a difference from Chicago's Lollapalooza or Milwaukee's Summerfest, which mind you, there is no ill will for those festivals – but BottleRock poses its experience in a league of its own. Such a league includes an older age demographic of attendees, a "one-of-a-kind" location (for the US at least), and the non-festival route musicians — many of which are included above - and that was only Saturday.

As far as shows of the day, Pharrell Williams takes the cheesecake with his "mini-N.E.R.D. reunion" with Shay Haley, amongst his vocal featured classics "Gust of Wind," "Get Lucky," "Drop It Like It's Hot" and plenty more. His singing, even at age 46, came with grace and passion; start to finish, with little to no technical difficulties. The band was incredibly tight, note for note, and the all-female supporting singers and dancers added an element to this show, which I had yet ever to witness. The art and focus on a "performance" could not have been more prevalent in this show.

Pharrell's show is one that goes in the books with the likes of Justin Timberlake, Childish Gambino, The Foo Fighters, The Weeknd, J. Cole, Drake, and Disclosure. It is like the Men's Warehouse saying, "you're going to like the way you look," except Pharrell says, "you're going to like the way you feel, after my show." And that my friends, is a wrap.

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