It’s definitely an experience. You’ve got to remember that. But there are a few events that make this experience organic and beautiful and that’s what make it memorable.
If you and your friends are thinking about going to a camping music festival, there a few things you’ve got to know.
1. You will over pack unnecessary things and under pack what you really need.
Don’t pack all those “festy” outfits you’ve got in your closet, I’m going to tell you this now, you will wear two to three outfits the entire time you are there, probably the same shorts the entire time. Minimize the outfits and bring essentials such as lanterns, towels, toiletries, sunblock, bug spray and a bunch of munchies. You will forget one of those items while you are worrying about which outfit you wanted to change into in between shows.
2. Even if you are in a hurry, do not speed because you will be pulled over, and you are already spending a lot of money as is.
I learned the hard way. Don’t speed, just don’t do it. I know the road trip is long but trust me if I could drive all the way to Michigan from Texas without getting a speeding ticket so can you.
3. Bring enough festival funds for the trip there and back because you will spend 80% of your money just on the road.
I thought that I was going to need so much money for the actual festival but I barely even broke $20 when I was there. You will be spending most of your money on food, gas, Gatorade and water on the way there and back unless you buy way too many souvenirs.
4. When you are all set up make sure to have a unique totem or light that you can identify with when you have to head back to the tent, you will get lost, for hours.
I am serious, if you go to a huge festival like I have before you need to understand that there are thousands of other tents that look exactly like yours and finding your tent will take some serious searching and tracking down. Get yourself a cool flag, make a totem, whatever. Landmarks help too, to track down your tent after a long day at the festival.
5. Do not pregame too intensely because you will struggle in the venue.
Pre-gaming is cool and fun, you are preparing yourself to go into the festival, but do not get lost in the sauce. If you are too sauced, you will get too lost in your own sauce, and nobody wants that.
6. You’ve gotta must embrace your dirtiness because you will be the dirtiest you’ve ever been.
Okay, do not expect to shower, at all during the festival unless you want to actually spend twenty bucks on a shower. This is for real. You just got to embrace your inner wook (dirty hippie status) and go with it. Everyone there will be at the same level of dirtiness so I guess you can say it evens out. Don’t forget to brush your teeth though and maybe wash your face with water bottles.
7. Remember the number one essential: PACK WATERS.
I seriously cannot stress this enough, you need water whether you like it or not. Even if it’s really bulky in the car you need it to hydrate after being beaten by the sun all day at shows.
8. You will not make every artist on the lineup so chose wisely, and realistically.
You can plan all you want, but I promise you, you will not see every artist your little heart set out to see. You will either sleep in or cannot move because of how exhausted you are from the day before.
9. Bring multiple pairs of shoes, and make sure they are durable to withstand a mosh pit.
Don’t be that one girl wearing cute little sandals to the show. You will be that girl who will lose a toenail or gets stomped consistently during the festival.
10. Your hair will have the opportunity to become dreads, so I suggest a pack of hair ties.
I mean if you are going for it, just let your hair loose. But I will warn you, it will take more than a hairbrush to brush out those dreads mixed with all sorts of grass and dirt from dancing all night.
11. Back to hydration, STAY HYDRATED AND INVEST IN A CAMEL BACK or at least make sure that someone in your group has one.
It is always important to stay hydrated but it is CRUCIAL for you to stay extra hydrated during a festival. I’ve seen some ugly things and you don’t want to be the person who faints in a large crowd (Brie, this one’s for you).
12. You will lose your friends at one point, but you have to stay calm and enjoy it because you probably will not find them until the end of the day.
It happens, whether it’s going through the crowd and you get stuck in the abyss or losing them at the porta potty station. It will happen but don’t stress, you will find them. Eventually. There is a point in time when you need to stop looking and just enjoy yourself for the rest of the day. Take that L but make the most out of it.
13. Don’t be that one person who continuously nags and complains during the trip. Things happen and that's the nature of it.
You are spending so much money for this festival, and are road tripping way too far to not enjoy yourself and bring everyone down. I mean we all get crabby at one point but you’ve got to remember to have fun and make the most out of it.
14. Sometimes you get adopted. Sometimes you will meet the greatest people this way.
What I mean by “adopted” is that when you lose your friends and can’t find your campsite, people are nice enough to bring you in to party with them for the rest of the festival. Yes, this does happen all the time and it’s awesome how friendly your fellow festival goers are. Just use your best judgment though, always be careful.
15. You must have a bad weather procedure ready because you can't predict the weather.
Alright. Dancefestopia. 2016. Literally a swamp party. I’ve never been so muddy in my life. Always bring either some warm clothes or some rain boots to get you through the festival rain or shine.
16. Forget your phone because it won't work anyway.
Don’t expect to be able to call or text anyone and even if you can there are only a couple spots that have mediocre service. Enjoy yourself, and put your phone down like the Lost Kings would say, because that’s the whole point of camping festivals. Just you, your friends, nature and music.
17. Setting up almost sucks as much as packing up.
Oh, the time comes to pack up. Please be kind to throw away your junk properly during this time. It is actually harder to pack up and organize everything to fit perfectly in the car.
18. The last day of the festival is the saddest day, but remember you still have the whole road trip to ponder at the fact that it is over.
You want to cry, we all ponder on the last day and try to enjoy ourselves even though you know it’s about to be over. The road trip back will be hell.
19. You are probably going to be beaten up, sore, dirty and borderline dead when you leave the festival.
You go through a lot during your stay there, if it’s dancing all day or running around the festival. You will leave almost in pieces, but in the best way. You get out everything you’ve wanted to get out of the festival.
20. These unplanned experience will be the greatest time of your life.
Going back to reality you realize how amazing that time actually was, away from the world. You will come back with many memories of fun and laughter, and some numbers of new found friends from all parts of the world. You will bond with people in ways you cannot imagine. So I highly recommend to go out to a camping festival at least once in your life, and I promise you, you will be back for more.