We have only two words for you: live music. We can’t ever, won’t ever get enough. As the season of summer music festivals approaches, we start gearing up for the time of our lives (and stocking up on festival clothing so we’re sartorially prepped for rad fest style). Because let’s face it, no matter how great your laptop speakers are, live music will always be the ultimate music experience. Hence our Music Festival Survival Guide, where we’ve gathered our infinitude of festival knowledge and created a list of top ten music festival tips and the festival clothing suggestions you’ll need to make it through from the opening act to the last set. And then you’ll find a rundown on our four favorite festivals, because each fest has its own vibe, festival clothing must-haves, and unique experiences. Basically we’re here to up your fest prep game. So break out the flower crowns and fringe, kick it with your friends, Instagram the $hit out of everything, and make it one epic weekend of music madness.
1. Awesome Festival Clothing
The ABC’s of festival clothing are as follows: A. Comfortable as hell. B. Layer it up and C. Accessorize for maximum boho chic levels. If you take away one piece of advice from our festival clothing recs, let it be this: Always, always, always dress as comfy as you can. Now, prioritizing comfort in your festival clothing does not mean sacrificing sartorial awesomeness. True, your festival clothing must allow you to walk and dance and rage all weekend. But there is no better time to radically express your style because everything goes at a music festival. Rock out in acid wash confidence, be rebel free in fringe, and utterly bohemian in daisy chains. But whatever festival clothing you’re wearing should be easy to slip down in a portapotty. To keep your ‘fits on point, don’t forget to bring layers and bring on the accessories. Seriously. Make room in your bag for bib necklaces, statement rings, and heaps of bangles.
2. Comfy kicks
After comfortable festival clothing, the next most important tip can be summed up in two words: ankle boots. Ankle boots go with all your festival ‘fits, they’re comfortable for constant walking, and conveniently close-toed to protect yourself from drunken moshers.
3. SPF, SPF, SPF
Sunscreen is so important we’re dedicating an entire tip to it. Tan responsibly. You put ages into packing the perfect festival clothing, so don’t let a burn ruin your ‘fit or your mood.
4. Backpack it
They’ll stay with you through thick and thin as long as you’re strapped in (which can’t be said for the friends you came with). Backpacks and shoulder bags are a must for carrying your festival going essentials, including an extra festival clothing layer should the temperatures dip, tissues for when the portapotty is out of toilet paper, and hand sanitizer to avoid getting sick.
5. Happy body
In between show-hopping, you should do two things: drink water and eat! Water and food does a body good. Always have a water bottle in your bag to fill it up at water fountains and keep a few snacks in your pack to stay hydrated and energized. People who crash miss the after-party.
6. Mo’ Money
Bring cash. ATM fees are lame.
7. Make a schedule
You can’t see everything since bands overlap and your friends may not agree on all the same shows. Plan out who you are going to see, and know when and where they are playing, and get there at least 15 minutes before the band starts. Festival regret is real, and there’s no cure.
8. Stay charged
Sure there are charging stations, but those lines are long kids. Take some extra precautions: dim your brightness all the way down, close all your apps when you’re not using them, limit your Instagram feed browsing, and consult the paper schedule for showtimes instead of the phone app.
9. Meeting point
You are bound to get separated from your friends, but if you have a meeting point, you’ll be fine. If you don’t, you may never see your friend again. Take a picture of a phone number to call if your phone gets lost, then put it as your cell phone background. Having this info on your cell phone could be the difference between a phone lost forever and a tearful reunion with your iBestie.
10. Have a freakin' blast
FYI: your music festival days will be the greatest days of your life. Whether you’re at your favorite band or discovering a new one, rocking festival clothing that gets you snapped for every street style blog out there, or just chillin’ with friends in between sets, take it all in.