It’s that time of the year when producers bring multiple acts together and organise a day—maybe even a weekend—filled with fun and music: the music festival. Not only is it a great way to maximise seeing multiple acts you like live, but the music festival is an experience in itself.
How are music festivals different?
Let’s go back to basics. If you’ve never been to one before, you might be wondering how it’s different from the other shows out there. Intimate gigs, solo headliners, mall shows, music festivals… what’s the difference apart from the fact that there are multiple acts? Yes, there are bar gigs with multiple performers as well as mall shows, but the music festival offers a whole experience. It’s typically a whole day event comprised of different activities. Sometimes there’s a theme that dictates what the vibe or feel of the place will be. Other times, there’s none. For example, Wanderland Music and Arts Festival has yearly themes that add to the whole experience.
Music Festival Tips
Find the right ticket line
If it’s your first time attending a music festival, you better check the venue map to know which area you can enter. Music festival venues can be huge, so knowing where the correct entrance for your ticket type is will save you energy and time. Sometimes lines can be segregated by gender, so once you arrive at the venue, do ask the marshalls or fellow concertgoers if you’re in the right line. The last thing you want is to spend thirty minutes waiting only to find out you’re in the wrong line.
Check what you can bring
And just like some concert venues, music festivals have their own rules on what you can and cannot bring. You can find this list on the official website or on their Facebook page, so check before going to the concert grounds. Not only will it be a hassle if you bring something that’s not allowed only to have it confiscated, but it will ruin your mood.
No matter the type of concert you’re going to, it’s vital to stay hydrated. I can’t stress this enough. Since music festivals last longer than your typical concert and often times can be set in an outside venue a.k.a. it’ll be really hot, so be prepared and if you can bring a water jug, bring one. Please, please stay hydrated. Your health is a priority.
Have a strategy
You’ll want to plan out your day if you want to make the most out of your music festival experience. Set times are often times released a few days before the festival, so download a copy of the setlist on your phone or print it out if you have to, and plan your day accordingly. If you have certain bands/performers in your must-see list, then you’ll have to check when’s the best time to go to the bathroom, buy food or try activities, so you can watch the full set. Do note that sometimes the lines for the bathroom or food stalls can get really long, so plan for that, too!
If you’re watching with a group of friends, expect that someone will get separated at one point or another, unless you guys have a buddy system. Set up a meeting place with friends in case you get lost or separated and the other person can’t be reached via mobile. Choose a memorable landmark or a specific booth and if possible at a specific time.
Set a budget
Music festivals can be costly. Prices for food, drinks and other merchandise is a bit pricier than the average especially if there’s no re-entry. Have a budget for food, drinks and even band merchandise. Don’t forget to have an emergency fund in case of anything.
Music festival essentials:
- Comfortable kicks — You’ll be standing for hours straight, so you might as well be in your most comfortable pair of shoes. If the music festival is held outdoors, you’ll want waterproof shoes or shoes that aren’t that hard to clean if they get any mud. It rained at a music festival last year and my foot fell into a puddle. I was wearing sandals. Yeah, it was not a great feeling to have muddy feet for the whole day.
- A stylish but comfortable outfit — yes, we all want an #OOTD outfit that will get lots of hearts and likes. Go for something stylish, but won’t hinder you from enjoying the festival to the fullest
- Water jug / constant supply of water — as explained above, it’s so important to stay hydrated
- Wipes/alcohol/hand sanitizer/tissue — unfortunately, the toilet situation can suck in some music festivals unless you’re in the VIP area. Portalets are the enemy. They’re dark, stinky, and really small. Don’t expect them to have a working faucet or flush, so wipes/alcohol/hand sanitizer or tissue will be life-savers
- Bug spray — if it’s an outdoor festival, don’t forget to protect yourself from unwanted bug and mosquito bites!
- Umbrella (if allowed)/ raincoat for outdoor festivals
Lastly, get good rest because it will be exhausting. You’ll come out with a heart full of joy, but the next day your body will feel like it’s been through a full body work-out.
Do you have any music festival tips you’d like to share?