By: Gabrielle Thomas
When getting ready for any music festival, one of the most important things to do is to figure out how you’re going to get there. To save money, driving and carpooling with friends is your best bet. Parking at music festivals can get pricey. Usually, parking can range from 15 to 25 dollars. If you carpool with friends, you can split the cost between each of you. Another way to save money when it comes to parking, is to get dropped of at the venue. If you have someone drop you off, you won’t have to worry about parking fees at all. If you choose to take this route, be sure to check out the venue’s website and learn where the drop-off area is located. Lastly, taking the local metro/bus station is a good way to save money.
Getting lots of rest the night before the festival is also very important. Most music festivals are an all day event, and you’re going to need all of your energy to get through the day. In addition to getting enough sleep, you’re going to need to prepare for the festival, the night before. This will ensure that you are fully prepared for your day and that you don’t forget anything at home.
- Backpack– By bringing a backpack, you won’t have to carry all of your belongings in your hands or pockets. Also, most music festivals give out free stuff and there are many opportunities to buy your favorite band/artist’s merchandise. Trust me, you’re going to want to keep all of your items safe in your backpack.
- Ziploc Bags– If the music festival is outside, which many of them are, there can be a chance of rain. It is a good idea to bring a couple of Ziploc bags with you, to protective valuables, such as your phone, from the rain.
- Towels– Seeing that many music festivals are outside, it is a strong possibility that you may get hot and sweaty. It is a good idea to bring a small towel to keep yourself dry throughout the day. (I didn’t bring a towel to my first music festival and regretted it, so I brought one to my next fest and it came in handy.)
- Watch– Instead of checking your phone every couple of minutes, if you wear a watch, you can save some of your phone’s battery life.
- Extra Socks– In the unfortunate event that it might rain, you’re going to want extra socks if your original shoes and socks get soaked.
- Sunglasses– Protect your eyes from the sun. You WILL be outside for an entire day.
- Hat– There isn’t always a lot of shady trees at music festivals. If you bring a hat, you can keep yourself shaded throughout the day.
- Water– If the venue allows you to bring in a water bottle, KEEP IT. Some festivals, like Vans Warped Tour, has FREE water filling stations, so you can stay hydrated throughout the day. PLEASE STAY HYDRATED.
- Cash– It is a good idea to already have cash on you because some venues may not accept debit or credit cards. Also, who wants to pay a fee for using an ATM?
- Sunscreen– Like I have mentioned before, you will be outside all day, keeping sunscreen on you, just might be a good idea.
- Poncho– In the event that it might rain, ponchos can keep you dry.
- Hand Sanitizer– Bathrooms and sinks aren’t always close by.
- Portable Charger– You don’t want your phone to die, as soon as your favorite artist takes the stage. That would be so devastating, right? If you have a portable charger, you can save yourself from such a tragedy.
- Sharpie/Markers– If the venue has set lists available, you might want to use a marker to mark the times and places of your favorite artists’ performances. There may also be opportunities for getting autographs.
- Extra hair ties
- Ticket– DO NOT FORGET YOUR TICKET!!! (I once left mine in the car, so I had to leave the extremely long admission line and go back to get it. I ended up coming back to the venue late. Just imagine how devastating it would have been if I left my ticket at home.)
Staying Safe & Enjoying the Event
Music Festivals are extremely fun, but you won’t enjoy the event if you’re not safe. One thing that can absolutely ruin the event for you is if you or any of your friends were to get sick or hurt. Here are a couple of ways to ensure that you are safe while enjoying the event.
You are going to need more water than you think. It can get hot and it can get hot really quick. In addition, you’re going to be using a lot of energy jamming out to all of your favorite artists. Be sure to take breaks, rest, and drink lots of water.
Don’t Forget to Eat
This may seem a little crazy because who forgets to eat, right? Well, at these types of events, it can be more common than you think. The key here is to not pass out.
Pay Attention to Helpful Areas around the Venue
Pay close attention to the venue’s signs and postings about where hydration stations and first aid tents are located. You never know when you might need help, so paying attention to these areas is very important.
Rules & Regulations are meant to Keep You Safe
Adhere to the rules and regulations of the venue and be respectful to security personnel. Security is there for a reason, to keep you safe, so please be mindful.
Yes, you’re at the festival to have a great time but no time is great if you’re not feeling well. Pay attention to your body, if you start to feel sick or like you need a break, PLEASE TAKE A BREAK.
Now that you know how to stay safe, let’s focus on how to enjoy the event.
Meet New People
It is always a good idea to come with your favorite people but don’t be afraid to meet new people as well. When I went to my first music festival, I came with my closest friends but I also introduced myself to many other people, which made the festival even more enjoyable. You never know, you might make a new friend, or a new concert buddy for future events.
Grab Free Stuff & Autographs
Take advantage of getting as much free stuff as possible and don’t miss the opportunity to meet your favorite artists and get autographs from them as well.
Take Photos and Videos
Take lots and lots of photos and videos so you can look back on what a great time you had. With that being said, don’t forget to also live in the moment. Take some time to stop recording and really enjoy watching your favorite artists through your own eyes, not your phone screen.
Discover New Artists
While you might have certain artists in mind, take opportunities to see new artists as well. You never know, you might end up discovering your new favorite band or artist.
Be Yourself and Have Fun
Dance if you want to dance. Sing along. Rock out. Head bang. Crowd surf. Get in that mosh pit. Do what you want, as long as it is safe and legal.
Staying Up To Date on Upcoming Tours
Once you go to one music festival, how can you not go to another? And if you’re as big of a music lover as I am, you would want to stay up to date on all of your favorite music artists, so you won’t miss out on the next time they’re performing near you.
Listed below are the ways I stay up to date with my favorite artists:
Social media is a great way to not only stay up to date with your favorite artists, but to interact with them as well. Most music artists are very active on social media, so no matter which social media platforms you like to use, chances are your favorite artists are using them as well. My personal favorite social media platform to use for keeping up with my favorite artists, is Instagram. Once you follow a band or artist, you are able to watch their Instagram stories, see and comment on their posts, see them go live, and watch them on Instagram TV. My favorite artists post stories almost every day. By watching these stories, I can see updates on current tours and get links to purchase tickets and band merch. Most artists also post links to tour ticket sites and merchandise in their bios. Artists also use their Instagram pages to update their fans on new music releases.
Checking Band/Artist Websites
Another way to keep up with your favorite artists is to simply check their websites. It’s easy. You can just type in the band or artist’s name on Google and their website is usually the first link to pop up. On their website, there will be a link for their tour dates and tickets. There are also links for purchasing merchandise, viewing past tour photos, listening and downloading albums, and reading news articles about the band.
Signing up for email subscriptions is another great way to stay up to date with music artists. By receiving email subscriptions, you will be automatically notified when your favorite artists are having shows in your area. I have subscriptions with Live Nation Concerts, The Masquerade, and Bandsintown.
Live Nation is the global leader for live entertainment, so they’ve definitely got you covered. Whenever you go to a show sponsored by Live Nation, you will receive concert cash to use on your next Live Nation show. Based on the shows you have seen, your emails from Live Nation will contain personalized concert lineups.
I’ve gone to many concerts at The Masquerade in Atlanta, Ga. Since this is usually my go to venue for concerts in my local area, I have subscribed to their email list. I get updates on artists that will be performing there in the upcoming future. Also, whenever you purchase a ticket from their venue, you will be automatically added to their email list. That way you don’t have to take the time to do so yourself.
Bandsintown is a great app to use to stay up to date with artists because you’re able to personalize your music experience by selecting your favorite genres and music artists. Bandsintown will then personalize and update you on when your favorite artist or artists similar to your favorites are having events near you. If you don’t want to download the app, you can still sign up for their emails. You will still be able to personalize your experiences.