Ever since Woodstock, music festivals have been part of the bliss of summer for the young and unencumbered. They’re now massive multi-day cultural events with corporate sponsors, plenty of rules and they can cost big bucks to attend. In order to maximize your enjoyment, we’ve got suggestions on your must haves when taking in a summer music festival.
Know your festival
Some festivals are single or multi-day events in the heart of cities, where festival goers stay in nearby hotels or trek home for the night. Others last days and take place in fields, forests and mountains, with camping making up a large part of the experience.
While some people head to a festival with the clothes on their backs and expect their mind-altering substance of choice to smooth over any rough patches, the rest of us like to be prepared for weather, hunger, injury and maximum fun.
Just a reminder – nothing kills the fun like having your expensive beverages, jewelry or camera confiscated by security. Commonly prohibited items include: Beverages other than water (including energy drinks), glass containers, professional cameras with detachable lens, umbrellas, chairs and laser pointers. Some festivals are more restrictive than others – so check the festival’s banned items list, it will be available on their website.
You don’t want to be weighed down like a Nepalese Sherpa, but there are a few things you’ll want to bring into the festival or have at your campsite.
Single day festivals
- A bag for your stuff – lightweight backpacks, cross body bags and fanny packs are good, purses and totes that don’t fit over your shoulder are bad.
- Mini sunscreen. Because, cancer sucks. Apply liberally and often.
- Portable battery charger, especially if you’re taking a lot of photos, videos or Periscoping.
- An inexpensive single use poncho. In fact, pack two and make a friend when the skies open up.
- An empty water bottle. At some festivals, staff will keep the lid when you buy a drink, so bring your own empty water bottle for the free water refill stations.
Going into the grounds each day you’ll want the items noted above, plus a mini-flashlight you can attach to your belt loop for dark walks back to the campsite.
- Pain medication and a first aid kit – the medics are usually easy to find on the festival grounds, but might be a long walk from your campsite.
- Soccer balls, footballs, Frisbees and beersbee sticks – enjoy a little play time before you head to the grounds.
- A solar powered rechargeable portable speaker makes roaming the campground at night to see what site parties are happening much more fun, and will usually generate conversation, sing-along and impromptu dance parties.
- Real food – don’t forget to pick up fruit, vegetables and lean protein in addition to the beer, bacon and potato chips. The older the festival goers, the more elaborate the food they’ll be preparing at their campsites on their BBQs, stoves and generator powered fondue pots and popcorn makers.
Let’s hear from our festival goers? Comment below if there is anything you’d like to add to this list.
*All photos on this post are credited to the Sasquatch Music Festival.
Disclosure: This Bird’s Day is a proud London Drugs ambassador.
Opinions are the author’s and are not influenced.
Sarah began freelance writing for the Calgary Herald at the age of 15. Since then, she’s written hundreds of feature articles, book reviews and business, restaurant and individual profiles for magazines and newspapers across Canada. Sarah has three daughters who sometimes accompany her on her travels, and she blogs at Doing All The Things. You can read some of her other travel pieces at http://sarahdeveau.wordpress.com/.