Rookie mistakes: You don’t have to be a rookie to make rookie mistakes, but it certainly doesn’t help. Every festival is a learning experience but here are just a few of the most important tips to get you started. Pay attention because these are guidelines that can save your life…or at least your weekend.
First things first: When you arrive at a festival it can feel like Christmas. There are already people partying all around, bright shiny things are everywhere to look at and touch. It’s sensory overload! So before you dive right in and start going crazy take a few minutes to do these simple things to make your life easier.
Bathrooms: As SOON as you arrive take note of where the bathrooms are. At some bigger festivals, the port-a-potties can be like a 10 minute or more walk and sometimes there is a long line to wait in. The last thing you want is a couple of beers in you and you’re running around in pain aimlessly. The bright shiny things will still be there in five minutes, but losing control of your bladder will not easily be forgotten by your friends and camping neighbors. Something to think about…
Location: Second most important thing is to figure out where your campsite is in relation to the festival grounds and the rest of the camp. Take note of major landmarks (but understand that some things like artwork, big tents, and cars may move throughout the weekend). Some festivals can house close to 100,000 people all camping in similar cars with similar tents. Believe me, tents, tarps and cars all look the same in a giant field full of people. It is really easy to set up camp and go off to the show only to come back that night and realize that you can’t find your tent. It’s a good idea to use to same path to and from the stages so that it gets implanted in your memory and you can find your way in any condition. Often there are light posts, make-shift roads, fences, or giant numbered balloons that can aid you in this. Don’t wait until you spend hours wandering around wasted to figure this out.
Sunscreen: This can not be stressed enough! After all the weeks of looking forward to your trip, you don’t want to spend your weekend with a miserable sunburn. Even if you don’t think you need it, put it on anyway! You will be spending the majority of the weekend in the great outdoors, so if you fry on the first day the rest of the weekend is gonna blow. Also, the shows may not always be in the shade and you may have to miss some if you get cooked. Just do yourself a favor and just take care of your skin. I suggest spray-on sunscreen because by the end of the weekend you are going to be dirty. Rubbing in sunblock over dirt gets a little gross and it’s easy to throw the spray bottle in your bag to pull out randomly and reapply.
Water: My final rookie mistake to avoid is to make sure and stay hydrated. I know water is boring compared to other consumables you may find at a festival but it is by far the most important. Just slug it down and go on with your day, I promise your body will thank you! These Nalgene bottles are perfect!
Armed with these new tips you are now ready to go forth and party! Enjoy your show!