As Chapman students, we are located near some of the best and biggest music festivals in the country – Coachella, Desert Daze, and Outside Lands to name a few. These festivals can bring you together with other music lovers in your area, but if you’ve never attended a festival before, it may be intimidating knowing how to prepare. Here are 10 essential tips students should know before a weekend music festival.
1. Wear comfy shoes
No matter what festival you attend, make sure you’re wearing comfortable footwear. You will be walking and standing for hours on end, so be prepared. Sneakers, cowboy boots, or comfy sandals are your best option. If you must wear those heels you’ve been dying to show off, make sure you put a gel or padded insole inside so you can romp around and dance to your favorite band without worrying that your feet are going to fall off.
2. Bring your own snacks and drinks
Festival food may be delicious, but incredibly overpriced. Some festivals will let you bring in your own food and unopened drinks. Take a look at what’s allowed inside and take advantage of what you can bring so that you don’t end up springing $5 for a water bottle. Consider limiting yourself to one vendor-meal per day, which could end up saving a lot of money. If you’re of legal age, bringing your own alcoholic drinks can save you from buying a $10 beer later on.
3. Do your homework ahead of time
This cannot be stressed enough. You don’t want to be worrying about your calculus homework while you’re grooving to your favorite band. Music festivals are about community and freedom; don’t ruin the experience by procrastinating. I once witnessed my friend dictate an entire essay into her phone and search for Wi-Fi hours before turning it in. Don’t be that person.
4. Look online for resale tickets
Many people don’t think to look at alternative sources for tickets. Websites such as eBay are a great place to find resale tickets at a discounted price. Plus, it has a money-back guarantee in case you’re scammed. Through eBay, I was able to buy a weekend festival ticket for $250 less than face value. Always explore options before buying a full-priced ticket.
5. Bring a backpack or fanny pack
A backpack or fanny pack is an essential. It’s easy to lose things if you’re carrying them in your pockets, and a shoulder purse can get in the way of dancing. The best way to enjoy the festival is hands-free, which is why a small bag or fanny pack are the way to go.
6. Bring plenty of cash
Although credit and debit cards are usually accepted, you will need cash at some point. All vendors take cash and usually do not charge tax if you pay in bills. It is a hassle to fumble through your bag to get your debit card, and can take a while to finish the transaction if the Wi-Fi connection is poor. Avoid the hassle by bringing cash.
7. Explore and check out vendors
Vendors are often one of the most overlooked parts of a festival. Many vendors are local business owners that offer a wide variety of goods. If you want to find something unique and support local businesses, make sure you take time to check out the vendors at a festival.
8. Have a copy of the schedule and line-up
Most schedules are posted online, but constantly scrolling through your phone will run down your precious battery life and take you out of the experience. Bands will be performing all day, so bring a physical copy of the schedule to make sure you don’t miss out on any bands.
9. Bring bathroom supplies
If you find a festival with running water and showers, thank your lucky stars. Most festivals only offer portable toilets. If you want to freshen up after a day of dancing in the sun, bring your own supplies like toilet paper, baby wipes, and hand sanitizer.
10. Have fun!
Now that the stressful part is over, the most important thing is to have fun. See your favorite artists, spend time with your friends, and enjoy yourself! You won’t be able to experience this magic again until next year.