Music festivals are becoming more popular every year. A weekend filled with your favourite music, dancing the night away, and making memories that will last a lifetime sounds like a dream come true. Classic festivals like Burning Man, EDC Las Vegas, and Tomorrowland are huge and growing larger every year. But we’re also seeing smaller festivals pop up and even local and county music festivals that feature local talent.
Camping music festivals are another type of festival that attendees are starting to fall in love with. This way, you can rage all day and then walk back to your campsite to pass out at night. No matter the type of festival you attend, the hardest part is trying to get there.
Packing everything you need for a vacation is stressful enough but then when you add on also having to pack your house for the weekend, it becomes almost overwhelming. So we’ve compiled all the tips and tricks you’ll need to prep like an expert to ensure you have the greatest time possible at your first or next camping music festival.
What To Pack
Before you even lease the house, you’ll need to make a checklist for all the items you’ll need and or want to bring with you. We recommend packing, purchasing, and bringing all of these items with you on your adventure that are for your personal health, camping equipment, clothes, food and drinks, and some random other stuff. Here are some of the items we highly suggest you bring with you.
Your clothing will depend on your personality, style, and what type of festival you are attending. Some staple items are sneakers and flip-flops. You’ll want sneakers and socks for running around all day and then flip flops for while you’re walking around the campsite.
A bathing suit is a grand idea for showering at least once during the event. Whatever outfits you decide on, be sure you have enough for each day and night and some extras just in case. Bring a poncho as opposed to an umbrella because many festivals won’t let you bring those in. A hat and sunglasses are a great idea for the daytime and pack some light bending rave glasses for when the sun goes down.
For shelter and comfort, pack a tent and an EZ pop up tent. One is for you to sleep in and the other is to set up to block out the sun and create some shade by your campsite to hang out under. A tarp to lay under your tent just in case it rains is a fine idea. Some camping festivals allow you to camp right next to your car which gives you even more places to hang out and store your stuff.
Check the rules on the festival you’re about to head out to see what the deal is. Bring some foldable chairs, yoga mats, and hammocks to hang out in. Also, a battery powered fan is a solid idea. You’ll want some towels to dry off and in case you need to clean up any major spills.
For bedding, you’ll want an air mattress or sleeping bag, blankets for when it ultimately does get cold, and pillows. It’s all about food and because of that, you’ll want to bring some snacks because the food at events is pricy. Bring some non-perishable snacks, like granola bars, to throw in your backpack or eat when you first wake up. A case of water is an excellent idea to both drink and use to shower off.
Many festivals offer free water refill stations once you get in the festival grounds but in the camping area, you may be left on your own. One huge cooler is perfect and fill that baby with ice and throw some garbage bags on the side and call it a day.
The last section of what to bring involves personal items, light, and random other things. For yourself, do not forget to bring your ticket, ID, cash, and debit or credit cards. It sounds silly but there have been many times where we’ve gotten halfway to the event and had to turn around because we forgot something crucial.
A backpack or fanny pack to carry your stuff in is required. In it, you can throw some hand sanitizer, sunscreen, a first aid kit, chapstick, baby wipes, bug spray and other toiletries you may need. For light sleepers, an eye mask and earplugs are a lifesaver. Bring a flashlight that runs on batteries with you.
The campsites get dark and you don’t want to be stumbling around at night trying to find your way home. Battery powered lights are excellent for this and can be used to mark your campsite from the millions of other tents. Finally, items like gum, a portable speaker, paper towels, duct tape, a portable phone charger or battery pack are never in enough supply at a festival. Basically, when it comes to camping, it’s better to have and not need than need and not have.
What To Do Before You Get There
People don’t realize how important planning is before you leave for the event. There are several things you can do to prepare yourself before hitting the festival grounds.
- Download the festival app
– This is a great resource to have before and during the event. Most apps allow you to set your schedule and will work even if you don’t have service. They will also send you updates throughout the event with schedule changes and weather updates.
- Designate a backpack or a fanny pack for the weekend
– You need a safe place for all your stuff that zips. If you pack this at home, as soon as you get to the event you’ll be able to hit the ground running.
- Plan out and try on all your outfits at home
– Chances are you don’t have a full-length mirror at your campsite. Planning your outfits at home allows you to see what they look like and how they feel before you commit to them.
- Figure out who you need to see
– Unfortunately, you won’t be able to see every single DJ or artist at the festival. Things happen, friends get lost, and time disappears before your eyes.
- Don’t bring anything with you that you can’t live without
– Things get stolen and that can certainly ruin your night. As a general rule of thumb, it’s smart to not bring anything with you that you don’t want to lose.
- Check the weather
– Even if the weather channel swears it won’t rain, it probably will.
- Pack the car the night before
– This is huge. While packing the car, you can also check to see what you’re missing. You also will remember where you put everything once you get there if you don’t just throw everything into the car.
- Hit the gas station on the way in
– You literally never know how long you’ll be in line waiting to get to your campsite. Plus if it’s super hot or cold, jump in the car and turn it on to relax in your own climate control.
What To Do Once You Get Inside The Festival
Hopefully, you know the people you are going to the festival with. If you don’t make friends fast because you’re going to relying on each other for survival and friendship. There are some critical things you must to in order to have the best time possible. A little planning now leads to hours of fun later.
1. Make your campsite feel like home
– Put up some battery powered string lights, set up your chairs, and make your campsite cozy to head home to. Also, clean up after yourselves before heading in for the day. That way you come home to a nice clean site.
2. Use day 1 to get a feel for the layout of the festival grounds
– Walk around the grounds, figure out where you want to eat, set up the meeting point, etc. Day 1 is a great time to get your bearings for the rest of the weekend.
3. Drink lots of water
– Too many people are passing out at events and this can be avoided if they just drink water. Fill up a reusable water bottle and carry it with you to sip on all day. Drink up before you go to bed to reset yourself for the next day.
4. Buy your merchandise on the first day
– Merch tents run out of all the good stuff first. Sizes become harder and harder to find. Just grab what looks good and then you can use it as an outfit for a future day if you’d like.
5. Check out all the pretty lights
– There are so many different lights and visuals to look at while walking through the festival. Our recommendation is to watch flow artists do their thang with their flow toys. Our favourite is cool led gloves with lights on the end of the fingers.
6. Know and plan on not having service
– Your phone is great for taking pictures and videos at a fest, not contacting your mom. Text her before you get there letting her know you’re safe. You also can’t text your friend when they disappear so this is crucial.
7. Establish a meeting point inside the festival
– This way, even if you get separated you’ll always be able to find your friends.
8. Be nice to the event staff
– These people are here to help you and make sure you have fun. Don’t be rude to them when they tell you something.
9. Leave nothing but footprints
– Pick up after yourself, recycle, don’t make a mess. Many festivals take place in parks and beautiful locations so leave them better than you found them.
10. Stretch it out
– Have a quick team stretch before heading into each day. With hours of dancing and less than ideal sleeping situations, you want to be sure to give your body a break. Count to ten and then switch sides.
11. Have a going home plan and bag packed
– Going home sucks but it will suck a little less if you prepare ahead of time. Pack an extra bag with dry clothes and socks and figure out when you need to leave on the last day.
12. Try something new
– Festivals are a safe space so try something you’ve never done before, but be safe about it. Maybe try a new form of yoga or head to a stage with a DJ you’ve never heard of.
13. Live in the moment
– These memories will truly last a lifetime so dance like a fool, make new friends, and focus on what’s happening in front of your eyes. Get lost once just to see what the universe has in store for you.
14. Have fun and be safe
– Don’t be an idiot is a general rule at these things. The last thing you want is to pay a lot of money for the ticket and then regret it. Have a blast but keep your wits about you.