7 things you need to know before your next music festival


Summer is coming, and that means music festival season is imminent and not holding back. This year is already a year for trends.

“Fleek” eyebrows, Kylie Jenner everything, DIYs…it’s no wonder people jump on bandwagons so quickly—that’s all we know how to do. Music festivals especially have become a necessary trend among some college students within the last year.

With its increasing popularity among pop-culture celebrities and its hipster-chic atmosphere, who wouldn’t want to attend an amazing Instagram opportunity like a music festival? Why else would anyone paint their body, braid their hair, and wear such elaborate and confusing ensembles? Am I wrong? Tell me if I’m ringing any bells.

The truth is, I’ve never attended a music festival. I know, I know. Before you make any assumptions, let me defend myself. The idea of thousands of sweaty people being smashed together under 80-degree weather and forced into deafness by the headlining artist doesn’t sound so enticing.

Instead, I choose the comfort of my own dorm room, where the possibilities are endless and I don’t have to wear pants. Wait, do people have to wear pants at music festivals? I digress. My point is, music is just as enjoyable where I reside in North Carolina. Why should I travel to Indio, California just to hear Ellie Golding demand, “love me like you do, la-la-love me like you do,” when that song is played on the radio more times than I already prefer? I think I know the answer: it’s the experience, Mollie.

Sure, that might be plausible, except that’s not the kind of experience I can put on my resumé. So, I searched for some answers among High Point University students, as well as others. What exactly is all the hubbub? What are some tips that could save a novice like myself? I demand answers.

The information I received did not disappoint. Although she’s attended multiple music festivals across the nation, sophomore, Lindsey Goldberg, specifically recounts her experience at Country Thunder, a festival in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin.

“Once it all comes together, it’s totally worth it and so cool because you find out how much better the music and artists are live,” says Goldberg. “The saddest thing about the hype is when the last few songs of the night are played, and you realize you have to go back home.”

Senior Katie Albrecht attended Lollapalooza, a festival in Chicago, Illinois. “I spent $200 for a one-day ticket, but had a great time and loved Chicago,” Albrecht said. “I think my ticket was a bit expensive, though.”

Junior, Cayla Guzewski, was yet another student to have a positive experience at a music festival. As she reflected on her weekend last June spent at Firefly, a festival located in Dover, Delaware, she said, “The atmosphere is amazing, and you meet people from everywhere and become friends with the people that camp around you.”

Despite the hour ride from her home, Guzewski said, “It was absolutely worth the money…every penny. You get so much out of your experience.”

Great, now I know that the trip to a music festival is most likely worth it to break the bank. But I’m still not on board yet. I then asked my sources for some tips to help a music festival novice, like myself, have an enriching experience at any music festival. These experts definitely didn’t let me down:

1. “Definitely invest in one of those Camelback backpacks that holds water,” said freshman Isabelle Glassmith. “Also, don’t just go to see really famous artists, instead, go to the ones that seem like you’ll actually have fun.”

2. “Dry ice is way better than buying regular ice everyday in order to keep your things cold,” said Guzewski. Guzewski also mentioned bringing the following items to ensure a smooth, comfortable stay at the festival: citronella candles, baby wipes, lysol wipes, a first-aid kit, toilet paper, reusable water bottles, a variety of snacks—from hotdogs to marshmallows—tarps, and a tent, just to name a few.

3. “Plan for the worst case scenario, or a wardrobe malfunction,” said sophomore Lindsey Goldberg. “With that being said, I always bring a fanny pack or backpack, with these few, but life saving, items: plastic ziplock baggies just in case it rains so you can put your phone inside, safety pins just in case your clothes rip or break, a portable phone charger, hand sanitizer, tissues, a portable fan for when it gets blazing hot, cheap sunglasses (not your nice Ray-Bans), sun screen, and bug spray.”

4. “Wear things that are comfy and that you can be in all day,” said freshman Halle Jacobs. “Don’t bring anything you actually care about because it might get ruined or lost.”

5. “Bring an empty, reusable water bottle,” said freshman Taylor Agapite. “You normally can’t bring in liquids and the bigger festivals have refill stations. For Coachella, specifically, bring a bandana to cover your face in case of sand storms—unless you want to breathe in desert dust.” Agapite also mentioned that many festivals have their own apps that anyone with a smartphone can download. She said that it will show a list of all of the performers. Users can customize a list of performers they want to see, and the app will notify when and where those performers are taking the stage.

6. “Take advantage of the cool-down areas and wear shorts and causal tank tops because typically it’s during the summer and it will be really hot,” said senior Lauren DeSimone. “Also, make sure you make a game plan and figure out where you want to go and when so you don’t get lost in the crowds.”

7. “Just be nice! Festivals, specifically EDM festivals, are such a caring environment; we tend to look after each other,” said sophomore Haleigh Manao. “If you see someone not doing so well, help them. Get them water and help. Don’t push and shove. As ravers would say: PLUR, peace, love, unity, respect.” Well, if you didn’t know…now you know. The music festival season is an intense one, and I would venture to say that these tips could save anyone from an emergency. Looks like I might be signing up for a road trip to see it all for myself.

Campus Chronicle
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