Summer is synonymous with a few things: Sun, swimming, sunburns, sweat and summer music festivals. It is the prime time to see a bunch of your favorite bands while frolicking around for an entire weekend. Perfect or perfect? Well, it’s perfect if you’re prepared. The general rules of concert-going definitely apply to festivals, but there is a whole other set of challenges to prepare for unless you want to have a totally crappy weekend with a great soundtrack. Check out these 10 things you absolutely have to know before you head off to your first music festival.
Expect The UnexpectedThe weather report might look promising, but sudden rain storms are certainly known to happen in many parts of the world in the summertime, so bring an umbrella. Just because you rarely get sunburned doesn't mean you shouldn't bring sunscreen. Just because you think there's enough space left on your camera's memory card, doesn't mean you shouldn't bring an extra one--or an extra battery pack--just in case you want to take some awesome photos. It's better to be a little too prepared than totally unprepared. Photo source: My Mad Fat Diary/E4
Be Mindful Of How Much You're Going To Lug AroundIf you know you're going to be milling about all day, don't bring your massive bag full of literally everything you own. Downsize! Also, don't forget a little thing called team work. If there are items that you and your friends are sharing, like sunscreen, hand sanitizer, snacks, etc, have everyone hold at least one of these items in their bags. That way, one of you won't be stuck with all the essentials literally dragging you down. Photo source: Clueless/Paramount
Figure Out Where You're Staying Way Ahead Of TimeWhether you're camping out on the festival grounds, staying in a hostile, or kicking it at a friend's place nearby, know where you're staying way ahead of time. Why? Just in case those plans fall through, you'll have time for backup. Also, you don't want to be that girl asking around for a place to crash at the very last second. Photo source: Shutterstock
Plan Out The Shows You Want To See Ahead Of TimeThis will make your weekend so much less stressful. Usually, festivals have multiple stages with different acts throughout the day. Map out the shows to hit up first thing in the morning so that there isn't any confusion or last minute compromises. And yes, you're probably going to have to make some compromises. If you and your friends want to see different people on different stages at the same time or at overlapping times, split up and agree to meet at an easy to find, central location after the performances. When it comes to the headliners at the end of the night, however, you're better off agreeing on watching the same artist. Finding people after the headlining sets is a nightmare, so try to stick together. Photo source: Lizzie McGuire/Disney Channel
Wear Sturdy ShoesYeah, yeah, yeah, it's summer, it's hot, you want your feet to breathe. Okay, cool, but if you're really looking into getting into the crowds of these shows, be prepared to have your feet trampled on. It's better to be safe than sorry, so save the cute, barely-there sandals for some down time laying out in the grass of the festival grounds, but make sure you're wearing real shoes when you're in the thick of a crowd. Photo source: ASOS.com
Have A Food BudgetYou've got to eat, and food provided at festivals is tasty but not cheap. Definitely be mindful of how much you're spending on food by keeping a budget. Go for something that's filling and won't break the bank, not just anything that looks amazingly good. Spend money on a real meal, not an overpriced snack. Photo source: Harry Potter/Warner Bros.
Be Prepared For CreepsMusic festivals are full of really fun, interesting people. They're also full of creeps who will want to hook up with you or just get you high. If you're picking up weird vibes from somebody, find a way to bail. Don't humor them for longer than you're comfortable with. You'll hopefully never see them again anyway so just get out of Dodge, girl. Photo source: Daria/MTV
Write Down Your friends' Numbers In A Safe Place Just In CaseAnything can happen. You can lose your phone, you didn't turn on airplane mode when you were taking all those selfies and your battery is busted, you can't find a charging station, etc. But it's so rare for us to remember our friends' phone numbers these days that, chances are, if you needed to borrow a stranger's phone to make a quick call, you won't have any idea of the number you should dial. So please, write down the numbers of everyone you're at the festival with and stick it in your purse or a secure pocket. You won't regret it. Photo source: Shutterstock
You Can't Act Like A PrincessYou're not going to find lovely little facilities to go to the bathroom or wash your hands, girl. You're stuck with smelly port-o-potties and relying on hand sanitizer. Just know that that's what you're getting into, okay? Nobody likes 'em, but that's what you're going to have to deal with, so deal with it in stride. Hold your breath, douse your hands in hand sanitizer, and keep it moving. Photo source: The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air/NBC
Water. Water. Water.Dehydration is the worst, especially if it is incredibly hot out. Make sure you have your water bottle on you at all times. Photo source: Shutterstock
What other lessons have you learned from going to music festivals? What is your number one must have item? What festivals have you gone to? Tell us in the comments!