There’s a certain festival that takes place every April in the desert (you know, the one that’s so gargantuan it takes up two weekends?) that signifies the start of something we wait all year for: Music Festival Season.
“I’ve been to tons of concerts in my life, but festivals are an entirely different beast,” says surfer and stylist Lex Weinstein. “A festival is an incredible opportunity to see an array of your favorite artists from totally different genres, all playing in one place.”
From Bonnaroo to Sasquatch, music festival season combines some of our favorite things: art, style, music, road trips, and camping. This summer, we’re counting down all the ways we love festival season with the help of our friends and a few festival hacks.
And if you’ve never been to a festival before? We’ve got you covered. Here, Lex’s best tips for first-time festival goers.
1. Bring your entire crew! Your besties, your favorite humans, the people you can let your hair down and share a dance with. Look after each other and stick together, and if you’re not all on the same page about which bands you’d like to see, compromise—in the end, seeing a new show is better than spending the festival roaming alone.
2. Check out the music schedule ahead of time and set a reminder on your phone for when your favorite, can’t-miss bands are playing. Most festivals have apps you can download and refer to—use them!
3. Don’t be scared to get dirty. It’s kind of a given that festivals are a grunge-fest, so take your cute pictures at the beginning and then let it all go. Get your whites filthy and your boots muddy—it’s a sign of festival freedom.
4. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water. Hydration is key to staying happy and healthy until the headliners play their last sets.
5. Bring a blanket to sit on every few hours. Rest throughout the day to avoid getting cranky later in the night. Take a power nap under a tree or somewhere quiet. It will make a huge difference in your experience.
6. Listen to some new music. Festivals are a great way to discover new bands, encourage independent music, and support artists from near and far. You’ll be surprised by who might blow you away under the side tents with smaller crowds. Just because they are on a smaller stage doesn’t mean they’re not worthy of your time.
7. Be prepared for any type of weather. Bring ponchos and rain boots as well as plenty of sunscreen, wide brimmed hats, and everything in between. Long hours outdoors with the right gear can mean the different between being miserable and having the best time, ever.
8. Choose the right footwear. This should be at the top of your list—it’s absolutely crucial. Hours spent dancing, walking between tents, and standing at food stalls can take a lot of energy out of you, but with comfortable shoes, you can last much, much longer. There’s nothing worse than getting blisters while dancing the night away, so choose wisely.
What’s your festival style? Find it (and the perfect shoe to match) with our Festival Style Guide.