Music festivals have been around for years but recently gained popularity in the past few years. Every year hundreds of celebrities flock to California’s Coachella festival. While Montreal hosts its Osheaga music festival every August. Now usually music festivals aren’t really my thing. I prefer more mainstream music, while music festivals tend to feature more indie and hipster bands. Sure they’ll be a couple bands I’ll know but no one I absolutely adore. But like everything else I do, I decided to venture out of my comfort zone for the Instagram photos.
Toronto recently hosted its first WayHome music festival. Unlike other music festivals I’ve been to in the past this one actually requires you to camp at the festival. Like sleep in a tent, poop in a port-a-potty, brush your teeth with a water bottle, kind of camping. Now while I despised the bathroom situation and cell service was horrific, I actually had an amazing weekend. Music festivals have such a chill vibe. It’s basically just a giant field of chill people drinking, smoking, and having a good time. I went with a couple of my good friends and had an amazing time. Day drinking, dancing like a fool, tanning, and rocking out to Hozier were just some of the shenanigans I got up to this weekend. But it wasn’t all breakfast sangria and burritos. This being my first legit music festival there was a dose of drama. So here’s my official guide to surviving a music festival.
1. Get a Good Tent
The tent is arguably one of the most important parts of any music festival, aside from alcohol of course. True you won’t be spending too much time in the tent, but trust me you need to invest in a solid tent. Nothing feels worse than stumbling home at 3 in the morning drunk as a skunk to a half assed tent. Oh and make sure you actually know how to put your tent together. You don’t want to be one of those people struggling to get your tent up. Get it together girl. Also bring an air mattress or some kind of padding for the floor. The hard earthy floor is no way for any Queen to sleep.
2. Stay Hydrated
A music festival without copious amounts of alcohol is like a Magic Mike movie without an ass shot. Believe me, the only way to survive 40,000 drunk people is to be as equally drunk. May I suggest you start your day early with mimosas. Orange Powerade mixed with white wine is the morning drink of champions. Then switch to some red wine with pink lemonade or as I like to call it “trashy sangria”. There are no judgements when it comes to music festivals. So drink and drink a lot. It almost makes the music bearable.
3. Get a Good Variety of Snacks
Snacks are a fundamental part of any music festival. Sure the actual concert ground has a wide variety of food trucks, but the festival doesn’t open till around noon and the food closes pretty early. What are you going to do when you get the late night munchies or need carbs to soak up last night’s vodka binge? I suggest you get a variety of the usual road trip snacks. Chips, cookies, pop tarts, pop corn. Basically anything that you can imagine eating late at night or early in the morning.
4. Bring a Charger
I’m all about living in the moment and disconnecting to connect, but we live in a technological world. I mean what’s the point of going to a music festival if you can’t even Instagram cute pictures? Make sure you have a charger with you at all times. Many companies have charging stations, but be warned the chargers break easily. So bring your own charger and try to find an extension cord and steal your own power.
5. Dress to Impress
Like everything in life, music festivals are just a giant fashion show. Only the runway is an open field and the background music some indie band. Dressing for a music festival is actually really difficult. Obviously you want to be stylish and hip, but you have to remember you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere and have limit wardrobe space. So while you want to pack your entire closet you have to limit yourself to the bare essentials. You want to dress in something comfortable but also really fashionable and flashy. Look to Queen of music festival fashion Vanessa Hudgens for inspiration. Girl knows how to slay a music festival.
6. Expect the Unexpected
This is probably the most important lesson I learned this weekend. Nothing really goes to your plan. First I had to drive 2 hours to pick up my wristband last minute, then my friend locked her keys, and then my other friend misplaced her wristband. And this was all on the first day. So no matter how much you plan something’s going to happen to derail your master plan. So just be prepared for anything to happen.
7. Grab all the Free Shit
I am a sucker for free shit. Whether it be free samples at Costco or condoms in a club bathroom; I am all for something as long as it’s free. Usually at music festivals companies will set up booths and stations for promotions. At these stations they’ll usually be promoters giving out free stuff. Usually you’ll have to snap a picture and post it to your social media but believe me it’s worth it. Just imagine all the amazing free stuff you’ll get.
8. Go With the Flow
So going to a music festival should be all about the music. But to be honest most of these music festivals are full of indie bands who I don’t even know or care about or bands that have one popular song. So when all your super hipster friends are rocking out to “Coaches Wives” or whatever ridiculously named band is playing may a suggest you just sway to the music. I hardly knew anyone playing but fake it till you make it. Just follow the background singers; they’re usually swaying to the beat.
10. Enjoy Yourself
Like I said before you’re probably not going to follow your plan for the weekend. So don’t get hung up on the super tall person blocking your view or the overly drunk fool who’s being a little too obnoxious. Music festivals are like a mini vacation. It’s a camping weekend mixed with good food, music, and topless boys. So live in the moment and have fun!