As a result of being a DJ/Music Producer, I’ve been to tons and tons of music festivals. They’re something that everyone should experience, and each and everyone is a life changing event where people experience life to its fullest.
In a survey that was done with thousands of elderly people, they asked what memories they wish they could relive. The most common response? A music festival.
Since I’ve been to so many, I constantly get asked if I have any advice for people going to a festival for the first time. I’ve gotten this question so many times that I figured hey – why not write a blog post about it? So in this post I’m going to talk about the 7 things that I wish I knew before attending my first music festival – if you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comments!
1. Sleeping Location
First off, I want to say that a camping festival is obviously a lot different than a festival where you stay at a hotel. Here’s what it comes down to: At a camping festival, the closer you are to the entrance/main gate, the easier it is to get back and forth (obviously). However, all the good after parties and events are located farther from the main gate.
When I go to camping festivals with people who have gone for years, they always chose the back because that’s where the action is. To be honest, I still like camping in the front personally, because I can always walk back and forth between the front of the campsite and the back.
When you’re staying in a hotel, however, this is exactly the opposite. The hotels closest to the venues usually have the best after parties/action going on. In addition, even though the hotels closer might be more expensive, you’re probably going to pay more in Lyft & Uber’s if you get a hotel further away. Side Note: If you haven’t used Lyft yet, use the code MARC25 to get a free ride, and if you haven’t used Uber yet, use the code HE2AE to get a free ride!
2. Getting There
Getting to the festival is a wicked fun journey, and something that you should definitely plan out in advance. You’re going to be surprised how tired you are after the festival, so remember that if it’s a lengthy drive, to plan an extra day to rest and then drive back. Driving when drowsy can be comparable to driving after a few drinks, so be safe when it comes to this.
Another option is to look and see if there are any buses going there. A bus ticket might cost you $50ish, but then you don’t have to worry about driving there – and especially driving back. Not only that, you’re going to meet a lot of amazing people and party all the way there. The only issue is that you’re on the buses schedule, rather than your own, which can be bittersweet.
3. ONLY go back for Refueling
At a festival there’s stuff going on literally 24/7, so a huge pro tip is to only go back to your place to rest, eat, or restock on supplies. I’ve seen too many people hang out during the day, on their phone, or just sit there and do nothing. The best part about festivals is exploring around and checking out all the interesting things set up.
Now this is a lot more difficult when you’re staying at a hotel, but you can still have an adventure and meet as many people as you can.
4. WATER WATER WATER
When you combine all the elements of heat, dancing, moving around a lot, little food, certain drugs you may be taking (be safe!), and more, you’re going to be extremely dehydrated. I make sure to bring – at least – a gallon of water per day when I head to a festival. Even if they have free water refill stations – and 99% of them do – still bring tons of water bottles.
Another big tip is to get a Camelbak, as it’s a backpack that has a water jug attached to it. These are extremely common at festivals and fitness events alike, and something that everyone should have. The $30-$40 you might spend on one is invaluable to having water at all times.
5. Zero Reception
When you gather thousands and thousands of people in one area cell phone reception gets really difficult – even if you have full service. This is why totem poles are really common at festivals – everyone can come find you and know where you are by finding the unique pole you made up.
Assume you’re going to have zero reception, and plan accordingly. If you want to keep your group together, pick a meeting spot after every set/artist. “Lets plan to meet by the red bench next to the tree with the blue thing on it,” etc.
6. Everyone is Family
Don’t be surprised if you lose everyone you’re with, meet a whole new group of people, and rage with them the entire time. At a festival everyone is family and there to have a good time, and every one is extremely warm to meeting new people.
Obviously there are always some negative people out there, but for the most part, you’re going to meet amazing people that you’ll be friends with forever.
7. Cherish Every Moment
All of this tips that I’ve given you so far really add up to one thing: Making your festival experience awesome. Like I said from the start, you’re literally creating memories that you will cherish forever, and make sure to enjoy every moment at a festival. The best way to do this is by staying hydrated and fueled, being safe with drug use, and having crazy adventures by meeting tons of new people and going to insane parties.