As the winter season turns over, spring and summer bring new styles, new flings, and the return of music festivals across the world. It began with Woodstock in 1969 in Bethel, New York, and from there the ball of festivals began rolling, all having different concepts and music genres. Now, nearly half a century later, there is always a festival within one hundred miles of where you are. For those of us in the Tri-State area, we have access to festivals like The Governors Ball, Panorama, Boston Calling, Made In America, Global Citizen, and Electronic Daisy Carnival, to name a few.
I went to the Governors Ball Music Festival in 2015, and after that weekend there were plenty of mistakes I made that others could learn from. So here are some of my top tips regarding music festivals and how to be prepared for an amazing weekend.
Protect Your Skin
All festivals are going to be in hot areas, and the sun will damn well be there to shine on the festival grounds. Because of this, it’s highly recommended that you bring sunscreen. At the Governors Ball, there was little shade, so you are exposed wherever you go. I burn easily, and returned home a darker shade of red every night. And even if the day is hot, the night will come and it gets chilly, so bring something to layer on your outfit, like a thermal, cardigan, or kimono. Something to keep you somewhat warm for the cool night air.
Going to a music festival is something you will obviously document, so take as many pictures as you can. Make sure the memory on your phone is cleared enough to take as many photos as possible, because you don’t want a “Storage Almost Full” alert popping up during a set. I brought a disposable camera each day to create a longer lasting memory (and yes, you can still buy and develop those at a local pharmacy). Regardless if they're physical or digital, take as many photos as possible.
Music festivals, wherever you are, are going to be very expensive. A slice of pizza at the Governors Ball was $7 and 8 fluid ounces of blueberry lemon soda $6.50. Everything is expensive, so save your pennies so that you don’t go broke at the festival. Also, after a certain time, most or all food distributors took only cash. There were ATM’s all over the grounds, but that’s a $3 charge extra to pay $15 for a plate of food. My recommendation, bring cash only, but not all of it. It can get stolen, so leave some at home for the next day.
Early Bird Catches the Worm
If your die hard fav is performing at the music festival and you want to get to the front of the stage, get to the festival early, or go to the stage they will later take early. One of my favorites, Lana Del Rey, was performing, so my friends and I went to her stage at 2 o’clock, when she didn’t come on until 9:15 that night. We had a great view, and it was because I got there at a good time. It sounds extreme, but it’s worth all of it.
Preserve Your Battery Life
While you might love your phone and love updating your Snapchat story, unless your battery lasts 12+ hours, your phone will die. Bring that baby charged, and only use it to take photos or contact people you are with in case you get lost. Only have necessary applications on your phone open to not waste battery on applications you will not be using. Also, if able, bring portable chargers and/or charging cases
Don't Get Lost
The Governors Ball has an estimated capacity of 80,000 people. Because of this, it’s easy to get lost among the crowd. And because your phone is most likely dead or service is weak, you need to find your friends. Before possibly splitting up or getting separated, establish a meeting place to try to later find each other. It worked for myself last year, it will work for you.
The Governors Ball had two additional perks; 7-Eleven provided Slurpees all weekend, and Camelbak refilled water bottles with cold water, and both were free. So stay as hydrated as possible. Always have water on you, it comes through for multiple purposes
BE HAPPY! Regardless if you missed someone perform or your phone died, find another way to be happy. The overall vibe of a music festival is positive and chill, so don’t let anything get to you that could change your mood or of those around you. The slogan for the Governors Ball was “You’re Doing Great,” and my friends and I began saying this to each other and people passing by, always putting a smile on someone’s face. Stay happy, and spread your happiness to as many as possible. It’ll be an epic weekend if you do.
Photos provided by Chris Lea and Lexi Ravetto