Music festival attendees travel 433 miles to get to their event on average. Between travel and expenses, preparing for music festivals properly is a must if you want an enjoyable experience.
Common music festival mistakes can turn these events from the best time of your life into a total nightmare. Are you planning to attend a music festival but don’t know what to expect or how to prepare?
The following guide will explore how to avoid typical mishaps that occur at all types of music festivals. Read on to ensure that your time and money are well spent!
- Not Hydrating or Using Sunscreen
Make sure to pack a water bottle before anything else when preparing for your festival. Festivals usually let attendees bring in an empty water bottle that they can fill after passing through security.
You’ll risk dehydration if you forget a water bottle and probably end up spending way too much money on bottled water. Heat isn’t the only issue, you’ll most likely do a lot of walking and dancing as well.
Know your limits and pay attention to your body during a music festival. Some symptoms of dehydration include feeling light-headed, headaches, dry mouth, and urinating less. If possible, try to eat water-rich fruits and veggies in addition to drinking water.
Next, pack broad-spectrum sunscreen so a sunburn doesn’t ruin your festival experience. Other than being uncomfortable, sunburns can lead to serious skin damage, skin diseases, and cancer. Apply it every hour or so because you’ll probably sweat it off.
Bring a pair of sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat in addition to sunscreen for added protection. You can also consume extra vitamin D and saturated fats beforehand to help protect your skin. Remember that nothing ruins a music festival outfit like sun-scorched skin!
- Taking Random Drugs and Drinking Too Much
It’s not uncommon for music festival attendees to come across some questionable drug offerings. Using or ingesting unknown substances can be an awful and potentially life-threatening mistake.
It might be tempting to take drugs from another friendly festival goer, but resist the urge at all costs. There’s no way to tell if the substance is actually what it’s supposed to be, even if the person offering them has good intentions.
If you drink too much, you’ll end up more likely to make bad decisions like taking drugs from strangers. You might also irritate the people you came with if they have to babysit you and deal with your drunkenness.
Too much booze can ruin your music festival budget because of high concession prices, too. Alcohol also makes you get dehydrated faster and leads to bad hangovers.
- Losing Your Friends and Belongings
With so much going on at world music festivals, it’s easy to get separated from the group you came with. Make sure to keep your phone charged and consider bringing a portable power pack for backup.
Develop a plan with your group if you intend to separate at a festival. Set a time and location to meet back up and try not to keep your friends worried and waiting for you.
Keep your money and valuables secured and on you at all times. Many festival goers bring backpacks or fanny packs to carry and protect their belongings. Consider wearing things like sunglasses, keys, and vapes around your neck so you don’t misplace them.
Also, stay aware of your surroundings and don’t keep money in your back pocket. Unfortunately, theft happens even at the most free-spirited festivals. If possible, rent a locker for the most secure way to protect your valuables.
- Forgetting the Location of Your Car or Tent
Dude, where’s my car and tent? Walking around and endlessly searching for your vehicle or tent can be a frustrating experience.
Try to remember permanent landmarks near your car or tent to easily find them after a long day. It’s not uncommon for festivalgoers to let the excitement overwhelm them and head off to the stage without thinking.
Before you even arrive, be sure to study the venue’s map and layout for a few minutes. It will help you know where everything is including parking lots and camping areas. You’ll also know where to find bathrooms and a first-aid tent in case of an emergency.
Both Google Maps and Apple Maps have features to help you find your car or tent, too. Simply pin and save their locations so that you can navigate back to them later. Just keep in mind that this technique becomes useless if your phone dies!
You can also take a bus to most festivals or have someone drop you off so that you don’t have to worry about parking or finding your car. It’s also a great way to help cut down on gas emissions at the event.
- Having Poor Festival Hygiene
No one wants to be the smelly person at a festival, so plan accordingly. Bring extra deodorant so that you stay smelling as fresh as your dance moves.
You can pack baby wipes to help boost your festival hygiene game between showers. It’s also helpful to use bring dry shampoo and use leave-in conditioners to maintain your hair over the weekend.
Some festivals have onsite showers but check ahead of time and don’t assume they’ll be there. Some festivalgoers even bring portable showers to their campsites. Of course, a jug of water might do the trick if you don’t have any other options.
A travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste should easily fit into a fanny pack or backpack. Drinking and smoking can especially take a toll on your breath after a night of partying.
Pack some extra clothes if you’re attending a multi-day festival. It’s a great way to stay fresh and also an opportunity to switch up your wardrobe each day.
- Having a Lack of Respect for Others
This should go without saying, but don’t be a jerk to your fellow festivalgoers. Be aware of your festival etiquette and always stay respectful.
Heat, hunger, and exhaustion might make you feel irritable and prone to arguments or fights. Remember that music festivals are all about togetherness and positivity. Take a deep breath and avoid confrontation with other attendees at all costs.
For example, you might get frustrated if someone pushes past you in a crowd or cuts in front of you in a line. Try to let it go and remember not to do those things yourself.
Keep in mind that everyone paid money and scheduled time to be there just like you did. No matter how annoyed you might get with an individual, try not to let it ruin your mood and potentially affect others in your group or around you.
- Regrettable Hookups
Often at festivals, you’ll find that love is in the air. It’s a party, there’s drinking, and inhibitions get loosened. Don’t let that be a recipe for regret or possible diseases!
Bring plenty of condoms and a level-headed friend to look out for you if possible. At Lollapolooza, 30 percent of attendees planned to have sex with a stranger. That might sound like a spectacular adventure, but you don’t want to take home an unwanted souvenir.
Unfortunately, a high percentage of women have reported sexual harassment or assault during music festivals. While festivals have done more to improve safety in recent years, it’s important to take precautions and be careful who you trust.
- Not Knowing the Schedule
Music Festivals feature a ton of great artists and you might not have time to see them all. Make sure to prioritize your favorite musicians and find out exactly when and where they’re performing.
It’s easy to get sidetracked so you might want to set reminders on your phone so that you don’t miss out on a show. You also don’t want to show up too late or you might not get a good spot.
With all that being said, don’t sweat it if you’re not feeling up for a headliner or get distracted by something else that’s fun. Music festivals are a great way to discover new artists that you’ll love in addition to seeing your favorites.
- Don’t Litter
Nothing kills a music festival vibe quite like piles of trash on the ground. Remember to pick up after yourself and leave no trace behind as if you were in a national park. Keeping the festival grounds clean shows respect for the environment and those around you.
If the grounds already have a lot of trash thrown about, you might get tempted to join in the littering. Instead, try picking up some trash even if it isn’t your own. Others might see your generous act and follow in your footsteps.
Big festivals like Coachella can generate over 200,000 pounds of trash daily. Volunteers usually do their best to keep the grounds clean at these large festivals, but it’s important not to make it more difficult for them.
Remembering to bring a water bottle helps cut down on disposable plastic bottles and reduces waste. Also, you won’t have to ingest any harmful microplastics while you vibe out.
Some careless festivalgoers straight up ditch their tents after the event ends which creates a ton of plastic waste. If you think you’d like to leave your tent behind, consider more eco-friendly cardboard tent options.
Have you thought about incorporating glitter into your festival outfit? Make sure it’s bio glitter so that it can decompose naturally instead of polluting waterways.
- Running Out of Money
Budgeting doesn’t end after you’ve bought your festival wristband or after you’ve arrived. You still need to worry about how much cash you have for things like merch stands and food.
Novice music festival attendees need to work out their budget before they leave home. There are usually ample ATMs to use at festivals, but the fees can add up quickly.
Determine how much food you’ll need and research menu prices ahead of time. Chances are you’ll come across merch that catches your eye, too. Decide how much you’re willing to spend on things like t-shirts and vinyl records and stick to that number.
It’s also important to note that some festivals offer financing options. But these might be risky investments with expensive interest rates, so make sure to read the fine print.
Sometimes you can get a discount on your festival tickets via early bird specials. The drawback is that these deals usually occur before the full lineup gets announced. But it’s a great way to save money and leave extra cash to use at the festival itself.
If you’re planning on going to a festival with a bunch of your friends, check to see if there are any group discounts available. Some credit cards even offer discounts for music festivals so make sure you don’t miss out on potential savings.
Make sure you look at the lineup for each day of a festival to ensure that you want to see those artists. For instance, maybe you save money and skip one of the days if you don’t see anything that interests you.
Avoiding Common Music Festival Mistakes
Now you know 10 easy ways to prevent common music festival mistakes from ruining your good time. Remember to study the lineup schedule and the festival layout thoroughly before you arrive.
Keep track of your belongings and friends throughout the event and keep your phone charged. Always be aware of your surroundings and avoid heavy drinking and unknown substances.
We hope this guide helps you stay safe and satisfied during your music festival experience. Check out the rest of our site for more information about live music and other helpful tips.