Music festivals can be a massive undertaking whether it’s your first one or your 100th one. We’ve scraped through the deep depths of the interwebs and our brains to compile an EPIC list of tips, tricks, and hacks that you need to know before heading into your next EDM festival.
Put your own time stamps on every text you send. It can look something like “I’m gonna hook up with this guy in the porta potty next to mainstage then come meet you guys at the jellyfish totem in time for Prydzzzzz - 11:15.” When cell phone service is as clogged as the traffic going into the parking lots, you never know when you’ll accidentally send your friends on a wild goose hunt to meet you when you’ve been long gone from a spot.
Bring your passport to the city your festival is in. So what happens when you lose your drivers license or forget to bring it to a music festival? Security generally doesn’t care that you lost your wallet last night when you were drunk if that’s exactly what they need to scan to let you in. Bringing a passport the next night at least ensures you can get into that festival you paid so much for. If you don’t have a passport, consider bringing an old ID with your face on it, a school ID, or any other official-looking picture identification you can think of that has your birthday and a credit card with a matching name on it.
Put a small luggage lock on your backpack zippers (and put the key somewhere safe) or wear a fanny pack/runner belt. Every single year at every single festival there are horror stories of people getting pickpocketed for their phones, GoPros, first born children (just kidding no one wants those), and portable chargers. In the same vein, fanny packs and runner belts should be worn in the front or under your clothes. You should spend the night headbanging your heart out, not playing defense with your belongings.
Buy gel inserts for your shoes. You will be dancing your way through miles and “my feet hurt” really sets you back.
Make a card to go in your wallet. Are you read to get figgity figgity fucked up? Plan for your shenanigans. This info card should hold all of your important information, such as addresses, hotel, room number, emergency phone numbers, and I-lost-my-phone-and-need-to-find-my-friends numbers. Because let’s be serious, who tf memorizes these things anymore? You could even do it college freshman style and write your friends phone number in Sharpie down your arm. Some choose to write all of this info on a strip of duct tape on the back of their phone in case it dies.
Buy a Snea-Key Fob. Everyone’s got something to hide, whether it’s a dash of glitter or birth control, this fake key fob is the perfect secret stash compartment for getting through a music festival security search. Curb that overwhelming anxiety with this portable safe that is every intelligent festival pro’s secret.
Bring a bandana. Wanna know why people wear handkerchiefs on their face? Because other people stink. And a bandana is a multi-purpose rave tool. Wet it and put it around your neck - instant cooling effects. Put Vicks or a few drops of essential oil and you’ll be taking deep refreshing breaths all night. And last but not least, you won’t be huffing dust or picking black boogers the next day.
Fill your water bladder with ice. Take the time to raid your hotel ice machine and fill everyone’s bladder with ice. Drink the water as it melts while you’re in line and when security scopes it out, make sure they see only solid ice and hope that they’re cool enough to let it fly. Ice cold water will really make your night.
Bring a squirt bottle or fan if you like to be near the front. Instead of being the dick cutting through the crowd, you’re suddenly a blessing on legs. Some super pro-goers say you can put a few drops of peppermint essential oils in the spray bottle for an extra minty fresh experience, but that sounds kind of spicy on the eyes if you ask me.
Bring a small flashlight or use your phone light when moving through crowds. This does a few things. First off, you don’t step on body parts of people taking a quick snooze cuddle fest in the middle of the whole audience. Second, people instinctively move out of your way. Like moses parting the sea, they see a light and assume security is lurking behind them or a poor soul dropped their car keys on the ground and give the situation some space.
Put your stuff in a clear plastic bag. When going through security, they appreciate squeezing an empty backpack and glancing over a clear bag. You’re through the madness quicker and they didn’t even notice your key fob. Then you can dump it all into your bag and go about your night of debauchery.
Bring fabric bandaids if you’re wearing new shoes. They look and feel cute and comfy now, but the first few miles are a killer way to break in those kicks.
Get there early if you want to ride the rides. You don’t want to spend two sets waiting in line for that view from the top of the ferris wheel - even if it is epic.
Do you #need more tips? Check out part two.
If you’re interested in hearing specifically about camping festival hacks, see our earlier blog that outlines what to bring, what to pack, camping recipes, how to make friends, and what to expect: Camping Festival Hacks and Packing List.