As summer arrives, festival season comes closer and closer. All we EDM fans can do is watch old sets in anticipation of seeing our favorite artists. No matter what festival you’re attending this summer, there are a few basics you need to follow. Eat, sleep, rave, repeat… but seriously: eat and sleep.
Water is your friend. It’s easy to forget under the bass and lights that your body might be getting dehydrated. It’s important to carry around water with you at all times. Remember this though: you can’t take open containers into the festival! This means you’ll need to get a water bottle once you arrive and consistently fill it up. This will prevent you from being dehydrated and allow you to enjoy the festival and not shrivel up into a dried sponge days after.
Pro tip: If you really want to make sure you’re staying hydrated, buy a CamelBak water backpack. These can hold between one and two liters of fluids. As long as you enter festival grounds with them empty, you’ll be fine to continuously refill them. Plus they come with a straw for easy drinking. Also they have compartments that hold your wallet and tickets!
Hoops are a huge part of music festivals. Most people spend anywhere from $30-$200 on a hoop. They can be custom made and even include glowing/flashing LED’s. These hoops aren’t just normal kids’ hoops though, they’re serious adult size hoops with different sizes and designs. Most can be purchased through Etsy for a pretty reasonable price. It takes time to practice how to hoop, and dance simultaneously, but once you get your groove on you’ll be cruisin’ and hoopin’ in no time!
Pro Tip: Always keep your hoop on hand during the festival/event- especially the custom made ones. People will steal them, which is sad and unfair. If you have to, leave your hoop leave it locked up in your RV or tent, and not out in the open. Nothing bums your vibes like a stolen hoop.
A big part of festival culture is kandi bracelets. They are made from multicolored beads and most are personalized to say different things or artists’ names. You can buy everything you need for a kandi bracelet at your local crafts store. The opportunities are endless: make as many bracelets as you want in whatever colors or patterns appeal to you.
Pro tip: Kandi gets traded a lot. You’ll swap at least a few bracelets during a festival. Make sure you have enough to swap and that you don’t swap your favorites. I recommend wearing the ones you want to swap on one arm, and the ones you want to keep on the other. There’s a handshake that comes with swapping kandi, based on the rave-philosophy of PLUR (Peace, Love, Unity, Respect). Google it before you go to a festival, so if someone approaches you open palmed, you aren’t confused. (They’re just coming over to share bracelets, don’t worry!)
Most festivals are 18 or 21+. Do not forget your ID. They will not let you in. And as much as it might work to use your fake ID at bars in your area, festival security will not hesitate to kick you out if they see a fake ID. It isn’t worth it to try to sneak in because not only is security strict, but there are undercover cops everywhere. These rules and restrictions are for your own safety, so as much as they can suck, try to respect them.
Pro Tip: If you’re wondering whether your form of identification works, call the number for the festival and ask them or read the FAQ page on their website. Better safe than sorry!
As you’ll be walking everywhere, you need good festival shoes. Flip flops are an absolute no-go and most sandals are a bad idea because your toes will get stomped on. Vans are the safest bet, as they’re good quality sneakers and reasonably priced. Don’t wear your favorite shoes and please don’t wear high heels. Wear whatever you feel most comfortable dancing in and won’t give you blisters/bother you.
Pro Tip: Wear your shoes and break them in before the festival. Make sure you feel completely comfortable and they don’t give you blisters. But bring a few bandaids just in case you get a blister or two – walking and friction can cause blisters in even the most comfortable shoes.
How to Glue Gems/Glitter
A huge part of festival culture is wearing gels/glitter gems. There’s no real specific way or design to wear them, just do what makes you happiest. You don’t need to buy gems with adhesive on the back. The adhesive attached gems don’t last through sweat, so they’re pointless anyway. Buy eyelash glue and use it to apply the gems and glitter glue for the glitter. Don’t be alarmed if the eyelash glue goes on white or yellowish – it dries clear. If you get stumped on what look you want to to go for, you can always look up other designs for inspiration!
Pro Tip: Don’t wear gems that are culturally offensive. A new trend is wearing bindi’s to festivals. Although they are super gorgeous and flatter all face shapes, they are culturally offensive to Indians who only wear them for religious or celebratory reasons. Make sure you aren’t supporting cultural appropriation, even accidentally.
Learn to Let Go
The best part about music festivals is having fun. Everyone is there with you and in support of you having a good time. It’s rare to find a group of people who just want to see you happy and having a good time with no judgement. Most of this comes from the philosophy of good vibes only. Let yourself go and enjoy your time. Don’t feel self conscious showing off your craziest dance moves or totally geeking out when seeing your favorite artist. Everyone around you is in support of you.
Music festivals are like an alternate reality. For a few days you get an amazing escape from your daily life and are given the opportunity to live freely and openly. Love the time you have there and meet as many people as possible. Don’t forget to take pictures and collect souvenirs! Peace, love, unity, and respect my loves.