If you’re excited about getting back to music festivals in the outdoors, there are a bunch of tips you should take note of. Attending a music festival in nature and connecting with new people is a great bucketlist experience, however, it’s important to be safe.
Music festivals can be an overwhelming experience. There are a lot of things to take in, especially if it’s you’re first time attending a music festival. For the newbies, we’ve put together a list of some basic festival tips that will help you out.
Before heading to the festival
Take note of directions to the festival venue
Take note of directions to the venue before leaving for the festival. Outdoor music festivals often take place in remote locations with little to no cellphone reception.
Pack for the weather
Knowing the weather and packing appropriately can be a lifesaver. Just to be safe, always expect it to rain for a little bit, even for a summer music festival.
Don’t drink and drive
Whether you’re headed to the party or going back home, make sure you don’t drink and drive. Traffic cops are usually aware of festivals taking place in the area.
Read our festival packing checklist
We’ve put together a thorough festival checklist that will get you through any weekend-long festival. The list covers everything you need from the bare essentials, camping goods, personal care items, food and booze, as well as other miscellaneous items.
Leave expensive valuables
Make sure you leave your expensive valuables at home. Expensive jewellery and other items that you don’t need for a festival can cause a lot of headaches. Sometimes it’s better to leave something you love at home and have it be there when you get back than leave the music festival without it.
When you’re at the festival
Secure the best tent location
If you want to secure the best camping spot, it would be smart to arrive early on the first day. There is often a backlog at the gate due to all the excited attendees, so expect to wait a while for larger festivals. Don’t ever set up a tent right on the walkways.
Eat good [but light], stay hydrated, replenish electrolytes
Try to keep your meals balanced, nutritious, light and healthy. Bring along some snacks and food if you can. There are ample food stores available at the festival, too.
Venues usually provide ample fresh drinking water points, but make sure to bring your own. Remember: an adult needs 1 to 2 litres of water per day. Don’t stress about it too much, over-hydration is a thing too.
You should also replenish electrolytes in your system. Electrolytes are available in sachets (from the pharmacy) or in some sports drinks. You can also add Himalayan salt to water – it’s one of the best festival tricks.
“At summer festivals, it’s hot out, and people are dancing — a person loses a lot of fluid this way. But when you sweat out fluid, you’re not just losing water, you’re also losing electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium. Things become dangerous when a person only replaces water and not electrolytes, because this can lead to life-threatening electrolyte imbalances”
Employ a buddy system, meeting points
Familiarize yourself with the venue and determine meeting points beforehand, so if someone gets lost, you know where to find each other. Stick with your friends as much as you can, but be sure to meet new people. If you’re confident enough, approach some friendly-looking people on the dance floor and ask them to look after you for a while. Familiarize yourself with the information station and festival medic tent.
Take heed of booze / substances [especially from strangers]
We’re out to party after all, but pace yourself. Don’t go all out on the first day/night. There’s a whole weekend of dancing and drinking to get through. You might even be in a good mood and feel inclined to receive drinks or substances from strangers on the dance floor. Rather stay clear of any liquids you didn’t pour yourself.
Add sleep & time out to the agenda
Take a look at the line-up times and catch your favourite artists, but be sure to get some downtime. Your body needs roughly 8 hours of sleep a day. Sleep deprivation can have serious long-term side effects, especially when mixed with substances. Wear a watch on your wrist to keep track of time. If you feel like you’re in a bad place and need medical attention, find the medic tent and get checked out. Do some yoga and/or stretches.
Go exploring and get a little lost
Although we primarily attend outdoor festivals for the music, there’s usually a ton of other activities to take part in. Adventure around and look at the stalls, see what the venue has to offer.
Report suspicious behaviour
Make friends with your tent neighbours. If you see any suspicious people digging through tents, report them to nearby security officials. No one should ruin the experience for you.
Ask to borrow something
Most people in a festival environment are more than happy to share essentials with you if necessary. Ask your neighbours for that air pump, toilet paper, spare camping chair, or a small bite to eat if you’re desperate.
After the festival
Re-hydrate and eat
You probably haven’t eaten every meal of the day or stayed hydrated at the festival. Replenish your body with wholesome foods and flush out toxins with water. Avoid any further caffeine, alcohol or cool drinks.
Stretch and massage
Since you’ve been dancing for hours and walking kilometers over festival grounds, your muscles and bones are naturally hurting. It’s important to stretch out those aches and pains.
Get some sleep
The best way to recover from a festival is to get plenty of sleep. Chances are that you’ve either pushed through the nights, or suffered from troublesome sleep in a tent. Go to bed as earlier as possible after the festival, and make sure you set two alarms for Monday morning if you work or study!
Re-balance the chemicals in your brain
There are a handful of natural supplements available from any health store or pharmacy that have shown to have a positive effect on serotonin production. Be on the look out for 5-HTP, Saffron, Folate, L-Tryptophan and Vitamins B6 & B12, but consult a doctor or do your own further research for more information.
Are you ready to go partying? Check out our music festival calendar with over 150 upcoming events!