Quick list: Music festival 101

Having just returned from possibly the best weekend of my year thus far, I am riding a high that involved good friends and good music. I had never been to a three-day music festival before this, and to be honest I didn’t quite know what to expect. Find yourself in the same situation? Read up!

1) Book in advance

No matter the festival you plan to attend, there will always be “early bird pricing” available; take advantage of this opportunity. Often times, the prices can be nearly half of what the regular cost will be. It might be a tedious task, having to repeatedly press refresh and wait in e-lines, but it’s well worth the hassle.

2) Camp if you can

I know, the last thing you probably want is to fall asleep in a tent after two or three days of concert going. In all honesty, it’s not that bad. You’ll only be “roughing it” for a short time and there are enough camping supplies available to make your camping experience as luxurious as a hotel stay (well, kind of). Not only will this save you money, it’s a great way to meet new friends around the campsite. Plus, you won’t have to worry about driving or paying to park every night.

Tip: An air mattress is great and makes all the difference when camping. If you don’t have one available, buy pool floats. No, really. Not only are they incredibly affordable, they provide a surprising amount of cushion.

3) Prepare for the elements

Although we would all like to imagine that mother nature is going to cooperate if we just wish hard enough, the fact of the matter is she sometimes won’t. If the forecast calls for sunny skies, bring plenty of sunscreen and always stay hydrated. If rain is looming, bring a rain jacket or rock the poncho if you so please. Umbrellas probably won’t be allowed into the festival, so leave it behind just in case. Rain tarps are key to protect your tent and belongings inside.

4) Bring your own food and water

It is also an inevitable truth that no matter which festival you go to, the food and drinks will be outrageously priced. The same goes for most entertainment and sporting events; it’s just something we’ve come to accept. You can cut costs by bringing your own food (sandwich supplies and trail mix are crucial) and drinks (bring along your own water and alcohol if you choose to drink). I was pleasantly surprised at how much money I was able to save by eating the food we brought before we entered the festival and even more pleased to see there were free water-refill stations throughout.

Anything I missed? Share your festival-going tips, as well!

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