After spending a few summers cramming as many music festivals as my wallet/calendar permits, I think I’ve learned a thing or two. This isn’t my first rodeo, as they say in the Wild West. For starters, it pays to make friends with those around you – they may offer to save your spot while you dart to the port-o-potty or give you a boost on their shoulders if you happen to be vertically challenged (such as myself). Also, do not make the mistake of wearing flimsy or uncomfortable shoes – you’re going to be dancing around like a maniac, people stepping on your feet, and may have to deal with a muddy terrain. Don’t be one of the cursed few whose poor sandal gets left behind in a puddle of mud – a Cinderella situation is unlikely to result. Finally, do not go in with the misconception that your brassiere is a safe place to hide things – security is going to grope and snap it whether you’re warned or not – so not worth it. Perfecting the packing of your bag for the day is also of great importance – here’s a list of must-brings to get you through any festival day – come hell or high water.
Whassin My Bag For Hillside?
SPF – You’re going to be in the sun all. day. long. Protect yo’self. Lather up before you go, use a moisturizer with SPF, and apply more throughout the day if you’re feeling a little too crispy. No one wants to dance with a crustacean.
BRIGHT LIPSTICK – I don’t really believe there’s much point in wearing a full face of makeup to an outdoor festival. The scorching temperatures of July are just going to encourage excessive perspiration and make you wish your face was bare anyways. Instead, I rely on a bright lipstick to compliment my outfit/represent my beauty regimen.
SNACK ATTACK – Some great festivals, such as Hillside, allow people to bring their own food into the festival, which is rad for so many reasons. A) it saves you money B) you’ll be prepared for unexpected hypoglycemia and thus won’t pass out C) you aren’t stuck in the position where your only options to ward off hunger include pizza and other such greasy (‘n delicious) delicacies. You can munch on Clif Bars and apples or whatever your heart desires for sustenance!
BEER MUG – Another amazing feature of festivals such as Hillside is that they have reusable beverage mugs! You buy the cool merch-ed out mug for a totally reasonable price, you fill it repeatedly with your choice of drink, you save the planet the waste from your drinking (allowing you to per chance get wasted with less guilt), and then you can use it the following years as well! Such a well thought out and environmentally friendly system!
SUNGLASSES – Though I personally tend to be way too hot to keep sunglasses on my face, I’m always happy to have them handy. What if I want to hide from a Tinder date? Or my mascara has run?
Okay, this one’s a little weirder, but trust me, it will be the most valuable item in your bag. Often port-o-pottys run out of toilet paper before the day has even begun, and hand sanitizer isn’t alway plentiful. Bring a pack of tissues, or a mini roll of TP and a small container of hand-sani to avoid being at the mercy of ‘can’t spare a square’ port-o-potty neighbour.
If the forecast calls for even a light drizzling of rain, do not disregard the weatherman’s warnings. I like to bring a Ziploc bag to act as a poncho for my iPhone in case of rain. Can’t risk losing all those Instagrammable pics you took!
Finally, despite the day being hot as hell, summer nights do tend to get chilly. Pack a warm flannel (wear it around your waist, tie it to your bag, smoosh it in a ball so it will fit) – this way you can avoid shivering and your lips turning an uninviting colour of blue.