Festival season is officially upon us. We were able to cross camping out at a music festival off the bucketlist this summer at Firefly, and we definitely plan on going back again. and again. and again.
We learned a few things our first time around and want to share some pointers:
- Camping is actually a lot of fun. TBH, I didn’t want to camp. All of the hotels were either sold out or crazy expensive by the time we decided to go, and I wasn’t thrilled about the idea of camping. Sleeping outside? Not showering? Porta-pots? No, thank you. It turned out to be one of the funnest parts. Chilling out at the campsite before and after the day is so much fun that you’d completely be missing out on if you went back to your hotel after the festival. You get to hangout, meet new people, keep the party going, and your only a short walk to the festival grounds! Whether its camping, glamping, or an RV…it definitely shouldn’t be missed.
- Bring a portable charging pack. The line for the charging stations at the campsite was longer than beer lines inside the venue. Surprisingly this was one of the things I actually remembered to bring. This will come in handy at the campsite and during the festival. You might need to use the charging stations to charge the charger, but that’s it.
- Make friends with your camping neighbors. We learned this lesson early on. We were thankful we shared our beer with out neighbors once we realized Devin forgot forgot the lighter fluid for the grill. Our neighbors saved us once they saw Devin trying to fire up the grill using bug spray…
- Stay hydrated. Drinking alcohol + heat = no bueno. Drink tons of water throughout the day. Bring a camelbak or refillable water inside the festival to avoid spending money on water.
- Bring a hammock. After being on your feet for hours during the day, not getting much sleep, and drinking probably a little too much, you’re going to want to relax. Firefly designated “nook” for hammocks to chill out during the day. We’re not to embarrassed to admit that by Saturday night we were watching The Weeknd perform from the comforts of our hammock. No regrets.
- It doesn’t actually matter what you wear. Yes, you can still dress in “festival style” and look cute, but you need to be comfortable. Especially remember to wear comfortable shoes because you’ll be doing a lot of running between stages. But there is no need to wear pounds of makeup or plug your curling iron in at the campsite to look flawless for a festival. We’re all there to have a good time, and most people haven’t even showered in days.
- Plan out your schedule. It seems obvious, but it’s so important. Make sure you know who you want to see, where they’re playing, and what time. There’s probably going to be some overlap between artists, so figure all that stuff about before your inside so you don’t have to deal with it later.
- Ge the app. Most festivals have app that make #7 pretty easy to do. The app will usually have a map, show food areas, bathrooms, set times, and probably has a feature to set a reminder to your phone when your favorite artist is about to come on.
- Baby wipes. That is all.
- Make a budget. Once your inside those festival gates, money goes fasssst. Between the $12 beers (see #11), band merch, and gorging yourself at the gourmet food trucks, its easy to drop some serious money. Be conscious of how much you’re spending each day and try to set a limit for yourself.
- Sneak in your booze. Remember those $12 beers we just talked about? Your pregame buzz will eventually wear off and if you’re trying to stick to your budget, this may be your only option. For us, we quickly realized how easy it is to fill up our camelbaks with liquor. The first day it was filled with water, the rest of the days it was not. Don’t take this the wrong way, water is still important (see #4).
- It’s not the end of the world if you miss an artist’s set. Whether you get there too late, have to leave early cause you’re puking (Devin during Chance the Rapper), or just can’t get to the stage in time, don’t sweat it. Just stay positive and keep having a great time. The best part of festivals is the atmosphere.
- You don’t have to be at the front of the stage for every artist. You have to pick your battles. During the day, it’s pretty easy to get up to the front of the stage as long as you don’t mind all the glaring looks. But once the headliners come out, it wasn’t worth it to us to battle the crowds (does this mean we’re old?). If there’s one person on the lineup that’s the whole reason you came to the festival, then yeah sure, get there super early and work your way to the front. If not, hanging out in the back is still a great freaking time (hence sitting in a hammock during The Weeknd’s set).
- Bring games to the camp site. There’s gonna be some down time. You don’t want to get inside too early, and you’re going to be hanging out for a while. Whether it’s corn hole, kan jam, whatever, bring something to entertain you and your neighbors.
- Wear a fanny pack. Thank me later.
- You might get free food. Okay, we probably just got lucky but, still. Subway had a promotional area at Firefly last year, and when we passed by a saw a crowd we realized they were giving out free subs for 2 hours. We were just drunk enough at this time that I think we went back for 4ths, and 5ths. But even if you don’t get as lucky, it’s definitely worth checking out all the vendors and seeing what goodies or free stuff they have going on.
- You’ll be back. You’re first festival will get you hooked and you’ll be counting down the days till next year by the end of the weekend.