Seasoned music festival-goers know how to brave the elements. Like a litany of past relationships gone terribly wrong, the absence of all things comfortable and redundant become a fond memory. The battle scars, the blistering sunburn and the ringworm caught from Todd the Trust Fund "Hippie" are reminders of what you should and should NOT do. But for you newbies, some of the more commonsense supplies might seem excessive, but they can actually SAVE YOUR LIFE. Well not really, but it could save you from having a miserable time. After all, you did spend a chunk of your paycheck on tickets, it might as well be the best experience of your life.
We're not talkin' tents, sleeping bags and hot dogs here people, I mean, if you're that clueless you might want rethink your decision before you embark on this journey. We're talkin' real deal supplies. I've been to a few music festivals in my day and I never leave home without these:
- A head lamp - Have you ever tried to walk an obstacle course in the dark? Don't answer that. And if you're 21+ then it might be much more difficult. And have you ever flashed an LED light at zoned-out audience members? Well, you might as well be parting the red sea.
- Rain boots - Yeah, you're hardcore - we get it. But it's really difficult to be "hardcore" when you've got wittle, bittie sniffles. Trudging through the mud is fun...for a few hours. Try sloshing around for a few days, when the GANGRENE or TRENCH FOOT sets in. Okay maybe not gangrene, but if you're trying to impress your tent-mate, that Athlete's Foot really isn't going to help your cause. Just ask the people at this year's Glastonbury Festival.
- A hoodie - The weather forecast in Paradiseville, USA says 91 and sunny the whole weekend and what do you pack? A bathing suit, some shorts, a few t-shirts maybe. You get there and you realize that 91 and sunny turns into 52 and freezing. Don't be a hero. It's kind of hard to dance at the late night set when you're pulling a Mary Katherine Gallagher to keep your fingers warm. Trust me, it doesn't smell like happiness under there.
- Bug spray - Congratulations! Your knee just gave birth to 8, beautiful botflies. Need we say more?
- TP - I'm sure there's no place you'd rather be stuck in without some dollar store TP than a 4-day-old Porta-Potty.
- FOOD (assuming that you're camping) - This one kills me every time! Don't get me wrong, I'm all about sharing the wealth. It's difficult to deny trail mix to some lost soul with glazed eyes and the blood sugar level of an ant. But if you want to save your money, the last thing you should spend it on is music festival food. Besides, when did a $12 grilled cheese taste better than black Angus kissed by lighter fluid (okay okay, or a smart dog kissed by organic hickory).
- A Flag - You know what's awesome? Wandering around for 3 hours in 95 degree, cloudless weather trying to find your 2-person tent. Bring a unique marker like a flag to identify your home base. Tent cities are so disorienting, at least for someone like me who can't find their apartment 3 blocks away. Hey, Einstein couldn't either.
- Downtime Stuff - Music Festivals are great in that they're all inclusive. Not only do you have dozens of bands and artists constantly performing, you've got tent shops, drum circles (depending on what type of music fest you're attending) and a ton of other cool crap to do. But sometimes it can be overwhelming or tiring. So instead of dragging your feet and being a Debbie Downer, bring that Hunter S. Thompson novel you've been meaning to translate into English.
- A Positive Attitude and Absolutely No Expectations - Bring these along with an open mind and I guarantee you, it will be a life-changing journey that you'll never forget.
What are your must-bring music festival supplies?