Planning to go to your first festival this summer? Isn’t that exciting? If you don’t know what to do with your excitement, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve created a newbie’s guide┬áto music┬áfestivals. This beginner’s guide can answer any questions you may have.

All festivals have different concepts and vibes. However, what you need to bring to camp doesn’t change much. On the other hand, weather conditions can also change at each festival. In short, the basics are the same at all festivals.

In this post, you’ll find suggestions to make your festival experience easier. Don’t worry, newbie. You gonna survive.

Preparations for your first festival

Counting the days until the festival starts? Very exciting! It’s your first festival. On the other hand, it can also make you nervous if you don’t know how to prepare. That’s not a problem. It’s normal to feel that way. Enjoy the excitement.

First and foremost, check out the festival website. Read the offerings and frequently asked questions about the festival. If there’s no website, go to the festival’s Facebook event page and read the section about the festival. You may find useful information there, such as ÔÇťIs there a children’s area or handicapped access?ÔÇŁ

A newbie's guide to music festivals

What should you bring to the festival?

You need to bring a tent, sleeping bag, mat, warm clothes, appropriate shoes, food, money, medicine, and personal hygiene items. Make a list and check it out at the end.

Experienced festivals have an extensive infrastructure. So, you can find many things you need at the festival. For example, the organization offers a tent rental or purchase service. Remember that such a service isn’t available at every festival. Ask directly to the organization.

At festivals, there are different food stands for all kinds of diets. If you’ve a special diet, you can send a message and ask if there will be a food stand for it. Also, with fair prices, you don’t have to bring as much food. That would be an extra burden on you. Just buy things like snacks and fruit.

On the other hand, the idea of eating and drinking for a five-day festival with money can be costly. In this case, you can take some of your food with you. Also, some small festivals may not allow you to bring your food. If there’s no announcement, always ask!

If a festival is held near a natural spring, you don’t have to pay for water during the festival. Still, don’t forget to bring a water bottle.

A newbie's guide to music festivals
All you need is to have love and a┬ánewbie’s guide┬áto music┬áfestivals.

Transport

You’ve planned what you want to bring. Now the question is how you’re going to get to the festival. Believe me, with this bag, you want to arrive as easily as possible. Usually, transportation information is posted a week in advance on social media accounts and websites. Try not to miss the announcements of the festival you want to attend.

Own vehicle

Want to arrive in your own vehicle? Check with the festival’s parking policies. You may have to pay an additional fee. You can also share your vehicle with other participants and share gas. Car sharing is always an eco-friendly option.

Shuttle

The organization will operate shuttle buses from certain points. So, you’ll find this information in the transportation announcement. You can go to these points by public transportation and use the shuttle. However, you’ll have to pay extra.

It can be exhausting to reach the festival area with heavy bags, but the festival is beautiful despite these difficulties. Ah! If several participants come from the same city, you can organize a shuttle service. Instead of changing a few vehicles, it’s easier that way.

Hitchhiking

If you’re looking for an adventure, you can also hitchhike. So look for a companion on the event page. Don’t hitchhike alone. Just, make sure you know in advance how you’re getting to the festival.

A newbie's guide to music festivals
Foto─čraf: Patrick Hendry/Unsplash

Big bag, big problem

All right. You can get help sometimes. ButÔÇŽ Hey, the backpack is your responsibility. It can be a challenge if you’re not used to it. Festivals can be at the top of the mountain sometimes. In that case, I wish you strength for the soles of your feet and back. Don’t give up. The experiences you’ll have will be worth it.

Where will I pitch my tent?

After you arrive at the festival site and complete the entry formalities, the first thing you need to do is determine where you’ll pitch your tent. Look at the campsites on the festival map and roughly decide which ones work for you. It’s easier to pitch your tent in daylight. So, Try to arrive at the festival site during daylight hours. When pitching your tent, factor in sunrise and possible bad weather conditions. Besides, you can hang a light around your tent to make it easier to find at night.

  • Avoid hills
  • Choose flat ground
  • Consider the sunrise
  • Put light on your tent
  • Choose a place that’s not so close to the stage
How to pitch a tent

Festival toilets

Unfortunately, you won’t find a heartwarming situation. I’ll tell you right now: be prepared for it. You may see unpleasant views. People can be hell in toilets. Check out my post about tips for dealing with festival toilets. But I also have some good news for you. What’s the good news? You’ll find out at the festival how long you can hold your toilet.

Shower

I used to be able to spend a festival without showering. However, the older I got, the more convenience and comfort came to the fore. Showering with help on the morning of the last night is an important detail for me. If there’s a sea or accessible water, jumping directly into the water is also a relaxing solution. There will also be shower areas at the festival site. There may be indoor or outdoor showers. The hygiene may not be the same as at your home. If you’re picky about these things, festivals may not be suitable.

Shower in festivals

Food and drink

At festivals, there’s food and drink for all types of diets. Food and drink can be more expensive for some, while others offer fairer prices. If you’ve a special diet, ask if there’s a stand for it. You can also bring snacks. However, sometimes we get too busy entertaining ourselves and forget about eating. For this reason, you can bring electrolytes, spirulina, and some supplements. This can be a lifesaver. Also, use reusable things like water bottles, cutlery, etc. Try not to waste plastic.

Weather

Check what the weather will be like during the festival dates. Be prepared for possible bad weather conditions. Also, consider the difference between day and night, depending on the location. Besides, don’t forget to bring things, such as sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat.

A newbie's guide to music festivals

Clothes

Festivals are gatherings where colorful people come together. Here, we can embody characters that we can’t be in real life. We can easily create our own utopia. Whether you wear the same thing or take on a different character every day. It doesn’t matter, what you wear, as long as you feel comfortable and have fun. Also, be prepared for bad weather. Remember. You’ll enter the toilet in the clothes you’re wearing. Besides, a fanny pack will prevent the loss of valuables such as money and cards.

Shoe

Shoes are an important detail for healthy because you’ll dance on the stage and walk around. The more comfortable shoes you wear, the better your feet will be protected at the end of the festival. Otherwise, blood may accumulate on your feet; and they may fill up with blisters. If it’s raining, rubber boots are the ideal choice. However, your feet might be cold, so don’t forget to wear thick socks inside. If your boot can hold water, you can put a plastic bag over your foot and wear the trunk. Don’t forget to bring enough socks. Wet and damp socks can cause an athlete’s foot. You should change your socks often if you don’t go barefoot or wear sandals at a festival.

A newbie's guide to music festivals

Security

We go to festivals to enjoy ourselves, have fun and dance, but like everywhere, there are malicious people.

Sorry. Tents don’t provide security. Hanging a padlock doesn’t protect your belongings; on the contrary, it can send the message that there’s something valuable. And that can lead to them cutting your tent. I’ve heard many stories of the whole tent being taken, the tent being abandoned and the belongings being taken, and more. Especially at crowded festivals, thefts are common.

Also, don’t keep your valuables in the tent. If possible, don’t take too many valuables with you. Besides, some festivals offer lockers for a fee. (These lockers were also free at Glastonbury Festival).

It’s a good idea to pitch your tent together with your friends. This means that someone will always be with your camp. This will keep thieves away from your tent area.

While you sleep, you can keep all your money and valuables in your sleeping bag, because some people are heavy sleepers.

A newbie's guide to music festivals

Comfort & Sleep

The choice of a sleeping bag and sleeping mat is important for a comfortable night’s sleep. A sleeping bag that protects you from the harsh cold is sufficient, but the right sleeping mat will give you extra comfort. Some festival-goers bring air mattresses, but if you don’t have a car, that’s an added burden. Also, don’t forget to bring a small pillow. Position your tent by figuring out which area of the festival is quieter and more comfortable. A sleep mask and earplugs can also be lifesavers.

Waste

Festivals (and festival-goers) unfortunately produce a lot of waste. However, some festivals have lovingly painted recycling bins. What can you do?

  • You can put a small trash bag at the edge of your tent, but don’t leave it there for long because your little animal friends might visit you.
  • I know it’s hard, but keep your campsite clean and tidy.
  • Don’t throw cigarette butts on the ground. This is very unsightly behavior. You can buy a portable festival ashtray. Some festivals also give these ashtrays as gifts.
  • Don’t leave litter at the end of the festival.

Last but not least, read the information about the festival carefully. Don’t ask about things that are already on the website. Even if the busy festival team kindly answers your questions, it’s a waste of their time. If you’re a bit more attentive, you can easily find the answer you’re looking for.

I hope, this newbie’s guide to music festivals will be a lifesaver for you. If you’re experienced festival goers, what’re your tips for newbies to music festivals? What’ve we missed? Leave a comment below!

Bonus: Enjoy Yejades‘s DJ set.