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Your Summer Music Festival Survival Guide

Summer music festival season is an opportunity to bask in the sunshine while you dance with the energized masses to the exalted jams of your favorite bands. While music festivals are filled with booming beer gardens, great dance parties, and delicious festival foods, there are also many frequently overlooked elements you must remember to take into consideration. Long lines, extreme heat, vast crowds, and unexpected emergencies could put a damper on your festival experience, if you’re not prepared.

Whether you’re a seasoned fest-goer or it’s your first festival, here are some things to bring along to make sure your experience will be amped up with fun and leave you with fond memories.


It seems like it would be a no-brainer to get water at the festival, though it can sometimes be surprisingly difficult to locate a water vendor. There is also the chance that the festival might run out of their plastic bottle reserves. Bring along your own, refillable water bottle or hydration backpack. CamelBak even offers a refillable water bottle that features a solar filter to ensure your drinking water is safe and free of contaminants. Many festival rules permit empty water bottles to be brought into the venue, and there are a slew of easy-access, water filling stations on the premises.


Sunglasses can provide you with eye protection and a look of effortless-cool. Keep your eyes safe and reduce squinting with a pair of UV-protective shades. Your eyelids and the skin around them are very sensitive, and can be especially prone to sunburns and skin cancer. Protecting them is vital. Chose UVA- and UVB-filtering lenses that block out 99 to 100 percent of harmful rays.


Whether you’re dancing near the stage, or lounging on the lawn for hours on end, you’re bound to get some sun exposure. Avoid waking up with a sunburned lobster-look on Day Two, and instead, make sure you leave the festival with golden, sun-kissed skin. Apply broad spectrum, high-SPF sunscreen before your first exposure, and reapply regularly. Keep an eye on your friends for areas that are getting too red, and ask them to do the same for you.

Raincoat/Poncho or Bandana

It is wise to check the weather report before you head out to your wild weekend of music. If there is a chance of rain, avoid getting wet and catching a cold by bringing a poncho. Ponchos are compact and lightweight, and are incredibly easy to include in your carryall bag of festival fare. For a cost-effective alternative, you can even bring a garbage bag to go for the grunge look. Check retailers like ASOS or Urban Outfitters for some more fashionable, rain-poncho alternatives so you don’t have to sacrifice your style.

Alternatively, if the festival is taking place in a dry, desert climate, there is bound to be some gusts of dust. Protect your nose, mouth, and lungs from the sand and debris with a bandana or scarf. In addition to protecting you from the elements, they make a great statement accessory!

Reader Comments (2)

These are all really simple things to keep in mind, but it seems like the most simple things tend to get over-looked the most. Making a checklist before you head to an event like this is just a really smart idea. That way you don't accidentally run out the door without something important. I forgot sunscreen at my last outdoor event and I was miserable for the next week and a half afterwards.

This is so informative! this might be a very good help for those who are first timers. But even though this is was not posted, it's their initiative to bring stuffs that they really need. Anyways thanks!

June 29 | Unregistered CommenterJethro

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