Fest Like a Pro

Our Survival Guide for Music Festivals

Festival season, also known as summer, is an exciting time—bands and fans come together to rock out in the sunshine or really, really unwelcome rain. To make it through the festivities in one piece, here’s an abbreviated guide to ending the weekend delighted, healthy, and with all your toes still intact.

Stay hydrated. Beer doesn’t count.

Drinking water beforehand is essential, but you should keep chugging (H2O, not booze!) during and after the festival too. And keep an eye out for the symptoms of dehydration: dizziness, heart palpitations, and little cartoon flames inside your eyes all indicate that something’s not right. You’ll want to get some shade, water, or help from a first-aid tent, lest you topple over onto someone else’s picnic blanket.

Don’t be so quick to dismiss the value of steel-toe boots.

If you’re lingering toward the back of the masses waiting to see Outkast, it might be safe to wear flip-flops, but if your plan is to get up front, closed-toe shoes are the way to go. Hobbling to the medical tent is a lousy way to miss the encore.

Keep your wits (and friends) about you.

Remember to indulge with moderation, pace yourself, and have a blast, but not so much that you can’t make smart choices (or operate Instagram properly). Failing all else, use the buddy system: make sure you and a friend are keeping an eye on each other or sharing a pair of three-legged pants, and arrange for a place to meet up at the end of the evening in case you get separated.

Trash cans are a hot spot for the Enemy.

Bees love trash cans. They love trash cans, and they hate you. This cannot be overstated. Get in, deposit trash, get out.

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Illustration: Jessica Duff.