By Chloe Ortiz, staff writer

So many music festivals take place each year with at least one for any genre imaginable, and they are great places to be! As an avid festival and concert attendee, I find that the community created at these performances is unlike any other, but it’s up to the fans attending to build that sense of community. We all attend these festivals for the same reason, to see bands we love.

Some people wait years to see these performances; I for one have waited to see Green Day rock out for over a decade, and finally this past weekend my wish was granted. As this festival season comes to a close I offer a few tips and tricks learned from over the years to make these often long awaited experiences the best they can possibly be.


Get there early! The early bird gets the worm, or at least the best spot in the crowd! Bands go on sometimes 15-30 minutes after gates open, and often lines to get in are long and not well organized. I’ve seen people wait upwards of two hours just to get through a gate, I’ve done it myself; then have to walk over to their favorite bands’ stage only to find that their set is already halfway through. Set that alarm for just a few minutes earlier, there’s plenty of time to snooze
after the show!

Hydrate! Some festivals last 13 hours or multiple days! Don’t find yourself at the med tent because a wine cooler sounded more appealing than water on a sweltering summer day. Many festivals have strict guidelines on what you can bring in. Always check websites for banned or prohibited items. In my experience, refillable water bottles tend to be restricted to under 32 ounces and non-metal materials. However, hydroflasks are often accepted and even though it might taste slightly like plastic by the end of the day, you won’t have to refill as often allowing you to keep that prime position in the crowd.

Familiarize yourself with the layout. Where is the medical tent, where are the food vendors, often there are free water stations; find and remember their location. Look before going to see what bands are playing on what stages so you don’t miss those you’ve been waiting to forever to see. Every festival ground is different, knowing these locations will reduce the amount of walking and navigating crowds. Happy feet make for a happier experience!

Pay attention to the crowd. You’re gonna be up close and personal with hundreds if not a couple thousand other people. If you notice a mosh pit open up either join in the fun or move back, don’t blame others or cause a ruckus because you weren’t paying attention to the events around you. It is a concert after all, everyone is hot and sweaty and jumping around. There is always plenty of room further back to lounge and enjoy the performance.

Help your fellow festival goers. I see people offering electrolyte pills when they notice someone dehydrated, helping each other up off the ground whether they were lounging or tripped in the crowd, and even helping find medical help (which can sometimes be difficult, stay aware). We’re all here to enjoy bands we love with other members of the community. Keep the atmosphere positive and look out for your fellow festival-goers. As I mentioned before, it is up to
each attendee to keep the atmosphere as positive as possible.

Prepare! Pack your bags with sunblock, pedialyte/liquid IV, a hat, bandaids. Any essentials you may need, keep yourself protected from the sun so you can enjoy the festival in its entirety. There’s nothing worse than ending up with sun poisoning and or open blisters on your feet halfway through the day. Bring anything to keep you as comfortable as possible; a little personal hack for the ladies, disposable urinal cups make porta potty’s much less of a chore.

DON’T: No littering! You came to this venue looking beautiful thanks to the hard work of a lot of festival employees, leave it as you found it. Janitorial staff is out in the sun all day keeping your experience pleasant, don’t make it harder for them. A lot of festivals are on campgrounds used by the local community and tourists, they’d like to have a great experience after you. Respecting nature is never the wrong thing to do.

DON’T: Dress Up Too Much! Wear a cute outfit, sure! But remember you’re going to be on your feet all day  and it can get cold at night. Bring your jacket for the cooler night hours, and bring shorts for under that skirt; we all hate chub rub. Most important in my experience is bringing comfortable shoes for when those pumps or platforms start wearing you out. I will always preach the importance of keeping those feet comfy. Many venues offer lockers, or keep the items at your
campsite for a quick change between sets!

Speaking of wardrobe- don’t opt for the diaper. I’ve seen it time and time again, people wearing adult diapers for hours on end. A lot of fans hold their place at the barricade all day waiting for headlining bands to put on the show of a lifetime. You may very well have to relieve yourself at some point during the day. Don’t opt for the diaper, you’ll sweat more than you thought possible, it’s uncomfortable, bulky and tight; and if you do use it… diaper rash. Enough said. Either sacrifice your spot or as many do, simply let it out. I would suggest the prior as fellow fans might not appreciate the second option.

Don’t be the bully. Don’t shove your way through the crowds that have already condensed after the show has started. If you see a path sure there’s no issue trying to get a better view, but forcing your way through is simply bad etiquette and a good way to start an unnecessary fight. Everyone is there for the same reason, if you want a prime spot for the show, arrive earlier.

With these tips in mind I hope everyone has fun and stays safe wherever the next festival takes you!