According to a festival regular, survival is easy. The real challenge is getting the most for your money and seeing all of your favorite shows.
Reed Stewart, senior in radio, television and film, has been going to festivals for years and has learned plenty of tips and tricks to share.
“My biggest tip would just be to always stay with someone,” Stewart said. “If you’re with a group or with a few people, I would never choose to peel off by myself whether you’re going to the restroom, or concessions, or going to get a drink or something. It just gets so hectic with all those people running around every direction.”
Stewart went on to explain the unreliability of cell phones in the midst of thousands of people. Stewart said messages don’t send and calls don’t go through, so a simple walk to the port-a-potty could be the last time you see your friends for the day.
Fernando Turpin, junior in English, has a different set of priorities.
“Don’t sacrifice a band you really want to see over what your friends want to do,” Turpin said. “You’ll see [your friends] later, but the band you won’t.”
Staying together definitely makes things easier, but if you miss Paul McCartney framed by fireworks singing “Live and Let Die” in front of 100,000 screaming fans because your friend was too tired, you wouldn’t be able to forgive yourself. Some things are worth going solo.
If you’re going to a camping festival, staying clean and hydrated are among the hardest things to master.
“I know I’m gonna be relatively gross so what I do is wash my hair in the free sinks, then you basically use baby wipes to keep the rest of your body clean as well as you can,” Stewart said. “But you just get used to being gross after a while.”
Getting grimy is part of the experience of camping festivals.
As long as you’re not so dirty that it gets dangerous, try to embrace it and don’t hesitate to jump in the fountains.
When it comes to water, however, hydration is far more important.
Stewart goes to festivals with a specific budget just for water.
“I always plan on buying one to two bottles every hour,” Stewart said. “Cause you’re sweating, and there’s just non-stop dancing and moving in the hot sun. If you’re not throwing down the water then you’re just going to dry right up.”
At Bonnaroo, a popular summer music festival in Tennessee, you will often find staff throwing bottles of water into the crowd - but only if you can find the right stage.
“The stage names are the ultimate troll,” Turpin said.
“Which Stage” and “What Stage” are the names of the two big stages at Bonnaroo. “This Tent,” “That Tent,” and “The Other Tent” are the names of the smaller tents; you can imagine the confusion that ensues.
Rachel Rubin, junior in communications, gave some advice for first timers.
“Don’t have expectations going into [a music festival],” Rubin said. “Because it’s going to be very different for every person.”
If you are flexible, patient and love music, you’re a perfect candidate for this year’s roundup of music festivals.