Music Festival Survival Guide

By Staff

Before you head out to this year's music festivals, be sure to read our survival guide!

We’ve trained for this all winter. Parked on the couch with one hand on our iPods the other on the keyboard of our laptops, the best season is upon us: music festival season. We’ve read every ‘most anticipated of 2012’ list, listened to hundreds of playlists, scanned every music critic blog and have re-subscribed to all of our favorite music magazines to prep for the best plan of attack when it comes to festival line-ups. We’re ready to hit the ground running and make this the best festival year of our lives.

Even if you’re the best partier, music connoisseur or ‘woo’ girl the festival grounds will ever see, there are a few things you have to remember to bring with you. If not, you’re fun day in the sun can go from amazing to the worst. We don’t want to see anyone hauled to the medic area during the festival season, so we asked a few bands taking part in upcoming festivals what every fan should bring.

Keep It Clean

Zedd, a world renowned producer/DJ, may be getting ready to tour with Lady Gaga during her Asian leg of the “Born This Way Ball” tour, but for now he’s revving up for the second weekend of Coachella. After wandering the festival grounds, Zedd told us that the best thing you could bring would be, “razors and shaving foam.“ I guess he saw enough Dan Auerbach look-alikes to last him a lifetime. Good luck sneaking a razor past security though, and if you’re just going for a day festival, there wouldn’t be much of a point to stock up on Gillette’s.

Be Prepared

Mickey Avalon ran off a colorful list of things you must bring if you intend on looking good and hooking up. “If one is going to a music festival, it is very important to make sure to bring protection. Condoms, dental dam, saran wrap, tin foil, etc… But not to worry, if you forget, make sure you have a pharmacist friend that can load you up with antibiotics. You should also bring comfortable clothes, i.e. short shorts; and if you are going to wear short shorts, you should bring some Nair. And, if you dare wear short shorts, Nair for short shorts! But that can burn, so bring some aloe vera. And better than aloe vera in the bottle, is the real thing. It’s good for your skin and can also be used for a laxative. You can swallow it, or rub it all over your body. Or both!?!”

DJ Destructo, founder of HARD festival, had another view on festival promiscuity. “If you have a significant other, bring them. They might keep you out of trouble.”

Look Your Best

The French boys from Housse de Racket focused on three very important items fans usually forget. “Sunglasses, because you always look cool with sunglasses and you can watch girls without being seen, a Housse de Racket T-Shirt: Because you’ll be even cooler with an ‘I’m-the-only-one-to-know-them’ t-shirt and a bottle of water because drinking is important! Yes, we mean water! Or you can throw it away and scream ‘WOOHOO’ with your cool t-shirt and sunglasses.”

Find Your Pink Palace

Wolf Gang may be hitting the road to open for mega band Coldplay after performing the two weekend behemoth that is Coachella, but they also know a thing or two about roughing it at a festival like us normal people. “Don’t rely on anyone else for your survival. Lasse once had to sleep under the van all night in the pouring rain because someone forgot to bring his tent and sleeping bag. Speaking of tents, buy the biggest, brightest and most obnoxious tent you can. We take the ‘Pink Palace’ with us whenever camping. It was the last tent we could find before Glastonbury. It’s so offensive, no-one else would buy it. However, we had the last laugh when we were the only ones to find our tent at the end of the night! Oh yeah, and don’t take the milk.”

Keep Your Sneakers Clean

Alain Macklovitch aka A-Trak aka Duck Sauce will be playing I Love this City later in May, and has been playing shows since he was fourteen. “Charge your phone FULLY before you go, because if your phone dies you’re screwed. Drink a lot of water, you might not realize you’re getting dehydrated which is always bad news. You probably will lose your friends at one point so it’s in your best interest to have a meeting point and the most important sensible tip of all is don’t wear shoes or sneakers that you actually like because you’re going to ruin them. No one is going to judge you on your footwear so just go ahead and wear an old pair of vans or something.” If A-Trak says he won’t judge you on your footwear, we’re going to start doing this.

The Cold Hard Truth

Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes reminded us of the harsh reality of attending festivals nowadays with his wise words, “Bring binoculars. How often my eyes drift toward the big screens makes me feel like I might as well be watching from home. I like making sure I’m watching the actual players, not the camera edits the whole time.” Taylor and fellow band mates are destroying the festival circuit this summer, and will be performing almost every festival being held this year. How they’re pulling this off, we don’t know.

Screw It

Shoegaze princess Laura Lloyd of No Joy came off a bit terrified by the thought of attending a music festival this summer. When asked about what to bring, she simply said, "Don’t go unless you have all access passes.” She does have a point, at least for Coachella. Instead of trekking all the way to California, hook up your computer to your television and stream the festival. If you’re still unhappy you’re not attending, take comfort in the fact that you can buy beer for a fraction of the price and only have to deal with people you like.


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