The ins and outs of music festival-ing

Photo courtesy of Kimber Lubberts

This summer, there are tons of music festivals happening all over the continent. Whether you are going to one or five, this article will help you through the ticket buying process, preparation, travel, and what to do once you get there.

The most music-related anxiety I have ever experienced was when I was trying to buy my ticket for Bonnaroo. While it’s pretty much guaranteed that you are going to experience some anxiety while waiting in queue, you can avoid a full out panic attack by knowing a couple of things. First: Know exactly when your tickets are going on sale. Some festivals sell out within minutes, so make sure you know the time that the tickets will be available. Most ticket sales start at 10am or 12pm, either way, make sure you’re on the site at least 10 minutes early so you can ensure a connection. Second: Have one person grab all the tickets. Chances are, you aren’t going alone. Make sure one person grabs all the tickets; this will completely eliminate any chance of servers crashing and one or two people being left out.  Since the tickets can get pretty pricey, make sure your friends are willing to front the money ASAP, nobody wants to max out their credit card and then have friends flake and not pay them back.

The next step is the preparation stage. This is when you figure out how you’re getting there, whether you’re staying in a hotel or camping, you’re plan of attack once you get to the festival, and anything else that might be relevant for the specific festival you’re going to. If the festival you’re going to offers camping, I’d suggest doing that as well. Hotels can cost up to $1,000 per night, so camping will not only be a cheaper alternative, but it will be so much fun and you will definitely meet new friends. If you don’t have camping gear, I can’t stress how important it is that you grab them before you are festival-bound. Rentals cost almost as much as a hotel room, and if you wait until you’re there to buy it, it will probably be sold out.

Packing can also be tricky, for festivals can run for almost a week. On the plus side, they’re in the summer so you know you can pack your smallest clothes. Make sure you look at regulations before bringing in alcohol, if the festival doesn’t allow it, they will take it away and not even your sweet-talking will save it. Don’t waste your money by not reading the rules. Also, don’t try to sneak drugs across the border or into the festival.

Once you get to the festival, try to stick with your friends because it is very easy to lose your way. If you run into a sticky situation and you want to go see a band your friends hate, pick a time to meet back up and go where you want to, you’re not going to have a good time if you’re always doing what everybody else wants to do.

Festival-ing can be so much fun, but it can also be a disaster if you’re ill prepared. Make sure you’ve got all you’re avenues covered, plan your attack, and have the best summer ever at some of the best festivals North America has to offer.

Some festivals worthy of your attention:

Bonnaroo: June 13-16

Osheaga: August 2-4

Coachella: April 12-14 and 19-21

Sasquatch: May 24-27

Lollapalooza: August 2-4



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