Festival season is in full swing! You may have already learned the hard way that having an unforgettable experience at these amazing events requires a decent amount of planning. You can try to go with the flow and hope for the best, or you can take our advice and become an instant festival traveling pro.
#1 Book your lodging ASAP
There are only so many hotels near these venues. In order to ensure that you are getting a good deal, the right number of rooms and/or the best proximity, you have to book your lodging as soon as you get your festival tickets. Look into any hotels that are partnering with your festival for a special discount.
#2 Never act solo
Traveling is always a lot to handle. Having a friend or group of friends to help coordinate your trip, navigate your travels and execute your festival plans can make all the difference. Not only will you be safer with a co-pilot to talk to and manage the Waze or Google Maps, but festivals are a whole lot more fun when you get to share the amazing experience with your friends.
If you’re going to trade off driving, try to always have at least one person awake to accompany the driver.
#3 Pack early and double-check your list
Festivals can either be one long party filled with amazing entertainment, food, drinks, and fun OR they can be exhausting and overwhelming if you feel unprepared. Someone spill their drink on you and you didn’t pack extra clothes? Forget the one thing you can’t forget (the all-mighty phone charger)? By creating your own personal checklist and starting the packing process early, you make sure that among the excitement of the travel and the festival events that you are prepared for whatever comes up. Here’s a quick festival checklist to start with:
- A physical map for traveling through dead zones
- More than enough clothes in case of accidents/emergencies
- Cash – whether it’s for the trip or during the festival, it’s always important to have multiple payment methods at your disposal
- Hand sanitizer/wet wipes to keep you feeling fresh
- Bug spray
- Backpack or similarly easy to carry bag for extended time away from your hotel/tent
- Tent and sleeping bag (if applicable)
- Refillable water bottle – likely holds more than 16 ounces so you don’t get dehydrated while you’re busting a move (bonus for cutting down on waste!)
- Phone charger
- Chairs for downtimes
- Blankets or mats to lay down on
- Cards or other travel-friendly games in between sets or for in your hotel/tent
#4 Get to know the details of your festival
How is your festival laid out? What times are your favorite artists performing? How easy is it to get back to your lodging accommodations? Be certain to answer these questions ahead of time to ensure that you feel prepared to make the most of your festival weekend.
Here’s a list of some of the biggest, baddest festivals
- Boston Calling – May 24-26, Harvard Athletic Complex, Allston, MA
- Bottlerock – May 24-26; Napa Valley, CA
- Bayou Country Super Fest – May 25-26, 2019; LSU Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, LA
- Primavera Sound – May 30-June 1; Barcelona, Spain
- Governors Ball – May 31-June 2; Randall’s Island, New York City, NY
- Roots Picnic – June 1, The Mann at Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, PA
- CMA Music Festival /Austin City Limits – June 6–9, 2019; Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN
- Bonnaroo – June 13-18; Manchester, TN
- Firefly – June 21-23; The Woodlands, Dover, DE
- Glastonbury – June 26-30; Worthy Farm, Pilton, Somerset, England
- Longitude – July 5-7; Marlay Park, Rathfarnham, Dublin, Ireland
- Pitchfork Music Festival – July 19-21, Union Park, Chicago, IL
- Lollapalooza Paris – July 20-21; Hippodrome Paris Longchamp, Paris, France
- Cincinnati Music Festival – July 25-27, 2019; Paul Brown Stadium – Cincinnati, OH
- Mo Pop – July 27-28; West Riverfront Park, Detroit, MI
- Lollapalooza – August 1-4; Grant Park, Chicago, IL
- Outside Lands – August 9-11; Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA
- Woodstock 50 – August 16-18; Watkins Glen, NY
- Burning Man – Aug 25-Sep 2, 2019; Black Rock City, Gerlach, NV
#5 Map out your set-list
Which acts can you absolutely not miss? If these acts are headliners, odds are you’re going to have to stake your claim around a half hour before the set starts.
Don’t leave an amazing festival with a sour taste in your mouth because you missed your favorite band or had to wear the same pair of underwear the entire weekend. Start your planning early so that your weekend can be a breeze.
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