Festival season is upon us, and I can proudly proclaim that Hangout Fest was my 10th adventure. So after attending 10 festivals, let me share with you a few important tips:

 

Pack Lightly

When space is limited, don’t pack what you can live without. As someone recently embracing a minimalist lifestyle, I can promise you, you will appreciate a lighter load once you arrive to the festival. The less you pack, the less you have to worry about losing and misplacing.

Review the Schedule

It’s good to know the order of the shows so you can guesstimate when to arrive and when to leave for another act. Ask your friends which shows they plan to catch so you can coordinate potty breaks in between.

Stand Out

It’s inevitable: At some point, you will see a show by yourself. Maybe your friends don’t like Jack Johnson or you want to skip Mumford and Sons. Either way, wear something that stands out so you can find each other in the crowd later. I made an alien totem pole one year so friends could find me from far away. BUT make sure the festival you’re attending allows totem poles before creating one!

Reach Out

When you’re by yourself, don’t be afraid to chit chat with those standing and sitting around you. Chances are, everyone’s friendly, and at the very least, discussing the act you’re waiting on makes for a good focal point.

Share

In an effort to lighten my load throughout the day, I’ll share snacks. I usually pack too much food and water. Festivals foster a sense of community; do your part by contributing to those that are new to the scene or might have shown up unprepared. A generous attitude always leads to stronger connections.

Hydrate

Drink as much water as possible. And beer, lots of beer. But for God’s sake, stay hydrated. I drink a full liter before heading to the first show, because it makes me feel good and puts me in a chipper mood.

Sanitize Hands

Bring your own sanitizer to the festival, since the dispensers usually run out the first night. And on that note, definitely bring your own roll of toilet paper.

Bring a Jacket

Even though most festivals take place in the summer, the nights remains chilly. I’m all about the mom shorts and tank tops, but do yourself a favor and pack a light jacket just in case.

Forget Your Phone

The least appealing thing someone can do on vacation is to fixate on their phone. This indicates you haven’t fully disconnected from the “real world” and isn’t that the point? I love setting my phone on airplane mode for 3 solid days and only taking necessary photos.

We’re all guilty of taking a few selfies occasionally, but snapping picture after picture of yourself looks like a sad, desperate plea for attention. Narcissism isn’t attractive, and you’re certainly not living in the moment when you’re wrapped up in your phone, bragging to everyone at home. If I was performing in front of 80,000 people, I would appreciate those engaging in the music and the moment versus those recording the entire show. Bottom line is, it’s a courtesy gesture.

Don’t be “That Guy”

Whether you’re drinking, smoking, or trippin balls, take it easy. You don’t want to be that guy I noticed at the Bonnaroo medical tent last year, teething on a wash cloth to prevent his teeth from grinding. Pace yourself and remember: This is the only body you have, so treat it right!

If you have any other tips, feel free to speak up. I’m sharing a few photos from Hangout, but if you would like to add me on Facebook, you can view the rest there.

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Had to get one photo of my favorite dj. I’ve caught him live 4x but this was by far the craziest show.
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Hanging out in the beach access area of hangout
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Matthew always stands out lol
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Anna Nicole Smith came to party with us. She helped us find each other in the crowd.
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Sooo many people leaving the Chevrolet Stage with the ocean in the background.