1.Purchase tickets in advance
Its always cheaper to get advance tickets. Also, a lot of people will face disappointment at the gate. Festivals DO get sold out. So avoid the heartache. And this may seem like its basic, but: DON'T FORGET TO BRING YOUR TICKETS IN WITH YOU!
2.VIP Isn’t Worth It
It will be pretty nice, not nearly as packed as the open area. But energy of the people there sucks AND they still sell booze and water for full price. You paid all that money and you don’t even get a discounted rate?! Meh. You'll probably find a way to sneak into VIP by the second day anyway.
3.Sneak in what you can
Stock up on liqour on your way there. Baggy pants, stuffing your shoes, “under-the-balls” trick. They will pat you down, so don't over do it though. And put them in areas they aren’t going to touch like your crotch or shoes.( you'll have a blast!!! -except for drinking ball-infused vodka for the rest of the night-).
Not sure what you can pack, what you should pack, where to even start? Read this: The essential checklist for a festival for some tips.
4.Be prepared to pay for just about everything.
Parking, service, camping, water, merchandise, you will pay for EVERYTHING. Carry money for yourself. At festivals its every man for himself. (Girls, festivals is not the time for chivalry, you need to be free to buy yourself some water or lunch whenever you want to.) Leave your money sense at home. No one wants to hear you moaning about how much you've spent already. We are spending it too.
5.Make friends with security
BUT remember that they are not your best friends. They could throw you out in an instant. You can't trust those dudes. But you can't function without them! [I know its some sort of big thing at some festivals to bottle the stage acts... DO NOT DO THIS! You will either get thrown out, or karma will make sure YOU get hit by a stray bottle.]
Familiarize yourself with all the toilet locations when you first arrive. Pack your own rolls of toilet paper, a mini bottle of hand sanitizer and a travel pack of baby wipes. Sounds lame but you'll thank us later.
7.Be Careful What You Drink
a)With friends: You WILL run out of drinks, and bottled water will be ridiculously over priced.You and friends will probably start passing drinks back and forth. Problem: after drinking all weekend you will all return home with a horrible phlegm-y coughs and feeling awful.
Watch your alcohol consumption. It is easy to overdo it when with friends in that atmoephere, but ALWAYS be coherent enough to be safe.
b)With Strangers: Come on. Strangers? At a festival? Spike much?
*DON'T FORGET TO STAY HYDRATED. DRINK ENOUGH WATER!*
8.Always Pick Up/Hang Out with/Talk to strangers.
With the exception of the above rule, forget all your apprehension when it comes to strangers. When trying to find your way around, a grunt and "SONGA!" from a KK security guard won't help much. Some random guy/girl walking by might be headed to the same place. Ask. Chat. Chill. Later you will find their friend brought hookah. Cool! Let's go smoke some. Well what do you know! You've got some fun friends! (and the circle goes on and on) Don't be shy, PICK EM UP!!!! When you start missing your friends again, get up go on your merry way! Be a social mingler/butterfly.
9.Don't forget to eat
Not eating equals starvation. This equals getting drunk too easily, which equals passing out too quickly, which equals missing half the festival.
10.Decide on a check-spot as soon as you get there
Arrange a meeting point in case you get separated from your friends. Agree to have at least one person walk by there say, mmmmm.... every two hours. Your cell service will NOT work. That is a guarantee. Safety in planning kids!
11.Get into the spirit of the event.
Dress up(kikoy culture), use makeup creatively, wear a t-shirt with your favourite act's name on it. Just cuz its a festival doesn't mean you should look washed out the whole time. You'll be taking pics, make the effort to look good! BUT PLEASE: do NOT take a glow stick. They were never -and will never be- cool. And never will the Kanye-West-style glasses for that matter -since we are on the topic.
12.Leave your shirt on
Unless you're on our top 5 lists, or are Jason Dunford/Taylor Lautner/John Allan Namu!
13.Check out or start some non-concert activities
Dances, drum circles, arts and crafts vendors, body-painting, water-balling, bouncy castles... A LOT of things take place at at every festival. Start an impromptu jam, a festival musician might even join in! So don't be afraid to carry your instrument of choice if you're an instrumentalist(please no awkward learners though): you might just get a chance to jam with one of your musical heroes! And for those who don't play, you still get the experience of seeing and hearing your favorite musicians cutting loose(please no awkward kumbaya/gospel clapping though).
14.Carry lots of empty plastic bin bags
They have many uses: You can use it to sit on, wear it as a raincoat-poncho if it rains, pee into it-desperate times-, collect your trash in it. Don't bring chairs or stools:they block people's view, create obstructions, and you just look douche-y. You don't have a right to any particular space -festivals are free-for-all. You all need to be laid back/chill otherwise you'll find the whole experience very stressful.
15.Wear comfortable shoes
Make sure they're closed in. Yes ladies, no thongs, gladiator sandals, strappies and DEFINITELY no heels/wedges/stilletos. They are no good. Your shoes will get irreparably messed up, and your feet will get filthy and gross! Break out a pair of wellingtons, or all types of boots - flat, ankle length, booties, knee-length. Guys, if you've ever wanted to wear wellingtons without feeling like a gardener.... Now is your time too. A good pair of sneaks or Converse will serve you well too.
16.Don't overpack or bring expensive stuff.
Just don't. You don't need that necklace, your iPod or anything else that costs a bit of money anyway. Leave them at home. They will get lost/stolen, you probably won't get them back, and none of your friends are going to want to spend half an afternoon looking for your Folex Rolex.Take a bag that can easily stay close to your body and take only the bare essentials. Pack a magazine for those dull in-between moments when one artiste/band/DJ shifts and the next one is setting up. Or spend the time chatting with your friends. Take a roll-up sleeping bag for snoozes. Raincoats, long ponchos (or bin bags) are great (keep your bag dry too). Don't take an umbrella: they are dangerous in a crowds it's easy to accidentally poke somebody. Expect to get a little wet. Water won't kill you. Pack a warm jumper in case you get cold.
Splurges should be things like sunglasses, a hat etc.
17.Get Good Pictures
Wear your camera with a strap/in a bag across your chest. Do not use a flash! Half the time, security gets mad when they see flashes go off. At night flashes really only illuminate the back of people’s heads that are directly in front of you not what's on stage. And they won't capture all the different colours going on from the amazing light displays on stage and around you. Try this trick instead: Turn your ISO (shutter speed and light sensitivity) up to 400 or even 800. You could even try as high as it goes, and see how that turns out. Then turn the EV (exposure value) setting way down, into the negative number options. It will seem pretty dark, but this is perfect for nighttime concerts. That’s it! No flash makes a HUGE difference. Your pictures will be AMAZING.
18.Try not to be too single-minded about what you do/where you stand/sit.
Part of the festival experience is being part of the crowd. If you stand at the front all day you'll miss the interaction far back. If you never get up close you'll miss the adrenaline. Go with the flow. See where the day takes you. Don't get upset at missing the perfect view, or leaving your spot for the toilet or some food. Some of the best experiences are had further back in the crowd, singing and dancing with total strangers. Don't get upset if your friends want to do things that you don't. So much to do, so little time! You don't have to spend the whole day together. Just always keep in mind your meet up spot.
19.Bring your a few of your 'signature'/favourite snacks packed.
(Keep them in a cool place to keep whatever it is from melting yuck-muck all over your bag.) The fast food stuff will be great. But what happens when you just want your Sour Skittles, or your honey-coated nuts, or your mabuyu? Re-entry into festivals tends to be a b**ch -horridly long lines, hard-headed security, the possibility of missing your favourite act while you're gone- when all you wanted was some Crunchie!
20.Have an escape plan.
At some point, something unforeseen might happen that might just make you want to get out of there as fast as you can. Whatever it might be, don't allow yourself to get stuck in. If you feel that you need to leave, you should be able to do so in as short a time as possible. Exit plans are best planned SOLO, so that it doesn't inconvenience the people you came with. But let someone know you're leaving, don't just disappear.
But most importantly HAVE FUN! Festivals are such a chill, relaxed fun place to spend a last weekend of a season. Go with the flow, enjoy the music, and PARTY!!!