With festival season kicking in to high gear this April, I thought it was only appropriate to lay out a list of essentials to take with you on your journey. Most festivals are held in the blistering heat, in the middle of summer, smack dab in the home of humidity (with the exception of Stagecoach and Coachella). So, needless to say, there are a lot of things that are essential to surviving and not passing out in a dehydrated stupor. So lets begin our list with the obvious.
1. Water. To this day one of the best signs I’ve ever seen at a festival was this guy rolling around an ice chest outside of LP Field in Nashville trying to sell water bottles to us idiots waiting in line to get in. It said, “Don’t ruin your vacation due to dehydration!” And he was right. Wouldn’t that just be the WORST? Some festivals will let you bring in empty bottles of water and refill them at designated fountains throughout. Something easy to carry that filters water even more than what the festival might is the britta water bottle. Or you can be overzealous and bring one of these:
2. Sunblock. Don’t be an idiot, skin cancer is a real problem in this world, and just because you’re drunk and sloppy doesn’t mean you should forgo protection. I read a lot of magazines and they say that SPF over 30 is actually a big lie. Just use 30 and reapply throughout the day. The biggest perk to using a ton of sunblock, is you can thoroughly clean out the bottle afterwards and easily sneak alcohol into the festival (because lets be honest, that is the most important thing in the world to all of us).
3. A big floppy hat and/or a cowboy hat. You’re going to look like a sweaty drunk fool anyway, so why not just add to it by wearing something on your head that protects your face from the sun, and makes you look like a fashionable (and ridiculous) festival goer. Part of the fun of going is looking around at how everyone thinks they’re at a fashion show in 100 degree heat (which, by the way, you’re not..). So take part in some small way by finding your most festive hat and using it.
4. The ugliest jean shorts you can find. I’m serious, have you seen these people at coachella? It’s a million degrees, it’s humid in some places, and who cares what you’re wearing as long as you’re cool. Take this opportunity to be as insane as possible. High waisted, cut-off, american flagged, pockets showing. Or just forgo the shorts entirely and wear bathing suit bottoms, boxers or speedos (don’t laugh, this is a real thing). Man or woman, rock the shorts. But don’t be boring about it, be a man.
5. Alcohol. Bring it in. It doesn’t matter what they say, don’t pay $15 bucks for a beer smaller than your fist. Stuff it in your boobs, in your boots, in a sunblock bottle, or in your crotch. DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO. My favorite thing is buying the little bottles at a place like Bevmo and hiding them all over, you know, not putting my eggs in one basket. You’ll always get at least a few in. Then buy a five buck, twenty-ounce coke and go to TOWN. Especially if you’re at a country music festival – it’s a travesty not to have a drink in your hand when Eric Church is belting out his anthem. Luke Bryan is up there shaking his ass talking about how we’re all here to party, so get your party on! Don’t know how to sneak booze in? Scared to do it? Google was invented for a REASON.
Party responsibly (don’t drive drunk, that’s just the dumbest shit in the world, and treat everyone around you with RESPECT). Now that you’re prepared, go my little ones, off into the real world of music festivals! You have everything you need.