I had never really considered going to a music festival. I love music, but I’m not a die hard fan of any bands in particular. I am a fan of fun, new experiences with my friends. So when my best friend told me she was going, I was a little hesitant to tag along. But I’m always down for a new adventure, so I decided to go for it. That’s how I decided to attend Firefly in Dover, Delaware, and I’m so happy I did.
I didn’t really know what to expect. I read blogs, I asked around, but in the end I relied heavily on my friends’ insider knowledge. Now, though, I’d like to impart some of my wisdom onto others considering heading to a music festival this summer.
Bring a backpack with LOTS of pockets.
This was our lifesaver. I have a backpack with a weird secret compartment in the back. The zipper is on the bottom of the bag, so it’s hard to see. We were able to stuff food and alcohol into the back and when looking through it there’s no way you can see anything. It saved us so much money. Some people choose fanny packs, but having somewhere to keep a towel, snacks, water bottle, sun screen, money, and other miscellaneous supplies was really helpful. But be warned, don’t bring in too much stuff because you’ll be stuck carrying it all day.
Decide what your “must sees” and “must dos” are
What do you want to happen at this festival? And don’t just answer have fun. That’s not very helpful.
- See X band
- See as many bands as possible
- Be with friends
- Be front row
You have a limited amount of time, so you can’t do it all. A lot of bands overlap or end right as another begins, and it’s across the festival. You’ve got to have a priority. Some of your friends will want to see one band, while you want to see another. Is it more important for you to see the band or be with your friend? Decide which bands you’re willing to skip and which ones you HAVE to see.
Pick a meeting spot
On the first day stake out a good spot you can all meet if you decide to go off on your own. But if you aren’t comfortable being completely on your own you probably shouldn’t separate at all because there’s no guarantee you’ll find them later. Cell signal isn’t the best. If you’re the type that wants to bring a totem pole, do it. Our group didn’t want to carry it around all weekend, but we could for sure see the benefits. We even used other peoples to find each other. *Go to the Scottish flag*
Secure your valuables
If you are prone to loosing your phone bring an arm strap or something where it’s hard to get lost. Loosing your phone puts a damper on the entire weekend, trust me. Same goes with keys, wallet, or anything irreplaceable. You’ll most likely be intoxicated at some point, and it’s so easy to put something down walk away, and forget about it.
Be wary of gifts
Don’t accept anything from strangers, unless you are 100% okay taking drugs. Alcohol, brownies, chocolate, gum, whatever it is, it could have drugs in it. Most people probably have good intentions and it’s probably just weed. But you never know. Be prepared for anything when you take something from a stranger, even if it looks harmless.
But the most important piece of advice is…
just relax. You’re going to be tired, sweaty, and dirty. You’ll get separated from friends, you’ll miss your favorite band, you’ll lose your phone, your car batter will die. Bad things may happen, and probably will, but try not to let it ruin your weekend. Embrace the hippie lifestyle and go with the flow. Just enjoy the trip….
And get to packing!
On the food front it’s important to bring food that once your ice melts and it gets hot it’ll still be good.
- Granola bars
- Chex Mix
- Burritos (no sour cream)
- Protein bars
- Pasta salad (not mayonnaise based)
- Veggies like celery and carrots
- Tuna packets
- Overnight oats
The campsite is usually a good walk from the campsite, so it’s not really feasible to go back and forth. Once you’re inside you’ll probably stay there. Don’t bring a crap ton of food that will go to waste, but you’ll want enough food to to snack on while you’re hanging out at the campsite, before you head in for the day, and at night after the shows.
- Tarps (the more the better, we brought 5 and could have used more!)
- E-Z Pop up tent (lifesaver in the heat)
- Flashlights/Headlights/ Lantern (multiple sources of light)
- Camping Chairs
- Air mattress and battery powered pump
- Camping table (not necessary, but much appreciated)
- Bug spray
- Battery powered fan
- Water bottle or Camelbak backpack
- Portable cell phone charger (if you don’t want to wait at the charging stations bring one for every night)
- Jumper cables for your car (it probably will die)
- Toilet paper (porta potties will run out)
- Trash bags
- Paper Towels
- Shower tent (too expensive for casual campers or festival goers but if you can get one bring it)
- Tapestries (for decor)
- Cups, plates, cutlery
- Watch (besides your phone which may die)
- Baby wipes
- Water (jugs or bottles)
- Dry Shampoo
- Anything you need to get ready in the AM.
- Rain boots
- Bring clothes you feel comfortable in. It’s going to be a long day and if you’re pulling at your clothes all day it’ll be hard to relax. Light, airy, and easy to walk in are key. Yes, festival fashion, is a thing, but so is chub rub….
- It can get cold at night though, so throw in some sweatpants and sweatshirt!
All of that will get your through the trip feeling pretty good. You’ll be dry, shaded, and hydrated.
Last day vibes…