8 Survival Tips For Your First Music Festival
If you've ever watched Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, the idea of emerging from a bunker after living underground seems like the ultimate escape to freedom. But even if you've never seen the show — or if your life just isn't that extreme — escaping to an outdoor festival for a weekend can also be freeing and full of joy. All that fresh air and sunshine, delicious food, and great music make for an unforgettable time, as long as you're prepared for the adventure.
So whether your name is Kimmy or you're just a first-time outdoor festivalgoer, here are some tips to keep in mind so you can have a safe, beautiful weekend dancing in the sun. And don't forget: "Dancing is all about butts now."
1. Protect your skin
The only way you are allowed to skip putting on sunscreen is if you're an actual mole woman living underground, and if that's the case, you won't be attending a music festival anyway (sorry, mole women!). One of the greatest parts of being an outdoor concertgoer is basking in all that sunshine while watching your favorite bands. But you can go from sun-kissed to blister-in-the-sun before you know it, and the skin damage can be extreme — even fatal. Find a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 to SPF 50 and keep a bottle close by so you can reapply every two hours. In addition, try throwing some shade — the good kind! — by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, which will shield your scalp and face from bright sunny rays.
2. Stay hydrated
Sure, we all indulge in a little Pinot Noir from time to time, especially as we're swaying to our favorite tunes. But alcohol is dehydrating, and an outdoor festival will keep you out in the sun for long stretches of time, so what your body truly craves is some nourishing H2O. Have a bottle of water on you at all times and stock up whenever you see a filling station. It may seem tedious to keep refilling, but just remember: you can "get through anything for 10 seconds at a time."
3. Use a fanny pack
You might be tempted to stuff your stacks of cash in a backpack and then leave that backpack on the ground while you dance, but trust us — it's not a good idea. Losing your valuables at an outdoor concert when you're far from home (or even civilization) will leave you feeling helpless and miserable. Instead, wear a fanny pack that you can hide under your clothes.
4. Bring a portable phone charger
Unless you have a dedicated kitchen drawer for extra cell phones, you'll probably want to take care of your one precious device. Since reception tends to be terrible at most festival grounds, your battery will just end up draining while you search for a "wiiffee" signal. Tote along a portable phone charger and some AA batteries so you're not reliant on a wall socket for some juice. This way, your smartphone is ever ready to update your Instagram account with pics of an apricot sky draping the bandshell as your favorite band plays at sunset. "Hashbrown, no filter!
5. Leave the selfie stick at home
As much you want to get your group shots in with the crazy backdrops, most outdoor festivals won't even let you make it past the entrance with any selfie sticks or tripods. You'll just have to master selfies the old-fashioned way.
6. Wear comfortable shoes
We agree that those new espadrille wedges look amazing with your sundresses, but practical they are not. At a music festival, you'll be standing or moving most of the time (you probably won't even sit while using the portable toilets, because gross), so be nice to those feet. Choose a pair of shoes with flat, sturdy soles and breathable fabric. Remember light-up sneakers? They're nostalgic and perfect for those dark nights. A pair of Toms is also a reliable options or a comfy set of sandals that you won't easily fling into the crowd while rocking out. If possible, slide in some insoles so you'll still have happy feet by the time the final band takes the stage.
7. Remember dry + wet: dry shampoo and wet wipes
Turns out, braiding each other's hair isn't just a good way to pass the time in an underground bunker. It's also a sensible hairdo for spending three days in the elements with no access to a shower. With a cute braid (or two) you can just set it and forget it! Alternatively, let your hair go wild and free, and freshen up occasionally with a quick blast of dry shampoo.
Speaking of fresh hygiene, wet wipes are an absolute must. There's nothing worse than getting grime all over your hands and having to just deal with it until you stumble upon some napkins. When there's no running water in sight, wet wipes will be a refreshing treat.
8. Prepare for rain
With any luck, your festival weekend will be blessed with blue skies and dry ground, but sometimes rain happens. With the right preparations, you don't have to let it make waffles out of you. Pack a light raincoat or poncho with a hood, and don't forget an extra pair of socks, in the case of soggy feet. Even better, pack a few plastic bags to wrap around your shoes if conditions should turn damp and muddy.
More from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
She's making the world a #hashbrown Kimmier place. Watch season 2 on Netflix April 15.