How to: Survive a Music Festival

For the uninitiated, a summer music festival can be a strange and bewildering place. From the technicolor waves of hippies to the stench that only a shower-less weekend under a blazing sun can procure, it’s easy to be tripped up by the experience if one doesn’t know what to expect. Here are some tips for surviving this summer’s fest season:

1. “Don’t forget to bring a towel” (and water)

“Look at it this way: Come tonight, I’m the one that’s going to be happy,” Trujillo said. “And the guy in the swimming trunks with no shirt on is going to be the one who’s miserable.”

As a festival goer quotes here in an old article from the Los Angeles Times about Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, weather extremes can make for uncomfortable festival conditions. However, the warmness in the west tends to reach dangerously high temperatures more often than not. So what do you get when you add fest-goers who take the fest weekend (or week, in some cases) as a vacation from their typical hygiene standards? Stank. Everywhere. If you don’t plan on spending any cash on the showers that some festivals offer attendees, you’ll want a towel and some water to wipe off and refreshen up with after a long day in the field.

2. Plug in, nod off, drop out

EDM (electronic dance music) is becoming a must-have style at many of the summer’s biggest music festivals, but don’t be surprised if you don’t hear it until late at night. The light shows that tend to accompany beat-heavy sets need darkness for full effect, meaning that it may not be until after midnight that the DJs come out to play. If you’re someone who isn’t into break of dawn bass drops, bring a pair of ear plugs to block out the sound of ravers stumbling back to their campsites at the same time that you’re ready to rise for a long day of rocking out.

3. Vinyasa (cash) flow rules

Unless you’re cool with eating dry cereal and PBJ sandwiches for four days straight, you’re probably going to want to stop by one of the numerous food stands that will surround the campsite. Unfortunately, it won’t come cheap. Expect to pay anywhere from three to five dollars a taco or slice of pizza. And if you’re trying to bring back a tapestry or tee to commemorate your adventures with anything less than a Hamilton in your wallet? Fuhgeddabahdit.

Here are a few more tips from people with experience:

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