Mia Goes M.I.A: The Festival Survival Guide

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One of my favourite summer activities has to be attending music festivals. There is something so special about being out in the sunshine, listening to some incredible music and artists, the unique culture of people from all around the world coming together, the beautiful art, the delicious food, and of course the fun camping.

If you are new to the festival scene, it can seem intimidating and overwhelming. Don’t worry, I am here to help. Having attended several music festivals in the past (5 to be exact) I have learned a few tricks to ensure a successful festival weekend. Today I wanted to share with you my music festival survival handbook.

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Comfort is Key

I know that Coachella’s instagram feed makes one believe music festivals are really fashion shows, but this is just not the case. Reality check, music festivals are hot, sweaty, dirty places. You are sleeping in a tent for days, there is a serious lack of showers, there is dirt everywhere, and it is hot hot hot! This is not the time to crack out your favourite designer duds.

Do not wear white, do not wear expensive, do not wear uncomfortable. In fact everything you do wear you must be ok with ruining or else do not bring.

So what should you bring? From past experience I promise the more comfortable you are, the more you are going to enjoy the experience.

  • Loose shirts: I know, the adorable tight fitting crop top is totally in right? Leave it at home in this case because you are not going to be happy walking around in that for 10 hours straight. Oversized yet stylish shirts for the win
  • Jean Shorts: If any clothing is going to survive the apocalypse it is jeans, so they can survive a simple festival weekend. Bring on the mud, the food, the drinks. None of these are a match for jeans, they will survive the elements.
  • Running Shoes/think sandals: I remember the worst day of my music festival life. I had just bought an adorable pair of fringe heels that would complete my perfect festival outfit. I was wrong. Half way through Kendrick Lamar’s set I needed to quit the dance party because my feet were killing me. Make sure the shoes you rock are made for walking because there will be a lot of walking, and dancing, potential dirt and mud. A music festival is no place for heels or any shoe that is uncomfortable.
  • A blanket scarf: This multi purpose accessory is perfect to add some flare to your outfit and also to sit on if you don’t want to be on the ground.
  • A sweater: This may seem unnecessary since it is the middle of summer but if it rains, or the temps drop at night, you are going to be glad you brought one with you.

So in recap, dress for comfort, don’t bring anything you don’t want ruined, and for god’s sake leave all the heels at home!

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Suns out so protect the guns… and everything else 

Last year at Wayhome a dear friend of mine missed at least one full day because she was suffering form heat stroke. The second day she was still feeling sick. Don’t be that person who wastes your entire festival experience because you didn’t take care of yourself. Music festivals take place during summer, meaning hot temps. They take place all day, which means being outside in these hot temps for hours and hours. Make sure you are taking care of yourself.

  • SPF Yourself: Make sure that you are constantly applying SPF because the sun is not your friend when you are outside all day. Protect that skin!
  • Be the team’s waterboy: Wayhome was fantastic in the sense they had hydration stations laid out, but still so many people were experiencing dehydration. Sun and alcohol are not the best mix, so make sure to add some water to the combination. Even if you aren’t feeling thirsty drink up because when heat stroke sneaks up on you.
  • Bring a hat: Hat’s can be stylish and cool and they can also help keep you cool when you are outside all day.
  • Listen to your body: Despite looking forward to Third Eye Blind all day (yes I am dating myself here) I had to leave half way through their act at once festival because I wasn’t feeling great. Festival grounds do not offer a lot of shaded area, so if you need to, find a spot to take a break whether it be the camp site or a tented area.

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Create Your Own “Glamping” Experience 

This could be the most helpful tip I give you. I am not too keen on camping. Sleeping on the ground for three days straight surrounded by bugs  is not my idea of fun. This year at Wayhome we macgyvered a way to camp in style, and by camp I mean sleep in my car in comfort. I brought a blow up mattress, sheets, and bug nets so we could sleep with the windows down and it was as comfy as a 3.5 star hotel (as comfy as camping can get.)

If you like the idea of sleeping in a tent, I do highly recommend bringing a mattress of some sorts. It is not fun sleeping on the ground and I know this from personal experience.

Bring Snacks 

One of my favourite parts of festivals is the different and delicious food options. Food trucks upon food trucks line the festival grounds. The downside is long lines and expensive options. That is why I am always sure to pack breakfast options as well as snacks for during the day. You aren’t going to want to buy every meal because it is going to cost you and you definitely don’t want to leave your perfect spot right by the stage because your stomach is growling uncontrollably.

Splurge on the Showers 

I have experienced two different types of festivals. Festivals where I showered, and festivals where I didn’t and trust me the showering kind is far superior. Yes there will be hundreds of people on the grounds that haven’t seen a shower in three days, but you don’t want to be one of those people. Pay the extra $$ for a shower pass. It will help you feel more refreshed, energized, and ready for an exciting day of music.

Here are a list of some shower needs during a festival;

  • Dry Shampoo: Your hair will get dirty and greasy. Dry shampoo will be a lifesaver during the weekend
  • Less is more: Don’t go caking on makeup at a music festival. With the hot sun it will melt right off. This is the perfect time to give your skin a bit of a break and go for the natural look
  • Deodorant: Since showers are few and far between make sure you are going a little deodorant overboard to avoid the b/o

Pack a charger

Charing outlets are in high demand and difficult to come across at festivals and in a day and age where if it isn’t online it didn’t happen you want to make sure your phone is as ready as you are. A portable charger for the weekend is key!

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Buddy System

I haven’t really used the buddy system since grade 4, but in a festival environment it is key. When everyone is drinking and having fun it is also important to look out for one another because you never know what can happen. Cell service at festivals is pretty bad and you don’t want to get lost. Make sure you have a meeting point and a friend that you are with at all times because safety should be your number one priority. Safety and having a fun time that is.

And there you have it. My Music Festival Survival Handbook. Have you been to a music festival or are planning on going this summer? I would love to hear from you and for you to share some of your survival ideas.

That is all from now, until I go M.I.A again

xo

Mia

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