BY: MARIAH ESPADA
With the end of school year approaching also comes our favorite time of year-- festival season. That's right, the time to pull out your favorite fanny pack and flash tattoos is finally back. So, we at The Blackprint have got you covered on every festival hack that will guarantee you're the next queen of Coachella. (Watch out Vanessa Hudgens!)
1. Plan Ahead (Get Your Tickets in Advance)
As glamorous as festivals can seem on your Instagram feed, you can't forget the steps that lead to the glorious seas of glittered grass. You have to remember that purchasing your ticket is the first (and most difficult) step. Planning as far ahead as possible can save you from a major headache and keep your wallet from crying at the overly priced tickets on Stubhub. Check months in advance for when tickets come out and look into pre-sale options. The earlier you are, the better.
2. Water, Water, & More Water
If there is one thing you need to avoid this summer â€” it's passing out from forgetting to drink water during Migos' set. Thankfully almost all festivals provide free water stations for participants to hydrate at. If you are thinking of bringing your own water, make sure the bottle is either fully empty or with a closed cap if it's a full bottle. An even more convenient item to invest in is a Camelbak backpack, which serves as both a bag and a built-in water bottle. That means you can sip on some much needed H2O without sacrificing any time to rave.
But, don't #hyrdratethehustle too much â€” those festival porta potties will most likely not meet your five star expectations.
3. Comfortable (but Cute) Shoes
There's nothing worse than trying to survive a festival with throbbing feet. If there's one thing you need to really put thought into â€” it's the very thing you'll be standing on for the few days of your highly anticipated endeavour. Making sure your shoes are spacious, comfy, and durable is imperative to having an enjoyable time. Does that mean you have to wear your rugged old pair of Cross Country sneakers for the day? Absolutely not. Comfort does not mean sacrificing style. In the world of Supergas, Adidas, and Converse â€” you can have it all. Just accept the fact that your shoes will mostly likely be newly decorated with dirt, mud, and the bottom of other people's sneaker prints by the end of the fun.
4. Fanny Packs Are Your Friends
Deciding what bag to bring can oftentimes be a struggle. Luckily, the fashion gods have somehow allowed the 80's fanny pack trend to be reborn 2017, in the aisles of Urban Outfitters and Forever 21. The compact waist bag allows you to move freely without the hassle or burden of bag straps tugging at your shoulders. Most importantly, having all your items around your waist as opposed to on your back decreases your chances of getting your possessions stolen when you're not looking.
You'll be sure to find a variety of cute designs and colors on all your favorite affordable shopping sites.
5. Check out Artist's Lineup Times and Make Your Personal List
Full lineups can be star-studded at times, but what festivals fail to warn you about is that your two favorite artists could be potentially performing at the same time. That's right, Beyonce and Rihanna's sets can be occurring at the same exact time, leaving you to have to choose. To avoid the headache, be sure to download the festival's app, which should list out the artist's times and locations. If you have overlap, the app will make that clear to you, giving you more time to decide whether or not you're feeling "Lemonade" or "Anti" vibes for the night.
Side note: Decide whether or not you want to be in the front of the moshpit for specific artists. If your goal is be close enough to touch Chance the Rapper's hand, it's not impossible â€” but it requires strategic thinking. Figure out what stage and time the artists are going to be performing at, so that you can arrive at least two sets earlier. In the meantime, you'll most likely be listening to some unknown Indie-folk band performing, but you're guaranteed a closer spot to the front when the A-list musician you really came for hits the stage.
6. Have an Emergency Meet-Up Spot
Festivals are jampacked. Crowds can be as big as a couple hundred thousands. Going with your squad can be thrilling, but stressful when trying not to get separated in the crowd. Be sure to figure out an emergency meet-up spot at the venue, in case your phone dies and your friends are nowhere to be found.
7. Remember That Coachella Is Not the Only Festival That Exists
So maybe you can't afford the $1K ticket and flight to Indio, California for Coachella, but festival season has way more in store for you. As the years pass by, more and more festivals are being created and one is bound to meet your music-taste standards. Check out what other fun festivals are happening in or close to your area. Whether you're into Country, Electronic Dance Music, or Alternative Rock, there is something out there for you. Other festivals to check out include: Made in America, Sasquatch, Bonnaroo, Ultra, Panorama, Pitchfork, FYF Fest, Newport Folk Fest, Lollapalooza, Riot Fest, Firefly, Governors Ball, and more. (There is also DC's very own Broccoli Fest which Blackprint will be covering, so be on the lookout for that!)
Trust, the Insta-flicks are just as boho-chic as a Coachella ferris wheel moment.
8. Record Some of the Festival Highlights
Living in the day and age of the iPhone means that stressing about wanting to relive your favorite concert moments is a thing of the past. Although you may want to document every Sia song to make everyone watching your story jealous, you should try to limit yourself. Live the moments through your eyes, not through the lense of an iPhone. You'll be so grateful when your mind can recall more memories than your Snapchat. Festivals come to an end before you know it, so soak in every moment possible.
Lastly, dance, dance and then dance a little more. The best thing you can do at a festival is let loose with your friends and embrace the magical celebration that is music. You are now officially ready for what the summer has in store. Enjoy the fest-ivities!