Festivals Have Always Been About More Than The Music
Music festivals have been a part of human culture since the birth of civilization. There’s something about gathering en masse to revel in soundscapes and relish in cultural peculiarities that’s always felt attractive to humankind. The Ancient Greeks did it. The Europeans of the Middle Ages did it. The 20th century hippies did it. And nowadays, music festivals are indelibly linked to the commercial survival of the music industry.
In Ancient Greece, people got naked, drank wine, and worshiped Dionysus. In modern day America, people get nearly naked, take synthetic drugs, and worship Beyoncé. Both instances share the basic principles of escapism, idolization, and human connection. People go to music festivals for a weekend escape from the drudgery of daily life. They go to momentarily lose themselves and find others in the process. And, of course, they go to praise their personal favorite music gods.
Many modern-day cynics lambast the current state of music festivals. They feel angered, even offended, by the supposed lack of attention paid to the music and the increased interest in “festival culture”. Yet, music festivals have never been solely about the music. They’ve always presented an opportunity to promote aspects of human nature that are generally frowned upon in daily civilized life. These aspects of elaborate costuming, visible elation, and blind communal acceptance are all rituals grounded in Ancient human practices. Still, the modern music festival does contain its fair share of corporatization and unsightly events that are ripe for criticism.
The Ultimate Checklist For All Music Festivals
Anyways, we’re getting ahead of ourselves now. The purpose of this post isn’t to determine how genuine or authentic the intentions of music festivals are. After all, it’s no secret that they aim to turn a profit. Instead, we’ve decided to compose the ultimate checklist for those determined to attend a festival this year. Buying your ticket and taking some time off of work is just step one. Now, it’s time to start gathering all of the essentials. And we’re here to help.
Health & Safety
Let’s cover the basics before we move on to the fun stuff. Regardless of whether you’re camping or just going in for a day, having easy access to these items is essential.
First Aid Kit
Hand Sanitizer / Alcohol Wipes
Topical: Sunscreen / Aloe / Moisturizer / Bug Spray
Swiss Army Knife
Toiletries: Travel Toothbrush + Paste / Toilet Paper / Deodorant
Written List of Important Phone Numbers*
* Most of us rely heavily on the “Contacts list” saved in our phones. You should keep a folded piece of paper with relevant contact info in case you lose your phone or it runs out of juice.
Downtime & Sleeping
The atmosphere at your campsite can be equally as important to nurturing a fruitful festival attendance as the music itself. Of course, you’ll want to meet your basic sleeping requirements. But you shouldn’t neglect the occasional downtime that you’ll have in-between sleeping and partying. Having a zone to relax that’s separate from your tent can make a world of difference.
* Ear plugs are a commonly forgotten essential at music festivals. For those with sensitive ears, they should be worn as often as possible. For the rest of you, being able to sleep in silence will leave you better rested and ready to take on the day.
Cooking & Eating
Proper sustenance shouldn’t be neglected after long days of dancing, partying, and walking around. Even if you don’t plan on camping at any music festivals, bringing healthy snacks to your destination can make all the difference.
Non Perishables: Canned Food, Dried Fruit, Nuts, Nut Butter, Chips, Honey
Cooler for Perishables: Bring a loaf of bread, nut butter, and jelly*
Avocados + Oranges + Apples + Bananas**
Lots of Water: Bring Multiple Gallon Jugs Along With a Few Smaller Refillable Bottles
Portable Camping Stove
Portable Camping Kettle
Metal Mugs, Silverware, Bowls, Plates
Paper Towels / Rags
* Quick, easy, and cheap PB&J sandwiches will go a long way.
** Avocados usually aren’t the first choice of most festival goers. Yet, they’re surprisingly durable, incredibly nutritious, and can act as a on-the-go meal substitute if need be.
*** Nothing is quite as nice as settling down in your campsite after a long night of dancing and having a warm cup of tea to sip on.
Clothing & Costumes
Leaving out the obvious items like underwear and socks, these are the most commonly needed clothing fundamentals for music festivals.
Lightweight Waterproof Windbreaker W/ Hood
1 Warm Sweater
1 Warmer Jacket
Headgear: Headlamp / Hat or Beanie / Shades / Face-paint (optional) / Headband or Hair-Ties
Shoes: 1 Pair Close-Toed / 1 Pair Sandals (Preferably With Straps) + Waterproof Boots (In Case of Mud)
Costumes: Just be wary of weather, sweat, itchiness, and mobility. Otherwise, have at it!
Now we’ve arrived at the truly important section of our checklist. These are the items that an unfortunate number of festival attendees commonly neglect. Most contemporary festivals provide a compelling glimpse at the intersection of the natural and primal with the modern and technological. So, these tech essentials should be considered valuable pieces of the festival puzzle.
Solar or Crank-up Power Supply / Portable Charging Station
Durable Phone Case**
Find Friends / Find iPhone
* Bring a durable, portable bluetooth speaker with a long battery life. We recommend any of these.
** Having a waterproof, shockproof phone case might seem excessive, but you never know what kind of challenges your fragile smartphone hardware will have to overcome. Check out this one.
*** Apps are probably the last thing that people think of when preparing for a music fest. Of course, minimizing overall phone/screen-time is important for enjoying the moment. However, certain apps can be incredibly useful in festival environments. Nowadays, most major festivals release an app every year as a sort of electronic guide to their venue and ensuing events. For iOS users, setting up the “Find Friends” and “Find iPhone” apps takes minutes and can truly be a life saver in the event of an emergency.
The final item on our ultimate festival checklist is younity. The younity app will maximize your phone’s storage capacity while maintaining your access to your media. With younity, you can easily access, stream, download, and share any file stored on your computers, from your mobile devices or other computers.
Using younity at Music Festivals:
- Save space on your mobile devices for photos and videos by storing everything on your computer, using younity to instantly access your files whenever you need.
- Show your friends your favorite photos/videos from last years festival.
- Stream your favorite festival playlists using your bluetooth speaker while at camp.
- Or, get amped for the festival on your way there by streaming your favorite artists in the car.
- Stay calm knowing that all of your digital files are available whenever you need them.
Here’s How It Works:
younity is a media server app. It scans the hard drives of all your computers and delivers your files to your mobile devices and other computers. Essentially, younity lets you access all of your digital stuff from any of your devices, without you having to worry about where your files are actually stored.
While at a music festival, you can use younity to access old photos to share with friends and stream your favorite music, all while saving valuable storage space on your phone. And, of course, the benefits of younity stretch well past festivals and into your daily life. It’s one of the few things on our checklist that’s useful in almost every context.
You can find everything you need to know about younity here.