The Ultimate Guide to Surviving and Thriving at Your First Music Festival

Music festivals are a rite of passage for many, offering a chance to see a collection of amazing artists in one location and revel in the company of fellow music enthusiasts.

Whether it’s Coachella, Glastonbury, or Lollapalooza, attending your first music festival can be an unforgettable experience if you’re well-prepared.

Here’s an expanded guide with tips on how to make the most of it.

Know Before You Go:

  1. Research the Line-up: Know which bands are playing and at what times. Make a loose schedule, but be open to changes. There might be lesser-known bands that you could end up loving.
  2. Understand the Venue: Study the festival grounds. Know where the stages are, as well as restrooms, food stalls, and emergency tents. Download the festival's app if they have one.
  3. Check the Weather: Monitor the weather forecast. If it’s an outdoor festival, be prepared for unexpected weather changes.

Pack Like a Pro:

  1. Comfortable Footwear: You'll be on your feet most of the time, so comfortable shoes are a must. Consider weather-appropriate options, like wellies for rain.
  2. Earplugs: Protect your hearing. High-decibel levels can be harmful over time, and earplugs can help mitigate that.
  3. Portable Phone Charger: Keep your phone charged in case you need to make an emergency call or find your friends.
  4. Hydration Pack/Water Bottle: Staying hydrated is crucial, especially during the hot weather. Some festivals have free water refill stations.
  5. Cash and ID: Bring cash for food or merchandise and a form of ID.
  6. Sun Protection: If the festival is outdoors, bring sunglasses, sunblock, and a hat.
  7. Tent and Sleeping Bag: If you’re camping, don’t forget the essentials. A tent, sleeping bag, and basic amenities will make your stay more comfortable.

Navigating the Crowd:

  1. Arrive Early: The earlier you arrive, the better your spot. Plus, you get the lay of the land before the crowd descends.
  2. Stay Calm in Crowds: Festivals can be overcrowded. If you're uncomfortable in tight spaces, stay towards the back where there’s more room.
  3. Establish a Meeting Point: With spotty cell reception, it's wise to establish a meeting point with friends in case you get separated.
  4. Mind Your Belongings: Keep your belongings secure and be wary of pickpockets.

Engage & Enjoy:

  1. Be Social: Engage with the people around you. Music festivals are great places to make new friends.
  2. Explore Different Genres: Don't just stick to what you know. Be adventurous and check out bands you’ve never heard of.
  3. Indulge in Festival Delights: Try the food trucks, engage in fun activities, and check out art installations.

After the Festival:

  1. Clean Up: Be responsible and clean up after yourself. Bring a trash bag to collect your garbage.
  2. Post-Festival Recovery: Give yourself a day or two to recover. Drink lots of water, eat well, and get some rest.
  3. Share Your Experience: Post your photos, share your experiences on social media, and relive the music by creating playlists of the bands you saw.


Your first music festival is an experience like no other. By being prepared, staying safe, and engaging wholeheartedly in the festival spirit, you're sure to create memories that will last a lifetime.