Whether you’re going to Coachella or Afro Nation, music festivals offer a chance to commune with fellow fans and also enjoy a giant weekend-long party (or longer). While the main event looks like a jol, the transit part can be tedious and exhausting. From luggage getting lost, to getting stranded with no food in a foreign country or city, there are some challenges that festival attendees experience. Currently, the loss of luggage is a huge problem in airports due to a lack of staff. We’ve seen it during the Fyre festival and now we’re hearing it after the Afro Nation – Portugal festival. These festivals require you to have extensive measures in place. Planning ahead may help you have a more enjoyable time, so here are some survival tricks.
You have to book your flights early to avoid the inconvenience. If you will be playing at the event as a booked artist, make sure to contact your airline to find out their oversized item/musical instrument policy.
As soon as your flight dates are confirmed you have to make sure that your stay is secured too! Booking a hotel might be the best suggestion when traveling to a foreign country because you are guaranteed a room plus room service so, less stress. However, if you will be decking out your own site, there will be rules and regulations on what you’re allowed to bring. And your tent should be no more than 6 inches from the tent next to you. You will need to bring a tent, a sleeping bag, a camping chair, and a cooler (or two). In order to turn your basic tent into a campsite, you will need a pop-up canopy tent (often called an EZ-Up) as well as some tapestries (and a way to hang them) for that privacy between you and your neighbor.
If you’re in need of some Zzzs, but your fellow party people are not, you’ll probably want to whip out some earplugs and an eye mask so that you can at least catch a few hours before your next jam.
What to Pack?
It is summer so it’s likely scorching hot outside! Starting with footwear – sandals and flip-flops seem like an excellent choice. If you are caught in the crowd of happy music fans your toes will take a serious beating. Or if you happen to step on broken glass, you will definitely need the ER, this is another inconvenience you don’t want. A simple sneaker or a cool pair of Dr. Martens might be a better pick. In terms of clothing, do layer up! The nighttime might be cooler and you want to layer up and still have a cool fit to match the changing weather.
Costumes & Fun Gear
Festivals are an excellent way to express your weird, fun, and/or creative side. Most people like to pack some sort of costume for at least one of the days that you will be attending. Your “costume” could be as simple as some face paint or as extravagant as dressing to match your totem. No matter how you dress, try to remember that you’ll be doing a lot of standing, so you’ll want to be comfortable, especially if you’re going to be attending a multi-day event.
Yes, you are going on vacation but you have to consider the fact that luggage might get lost. Always separate your valuables! Pack your two “emergency outfits” and valuables in a separate carry-on bag. Yes ladies, this might be challenging because we struggle to pack light but this hack will help you have your most special possessions in case the bigger bag is stolen or lost at the airport. Remember to use a bag that can fit into the overhead in the flight cabin.
Stock Up on Food & Hydrating Liquids
The best that you can do is buy basic food needs and keep them close. This helps in case you are heading out to the main event and want to avoid long food queues. You can even eat at your residence. A Twitter user in the Afro Nation Portugal Twitter Spaces said they bought the biggest container of Jollof rice and had it in front of them during the festival. They would open it and eat every time they felt hungry food lines were long. Water is extremely vital, carry a bottle of water with you everywhere you go. Stay safe! Do not leave your drink unattended, keep an eye on your beverages, and to avoid spiking, discard them if you have left it alone for a while.
Prepare to be off the grid
Many festivals have poor to no cell phone reception, as by their very nature they’re out in the middle of nowhere. If you carry your smartphone with you, put it in something that can provide protection and is waterproof. You also may want to invest in a personal solar charger. Charging stations, if they exist, may have extremely long lines.
Speaking of Alcohol…
Alcohol is one of the highlights of most festivals after the performances. If you are going to partake, it is best to remember to enjoy in moderation. Alcohol is a major contributor to dehydration. If you find yourself in a large group of unfamiliar people, it is recommended to stay in control and stay safe. Never accept drinks or food items from strangers. Remember that if you had purchased travel insurance, alcohol consumption could impact your coverage.
Going to a music festival is all about music, fun, and new connections. However, it’s just as sensitive as any vacation especially if it’s to a foreign country. Have enough information at hand about the place you’re traveling to. Learn the weather, demographics, rules/regulations, and most importantly your transport and accommodation. Contingency money and emergency contact numbers should always be on hand because, with this kind of travel, anything is possible.