Bullet Music: Festival Survival Guide 2017

Bullet Music: Festival Survival Guide 2017

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Are you a first time music festival goer? Having a hard time shrinking down your backpack size or trunk space in your car? As the festival season swings into full gear, we've got you covered! A few of our experienced festival staff members have chosen an item they find essential to bring with them as well as an item they find is just in general a pleasure to have around. Take a look:

Annabel Shettel - Photojournalist: Jacksonville, Fl.

I have been going to music festival's since 2015 and the item I find most essential is having a gallon jug to refill with water. As water is necessary for life, you will definitely see people get dehydrated. I have even experienced people who walk around with water jugs to share with neighbors. 

The item I find most fun to bring is a toss up between glitter and a onesie. Onesie's are nice for those shivering nights when the temperature has a major drop. Plus, who doesn't enjoy glitter? Especially under the lights at a stage during the wee morning hours.

Grace Kelly - Photojournalist: Atlanta, Ga.

My relationship with festivals, particularly camping festivals, started for me while I was a tot. My mother and I were on tour with the Grateful Dead. We also attended Rainbow Gatherings in my youth. As an adult, I've modernized my experience while maintaining some of the mentality my ma taught me. 

Portable phone chargers are a must to avoid a battery melt down while trying to locate bae. It's a good idea to have a pre-determined meet up spot at large events.

Fun Item: A teepee tent that sleeps five to six campers, which means it really sleeps three plus your stuff. Fun tent designs can help you find home after the last band of the night

Tayler Newman - Journalist: Columbus, Ga.

I've been a festival junkie since 2014 and one thing that all festival goers need to invest in is a good pair of sunglasses. I know sunglasses sound so obvious, but take it from someone who forgot them once and thought my hat would be enough. A hat is not enough. They double as a great defense against stray stage lights that may try to blind you as well.

It's all glasses in this section. Instead of blocking those stray stage lights, you can use them to take any show to the next level. Refraction glasses take a bad ass light show and turn them into an other-worldly experience. Be the girl with kaleidoscope eyes, and have a great time!

Anna Corinne - Journalist: Atlanta, Ga.

I always bring a camera along with me to festivals. Sometimes festivals have restrictions so I have a "non professional" one that I usually bring just in case (Olympus Pen). The funny thing is, I end up taking more photos of people and art than I do the bands that are playing - but it's always a great way to remember the little details. 

The most important thing you can do at a summer fest is stay hydrated. My Camelbak can last me all day, which is huge - you don't want to always be standing in line to fill up water bottles, and it reduces plastic waste. A must-bring for day festivals and camping fests alike.

Mahad Mousse - Journalist: Atlanta, Ga.

Trash bags. Multiple trash bags, all rolled up prove to be quite small and easy to carry. Hefty bags work best but any 13 gallon or so bag will do in a pinch. Why trash bags? Statically speaking, outdoor festivals have a decent chance of being ruined by surprise rain. Not only can trash bags protect you and your party from the elements, they can also readily be resold on the side for drink tickets to drenched concert goers. Or for actual money. Whatever your values happen to be that day.

Be bold. Be daring. This year, dare to be "that person who bring the beach ball the show." You may get turned away and feel humiliated. But there's that brief chance, no matter how small, that you get lucky and manage to get through the gates with your beach ball. After that it's just a matter of knowing when to throw it up. That's right, just as THAT band is playing THAT song. You're probably never getting the ball back, no. But you've entered people's hearts, you modern day hero you.

Christina Salvati - Journalist: Nashville, Tn.

Honestly a seriously good quality backpack. My sturdy Nike backpack that I got as a graduation present with so many pockets and zippers because usually, security stops checking after 3. But I fit literally almost every single item I need in my backpack. I get some pretty great backpack tan lines too. We all know no one believes you've gone to a music festival until you talked about it 100% of the time, shown them pictures, and have had the veteran tan lines. Once you have your trusty pack though, you have to make sure that you wash it after every fest because let's be honest, dirty sweaty hippie backpack cannot be used for any other purpose until it's at least smelling presentable.

My fun item? Good vibes. You will literally ruin everyone's experience, including your own, if you don't bring those good vibes. Karma always rewards you in weird ways, as do good vibes. And let's be honest, its always great when your good vibes attract other good vibes. I mean that's what the whole festival experience is about right? Good vibes and music.

Liz Turcotte - Publisher: Atlanta, Ga.

This is the "Bonnaroo Checklist" that applies to all other fests and I've been perfecting it for years! Now it's available for your eyes! Happy fest season to all!

  • Pillows
  • Sheets/Light Blanket
  • Towels/Tapestries 
  • Hand Sanitizer 
  • Air Mattress/Pump (battery pump)
  • TARPS
  • Cooktop Stove 
  • Cooler 
  • Head lamp/flashlight
  • glowsticks/sillystring
  • Markers/Facepaint/glitter
  • Light-up Bubble Gun
  • Poncho/ Rain Coat 
  • Rainboots
  • Sundresses
  • Batteries 
  • Battery Operated Fan
  • Spray Bottle
  • First Aid Kit 
  • Camping Chair
  • Sunscreen
  • Shampoo/conditioner/soap 
  • Baby Wipes/TP
  • Bathing suits
  • Hats
  • Bandana 
  • Sunglasses
  • Cambelbak 
  • Sandals/Shoes that won’t come off your feet (TOMS)
  • WATER – FREEZE IT!
  • Food – snacks, sandwich stuff
  • EZ UP 
  • Party Supplies ;)
  • Beer/liquor/boxed wine
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