It’s that time of year again when the heat index surpasses the realm of reason, BBQ’d everything becomes a dietary staple, and festivals of all kinds become a way of life. Whether you are a patron of the small scale bluegrass shows dotting the mountain towns across the state or you are a road-trippin’ festival freak with a need for the bass drop in your soul, this guide is for you. Don’t be the burnout, guy without a clue or the fowl, flower child floozy. Be the guy or gal who roams the festival domain with the style, grace, and confidence of a professional badass.
Step 1: Prep yo’ self!
Leading up to your big weekend (or week) should be a detox period to ensure stamina and glowing health to last you for the long haul. That means cutting down on the booze, lots of clean eating, and more water than you can shake a stick at. No one looks good when sickly and dehydrated and if you enter into an environmentally challenging scene at the bottom of your health game, you are never going to make it to the end.
You also want to pack essential goods that will keep you moving’ and groovin’ through the sun-blitzed days and on into the electric early mornings. Your bag of style/survival supplies should look something like this:
-Sunscreen of epic SPF proportions. (40+ Broad Spectrum Waterproof etc.) Have one in stick form for maintaining the protection of that mug of yours and one of those spray cans for mid-day reapplication. Trust me on this one. Sunburns are hideous and painful. Woe is the tale of the fair-skinned moron who forgot to apply protection and subsequently burns and peels allllll the way home.
-Camlebak. Be that person with weird tube of water routing from your backpack to your mouth. These packs are also great for stashing cash, phones, and the aforementioned sunscreen. This will keep you from being that idiot in the medic tent who didn’t hydrate enough. Passing out is never in style…
-For the ladies, all you need is a lip stain, waterproof mascara, and a tinted moisturizer. Lip stains last forever and won’t melt down your face during that afternoon show without shade and also double as blush if it strikes your fancy. The waterproof mascara speaks for itself while the tinted moisturizer adds a lil’ extra sun blockage and some color to even out skin tone. Also bring a small kit of CHEAP glitter eyeshadows and color sticks for the raving good times. The cheaper the better as you don’t want to sink a ton of cash into products you may lose to that girl in the fairy wings that “just wanted to use a little bit and OMG there’s my friend I’ll be right back.”
-SUNglasses. Also, the cheaper the better. Might want to bring back ups just in case you lose yours in a pit and that rando vodka stand handing out the swag has run out freebies. Never count on SWAG as it is never there when you need it most.
Step 2: Incorporate Creative Elements Into Your Functional Wardrobe
It’s important to wear items of clothing that both express your funky phresh style annnnnnd keep you alive and comfortable. Those raver girl furry leg warmers may seem like a good plan when you pack in your air conditioned apartment, but they are hotter than dammit to dance maniacally in during an outdoor show at Bonnaroo. Swimsuits are super great as base layers and allow for scantily-clad, breezy rocking, and they also make sporadic sprinkler/fountain/pool/ocean/
lake experiences possible. Fast-drying duds are a must people; soggy bottoms are both unattractive and uncomfortable. Throw a nice tie skirt and/or flowy top on to your comfort specs. TieDye isn’t for everyone so don’t feel pressured to joint the deadheads if you are really more of a rasta. Sarongs are great in that you can change up your look as the weekend progresses to spare yourself the shame of showing up to an indie rock show with the same look you wore to the afternoon metal set. You never know who you’ll meet and what demands the day may bring so accessories are also imperative (an appropriate hat, stylish headband, and stash of wearable glow sticks to name a few.) Sandals are great and easy but shit-kicker boots are versatile and protective. Broken glass and God knows what else often hide in the most unsuspecting places just asking to be stepped on. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
Costume items are a yes for sure but be conscious of your fellow festi-friends when bringing wings etc. It’s sucks to get bashed by a wasted girl with a ten foot wingspan when you’re trying to find your groove. Masks are cool but the full-on over the head rubber ones don’t breath well. Be prepared to a. scare the shit out of someone tripping face, and b. look disgusting when you peel that monstrosity off later.
Step 3: Keep It Clean
Baby wipes are a freakin’ life saver when roaming the dusty trails of a man-made entertainment mecca. Clean your face off, wipe your body down, and use em to prepare your paws for snacks and munchies. The wipe is your one true friend in a world of mud mayhem and insistent grime.
If you’ve got a ton of hair to manage, bring a wrist full of hair ties and a can of dry shampoo (UNITE 7 Seconds Dry Refresher is portable and amazing.) Let’s face it, you aren’t going to keep that mane even the least bit clean so you might as well own it. Dry shampoo your lil’ heart out until it just isn’t passable anymore and then braid that shit out of the way. Cute and clean and mostly dread-free.
Mouthwash yo! Those lil’ travel airplane bottles of minty-fresh goodness will keep your festival-wrecked breath up to par for whatever comes into your three feet of personal space. Mostly though, preventative dental care is always in style and should be a priority for real.
That pretty much sums it up! These steps should help keep you fresh, foxy, and fun for your festival experience. Rave on you crazy diamonds, rave on.