The Pepsi Pulse 2014 Festival Survival Guide
This weekend we’re venturing down to the stunningly-scenic Los Angeles, California for the second annual Uforia Festival to catch sets by music superstars like Becky G, Kid Cudi, Sage the Gemini, Ludacris, Nelly, and Kid Ink, to name a few. Amidst the laser shows, dancing crowds, pounding bass, and summer sunshine, it dawned on us: we must be prepared! Click through the thumbnails above on tips to not only survive, but become master of any festival.
The most crucial part of festival attendance is planning. Those who prefer a spontaneous approach might scoff at the statement, but keep in mind that every festival requires a dutifully-modest level of openness to winging it. That being said…plan ahead. The earlier you make travel arrangements, the less expensive they will be. Same goes for lodging. We’re also partial to checking weather often. You never know if rain might surprise you and your friends last minute.
Speaking of travel and lodging arrangements, it’s a good idea to make a quick budget for the trip. How much will you spend on food each day? Will you take public transportation? A basic daily budget can help minimize what we like to call “the checking account gawk” upon the arrival of your first post-festival bank statement.
The other major pillar of fest prep is packing. And for that we have one word: layers. Packing clothes that you can layer and wear in different combinations and different settings means you’ll have less to carry and a lighter bag. Plus your style will be none the worse for wear.
Prep Your Day Pack
A day pack is crucial to festival enjoyment. It has all the stuff you’ll probably need at some point throughout the day, but would be a pain to carry otherwise. We’re talking about your phone charger (most festivals have charging stations), a small blanket or towel for impromptu lounging, sunglasses, a festival map, water— you get the idea. And if you pick up any souvenirs, you’ve got a place to stash them without having to head back to your hotel room, tent, RV, car, friend’s apartment, or makeshift tree fort.
Bring a Raincoat
Chances are, the fest you’re going to might be in a place where it rains some of the time. So here’s another good festival rule: If there’s a chance of rain, it *will* rain. And if it doesn’t, hey, you’re not gonna be mad. So bring a raincoat or poncho. If you find yourself without one, do what other ingenious festival-goers have practiced since time immemorial and make an (unused, we can’t stress this enough) garbage bag poncho. Boom. Now you’re back to watching Nelly perform “Country Grammar” and all is right in the world again.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
Nothing can mess up your experience like uncomfortable footwear. Blisters, back pain, sweaty feet—nuh uh, not dealing with that. Wear comfortable sneakers. Two pairs are a great idea, both for variety and comfort. We usually bring one heavy-duty sneaker, and one lighter pair. Just don’t bring your newest, flashiest kicks, mud might get the best of them.
Get The App
It’s 2014 so there’s an app for most things. These days, festival organizers often make apps to help their guests get the most out of their time and navigate the maze of festival grounds. If there is an app (if not, there’s always a website) you can usually find set times, venue locations, info about artists and the festival, and where to find food and drinks. The apps are pretty much always free. Uforia’s is!
Sunscreen is a good idea. Most festivals take place outdoors in warm weather, and among all the fun you’re having with your fellow attendees it can be easy to forget there’s this big thing up in the sky called the sun that wants to slowly bake you into a human lobster. Avoid serious woes later in life and protect yo' skin.
Wear Sunglasses (Optional: Croakies)
Sunglasses are another easy way to make sure your festival experience is all groovy. Like your skin the sun can damage your eyes, so it’s a good idea to protect them. They also make things easier to see (duh), and make most people look cooler, so you know, you can look cooler, too.
Optional sunglasses accessory: Croakies. Some people hate them, but if you’re worried about losing your shades, it’s an avant-garde look that does the job like nothing else. Recommended for dads or intermediate to advanced festival-goers.
The number one cause of people having a bad time or mild-to-serious medical conditions at festivals is dehydration, as has almost definitely been statistically proven somewhere at some point (if you’ve been to a concert, you know). A good rule of thumb is to always drink more water than you think you need. We like to pack a BPA-free water bottle in our day packs so we always have some at the ready.
Keep an Open Mind
As mentioned earlier, attending a festival means a certain inherent level of giving in to the unexpected. Someone taller than you may stand in front of you—make friends and see if they’ll hoist you up on their shoulders (or just let you stand in front of or next to them). Your phone might lose battery—enjoy the liberation of being unplugged like our forefathers did at concerts in the ages of yore. Sometimes the unexpected, like catching a band you’ve never heard of, becomes the highlight of your whole experience.
August 16, 2014 via Pepsi