On Saturday, I attended the 8th annual Roots Picnic in Philadelphia. With performers such as The Weeknd, A$AP Rocky, Rae Sremmurd, Chronixx, Erykah Badu and others, it was sure to be a good time.
With this being my fourth time attending a festival and numerous concerts, I thought I had the hang of them already. My friend and I made lists so we’d have everything we needed to ensure a good time. However, we found ourselves irritated, underprepared and exhausted by the second performer due to a few circumstances.
If you’re preparing for your first concert or festival, there are some things you should be prepared for in order to have the best experience. With that said, here are some of my do’s and don’ts for music festivals:
1. Do pack food.
You WILL get hungry–and fast. “Oh, I’ll just eat a big breakfast and get food there if I’m hungry.” Big mistake. First, the lines are going to be super long. Not only does this take time away from you viewing performers, but the majority of the time, the food is overpriced. Packing something as simple as a granola bar and some crackers can help you avoid this.
2. Don’t overpack.
Seriously. I make this mistake far too often and realize it when I’m standing for what seems like eternity, waiting for a performer to take the stage with my 50+ pound purse on my shoulder. Bring only the necessities! Some of which may include, wipes & hand sanitizer (trust me), phone charger, sunglasses, water, and your wallet (with the tickets of course!) Some festivals/concerts will do a bag check, so make sure you don’t bring any prohibited items.
3. Do bring a blanket.
You will get tired of standing and you will want to sit down for gaps between performers. Not to mention, some performers (*cough A$AP Rocky cough*) believe in arriving fashionably late and won’t always show up on time for their scheduled performance.
4. Don’t invade people’s personal space.
Obviously, this is hard to do when you’re surrounded by people every turn you make. But try your best to be respectful of other people. If you hit someone while dancing, just say ‘sorry’ or ‘my bad’. When you need to get yourself through the crowd, just say ‘excuse me’.
5. Do stay hydrated.
Water should be your best friend at these things. Getting dehydrated is easy, especially when you’re outside, standing in 80 degree weather. I remember at my first Made In America festival, someone fainted while waiting for Beyonce’s performance and had to be carried away. She missed Beyonce’s performance. How much does that suck?
6. Don’t be on your phone the entire time.
Yes, it’s important to capture moments and memories but it’s also important to live in the moment. That may sound cheesy but I remember after waiting 10+ hours for Beyonce’s performance at Made In America 2012, my phone was at 11% and I went into to panic mode. I mean, “pictures or it didn’t happen”, right? However, when my phone died about ten minutes into her performance, I was honestly a little relieved. I was finally able to watch the performance through my own eyes rather than my phone’s screen, and fully experience the moment of what I was witnessing.
7. Do dress appropriately.
If you’re an island girl like me who basically lives in flip flops, this is probably going to be one of the hardest things for you to accept: sneakers are a must. Furthermore, I’d stay away from wearing colors such as black (if it’s really hot) and white (people will spill stuff on you–it’s inevitable). It’s important to be comfortable so plan your outfit ahead and keep the weather in mind!
8. Don’t be stupid.
Many people will be drunk or high so be prepared to encounter this. A couple of months ago, my friend and I attended a Steve Aoki concert. We really wanted to be in the front for his show, but once we made it there, we encountered a girl who was extremely high and became pretty violent with people around her. At one point, the girl started shouting at my friend and I and threatened to “fight us” if we didn’t move from the front area. Realizing that she was extremely wasted, I pulled her aside and told her to calm down so we could all just enjoy the show. I guess she realized the security guards eyeing her because she relaxed and we ended up having a great time together. Knowing how to handle the situation and keep the peace will definitely help you handle whatever situation you are presented with!
9. Do have fun and enjoy yourself!
I think this one is pretty self-explanatory. 🙂