Festival Essentials To Survive America’s Wildest Music Shows

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Karen Lin

Instagram 101 | May 15, 2024

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Spring and summer are finally upon us. And for music lovers and concertgoers everywhere, you know what that means—music festival season is here! Influencers are planning their outfits, music fans are researching headliners, and travelers are booking hotels left and right. Everyone and their mother is clamoring to have all their festival essentials in place for a smooth season.

According to a YouGov survey, 34% of adults in the US have gone to at least one of these festivals. While that’s a ridiculously huge chunk of people immersed in festival culture, many first-timers attend shows each year. Though it’s natural to feel excited about being in vibrant crowds and reveling in music, you must come prepared, too.

Today, we’re talking about the basics of attending a festival, from what to bring to trendy fashion ideas. We’re throwing in some tips for posting about it on social media, too, so stick around ‘til the end!

A crowd of people with paint-stained hair and clothes standing in front of a concert stage at a festival.

List of Festival Essentials: What To Bring to a Festival for the Best Time Ever

When you’re attending a festival, it’s tempting to spend the days leading up to it planning out the fun stuff. That includes planning outfits, choosing which performances to watch, collaborating with other creators, and more.

While these tasks are all important for festival goers, focusing on them takes time away from festival preparation. Before you know it, it’s the day before you’re set to leave for the festival, and you have nothing packed. You don’t know what to bring, which documents to print out, or even what bag to use.

This can be super stressful—and no one wants that on a weekend that’s meant to be fun and carefree. So, we’ve rounded up the ultimate festival packing list to help ensure you’ve got everything you need for the weekend. Here’s what to bring to a festival to make sure all your bases are covered:

  • Festival tickets or wristbands so you can get into the venue.
  • One valid ID for age verification, especially for drinks.
  • Cash for buying food, beverages, and merch.
  • Your phone and camera.
  • Portable chargers or powerbanks for your devices.
  • Water bottles to stay hydrated all day.
  • Lip balm to avoid chapped lips, especially in outdoor venues.
  • Sunscreen to protect your skin from UV rays.
  • Things to help you cool down, like facial mists and portable fans.
  • Glow sticks and other fun accessories.
  • Hand sanitizer and masks if you want to be extra safe.
  • A sturdy, comfortable bag to carry all the things on this festival essentials list.

Of course, your unique festival checklist will depend on what type of festival you’re attending. Short, one-day indoor events might not need all of the things listed above. Meanwhile, for week-long arts and culture festivals, you might need to double down on some of these things to bring.

A crowd raising their hands and singing while enjoying a music show at a festival.

Festival Camping Essentials: A Checklist for Overnighters

Some festival-goers prefer camping over booking hotels near the event venues. For example, Coachella—one of the most popular festivals in the world—has overnight car camping options. This makes for a more raw and “authentic” experience and allows you to lean into the festival fully.

Of course, camping overnight at a festival means having to pack and prepare twice as much. Here’s a checklist of some festival camping essentials you need to do if you plan on doing this:

  • Plan your transportation situation, whether it’s carpooling, getting a private driver, or hiring a shuttle with your friends. Note that some camping sites require at least one vehicle.
  • Bring camping gear, like tents, sleeping bags, and comfy, portable chairs.
  • Bring food supplies if you plan on eating before and after your time at the festival. You can even bring a portable stove to whip up a fresh meal to start or end your day at camp.
  • Pack enough clothes to last you the entire weekend at the festival.
  • Bring card games, board games, and other forms of entertainment.
  • Study the check-in and check-out regulations at the campsite. Follow them to a T when you get there and when you leave after the festival.
  • Don’t be too noisy when you’re at the campsite. Many other festival goers are probably trying to get some shut-eye there, too.
  • After cooking or freshening up, dispose of all your trash properly.

Festival Survival Guide: Fashion Edition

For many attendees, festivals are synonymous with fashion show runways. While everyone gathers for the energy and the music, people dress to the nines, too.

Attendees take this opportunity to express their style in the most vibrant, trendy, fashionable, aesthetically appealing, yet concert-friendly ways. And at the festival itself, people snapping shots of their fab OOTDs abound!

Festival fashion isn’t all about expressing your individuality. For others, it also fosters a sense of community with the people you’re going to the shows with. Some attendees spend days before a festival just planning out their outfits for the entire weekend. Groups of friends and couples will sometimes coordinate outfits to match on some days of the festival.

Are you unsure how to dress or which aesthetic style to adopt for your favorite festival? Check out this festival survival guide for what to wear to these fashion-forward events for both women and men.

Women’s Festival Fashion Ideas

Play around with different levels of femininity and carefree bohemian aesthetics while still feeling comfortable in your clothes. Here are some women’s festival fashion styles you can experiment with during the event:

  • Boho chic: Think maxi dresses, crochet tops and skirts, floral patterns, and anything else that will bring out the hippie in you. Finish off your look with some round sunglasses for that ultimate 70s look.
  • Flower Child: A true classic in festival fashion. Wear cute white dresses and a flower crown to pull off this iconic look.
  • Coquette: Wear romantic dresses and top-and-skirt combos with tons of pink and lace. Off-the-shoulder tops, ballet flats, and flirty skirts are excellent pieces for this type of look. Light pastel colors are also your best friend.
  • Clean girl: Go a little more sophisticated with clean, neutral-colored shirts and your fave pair of jeans. Finish off the look with a sleek bun and some sunglasses.
  • Athleisure and streetwear: Add an urban touch to your outfit with comfy yet fashionable athletic wear. Bandeaus, graphic crop tops, hoodies, mini shorts, and a cute pair of sneakers are perfect for this festival aesthetic.

A tattooed woman wearing a white fur jacket and bohemian accessories.

Men’s Festival Fashion Ideas

Of course, the men have to come out looking great on festival day, too. Are you not sure how to go about it? Here are some men’s festival fashion ideas for your ultimate concert day look:

  • Tropical vibes: Wear muscle tees, tank tops, or open button-downs with tropical patterns and prints. Pair those with cotton or linen shorts and perhaps a cap to finish the fun look.
  • Rockstar: Go for a rock-and-roll look with distressed denim, vintage vests, and leather footwear.
  • Street style: Oversized graphic tees, jogger pants, and trendy sneakers never go out of style. Pair these with a cap and perhaps a fanny pack to give your outfit an urban feel.
  • Vibrant raver: Deck out your outfit with glow sticks and LED accessories for lights and extra pizzazz.

Two guys wearing tank tops and caps with their arms around each other.

Document Your Music Festival Experience on Instagram With These Hot Tips

Yahoo reports that influencer fatigue is kicking in for music festivals everywhere. According to a survey, 75% of people feel like influencers overshadow the real purpose of music events like Coachella. The music and artistry festivals are meant to celebrate and take a back seat to brand collaborations and promotional Instagram content.

So, aside from posting about the shallow stuff, document what makes festivals special to you. Reflect on the fun times you have with friends and post about it to share it with others. It’s not about clout—it’s about memorializing one of the best music experiences you’ve had. Here are just a few tips and tricks on how you can do just that.

1. Show Off Your Best Moments With a Festival-Centric Carousel or Reel

Curate your favorite videos and photos from the festival and put together a post to showcase them. It can be a cute, candid photo dump through a carousel post on the feed. Or, you could also edit a Reel with trendy, atmospheric transitions reminiscent of your vibrant and lit festival experience.

Creating content like this catches the attention of people who might not have been able to attend the event. Your content can be a way for them to live vicariously through your festival content. Plus, it’s an awesome way to show your creativity in how you put together photos and videos on Instagram.

A man taking a photo of three girls at a crowded festival.

2. Use Exciting Festival Captions That Capture Your Love for Music

Write festival captions that convey your love for live music and how you felt watching festival performances firsthand. Don’t be afraid to sound excited or emotional in your captions. The more genuine your storytelling, the more engaging it will be. Here are some examples of captions that might go well with music festival content:

  • “Channeling my inner raver at Bad Bunny’s stage at Coachella. #FestivalVibes 🎶✨”
  • “Sore feet, sweaty skin, buzzing ears. I wouldn’t have it any other way. #FestivalGirlforLife”
  • “Nothing compares to hearing that bass drop from the front row! 😎🎶”

Of course, it doesn’t always have to be about the music. Suppose the highlight of your festival experience was hanging out with your bestie and crafting captions about friends. If you’re making a post about the outfits you wore that slayed over the weekend, write baddie captions.

3. Add Music to Your Festival Posts To Relive the Performances

One way to pay homage to a festival’s awesome performances is to add music to your Instagram posts. Choose your favorite song performed by an artist at the festival. This recreates the unforgettable atmosphere at the festival when you are enjoying live music without a care in the world. Plus, it also helps promote artists’ music online!

4. Include Festival Hashtags To Boost Your Posts’ Visibility

Lastly, use festival hashtags to boost your content’s visibility, especially to other concert and festival lovers. Even tags as simple as #Coachella and #MusicFestivalSeason might be a huge help in increasing your page’s discoverability. These tags allow you to join a community-wide conversation about events people love to go to.

And That’s How To Survive at an Epic Music Festival This Summer

With the crowds cheering, artists belting iconic tracks, and partying the night away, every festival is one for the books. Then, after a dreamy, magical night under the stars, you get to share the experience with friends on Instagram. It’s like reliving the night all over again! There’s nothing like the rush of a music festival—concertgoers and music fans will tell you that much.

However, not even veteran attendees and headbangers can enjoy these music events if they don’t bring music festival essentials. Tickets, water bottles, sunscreen, cute fits, and tons of enthusiasm are musts at festivals, along with everything in this guide. Pack them up before you hit the road to visit your favorite festival this year.

Can’t wait to tell your Instagram followers all about the show? Make sure your target audience sees your festival content with the help of Path Social. We push out your content to your intended audience, boosting your page’s visibility. That lets you gain authentic, like-minded followers who will always get excited about your festival content. Grow your Instagram community with our help today!