How To Survive A 7-Day Festival
With the exception of Burning Man and Oregon Eclipse, music festivals in the US exceeding three or four days are hard to come by.
It's one thing to go listen to music for 7 days, but with music festivals also comes camping and the elements, mass consumption of alcohol and other various substances, and the whole 'fuck it' attitude that switches on the second you walk in the festival grounds.
As a full supporter of living the carefree lifestyle, I still found it necessary to come up with a clean cut survival list for the unknown: A week long festival.
In my life I have gone to dozens of festivals. Some were 4 or 5 days, one time I did 2 festivals in 2 weekends, but I've never set up my tent and partied for a week straight before.
The list below was curated from my personal experience as well as a quick survey amongst the campground at 7-day festival, Sziget Festival in Budapest, Hungary.
Follow this guide to successfully survive your next 7+ day festival.
1. Make a Schedule
Usually such a big festival means a lot of stages and artists. There were over 1,000 performers at Sziget. Take the time to look at their schedule and write your own based on your musical preferences. Or don't... Run away from your crew and go explore new music.
2. Remember Your Camping Gear
Unfortunately you can't always find a 7-day festival in your backyard. As nice as it would be to haul all of your gear to the festival, baggage restrictions and fees are a bitch.
Essentials in the case of a seven day festival include an oversized tent, a nice air mattress, blankets/pillows, folding chairs, and maybe a small table. Anything you can't fit into your luggage should be bought at the store outside of the festival.
3. Remember Where You Set Up Camp
Almost as crucial as bringing camping gear, is actually remembering where the hell you put it. Mark your festival map, remember the route you took, put up a totem or flag, and remember the name of your campsite. If you've looked everywhere and still can't find it there's bound to be a nice pile of dirt or leaves with your name on it somewhere... find that.
4. Stay Hydrated
There's water in tequila right? There are some pretty sweet hydration packs that you could put water. Read why hydration packs are a festival must-have HERE.
5. Hunt Down the Best Festy Food
There is nothing more disappointing than standing in the long food line at a festival to be handed a dry grilled cheese or a plain burger that you're doubting is even beef. I don't even care about the looks I get when I'm staring down people's food and asking them where they bought it. Find the grub plug and feast at least once a day.
6. Games, Toys, and Activities
This one is fun, especially in foreign countries. Have you ever tried spinning poi at a festival in Europe? They have no idea what they're watching! Similar to how you'll feel when you play all the drinking games you'll randomly stumble upon.
I personally found my fun when I bought two squirt bottles from the store outside of the festival and got in water fights with random people in the crowd. Austrians like making giant hats and suits of armor out of empty beer cans. The options are endless.
7. Wear Good Shoes
You don't know what's on the ground. The floor at the main stage is a cesspool, and the campgrounds unfortunately tend to be worse. Bring a good pair of shoes and actually wear them. The bucket-head in the photo stepped on a bee. Anything can happen.
8. Bring Weather Appropriate Clothes
I know what the weather is like today. I might believe the forecast for tomorrow is accurate. If you ask me what the weather will be like one week from now I might laugh and go into a long story about my mistrust for the weather lady.
Plan for every element and season. Obviously don't bring a puffy jacket to a summer festival, but bring your rave gear, layers, rain protective gear, and sometimes mud boots are completely necessary for survival. Read more on how to stay dry at a festival HERE.
9. Pace Yourself
Don't be that guy. Especially on the first day of a week long festival. Save it for day 2 or 3 at least, ya rookie. You have 7 days, just remember that. No one wants to deal with a hangover on day 2.
10. Make Local Friends
Again, this is particularly useful in a foreign country. Sziget Festival attendees were allowed to come and go as they pleased. Our awesome new friend and tour guide showed us around the city of Budapest during the day. We ran back, drank a Hungarian liquor that he suggested called Palinka, and danced until our legs gave out.
These are the basics, people! Seven days is intimidating, but it's survivable. If you think that's a lot, Sziget offered "Moving In Passes" allowing attendees to move in and start the party 3 days early (10 days total).
Check out more articles about EDM Culture and Lifestyle HERE on iEDM and gear up with the best rave wear in the world HERE.