New Ravers: 10 Tips to Survive & Thrive at Your First Camping Festival

| February 28, 2023

You finally bought the ticket, and now it is time to take the ride. For the electronic music fan, there is nothing more thrilling than attending your first camping festival. You’ve seen the lineup, you watched the trailer, and now it's time to experience it in all its glory. Except a camping festival is much different than a typical city fest. Music plays all night, you trade your hotel room for a tent, and you spend the entire weekend outside living among the elements. 

While you may be ready for the time of your life, you may discover an overwhelming fear through all your excitement. You might be asking yourself, “what do I pack,” “what do I wear,” and “what should I expect?” That is where iEDM comes in. As music festival veterans, we know the ins and outs of festival living to help guide you through your first camping festival experience. 

So, whether you’re attending Bonnaroo, Electric Forest, EDC Las Vegas, or Lost Lands, here is everything you need to know to not only survive but thrive during your first camping festival.




Set Up A Mock Camp Before You Go

There is nothing worse than setting up camp at the fest just to discover your tent doesn’t have its tent poles. Setting up camp in your backyard before you leave is the best way to ensure that you have everything you need. Some essentials include a pop-up tent, an EZ up for extra protection, camping chairs, an air mattress, a table, a cooler, and tapestries. You can even go onto the festival's website to see the exact measurements of your campsite, so you know exactly how much room you have to work with.



Pack Clothes For Every Type Of Weather

Even for festivals in the hottest climates, there is always the possibility of a cold front or rainstorm blowing through. Therefore, it is essential to be prepared for any type of weather. Make sure you pack both warm and cold clothes, cozy pajamas, and comfy shoes. If you are having trouble deciding exactly what to wear, check out iEDM’s festival collections for all your festival clothing needs. 




Pack Nonperishable Food 

Contrary to belief, you do not want to pack an ungodly amount of food. While cooking at the campsite may seem like a good idea, it can be expensive, unnecessary, and wasteful. Instead, pack nonperishable items like granola bars, chips, water, sports drinks, and other snacks. Most camping festivals have amazing food options from local vendors and food trucks. Instead of spending tons of money on a grill, food, and ice to keep it fresh, use the money to buy your meals from the vendors for a smaller price and way less of a hassle. You’ll also be helping out small businesses that can use the support after two years without festivals. 



Clean Up After Yourself

One of the most important things for any camping festival is to make sure you always clean up after yourself. Your campsite does not have a cleaning service like a hotel, and if you leave your garbage out, you’ll attract ants and other unwanted pests. It is also essential to respect nature and the festival venue itself. There is always a garbage can in reach so make an effort to throw away your trash to provide the best possible experience for yourself and others. 



Be Kind To Everyone You Meet

Camping festivals are not just about the music. They are about spreading peace, love, unity, and respect. It is essential to be as kind as can be to everyone you meet. From your camp neighbors to the workers and volunteers, treat everyone with a smile, and you’ll get those good vibes reciprocated. 



Be Positive

While you’ll be having the time of your life, camping festivals can also be stressful. You may experience long lines, rain, and things may not always go the way you envisioned. It can be easy to put yourself into a spiral of negativity.  However, if you stay positive through it all, you will surely have an amazing time. Remember, you get to spend the entire weekend surrounded by your best friends listening to your favorite artists. The more you focus on the good things, the less stressed you’ll be about the bad things, and the better your experience will be. 




It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

While some certainly learn the hard way, it is essential to remember that camping festivals are marathons, not a sprint. Of course, it will be hard to resist the excitement, and you will want to go hard, but it will be worth it not to wake up with a three-day hangover after night one. Pace yourself, get to know the festival grounds, hydrate and stay safe. However, if you see someone who overdid it and is in need, do not hesitate to get help even if you do not know them. Music festivals are a community, and everyone looks out for each other. 



Have An Open Mind

Music festivals are a haven for individuality and attract people from all walks of life. If you have never been to a festival before, you may experience a bit of a culture shock. No matter what, It is important to go with the flow and have an open mind to different people, different music, and new experiences. The more open-minded you are, the more freeing your camping festival experience will be. 



Check Out Artists You’ve Never Heard Before

Of course, you will see your favorite acts but don’t sleep on artists that you never heard of. Music festivals are a great way to discover new artists and genres you otherwise would never have been exposed to. Make an effort to see at least one new act each day and show your support to the up-and-coming bands and DJs. You never know what you might find. Who knows, you could even stumble upon the next big superstar. 



Get Lost and Wander

One of the best parts about camping festivals is wandering around and discovering new experiences and activities. Festivals like Bonnaroo and Electric Forest are jam-packed filled with interactive art, workshops, exhibits, and more. Wander with your friends but also consider going off for a bit on your own. You’ll meet new people, see new things, and could even stumble upon a secret set. You’ll be surprised with what you can find within the wonderland that is a camping festival. 

Photos courtesy of Electric Forest, Bonnaroo, and Firefly 


Stay up to date on the latest festival announcements and music news HERE!


Get ready for festival season with iEDM apparel and accessories. Check out the latest rave wear arrivals HERE!

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