If you’ve been to a festival, you pretty much have an idea of what the essentials are. Fanny pack or backpack? Check. ID? Got it. Water bottle or Camelbak? Yup. Good.
But what about the more secret festival essentials?
Because this article isn’t about the basics. Let’s talk about the things you’ll want that nobody really tells you about. Some say the smart man learns from his mistakes, but the wise man learns from the smart man’s mistakes. Take this chance to be the wise man (er, wise raver?). Here are some things (I like to think of as secret festival essentials) I’ve found come in handy from my own experiences.
Double-Sided Fashion Tape
For all my rave goddesses out there who like to wear thigh-highs, this might just be the thing you always wanted but didn’t know you could get.
Enter double-sided fashion tape.
Peel off the protective backing on one side and stick that bad boy on your leg, then peel off the other side and pull your stocking/sock up and stick it onto the tape. Your thigh-highs should keep from slipping for at least a few hours, though you might need to change out the tape once or twice during the night if you get sweaty from dancing.
Double-sided fashion tape isn’t just for socks either. You can also use it for other tricky pieces like wayward straps or shifting necklines. Just follow the instructions above for whichever part of your outfit is giving you trouble and dance the night away!
Emergen-C Or Other Vitamins
Music festivals are not cheap to get into. That’s why it would seriously be a bummer if you got sick during the weekend. And although you may not get sick during the actual festival, you have a higher chance of getting sick right after. Hey, you’re not the only one tired and recovering from the weekend of partying — so is your immune system.
My friends and I like to keep Emergen-C or other vitamin tablets back at our hotel or campsite. We like to start taking our vitamins a few days before the festival, during the festival, and after the festival just for good measure.
If you find yourself always pulling out your phone and going to the trouble to unlock it to check your schedule, take a screenshot and set it as your lock screen. Save yourself the trouble! If you already know your schedule by heart, then a screenshot of the festival map (at least for the first day before you find your way around) can be great too.
Another trick I like to do with my lockscreen is taking a picture of my driver’s license next to a little note with my boyfriend’s number. The key is to put down a trusted person’s number and/or someone you’ll most likely be around the whole time. That way, if your phone gets lost the person who finds it will be able to get a hold of you relatively easily. At the very least, they might just be able to get it back to you somehow since your address should be on your license.
Even the comfiest pair of shoes still don’t completely prevent foot pain after two to three days of nonstop dancing and being on your feet. Show your feet some love with a pair of shoe insoles. Honestly, you can probably get away with not wearing them if you’re already in comfortable tennis shoes, but if you’ll be wearing Converse, short boots, and really just anything without much support, shoe insoles will make a world of difference. I wore black short boots with shoe insoles to both days of Beyond Wonderland 2017 and had zero foot pain after. If you really don’t want to sacrifice cute shoes for comfort like I didn’t, definitely look into some insoles.
I saw these butterfly wings on IHR, and for the longest time, I debated with myself on whether or not I should actually get them. I really, really wanted them, but I just couldn’t justify getting them on my college budget. Eventually, I ended up being gifted them by my boyfriend (thanks, Babe). I used them as soon as I could, and I could not even believe how much fun they were. They made me feel so free and cute, plus I got so many compliments. I knew pretty much immediately that I wouldn’t have regretted a cent if I had gotten them myself. In fact, I was kicking myself for not getting them sooner! Nevertheless, I am so grateful to my boyfriend for getting them for me because now I wear them to every festival I go to.
Porta-potties, portals to hell, whatever you want to call them. There’s no getting around it. You’ll have to use one at some point during the festival. When that time comes, you’re probably going to wish you had some wet wipes on hand. Luckily for you now that you’re reading this article, you will. A travel-sized pack of wet wipes fits nicely into fanny packs and backpacks without taking up too much space. Take those bad boys into the next rave you go to and watch that hell hole become just a little bit less shitty (no pun intended).
Although I’ve never had this problem myself, I’ve talked to enough people to know that getting a UTI at a music festival is a more common problem than you might think. I mean, if you think about it, music festivals aren’t the most sanitary places on earth, plus you have a higher risk of dehydration — two things you don’t want to mix if you want to avoid getting a UTI.
If you or some of your friends are worried about getting one, AZO Cranberry is good to have on hand. Keep them around in case someone starts feeling the burn.
If you are camping, bringing a pair of soft earplugs might be a good idea. Other campers might want to keep the party going later than you do, so bringing these may help you get to sleep a little faster. They also come in handy inside the festival as well. Being too close to the speakers can damage your hearing over time, but a pair of earplugs can prevent that. Although, they do make special earplugs made for listening to music that won’t muffle the sound like soft earplugs can.
If you know you’re going to a festival in an area that’s prone to a little rain (*ahem* Countdown), then you might want to think about investing in a rain poncho. You don’t have to shell out a lot for one (and if you’re a college student like me, you won’t want to). After enduring the first rainy day of Countdown 2016, my rave fam and I marched over to the dollar store the next morning and got ourselves some ponchos.
Now, rain ponchos at the dollar store are literally trash bags with arm holes in them. And if you’re lucky, you get a hood on yours. It’s really hit or miss at the dollar store. But let me tell you, having even just a little bit of cover from the rain was exponentially better than going without it. It definitely made getting into the rave mood and mindset much easier.
On the flip side, festivals that take place in sweltering heat require different measures. This is where the cooling towel comes in handy. Whoever invented these deserves a prize. You soak them, spin them around a few times, and wrap them around your neck, face, and basically anywhere else you need to cool down. The best part is they stay cold for hours. But beware! Once you use these, you’ll never want to go back.
On a similar note, you can take little empty spray bottles into the festival and fill them up once you get inside. Never underestimate how refreshing a little spritz of water can be. And the best part? A little mist over the people around you makes you an instant lifesaver.
Don’t get caught in the crowd being the only one not glowing. Other ravers are glowing, stages are glowing, hell, the whole rave is glowing! You think it’ll be fine now, but trust me, it’s a totally different story when you’re actually in that situation feeling left out. But have no fear! You can remedy this situation before it even happens. A quick trip to the dollar store can get you tons of glow sticks, accessories, wands, etc.
Pro tip: They’re a great way to make new friends! Everyone likes getting glow sticks. Check out iHR’s collection of light-up stuff here.
And that’s all! Everything I could think of was listed here, but if you know of another secret festival essential, definitely let us know in the comments. Happy festival-ing!