Have only one day to spend at a music festival? No worries! Here are our top five tips to make the most of your day.
Just last weekend I found myself with a ticket in my hand for one day at Outside Lands Music Festival, the place where hundreds of thousands of people flock to Golden Gate Park for a 3-day weekend of music. As I was talking to some of the festival-goers (all while snapping their street style photos), most said they were staying for the entire weekend. I would be lying if didn’t say I wasn’t a little jealous. But that got me thinking, how can I make the most of one day at a 3-day long festival? I didn’t want to miss out on anything but I also didn’t want to run around like my hair was on fire. Well, my one day experience was a special one and I’d love to share my top five tips on how to make the most of a quick moving 12 hours! Check them out below.
5 Tips to Make the Most of One Day at a Music Festival
Get a map. Seriously. And keep it close. These maps are your best friends at festivals. They have all of the information you need: the stage locations, who’s playing and where, set times, restroom locations, ATMs, where the food and drinks are, where the art installations are, vendor locations, et cetera et cetera. Though some music festival apps are extremely helpful, I love having a map handy. If there is one place I want to keep my phone tucked away in my backpack and enjoy the experience… live in the moment… it’s a music festival.
Check out small stages and unfamiliar acts. When I was younger, I would only see the bands that I was familiar with. I would rush from stage to stage to hear music I already knew and missed so many opportunities to discover new music. This year, I stopped off at a small mobile stage where only about twenty people were gathered. A country band was playing and I sat in the grass for a few songs and loved every minute of it.
…But also see a show on the main stage, with the crowd. If you are anything like me, you like to stick to the perimeter of shows and not get too close. It’s comfortable back there, right? Well, just for one show (or even just a song) keep moving forward when space opens. No one really enjoys anyone pushing to the front but if there’s space, sure, I’d say take it! But when you find that spot, at the main stage, surrounded by people dancing, singing and completely engaged, you will be swept away in the moment with them. The energy in the middle of the crowd is infectious, overpowering… there’s nothing like it. So enjoy!
Take a second to relax. Eat lunch on the grass, order something outside of your comfort zone. One of the things that music festivals do really well is bring in excellent food vendors so you know you’re getting the good stuff. Though it’s easy to grab for pizza or a burrito after hours of dancing under the sun, I really recommend opting for something a little different. Try something that will add to your experience as a whole. At Outside Lands I ordered a veggie bratwurst with sauerkraut and mustard. What? Frankly, I don’t like sausage and am pretty picky about veggie options but I thought, what the heck, let’s do it. Well, it was the best decision I have ever made. Ok, over exaggeration, but it was a very strong choice! I enjoyed my lunch on the green grass, in the shade of giant pines, with the sound of distant music from a faraway stage. It was a lunch for the books.
See all of the art installations. To be honest, these are easy to pass up or overlook because music takes over the brain. BUT, I tell ya, take time to check out the incredible (and mostly local) art that is installed creatively and very strategically throughout the grounds. And like Outside Lands, some festivals have live art happening so you can watch it come to life.
Bonus! Pro tip for fashion fans: People-watch and check out street style. Have you noticed how fashion has become a monstrous player at various festivals across the country? Of course you have. It is fascinating to me and I love to see how people portray festival dressing. I like to take mental notes of what inspires me, especially menswear. So keep your eyes out for style inspiration — and when you find that person whose style you like, tell them! It will make their day.
+Am I missing anything? What would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments!
Follow fp joanna on Instagram.