Festival and Camping Advice

Who I am and what this is.

Hello there! My name is Casey, or you can call me Chumley (@chumleyex) and I guess I'm one of your rave dads. I'm in my 40's and I've been into EDM since around 2000, but I haven't been going to festivals for that long. I feel the need to be prepared for most situations because I dislike being in a sucky situation. When I decided to go to EDC 2016 I was a bit scared of it all because I knew it was BIG and waaaay outside the scope of regular club shows. That's when I really started getting into this all. I had been to a couple of Texas festivals, but they were very local to me and I drove home that night so there was no camping or hotels. Ever since that EDC, I've been expanding my reach and my knowledge of it all. I'd like to give you a central location to at least get you up to speed. It will be a lot of reading with some research, but you will be a seasoned goer before you even get there. Here's what I'll cover and I hope to enhance this guide with some videos and photos in the future.

Main talking points
- In the Beginning - This is where I discuss deciding where to go and your various experiences with getting tickets.
- What you need to know for you! - Here I discuss things that pertain to you living in this new world. Restrooms, showers, Money and many other basic necessities.
- Getting to the festival and campsite/festival - Packing and driving.. I need to discuss flying too, but as of now, I haven't.
- Setting up and maintaining your campsite - You are given a very small bit of land to build your new home, let's discuss how we do that.
- Living in the campgrounds - Once you're there and setup, there is a new magical city to figure out.
- Going into the festival and what to bring - Usually the camping is a seperate area from where the stages are and I'd like you to know some helpful things about being there.
- Leaving - What to expect when it's time to go.
- Last Words - There's a lot to say and this is where I wrap it up.

* In this guide I'll cover going to a basic noncamping music fest and then I will heavily cover the camping aspect of a music festival. Not all music festivals have camping, but when it does, I really suggest you do that.

Fests we may have in common.
- All the Texas Nocturnals.
- EDC Las Vegas 16/17/18.
- Middlelands (RIP).
- ACL Fest 16/17.
- Lost Lands 17/18.
- Floatfest 18.
- Nightfall 18.
- LightsAllNight 16/17/19.
- Backwoods 19.
- Wakaan Festival 19.
- Sherwood Ren Fest - Texas (several years).
- Ubbi Dubbi 19/21.
- Texas Ren Fest (several years).
- COVID-19 Fest.

Maybe I'll see you at
- NorthCoast Fest 2021 - Illfest 2021 - Freaky Deaky 2021 - Lights All Night 2021

**Here is Excisions camping check list, it's always nice to have.

- Check List Download
If you see anything questionable or feel like you have something to add to this, hit me up. chumleyex@gmail.com

In the Beginning!

What to do when you've picked a show or a festival to go to.


- You know you want to go to a "rave" or a festival, but you haven't decided past that? Or maybe you know you want to go to something specific, but you've never "done anything like this" before. It's not super complicated, but it can be if you want it to be.
- Aquiring tickets for a show, like something you may see at a club, is usually straight forward. You go to a website that maybe you've seen on facebook and you buy your ticket, boom, you are done. (bring earplugs) However, if this is a BIG name for whatever your genre is, you may need to prep.
- In the Austin area, we have a mailer that comes out from C3 and it usually gives you a list of whoever is playing soon and new shows that are being announced. In this email you are often given an early access sales code and you can buy some Tier 1 tickets before everyone else has access. If it's a big name in a small venue, you might want to do this. Some credit cards offer things like this as well.
- What is a Tier 1 ticket? Some shows and festivals sell their tickets in tiers, which means the price increases the more that are sold. If you know for sure that you're going, you should aim for these tickets, but they can sell fast. Usually there are annoucements about price increases and they aren't always due to the amount of tickets that are sold, but rather it's based on timing.
- Once the show is SOLD OUT, you are at the mercy of others. There will be tickets for sale on places like craigslist, stubhub or facebook. You can go to the event on facebook and there are usually people selling tickets in the discussion section. BECAREFUL!! A digital ticket is so easy to scam people with.. It's scary just thinking about buying a ticket and physical copies are rare these days. Try to find someone with a legit profile and maybe some people vouching for them. I would also use Paypal goods and services. It may not actually protect Ticket Sales, but it might deter a scammer.
- Recently I've seen some ticket exchange groups on FB and Instagram, they try to vet people before adding them to the group. Look for them and maybe try to source your tickets there.
- Most of what I've said above works for festivals too, BUT, festival ticket sales can get crazy. Some of the larger and more established festivals have loyaltiy sales built in. So if you've gone the previous year, you get dibs on tickets before anyone else and sometimes at a discount. This is how Electric Forest sells out so fast. Some of them are immediately put on resale sites for twice the price. Totally unfair IMO.
- Festivals have other ways to get in that don't require money......... You can usually either become an Ambassador, which means you hustle tickets for the festival (usually you post on FB, instagram, twitter, to friends and you get points for every dollar spent through you) and you can get a free ticket or merch.. The other option is to volunteer your time. I've never done this, but I think you work 1 day and get your ticket for the rest of the fest.
- When planning your experience, try to figure in the cost of the whole trip. Some people just buy the ticket and never really pay attention to cost and then they don't get to go because everything cost a lot (unless it's almost local).
- For a club type show, you get your ticket emailed to you. Easy Peasy.. Pack your earplugs, make a little kandi and plan your outfit. Usually the day of the show you will get the full lineup and when people play.. All done.
- Each festival is a little different in how it works. Some fests offer tickets forsale without announcing a single artist, but these are super cheap blind bag prices. Then they bump it up when Phase 1 of the lineup comes out, then as more is announced the price goes up. Some other festivals put out phase 1 first to hype everyone up. EDC doesn't announce the lineup until a month before the show (sometimes), so you just know you're going ot EDC and they've got like 100 artists playing with 8 stages. You just KNOW it's going to be awesome and so do they. Who needs to know whos playing???
- Festivals usually give you these wristbands and sometimes they don't come in until right before the festival. DON'T PUT THEM ON, cause sometimes they are a bitch to take off. Wait until you get there and then put it on, but don't tighten it all the way down. (check the link below).
- I would expect a festival to have a layaway option for tickets.
- What else do you need to think about buying? There are usually other things to consider and try to be prepared. Some festivals have early arrival passes that let you get there a day or two early to setup camp and they often have their own preparty to attend. There are parking passes incase you don't really want to camp and are just planning to show up and then leave each day. You might have an option to just tent camp without a car and there should be car camping options. Other things to consider are ticket types, you will see General Admissions or GA(basic tickets), GA+ which usually gives easy entry or something, next is VIP and then there could be something higher than that ($$$$). Some fest do cool stuff like Meet and Greets, where you get to meet some artists and maybe get some special merch. Just be prepared for this stuff. Your wallet usually dictates what you can do.
- Lastly, you usually buy your campsite or hotel packages at the same time as buying your tickets. You don't have to, but the prices are usually lowest then and stuff also sells out.

To Camp or not to camp
- If the idea of going to a festival is overwhelming, don't worry there's more, you will need to decide where you're staying. There are 3 types of people in this situation, those that will not camp no matter what, those that are a maybe and those that are not afraid to camp. If you are a hard no, then you need to find your hotel and figure out how you're getting from the hotel to the venue. If you are either of the other two, you need to camp (if it's an option), so just buy your camping pass right at the start when it's as cheap as it gets.
- Each festival is different in how it works and you'll need to really read the FAQ and the website before you really drop some money. Sometimes there are hotel bundles that you can get on the fest site, the cost might be a little higher than trying to find your own hotel, but it's usually closer to the show or it might have parties, stores and shuttles to get you there.
- Getting a hotel is the same as any other time, but timing is key to saving money. The day you know you want to go to a festival or the day they announce a date is the best day to get the room. I prefer to book with free cancellation as often as possible so you may want to try to find that. Look at what happened with COVID, it would stink to lose that hotel money.
- If you get a hotel how will you get to the venue? Well that's going to cost you $$$ and maybe a lot of energy. Let's use EDC Las Vegas as an example. You get a room at a casino which isn't near the raceway where EDC is and you have a few options.
- 1. Uber/Lyft/whatever - This is going to cost you, but it might be worth it if you have enough people to share the cost.
- 2. Shuttles - I've been to EDCLV 3 times and used the shuttles each time.. I fucking hate the shuttles now.. HATE... Why do I hate it? ok good question.. Cause it's a waste of time and energy. You have to get from the casino/hotel to the shuttle pickup which is either a shit ton of walking or getting a rideshare just to get there, which is more money. Sure you can get a hotel right next door which saves walking, BUT that doesn't save you from standing in the line FOREVER just to get on the bus, which then takes 45 min or so to get there. I've spent at least 2 hours before just to get on the shuttle.. In the heat, people all pushed up on you like damn cattle. That's my EDC experience and you may not be going to EDC (this is also before the camping there was a big thing), so you really need to connect with people that have been to whatever fest you're going to so you can really understand what to expect. I almost forgot to mention.. Shuttles often have their own security check just to get on.
- 3. You can drive yourself. At something like EDC the idea of that is scary. The amount of traffic I have imagined is crazy, but I hear people do it. Be mindful that you may need to pay for car parking. Check the website to know
- All that energy you're spending just to get out of the hotel and onto the sidewalk could be used in the campgrounds to get to the venue. If you're camping then you're there 24x7, the show doesn't stop until you leave. The last EDC I went to I spent at least 4 hours round trip if not more with maybe a few miles of walking and 2 hours of standing almost in place the entire time. That's 4 hours I could be immersed with my people.
- Camping can be a lot to handle. It can be rain, it can be sun, it can be crazy wind or crazy storms, humidity, freezing cold and that's not always easy for 3 days, but it's usually worth it. You won't have AC, you'll hardly have running water, the showers are pretty lame, the porta potties can be a challenge and the dirt/bugs/humidity can be upsetting. I'll say this, the humans that came before us lived this way and you can to. Read more below and you'll get some ideas on how to make it a better experience, but you really just need to roll with it. If you get a storm, be ready for the storm, if you get freezing weather, be ready for it.
- Camping is 24x7.. Hotel is whatever hours there's music. Hotels have their fun moments with pool parties, after parties and room parties, but the campgrounds are one big ass party (not always loud, but often loud) that is 24x7.

- Dealing with Wristbands

What you need to know for you!

Staying clean
- Sweat and dirt are very common at a festival, showers are not. I suggest that you always bring a healthy supply of wet wipes and large spray bottle to make a shower out of. They can both be used for cleaning or just cooling you off.
- Keep the original spray tip for the shower/spray bottle and you can mist people (if they want) to cool them off.
- Also, pay attention to the fests website or facebook page, there might be showers onsite to use. I would expect them to be around $10 per use with a fee for a towel, so Don't Forget to Bring a Towel!
- If you end up making your own shower setup, you will need something to help with privacy and you can either build or buy something for this. There are some popup shower tents (people use them as restrooms as well) or you can use PVC pipe and tarps to build something more spaceous.

- Camp Shower Guide / I've made this very thing and it's enough to clean yourself with. It's not the awesome shower you'll want, but it's functional.
- Sea to Summit shower Bag is something you hang above you, somehow.
- A solar shower is another one that you have to get above you, but some people just lay them on the car roof. It's black so it attracts the suns heat to warm the water.
- Make your own shower out of PVC and tarps.
- A popup shower that is easy to deal with.

Using the restroom
- You're sleeping and you get that discomfort that wakes you up. You've got to go, but the porta potty is too far and you don't wanna go, but you have to. There are options. If you're a dude, bring a large bottle to go in, but if you're a lady, it gets a little more compicated. I've seen a lot of people use a 5 gallon bucket with either kitty litter or just a bag. You can even buy some with seats built on to it.
- The popup shower from the section above is perfect for a night restroom.

- A cheap camp toilet.

- I like the concept of carrying cash and credit cards and I try to use the credit cards and hold on to the cash as long as possible since it's there for emergencies. I generally try to leave home with $500 cash, but only you can really know how much you need.
- Another thing I do is use a different wallet. As an adult, your wallet might have all sorts of stuff that just doesn't need to be with you all of the time that you're in this wonderland, so just take your ID, 1 credit card and about $100 and put it in a spare wallet. I once got a paper wallet from a lootcrate and that's what I use.

- You are a fully formed human, you should know how to feed yourself, but I see a lot of questions on Facebook that scare me. So, I'll give you some ideas. At a minimum, bring a very basic amount of food that you could live off of in a pinch. Some stuff for PB&J's, any other sandwich, cereal, fruit, protein bars.. Just whatever. Make sure you have enough to live off of without money.
- If you are the type of person that likes to cook, just know that most festivals let you bring in propane grills to your campsite. So now you can cook it all up if you want. Some people really go off in the campgrounds. If you want to live on vendor food, that's cool too, just be sure that you have yourself covered for food if something happens and you can't use the vendors.

Here are some grill ideas.
- $$$ type grill This is one of the better setups that I've seen.
- $$ type grill This is less amazing, but easy on the wallet and will work.

- Most likely this festival will have water provided somewhere, but think more like a water hose than bottles of water. I have seen places like EDC give out free bottles of water, but that's not enough to live off of for 4 days or so. There's usually water stations inside the venue and then some in the campgrounds. I would expect what you get inside the venue to be some legit stuff with filters and nozzles. However, you may not get that in the campgrounds, so plan for the chance of dirty water. A couple of fests I've been to were like this with brown water in the campgrounds.
- Even if they tell you they have water stations for you, bring enough water to live off of. Water is good whenever right? It really doesn't spoil and you need it all the time. If you bring some you don't need, then you can just drink it the next day or adventure. If the festival has good water sources, I'll drink whatever is easiest to get to for the most part.
- We really need to think about the amount of waste we go through in general and try to minimalize it as best we can. The topic of water is a great place to start. You really shouldn't bring cases of bottles of water because it's a major source of needless waste. I understand that bottles have there uses in a fest environment because they are easy to hand out, but don't make it your main source of water. What I've started doing is buying 5 gallon bottles of water and then a little pump that goes on top of the bottle. I strongly encourage you to do the same.
- Another thing you will certainly need are reusable water bottles. If you want water from a water station then you need something to put it in, so bring several and maybe one large one if you can. You can take them into the venue (usually) if they are empty.
- Lastly, you can get a hydration pack like a camelbak to handle your water needs. Some hold a ton. If it's a hot summer festival, I'd say this is a must and you can get "Raved out" versions too, so look around.

- Here is a large water jug.
- Put this on top of your 5 gallon water bottle.
- Various Hydration Packs

- A music festival is a lot like a comic con. You can be whoever you want to be, dress in cosplay, bdsm, ren gear or like a cop.. Whatever you want for the most part. You can wear a thong with body paint and in theory, everyone is welcome to do this.. Anyone of any size, shape, color, gender, etc etc etc. With that said, most of the time there will be a mad sun beaming down at you, so you really need to have something to cover yourself with from time to time. Have enough clothes for whatever temps you'll be facing. Sometimes it will be 85 during the day, but 45 at night, so be ready for this. Which leads me to the next topic.

- Festival season is usually in late spring, all the summer and early fall. You need to know where you're going and what to expect. You can go to google and look up "historical weather for Legend Valley September 27th" and it should lead you too it. Then you can see what the past few years was and you have a guide. Watch the weather starting at a couple of weeks out, pay attention to how much it rains. You'll be out in a pasture or some woods, so mud might be a thing. If it's going to rain a lot, bring some ponchos and be sure to keep some of your clothes in ziplock bags or something. You don't want everything wet all the time. If it might even get remotely chilly, bring something. Lost Lands 2017 got down to almost freezing at night and a lot of people (including myself) weren't ready. A decent pair of sweat pants, some socks, gloves and a hoodie can go a very long way.

Your Feet
- Something that will get said a lot is that your festival might be on a place like a farm or some woods. The ground may be uneven with rocks or it could be pure mud. It could also be lush grass or concrete. You need to figure out what your place is like and at least bring a pair of shoes best suited for that environment. For example, walking shoes might be better for EDCLV than Hiking boots. Hiking and Mud boots might be best for other festivals. I'm not saying that you have to wear them all the time, but have them in case you feel you want them. I love my flip flops, but after 15 miles with them on day 1, I might want something with more support for the next day. Bring clean socks.

Your Health
- Take care of yourself. It's a marathon, not a race. I'm 42 years and overweight, this is tough on me and can be tough on many others. Know your limits and pace yourself accordingly. Be sure to actually eat something, start hydrating a couple of weeks before and don't stop, ever. Bring your meds, bring fruit for a snack, definitely bring stuff with electrolytes (you'll need them).
- Bath yourself, even if it's with wet wipes.
- Sunscreen. Protect yourself from the sun with a hat or a pashmina. 3-4 days in the sun all day is a lot of sun.
- Brush your teeth and use deodorant.
- Don't overdo the fun stuff, test it and don't go overboard. You have an entire life to live. Another annoying thing is dirt in the air.
- Bring a mask of some sort (like a seemless mask) to cover your face. Bikes, carts or people can really kick up a lot of dirt in the air.
- Lastly bring something like airborne and drink it all through your trip. Wook flu is real.
- I want to touch on a comment above. Vitamins and elctrolytes are extremely important at a festival and make sure you bring and use them. You will be living outside in the sun and might sweat 24x7 the entire time you're there. When you sweat you lose water and salt, but your body needs this to survive. If you're chilling on the sidelines, deep in the pit, or drinking booze, make sure you take care of this need appropriately. You can get powders to add to water or you can pedialyte drinks, gatoraid, just google for more ideas. (pickle juice, uh)
- Vitamins are equally as important. You are exposed to the weather, to pollens, molds, inhaling dirt, people with their nastyness and sometimes bad foods. So feed your body some goodness like fruits, veggies or just flat out vitamins. Your body really does take a beating physically while your mind gets a great vacation.

Harm Reduction (drugs)
- Let's talk about this. If you've never been to a festival, especially an EDM fest, then you should know that drugs are going to be used by a lot of people. Even if you don't plan on taking anything, go ahead and read this, because you could save someones life just by being informed.
- Rule number 1 is to know what you're getting yourself into. Educate yourself on what you plan on taking and understand what to expect.
- Rule number 2 for me is to test everything. You need to KNOW what you're taking since some of this shit will fucking kill you. Fentanyl is the current scary thing out on the playing field and less than a pinch will stop your heart. So it's very important to know just what you're putting in your body. Thankfully there are test kits you can get online (even from amazon) and there's usually a group at fests that will test your stuff (Dance Safe or Bunk Police). This is a real issue and you should take it very serious.
- Know what isn't safe to mix. This is part of how people die at these things. They take one thing and then some coke and BOOM, heart attack. Check this chart out, it is a life saver. This is the chart!
- Of course be sure to drink water. If you're chilling and not doing much, it's fine to be relaxed on it (unless it's hot AF out), but if you're in the thick of it and dancing.. DRINK.. If it's super hot out, DRINK.
- There are two supplements that I've added to my ritual. Magnesium and 5HTP. Take the magnesium while you're rolling to relax your mouth and then take the 5HTP a couple of days before and for a week after, BUT NOT THE DAYS YOU PARTY!!! The 5HTP helps feed the thing that makes seratonin, which is what makes you feel all happy and stuff. When you roll you use it up and then it's hard to be happy after. Your brain doesn't have that juice anymore. This will help curtail the post fest blues.
- Know where the medical tent is.
- Lastly, I can't say this enough. Check on people. Folks go way too damn hard at these things and they need medical help. It's hard to get it to them if they look asleep and no one checks on them. It seems like the hotter the festival, the worse people get. There's nothing wrong with asking a random person if they're ok. Take care of everyone.

- Click this to learn more about fentanyl.
- Harm Reduction Coaliton has tons of helpful info.
- Bunk Police will have test kits forsale and tons of helpful info. You can also get them on amazon.
- Take some 5HTP before and after you roll just don't take it the days you party.
- Magnesium Supplements help calm your jaw down.
- The drug mixing chart and the article it was attached to.

Know what is expected of you and of the festival
- There is a website with FAQ's just for you. They usually have a section for Camping and then one for the Festival. Read that and know it. Know the size of your campsite, know what you can bring in, know what you can't bring in. If you don't, you run the risk of them taking whatever it is and "tossing" it. As the party draws nearer, there is usually a map, lineup/schedule and an app that comes out. Make sure you know all of that stuff too.

Stuff you MUST have
- Don't forget a valid ID and your Wristband/Ticket. It will suck to have to jump through hoops to get a replacement, but sometimes you can register your wristband to help replacing be easier. Money/Food/Water.

Be Smart
- Watch out for your friends, watch out for your neighbor, but mostof all you need to watch out for yourself. There are thieves, rapist and worse at these things. Be aware of who you're with and how to get to where you need to go. Don't get too trashed and wander off without someone and don't let others do the same if you can. Be mindful of your money, test your stuff with bunk police if you can, don't overdo it and don't mix stuff that doesn't mix. People die at these and it usually is either they mixed it with something or they took something laced with something bad. PLEASE stay safe.

Know your set times and stages
- When the daily schedule comes out (usually in the app) you should setup your set times and plan on it taking forever to get to the stage. Sometimes your campsite is 1000 miles from the venue, so know it will take an hour to walk there.

- have your monthly supplies handy. This is a rough place for that to go down. Getting to a store isn't easy, so just pack whatever you need.
- The porta potties can get REEEALLLY bad.. I repeat, it can be one of the nastiest things you've ever seen. Us guys can just pee in the urinal, but you end up getting stuck cleaning everything up.. WIPES and your own stash of TP.
- When showing the beta of this guide to some people, a woman suggested I add a Menstrual Cup to the list of things a lady might like to have.
- One last suggestion (really for everyone) is to bring a light that can be hands free in a porta potty.

-A small lantern

- During camping or in the venue, I always have a little flashlight handy. Something that drives me crazy are these large lights that are setup all over the place. They're something you would see at a construction site at night and they are bright. They always fuck with my eyes because the ground is a big shadow, but there's this light that won't let my pupils do their thing, so I can't see the damn ground. This is where the flashlight helps the most, I just shine it on the ground and then I can see it.
- Another useful time is when dealing with restrooms. It's hard to see when a porta potty is locked, but the light illuminates it so you can tell. You also get to light up the inside of the porta potty.
- Ground scores are a thing. I use my light to lead me everywhere and it helps me find stuff that people leave/drop on the ground. Obviously if it's something someone needs like a wallet or a phone, you return it, but if someone drops a blunt ;) ;) That's not going back.
- My number one favorite use for the flashlight is getting through a crowd. I do this everywhere and it's extremely useful in clubs. People will make room when they see that light. The flashlight helps me make my way through the massive crowds of people near the stage. It helps them see that I'm trying to move, they can see what I'm working with and where I want to go. I get a better view of everything and something to help me focus on what I'm doing, which I need sometimes. I heart the shit out of my flashlight.

- When I was planning for EDCLV, I was overwhelmed, but thankfully there was Reddit and guides like this. Facebook and Reddit both usually have a great group of regulars that you can join and learn the best info for whatever fest you go to.

- There are people actively ripping others off at these, in the fest or the campgrounds.
- Keep the very important things either very close to you and as secure as you can or in your car.
- I personally hide my car keys somewhere at the camp because I'm scared they'll fall out somewhere.
- I use a secondary wallet and keep my primary in the car with most of the money and credit cards.
- If you leave something unattended, expect that it will get taken. I'm not saying it's that bad out there, but there's a lot of people around. Watch your stuff.
- In the festival, I've heard of there being teams of people pickpocketing. Imagine this, EDC Las Vegas as around 160k people in this raceway. That's twice what my city has living here. You are packed in there and people are bumping into you left and right. You are being hunted and if they see something they want, they may slice your bag open or maybe even just snatch it out of you hand and run. There isn't much you can do. So try to secure your bag as best you can. I also try to put my wallet in with the hydration bag. They aren't getting in there.
- I've heard stories of people cutting backpacks and taking stuff out. Try getting a fanny pack or putting things like money/phone/ID in pockets that aren't outward facing.

Getting to the festival and campsite/festival.

- To keep this from being one of the worst parts of the whole experience, Don't Overpack! It's only a few days. I get caught up in this every time and I usually have twice the stuff I even needed. One thing to consider is that you may only change and sleep at your site, but don’t forget you might need some type of shade. Canopies take up room. You’ll have to find a good balance of what to bring while sharpening your Tetris skills.

Driving through cities and states
- Festival goers usually stand out and this life style is associated with all different types of drugs and deaths. This makes us a target for law enforcement, so we need to be cautious and make sure we follow the rules. I like to be boring and try to just blend in, so I would suggest against anything that identifies you’re going to the festival. You may already have out of state plates, which can be a dead giveaway. Try not to vape big massive clouds all the time, all they have to do is say they thought it was pot. Another thing to do is to run Waze on your phone, it’s user sourced info about police locations. It’s completely legal and legit. You should always travel with it and participate. I would also suggest against shoepolish or anything that says "EDC HERE WE COME!!!".
- Gas up before going into the festival, you don't want to run out of gas while you're there.

Getting to and through security
- Maybe you’ve been driving for days or just a few hours, we all get excited when we are in the area of the festival. If you think about it, some festivals have 10’s of thousands of people attending, so streets can get packed and finding it can be hard. The festival will probably send out an email or some notification in the app with directions to follow. Even then, it can be hard to find it. So have patience and have a navigator that researches the instructions and maps.
- Once you get there, you’ll need to line up to get into security. This can be super simple or a freaking disaster. Just be prepared to wait a couple of hours or more just to get to security, but don’t be mad if the entire process takes 5 min. This part is easily the part I hate most. While you’re waiting in line, I’m sure you’ll be on Reddit or Facebook reading peoples horror stories about getting in. Just try to ignore it. I get myself worked up every time. My advice is to vacuum seal everything and put it in a smart spot. Be polite when you get to security and be overly willing to show them whatever they want. You have nothing to hide, so give that vibe off. If you have meds that you always take, just show them. Make sure you don’t have your entire supply, just bring what you need with you in its proper bottle. (meaning one with the VALID prescription on it)
- Be sure you know what you aren’t allowed to bring in because they WILL be looking for it.
- Security... Geez I somehow forgot to talk about this. So you usually get randomly placed into a lane and at the end of it there will be a group of people checking you over. Someone might take a look at your tickets and issue camping bracelets (handle any special camping stuff), another might check your ID and pat you all down, and then a couple might be through your car and all of your stuff. The idea here is that they can and might look through EVERYTHING. There might be a dog and a security cop looking person walking it around. I don't know if it's a drug dog, maybe it sniffs weapons or if it's just into cosplay and likes making people feel uncomfortable. My usual experience is that my car is FULL and they take a few things out, poke around, put it back and I'm done. I have certainly seen and heard of far worse.
- My advice for that mess is to "be chill", don't be drunk or noticeably out of control and dress somewhat mellow. You'd be crazy to think the people aren't judging you when you pull up. I'm older, very mellow and I really don't get bothered at all.
- Be nice and thankful to be there. Some of these folks are doing this for hours and hours in the direct sun, your initial mood might set the tone for what happens next.
- If you're bringing a mirror, you better make sure it's ok in the rules, cause they will take it.

The process of getting to your campsite
- Once you’re done with security you usually line up and start driving towards camping. Someone may give you a wristband or write something on your windshield, but then point you where to go. It’s fun to see everyone walking around and already setup and this is a good time to get the lay of the land. You may not move this fast for the rest of the weekend. At some point you’ll make it to your last volunteer, and they will put you in your spot. I would expect a chalked-out area that your car parks on with your tent and what ever you bring. Check the website to know the amount of space you’ll be allowed.

Getting there if you aren't camping
- If you aren't living at the festival, you'll need to figure out how to get there. If you're lucky, the festival production company will have this all worked out for you and posted somewhere. Places near large cities often have shuttles pick you up from certain locations and then bus you to the venue. If that isn't an optoin that you like, then you can always drive and park there, ride with a friend, take a rideshare or taxi or hell, EDC lets you take a helicopter ($$$$$$$). If it's not a first year festival, there will be a fb or reddit group and you should talk to people there on a good way to get to the fest.

- A future discussion point

- A future discussion point

- A future discussion point

Setting up and maintaining your campsite.

Food and Ice
- There are several tricks that people use to keep their food cold and whatever you do, really depends on how fancy you’re going to get with your food. If you need some stuff chilled throughout your trip, then I suggest freezing some bottles of water and then adding ice in with it. The bottles should take awhile to melt and you’ll usually have cold water whenever you need it. Another thing you should do is top off your ice before getting into the fest. Drain out the excess water and add whatever you can. Now if you’re planning on doing some legit cooking, you will want to freeze some of your foods, maybe even vacuum seal it and then the next level would be to use dry ice at the bottom. Get some from your grocery store and then either add some cardboard on it or a layer of regular ice. DON’T TOUCH THE DRY ICE WITH BARE HANDS! The fest general store usually has overpriced ice to help you get through the festival.
- One thing I’ve done that was really stupid was to leave the cooler in the car. The car can bake the cooler and make it hotter on the inside then It would be in the shade (that you should have).
- My last bit of advice is to pick a decent cooler. You don’t have to go all out with a Yeti, but get something that is a decent size. The trick here is to use some spay insulation and then fill the lid all the way. Most lids are hollow, so now you can add a little life to your ice. Here’s a video Click Here to watch

Shade and Staying Cool (at the campsite)
- As I've said several times, when you're camping, it will most likely be in a giant field and it will probably have no shade. Most fests wind down in the early morning hours so you're going to sleep around 4-6am. For fests during the warm seasons, that means the sun is up and really mad at about 7am. Once those rays hit your tent, it starts to become an oven and it sucks. This is the first time of the day where shade (and or layers) is really helpful. When it's a bit extreme, you can usually put an Easy Up over the tent itself and then hang a tarp/tapastry/something-reflective off of it, to take the blunt of the heat. Another magical thing that really helps me, is a fan. Depending on the heat, I may have 1 or 2 on me while trying to sleep. I've got two different types that I use all the time. The first one has a battery in it that you can swap out if you need, it also has a micro USB port to charge it and then a stand/clamp to keep it in place. This sucker is HELPFUL. I can clamp it to a chair, a table or part of the tent and it makes me very happy. The other USB fan just runs off of a USB port, so a battery pack, a laptop or a USB solar charger are perfect for this. Another fan worth mentioning, but isn't helpful in your sleep is the hand fan. I live in Texas and I take one for these everywhere I go. They're useful any time the sun is out or in a crowd at night.
- Something I've seen, but yet to try is putting a reflective material over your tent/hammock. Space blankets are cheap and should work, but there are better choices out there if you look, however they are more money.
- There is more to staying cool than fans. As I've mentioned a few times, you need an easy up and you need tapastries. Tapastries can be bed sheets if you really need, but finding cool taps that fit your style can fun. Some people also use flags. You'll need a way to hang them and I've found these plastic clamps that work pretty well. You can attach them to the Easy Up at the top so they hang down (like a wall) and then attach them to the legs of the canopy. You can also attach them together or pull them up so that a breeze can come through. With help of the tapastries, the Easy Up becomes your living room/kitchen.
- If this is a festival out in the pure heat, then get a cooling towel. You get it a little wet and it magically magnifies the breeze and cools you off a little. Another thing we did in this situation was to put a large package of baby wipes in the ice of our cooler and used them to lay on us. Nice ane relaxing.
- Another trick that was discussed before is the weed sprayer bottle. You can keep it in the shade or add ice, pump it up and then spray your head/feet/whatever off. This was so helpful at Backwoods. Bring the original spray tip and now you have a mister, which works well with any of your fans ;)
- My last bit of shade/cooling advice is to always be hidrated, always have a big hat, use sun screen and always always always have a pashmina handy. Drape them over yourself to get you out of the direct sunlight.

- A battery powered fan with a stand.
- A fan that runs off of USB which means it can run off a solar charger.
- A hand fan is a must own item. Carry it everywhere!
- A cooling towel is essential during the summer fests.
- An Easy UpLook at your local store, but don't pay much more than this.
- Tapastryexample.
- Clamps to clip the tapastries to stuff.
- Camp Shower Guide

- Always expect to have to show your ID to get into the festival and sometimes even camping. With that said, there's always someone that has lost their ID or has some crazy problem with it. My advice is to get into contact with the festival ASAP explaining your problem. It doesn't take much time to get a paper ID, so if you know well enough in advance, go get one.

- Your home away from home is very important and should be treated that way. Something to put into consideration is the general size of your campsite at the fest. It is generally 10 feet wide at a minimum, so you want a tent with at least 10 feet on one side. If you have 1 to 3 people, I would suggest getting a 6 man tent because it is usually around 10 foot x 10 foot and can fit a queen mattress plus a twin without problem.
- Another thing to consider when buying your tent is the weather. There are some tents that are better in wind and rain and that's what I suggest getting. You can also give your tent the edge in a rain storm by spraying it (100% of it) with water repelent.
- Always put a tarp under your tent. It leaves a space for rain to flow under the tent and then also prevents mud/etc from messing with the bottom of the tent. In the end, it will help prevent water from coming up from the bottom. You don't want a pool of water in there with you.
- Get some good stakes. I use some from Walmart that are giant nails and then I also have a hammer to install them with. Living in a tent when a wind storm comes around gets scary. Your tent needs attached to the earth as best as you can get it. Stake down all 4 corners and then if bad weather is due, stake every lead down that you can. Make it one with the earth. Do the same for your easy up (but I would take it down in a wind storm).
- Set your tent up at home. Make sure it has all the parts and everything works and this is when you should spary it down with the repellent. You don't want to drive cross country and find out your tent is jacked up.
- Lastly, I suggest some sort of light for your tent. I used to setup christmas lights all around it, but that kind of annoying since there aren't great places to affix them to the tent with. Now days I just use an LED lightbulb and hang it at the top of the inside. These are useful all over your campsite or porta potty. I also use them at home in power outages.

- Tent Stakes and you can see a mallet/hammer on the site too.
- Water Repellent spray to cover the tent in (inside and out). Get at least 2 bottles.
- The Coleman Blackout is the tent I commonly use at a fest. It's 10x10 and darker in the morning.
- The LED Light Bulb is very useful and I use several at my site.

- It's hard for me to get comfortable in a tent. I'm not sleeping on the ground and a low lying mattress is a bit rough for me when I'm groggy. Thankfully there are options. I usually use a blow up mattress that's 22 inches tall, which is the same height as my bed at home. This means you need to have a power inverter to connect to your car and blow it up.
- Other options are cots, hammocks or thinner blow ups. You can get blow ups that are queen size down to twin and then some that just cover your body site. Those are common for hiking.
- Something else you need to think about is bedding, which is usually a sleeping bag and it's SUPER important. Some fests are going to be 80 degrees at night and others might be closer to freezing, so there usually isn't a 1 size fits all theory here. If you don't mind buying a solution for individual situations, then go ahead and find a bunch of sleeping bags that fit each weather situation. What I have is 2 (I usually camp with another person) large 30 degree sleeping bags and if it's going to be chilly at all, I bring them. If it's going to be warm at night, then I just bring a sheet and a light blanket. With the sleeping bags, you don't HAVE to use them, but they are nice to have incase.
- I have previously mentioned using a fan when trying to sleep. Check it out under Shade/Staying Cool.
- Don't forget some pillows.

- Full Sized Mattress and this is what I use and it needs a power inverter (see below)
- One of many cots
- Thinner MattressYou need a pump of some sort.
- The hiking sleeping pad is not for everyone.
- The power inverter turns your cars power into a wall plug like home.
- A hammock and stand is used by some, you can add a rainfly or a tarp.
- The other type of air pump This works with the smaller mattresses that don't have built in air pumps. PAY ATTENTION to how it plugs in. Some plug right into the car and others into your wall at home, which then requires an invter. Get the DC one like this.

- I've been to 2 fest where I wasn't truly prepared for the cold at night, which sucks. There are two levels to prep for, the festival and the campsite. This part is to talk about the campsite side of things. As stated above, your sleeping bag is important and can be a life saver. The sleeping bags have temperature ratings that you need to pay attention to. They aren't rated for comfort, but rather survivability. If it says 30 degrees, that means you will stay alive, but you might not actualy feel toasty in 30 degree weather. If you have a snuggle buddy at night, it really helps to keep you warm in the bag. One time I brought the 50 degree bags to a freezing cold night and it was horrible.
- Always have extra blankets.
- If you know it's going to be cold, have a beanie or something for your head.
- Warm socks can be helpful.
- A trick that can help in the super cold is to boil a water bottle (of course it has to be in a metal bottle). Open it up, and get it really hot (if you have a grill) and then close it and toss it down by your feet.
- Sometimes you can have fires. Check the website and follow the rules. It's also a great way to make friends.

- Ah yes, the art of making your camp look awesome and your creativity is really the limiting factor. What I do is setup my Easy Up and put battery powered christmasy type lights around it. Then I put up my flag, which is a collapsable pole, a thing that you hammer into the ground and then the pole. All of which you can get on amazon if you want. The last thing we do is put up our tapasties. Some people go all out with wonderful ideas, but for two people, christmas lights, some walls and a flag are just fine.

- This can be a very large topic if we let it be, so I'll do my best to simplify it. There are a few different power sources that are usually allowed, but generators usually aren't allowed. Hopefully I can break this up so that it's easy to read.
- Let's start with, "how much power do I need?". Your phone has a battery in it and that battery has a capacity and you really should know it, so you know how much to feed it. The best thing to do it just google your phone model and "battery capacity". I have the s9+ and it hold 3,500mAh and that's how much a USB charger would need to be just to fill it one time. With normal usage that could last me most of the day, but at a festival you might be taking pics and videos, but your phone is also fighting for service. Most cell providers aren't ready for 30,000 - 160,000 people all in one small area. Your phone wastes a lot of energy trying to get a good signal, so it is going to drain faster.
- I usually bring about 3 "10,000mAh" usb battery chargers, which covers me and someone else for about 4 days.
- Another thing I so is bring a solar panel to charge and run things. I try to leave the batteries for emergencies if there is plenty of sun. Not all solar panels are the same and the ones that are built into the USB battery are kind of a joke in this scenario. Let's talk about what you really should be trying to get. The USB wall charger you use at home is 5volts and around 2.5mAh (it should be marked in the charger if you really need to check). Solar panels are usually either 12v (what a car battery is) or 5v (what USB is) which is what you want. So that you'll be more confused, solar panels are measured in watts. The math is pretty easy, the volts x the amps = watts. Since we want USB we have 5v x 2.5mAh = 12.5watts. So allow for crappy sun, you want to aim for like 15 watts if you can for EACH thing you're charging at one time. I personally have a 28 watt solar panel that charges 2 things at a time. Keep in mind that it can charge things are run things, which I'll discuss more under "Staying Cool". This is the solar charger I use.
USB Solar Charger
- There are batteries other than USB chargers that work, but these require accessories. You can get batteries that run Battery Backups for computers and they are hefty compared to the USB chargers. The one I used is a 12volt 9ah battery. Previously we discussed "milli amps" and these are full amps. So that's 9,000,000 mAh, but it's at 12v. To charge usb devices, you need a 12volt to USB adapter. If you aren't scared to wire something up, you can use a cigarette lighter plug and the adapter you use for your car. You can also get one that does just that. The benefit of this is that you can run a ton of stuff and use a power inverter with it. Here are some examples
- You can use a power inverter with your car for some things, but it does waste power (it's inefficient). The power inverter usually plugs into a cigarette lighter plug and then turns it into a wall plug like at home. These are good for airing beds up and a few other things. It's not really recommended for larger things unless you know what you're doing.

- I usually see two types of seating for a campsite. Collapsible chairs or blow up couches/chairs. Add a table or two and you're all set. It's easy to find all of this stuff in the camping furniture sections of places like Walmart. Your cooler can often double as a table or a chair too. You can also bring a floor mat. I'm not sure why we have one, but we do and it always gets used.

Random things to have
- Trash bags.
- Zip ties.
- Paracord.
- Tarps.
- Extra batteries.
- A First Aid Kit.
- Hand Sanetizer.
- Something to play music on like a bluetooth speaker.
- Extra USB cables.
- Flashlights.
- Check List Download - Excisions packing list.

Living in the campgrounds.

Know where your site is
- If you're lucky there will be a street sign or something similar to let you know when you're at. If not, you really need to find some landmarks to help you find your way home. Another thing I like to do is put up a flag to mark where I am. You can even put lights at the top. I usually use the head of a solar yard light.

Know where the restrooms are
- This is really the first thing I do. I have to drink a ton of water everyday, which means I pee all the damn time, so I really need to know where they are. If you're lucky, they won't be horribly far from your tent.
- The porta potties can get pretty bad. Be prepared for ANYTHING. I don't even understand how some of these get as bad as they get, but they do. I wouldn't go in some with a hazmat suit one.
- Bring a light that can be hands free in a porta potty.

-A small lantern

Make sure you have a map
- If there's a map, you should have it saved to your phone and if it's on paper, keep it with you. Then start comparing it to what you see. The maps aren't always right, but they should give you a decent idea of where things are. The things to look for are (water stations/first aid/food/restrooms/vendors/stages/enterances).

Find all the vendors
- One of my favorite parts is wandering through the vendors. A music fest will have some really fun stuff there. Anything from clothes, pins, fans, backpacks, hats, trippy stuff.. There could be anything. Go find it and check it out. There are also renegade vendors either walking around the campgrounds or posted up in the camping area. They might have some cool stuff too.
- There will be food trucks there too. There might be some in the venue and in the campground.

Look for first aid
- Inside the camping grounds or the festival, you really need to know where it's at. You might hurt yourself like cutting a finder or you might find some wook having a seizure. Know where to go.

- For the most part, only super small festivals won't have an ATM. These people want you spending money, so they will have it available and at a cost of like $5-7.50. Money Money Money.....

Lost and Found
- Odds are you will find a phone, wallet or whatever. Don't hold on to it and post it on fb a week later. Go turn it in to Lost and Found and then post that you've done that in your groups.

Any interesting stuff on the map
- Some of these campgrounds will have some neat stuff. Lost Lands has this area where you meditate, do yoga, sit in some drum/gong area. Backwoods has a whole area as an art installation. See whats out there and go see it at least once.

Figure out how to get to the venue
- Some fests are pretty big. Lost Lands is a decent size and it can take half an hour or more to get to the venue enterance. I can't imagine what something like Electric Forest is like. Know the right route to the enterance from your campsite.

Find the showers
- I would expect some sort of 18 wheeler size trailers put somewhere. The map will hopefully have the location for you.

Various videos of campgrounds.
- Walking around Wakaan fest.
- More walking around Wakaan fest.
- Even More walking around Wakaan fest.
- Shaded camping at Backwoods.
- Nightfall camping

Going into the festival and what to bring.

Getting through security
- This can be frustrating. It's hot out, the sun is beating down and there's a long line. I hate it. To make things go smoothly, I try to put everything in a ziplock and then I can pull that out, they look at it and then look in my mostly empty bag, now I'm free to go.
- IMO, don't bring everything in the world. Just bring the stuff you really need. If you have a group then there are some things you can share.
- Hide your stuff Wink wink..

Let me walk you through this
- Ok, so you've walked from your campsite, been dropped off from a shuttle/Uber, or parked in some parking lot and you can hear that sweet music!!! Now it's time for the final boss fight.. SECURITY!! This can play out a few ways, so I'm going to explain the two extremes that I've dealt with or seen at shows. You may get one or the other, but probably just something in between. I think it really all boils down to what they think of you when they walk up to them.
- So what to expect getting to security.. I would expect a lot of rails or fencing to seperate the lines. You will need to empty all water bottles that have been opened, so there will be mud and trash all over the place.
- First we discuss tips.. So Tip #1 is try not to be all fucked up if you are worried about anyone searching you. Tip #2, be polite, it's hot as fuck and these people think you are all weirdo's. We are a nice type of people, so be nice.. Yes Sir, Yes Mam goes a loooooooong way. Tip #3 make sure you've read what can come in and what can't, cause they might take your shit and you'll be mad. Tip #4, security gets more chill as the festival goes on, they might be super strict on day one, but by day 3 they are letting people in with BBQ pits and blowup lazy boys. Tip #5, security goes hard at first. So if you're the first person at the gate, you might get searched more.
- Ok, let's talk about the two extremes so that you can understand what to expect.. Here is the minimul security... Have you ever seen that video of the old guy at security just sort of blessing the person instead of searching them? That's about it.. Here's the video. As an older white dude, the other older white dudes just sort of let me go by. I try to have my bags all open and easy for them to see in and they seem upset that I'm even wasting their time. "just go".. This is normal for me.
- Here's what you want to know about. You've walked through the maze and now you are up at the security table. Sometimes there is a metal detector like at the airport, you walk through and it does or doesn't beep sorta thing. Sometimes there's a wand metal detector and sometimes there is neither. You walk up to the table and you can hand them your bag for them to look through, sometimes they want you to hold the bag as they use something to look through it (just a stick). They may look pretty hard or they might just peak in looking for a gun/knife/whatever. You may then have to walk up to another person that pats you down. Now this is usually pretty basic, but there was one time when someone literally held my man bits in their hand and checked all that stuff. I hear stories of the women having to pull their bras away from their breasts to allow things to fall or people checking with fingers. This is usually the extent of what I see.
- Cops and Dogs - 9 out of 10 times there will be some sort of cop looking people. It's pretty normal to hire police for security. They get paid a little extra and I assume it helps with insurance costs and city permits. I would 100% expect to see a bunch of sheriffs and I would expect to see a dog at some point. A good question to ask is, "what is that dog doing?".. That dog might be there sniffing for weapons, it could be sniffing for Fentanyl, it could be sniffing for any other drug or it could be there to freak you out. I've seen dogs hit on people and those people have a bad time, but I've also seen the dog not doing anything other than walking around and def not hitting on someone with some smelly substances.
- Every festival is different.. Every year of the festival can be different. Be smart about what you're doing, it's as easy as that.

Finding a meetup place
- Unless you and your crew are a finely tuned machine, I would pick a meet up spot incase someone gets lost. The larger the fest the more impossible finding someone is.

Finding merch
- It's usually sold near the enterance, but it could be in the middle of everything. Buy anything you MUST have on the first day because it might sell out.
- Check the map for the merch location.

- More often than not, porta potties will be your restroom situation, but sometimes these are in a facility that has real restrooms, or there's at least a mixture. A lot of times the VIP package somes with upgraded restrooms, so keep an eye out for that. Regarless of the situation, the staff that attends these is not ready and by the end of the show, everything is wrecked. Fancy restrooms to porta potties, they all take a hard hit from all the people.
- Be prepared with hand sanitizer, baby wipes and/or TP that you bring.
- The porta potties will usually be grouped together stratigically throughout the venue. When you walk in to the nest of them, I suggest to walk towards the back and look there.
- Have a flashlight or a lantern to help look around. It's nice to have help finding which ones are locked or not and then helps when you're in them.
- The bass inside of a porta potty is kind of bad ass.

- I would expect to there to be free water stations around the venue. There will probably be long lines that get crowded and hot so bust out that handfan.
- You usually can bring in one sealed bottle of water per person or an empty water bottle/hydration bag. They want opened items to be empty to get through security.
- If you're luck, it won't be really expensive to buy water there, but I would expect it to be $4/5 a bottle.
- Drink the water.

- You most likely aren't going to be able to bring food into the venue, but it does happen from time to time. IMO, scope it all out and see what they've got. It's usually food trucks and popup restaraunts.
- They may or may not sell water or take credit cards.

- As I mention all over this guide, there's going to be a ton of sun. Bring something to make shade if you can or do your best to locate it.

- You might be able to bring some sort of seating in. A lot of times you can bring in blow up chairs or hammocks and you might also be able to bring those standard folding chair too.

- It blows my mind when I find out people don't use hearing protection at these things. The music is fucking LOUD!!!! put something in your damn ears. There are a ton of choices for you, from the cheapo foam plugs to some really high end stuff. I suggest you get something like these Downbeats (below) and take them to every show. Having fun now shouldn't mean you can't hear later. If you forgot yours at home, then go to a walmart and hit up the sporting goods section because they'll have something similar for shooting guns. Please please please please please, always use earplugs at shows. Save your ears. I've used my downbeats for years and love them.

Downbeats or something similar.

- I'm not going to explain too much here. Just use sunscreen if you're going to be out in it all damn day. Ask your mom for more info.

- These are pretty important. Not all fests are the same. EDC Las Vegas is like 10/15 miles of walking in big massve crowds so you really need some good shows. Backwoods/Wakaan is in a smaller area made of mostly grass and you do very little walking, so flip flops are fine. Lost Lands can be a ton of walking on grass or rock, I personally switch out between flip flops and hiking shoes. Talk to veterans of the festival and try to determine how to treat your feet. The last thing you want is a fucked up foot or ankle. Your whole trip is screwed. Be smart.

Hand sanitizer
- Dude this kind of life can get gross. You sweat, you have dirt everywhere, there isn't a sink to wash your hands after you use the restroom.. You really need something to help keep you a little bit clean. Let's also remember that you might be going around 7500 - 160000 people in one night and who knows what they've got going on and what they've touched.

- Of course these are awesome for pooping. We all know this.. But they are bad ass for cleaning other body parts, such as your dirty as feet, or you can feel a little more refreshed by cleaning your face and yes you might need it to clean a porta potty up. I carry wipes everywhere, even in real life.

Hand fan
- Just imagine being at a fest, all up in the mass of people at the stage and it's hot and humid. Any breeze or anything cooling isn't making its way down to you because you are in a mass of people. Everyones lower parts are HOT and sweaty, but then you bust out your hand fan and start cooling everyone around you off. You can even fan to the beat.. Get a fan, they are cheap and so damn helpful.

- A hand fan is a must own item. Carry it everywhere!

A hat
- If you're out in the sun all day for 4 days, have a hat to protect your face and ears is really nice.

A pack
- So I'm recommending you have all this stuff, but your pockets are only so big, or your bikini bottoms don't even have them.. Well get a backpack. My favorite is the camelbak MULE. Oh man it holds it all and the hydration bag. At a minimum, I would get a cinch bag and take that because they can fold down to almost nothing and weight nothing.
- On the festival site, there will be a FAQ and they will surely talk about how big of a backpack you can bring. It's my experience that they usually let any of the smaller backpacks in and never turn a camelbak away. Don't try to bring a legit hiking/mountain climbing backpack in. The MULE I spoke of is a decent size and a good one to compare with.
- Another fan favorite is the fanny pack. They are so useful and they keel all your stuff right by you. If you get a runners fanny pack, they're usually small and you can potentially hide them under your shirt.

- Candy can be used a few different ways. Obviously as a tasty treat, but you can hand them out as little gifts or people use them to accessorize their high. Candy isn't always allowed in the venue, but I usually sneak a couples peices in regardless. Candy and EDM music go hand in hand.

- Not to be confused with Candy, Kandi is what you call the jewlery of the raver world. It's commonly just pony beads strung together into bracelets and then it's traded to other people you've bonded with in some way. If it interests you, make at least 4/5 peices for each day (if you've never done this) and try to hand each one out. There's even a secret handshake that goes down when you trade it.
- Don't worry if you don't have any to trade, it's not required, but then this is a good chance to trade Candy, stickers or whatever gift you might be giving out.
- There will be people that live for this stuff and will have their entire arms covered in bracelets.
- This can get fancy sometimes, but don't be overwelmed your first time, just learn to make some and see how that goes. After that get creative if you want.
- The super kandi bracelets are called Cuffs.
- These folks have meetups and trade kandi. So keep an eye out for an invite on social media groups.
- There is something called Perlers that are often attached to kandi bracelets or necklaces. You can make 8-bit style graphics with little plastic pieces. The first time you see them, you'll know what I'm talking about. They are pretty cool.
- I really don't have the knowledge and patience to educate you fully on kandi, cuffs and perlers. Check out some youtube videos and learn that PLUR handshake, I'm sure it will happen if you're a nice person.

- How to make a basical kandi bracelet and notice all the nice perlers in the background.
- The PLUR handshake.
- How to make perlers.
- How to make cuffs and it takes forever.

- I personally take credit cards for larger purchases and cash for smaller things like food. Beware that some places might only accept cash and I like to bring about $100 in cash.

- Totems certainly have their place at a large festival. You will literally be in a sea of humans and some will be taller than you, so you won't see much past whats around you. The totems is usually high enough to see and it marks the location of your crew. If you have a bunch of people, I'd look into it. It's easy to lose or get lost.
- These things can be pretty cool, but basic works perfectly fine. I love to see when people just use a balloon and some people go all out and make wild things. There are also custom flags.
- Be mindful that you are probably blocking someones view of the stage.
- Google more stuff about totems or ask in your social media groups.
- There will be guidelines for the totems on the website. Make sure you know what stuff before you spend forever making one just to find out it's 2 inches too big.

- Even if you're in the middle of a major city, your phone service might be horrible since there are so many phones in a very small area. Walkie talkies are amazing and I totally recommend at least having some at your campsite/hotel incase you want them the next day or whatever. It's very simple to lose someone at a festival and finding them can be a real pain in the ass since you might be in a small area with 10's or of thousands of people.
- Make sure everyone knows the channel they should be on, or lock it to the channel if it can.
- Some of these have weather stations and flashlights built in.

- This type of walkie is perfect

- Since there's so many people in a small area, your phones are all battling to either find service and maintain it. This drains the hell out of your phone really fast since it's working all the time at it. I take mine in mostly for pictures, so you can put it on airplane mode if you want and use walkies.
- Bring in a USB charger with a cable. Your phone will most likely need it by the end of the day.

- You need to know the weather for the day and pack accordingly. If you are camping, then you can come and go as you please, but if you aren't camping, you need to bring everything in with you. Be ready for sun, rain, heat, cold, wind and severe weather.
- A poncho and a pashmina can go a long way.
- Umbrellas are usually allowed in and the double for shade and rain.

Staying cool
- The heat is a bitch.. I fucking hate it, but I can't avoid it. A handfan is the MVP and if it's really warm, get a cooling towel. You can wet it down just a little bit, wave it around in the air (like a flag) and it will help you feel cool.
- Another trick is really to just clean your hands and feet with water/wipes.
- Stay in the shade.
- Hydrate!!!!

- A hand fan is a must own item. Carry it everywhere!
- A cooling towel is essential during the summer fests.

Staying warm
- This can be annoying. You already carry so much around and the day time can be so hot a gross that you want to wear almost nothing. The problem is that these happen mostly at night, so when the sun goes down, it gets brrrrrr! Well, I always have a pashmina on me, which if very minimul, but can be all you need. If you having camping, you might plan a time frame to go back to camp and get a hoodies or whatever. It all depends on how cold it will get. If you aren't camping, then know the temp and plan ahead. A hoodie, pashmina and hat can go a long way.
- Layers are your friend too.
- Hand warmers are nice as well.

- Some people like to give gifts. It's usually kandi bracelets or perlers, real candy, but some do stickers or little kid type toys. You know the stuff your dentist might give you after a visit. Sometimes people hide things. At Ubbi Dubbi, my gf and I hid easter eggs with stickers, a nice pin, a bracelet and some flashing lights. Sometimes I get little blinky light balls and toss then around so that people find them. It's fun to watch someone walk up and find a little toy. Be mindful of this and if it's interesting to you, bring something.

- So I've always known about kandi/perler and flow meetups, but there is a lot more that I didn't know about. There might be meetups for people in your state, people that want to trade kandi, for people that do things like poi/gloving/staffs. All of this is arranged on fb for the most part.
- One thing I just saw for the first time were pin group meetups. They meetup and talk, but then there is story time and special games too. So just know this stuff is going on around you.

First Aid
- First Aid is usually handled at the medic tent inside the festival. If you cut yourself, hurt your foot, feel dehydrated or whatever, just go see them. Sometimes I'll bring some bandaids too, but security might take anything else.

Checking on people
- People do some dumb shit at these things. They take everything, they drink everything (but water), they stay up all night and all day and then dance dance dance. If someone looks like they are having a bad time, mentally or physically, give them a moment of your time. Sit down and talk or simply just ask if they're ok. Just because they say they are, doesn't mean they are. If you have a bad vibe about it, get someone to watch them and then someone to go get a medic.


* I find it best to listen to this song while having this discussion. - Click for music

- The party is nearing its end and it's time to prepare for your departure. The fest has a few days of music and then you are usually expected to leave the next day, by noon or something and most preparation starts on the last full day of the festival. My group usually tries to have the bare minimum (chairs, tents etc) left standing when we go to bed so that we don't have to pick EVERYTHING up the next day.
- Some people want to leave right when the music is over, which can be tough. The roads in the campgrounds can be full of messed up people that won't move for you, so I would think twice about this option. The fest will usually address this over an app or email if there is any restrictions about leaving late.
- Pick up all the trash you see and try to leave the area better than you found it. There is generally a place where you can drop off your bagged trash, so keep an eye out.
- Some people leave just about everything they brought, as if it's all disposable. One Lost Lands we went to, we saw people just pull the poles from their tents and then just leave everything there. Please don't be this person, but be prepared to get more stuff. We collected a lot of chairs and things that day.
- Leaving is one of those times when I can get aggrivated. It's usually getting warm and you're trying to pack stuff away. Uh, so annoying right. Now add the fact that 10's of thousands of people are trying to leave at the same time. Expect to chill in your car for awhile. Sometimes in minutes, sometimes it's an hour plus.
- BE CAREFUL!!!!! Again, you are leaving with 10's of thousands of people all at the same time. Some of these people have had shit for sleep or been on drugs/booze for like a week. Maybe a heavy mix of both. The cops also know this, so they might be watching out too, so mind your P's and Q's.
- As you head back to the real world, you will be reminded of your good times. When you stop to get lunch there might be a group with wristbands sitting in the table next to you (or on your flight back). You might even see cars on the highway with window decals from your fest.
- Expect some text messages to start showing up and they might be from days before. We've seen then come in like "Hey I'm at the meet up spot, where are you", "ok I'm going over to grab some lunch at the pizza spot", "where are you!".
- Something important to be prepared for is the Post Festival Blues :( You've just had the best time ever and now you are realizing it's over. This can last for DAYS. If you've done some drugs, you might need some 5htp to help rebuild your serotonin.
- When you're home you will have tons of pictures to look through to relive the glory. If you're lucky you'll get hooked up with some sets people recorded. There will be ways to relive the magic.
- At this point, you are either completely turned off to festivals or you're hooked and planning the next one. They are everywhere and all times of the year, so keep an eye out.

Last Words

- If you're reading this it might be because you've never been to one of these. Prepare to be cared for and loved by random strangers. People will come up to you for a high five or a hug and they are so happy you made it. They have never seen you before, but they are thrilled to see you. Accept that love and give it back. You don't see this anywhere else in the world. Once you're there, you're home and you've just met your family. Welcome!
- Bring that love and respect, but leave the judgement at home. Don't bring assholes with you either, we don't need negativity in the tribe.
- Watch out for others!
- Lastly, this guide is meant to help you get started. It isn't all encompassing or definitive. You will find the things that interest you and you will learn and expand from this point. You get to define who you are in this magic world and I look forward to seeing how you live your festy life!