Top 5 tips for your 2017 music festival campaign

By Joshua Ulrich

2016 is coming to a close, and with that, another amazing season of music festivals as well. While we have all winter to look back and reminisce on another great year, let’s take a moment to do what any great raver does: Start planning next year! With that in mind, I bring you my top 5 tips and tricks for making 2017 the best festival year yet.

Start $aving today

  • Whether you’re a college student wanting to take a break or a married couple enjoying relaxing weekends from work, it is never a bad idea to start early. Depending on how many you attend and where they are, music festivals can be expensive. It will behoove you to sit down and get a solid estimate on what you can expect to spend on your summer escapades as well as how you intend to pay for it. Travel there and back, tickets, food, festival gear, a pair of Rave Cravings EL glasses; The costs can add up quickly. Saving $5 a week for a year may seem insignificant, but an extra $250 in your pocket walking into Bonnaroo will definitely put a little more slide in your shuffle and height in your high-five. There’s always that one expense you didn’t plan for, don’t leave yourself strapped for cash, start today!

Assemble your crew!

  • Not only should you start saving today, but figuring out who you’ll be spending those sleepless nights and recovery mornings with is important. Music festivals are known for the amazing people and relationships made as much as they are for the music. Organizing your group this winter will give you several advantages going into next year. Many festivals have early bird ticket prices you can take advantage of, if you know who you’re going with you can buy those and save some money! (and put it into your savings from tip one to give yourself a jump start!) Not only will committing early give you something tangible to look forward to, but the extra time will do wonders for your packing and preparation. Planning out who is bringing what and making sure all your bases are covered will be easier and less stressful. From food to grilles to tents to transportation, the sooner everyone is on board and committed, the more complete and relaxing your entire festival experience will be. Plus, saying no to a night out in February to save $20 is much easier when your best mates are doing it as well.

Get the essentials

  • Now that you and your crew are committed and saving up, it’s time to look at what you are bringing. Regardless of what festival you attend, there are a few essentials you should always consider. Plan ahead and you can likely save money buying them out of season or on sale.

  • Phone battery/charger – It almost goes without saying, but making sure your phone is charged and will stay charged throughout the festival is key. Nothing takes the fun out of a day than being stuck at a charging station waiting on a text to go through to find out where your friends went. Cell service deteriorates in large crowds, putting major stress on your battery life. Have an external battery, mobile charger, or, my advice: Keep your phone on airplane mode when not in use.

  • Camel bak – The best investment for the cost, these things are amazing! While it may hinder your best dances moves (probably not the worst thing if they are anything like mine) there is nothing better than having hands free water available at all times. Festivals are almost always hot and dusty, not to mention any alcohol or other extra curriculars, all of which require extra water. There’s nothing worse than getting front row to your favorite band only to have to leave to get water. Do your homework and buy one that is going to last you for several years to come, you will not regret the investment.
  • Comfortable clothes/shoes – You may want to snap necks and grab eyeballs when you roll up to the first stage, but seasoned vets know it’s much better to feel your best when you’re vibing to the final band of the night. Music festivals have an amazing array of outfits and costumes, but understanding what you want from the festival is key. If you came to dance and carry on, consider wearing clothes that are comfortable to do so in hot, sticky and sweaty conditions for 8 plus hours. With a little planning and effort, it’s quite possible to wear something comfortable AND still look fly for whomever you want to impress.
  • Tent/sleeping arrangements – If your festival covers multiple days, you will have to sleep somewhere. Cramming eight people into a motel may sound great financially, however, waking up the next morning may make you reconsider. Take the extra time and find a better deal where everyone is comfortable, you will thank yourself later. If you are camping, have a quality tent and sleeping bag that will keep you warm if it’s cold and cool if it’s hot. You will be exerting a lot physically, sleep is very important. Let your body recover as best as possible so you can enjoy your entire weekend. Plan early and buy one offseason or reserve rooms at a lower price. Planning is key. Don’t wait.

Plan your set list

  • While some festivals have only one stage, more than likely you will have to decide who you will see and who you will miss. While you don’t need a strict itinerary for your festival, nor should you have one, having a general idea of who you must see and who you would be willing to miss will ensure a smoother experience. Nothing is worse than losing track of time and realizing the one band you came to see just played their most legendary set while you were riding the Ferris wheel. Knowing your key times and where you want to be will let you know when you can explore the festival when you don’t have someone playing. Festivals have so much more to offer than just music, allow yourself time to take it in. Many larger festivals have secret concerts and surprise bands that aren’t on any stage, take the time to explore. You won’t regret it.

Spread Positive vibes

  • Festivals are built around the community of people that attend them. People are there for the same reasons you are, great music, good food, cool people and fun times. Getting too crazy, too sick, angry or lost will ruin your experience and likely the experience of who you came with. Remember why you came to the festival in the first place. Don’t be the person who gets kicked out or worse. Communicate your plans to your group, even if it’s just checking in. A little bit of common sense goes a long way. Respect the people around you and they will respect you.

There you have it, my top 5 tips for your 2017 music festival campaign. If you have any other tips fellow ravers may find useful comment below! Register to Rave Cravings for updates on more articles and be sure to share this with your friends!

Thanks for reading,



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