Festival season is here and in every corner of the region, there’s a different type of music event happening. Tennessee has Bonnaroo. Alabama has Hangout. And we can’t forget about Kentucky’s Forecastle. But how do you prepare for these Southern music festivals? We’ve got your essentials right here.
Packing for Festival Camping
Not all festivals involve camping, but the ones that do require extra planning. Bonnaroo, Imagine, and Okeechobee are just a few of the many camping festivals in the region.
Unless you’re splurging on nicer accommodations or an RV, camping is your best bet. A lightweight tent is best only for sleeping and a simple canopy is better for hanging out between acts. Bring a pad and sleeping bag or blanket for nights, which can get cold.
Lights make it easier to get around the campsite at night and a flag or other distinguishing feature helps you find yours in a sea of other tents. Festivalgoers also love camp chairs, ENO hammocks, and inflatable loungers.
If you’re cooking instead of spending money on festival food, you’ll need essentials like a camp stove or grill. A water bottle is also important as there are filling stations around the festival.
Canned beer is better than bottles, which should be stored in a cooler. A canteen like the ones from Corksicle and Stanley are perfect for keeping other beverages cold for hours at a time. And there’s no shortage of camping-approved recipes on Pinterest.
What to Wear to a Music Festival
No matter if you’re camping for days on end or commuting to the music festival, what you wear is important for comfort.
Choose light and breezy layers to combat the Southern humidity. Shorts and sleeveless shirts are best for men and women. Cover your head with a sun hat like our This Is My South hat. Shoes should be both comfortable and waterproof, just in case, like Chacos, Saltwater Sandals, or the rubber Birkenstocks.
A Buff or bandana keeps the sweat out of your eyes. Rain gear like ponchos is also a must-pack, just in case of storms. And you’ll have shorter lines for security if you opt for a fanny pack or small bag. Garments with pockets like the shirts from Clever Travel Companion and Speakeasy scarves come in handy as well.
Other Essentials for Music Festivals
Don’t forget these few items to make your festival experience much more pleasant.
You can’t go to a southern music festival without a camera, even if it’s your smartphone. GoPro is another great option because it’s waterproof and fits into your pocket. A portable fan will cool you down.
A headlamp is better than a standard flashlight for walking back to your campsite and can be put around a water bottle to create a lantern. And rather than killing your car battery when you need to charge your phone, pack a solar charger or extra phone battery.
You don’t need much when it comes to beauty products and toiletries. Sunscreen and mosquito spray or wipes are the most important. Dry shampoo and baby wipes substitute for a shower for a few days. A first aid kit is essential to have just in case. Pack an eye mask so you don’t have to wake up with the sun. Colgate Wisps keep your teeth feeling fresh.
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