The Lady Hustle Guide to Surviving a Music Festival

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After months of hustling your butt off, few things are more freeing than standing among thousands of sweaty strangers, screaming the lyrics to your favorite song in the sunshine. Nothing beats waiting for three hours to see a band and the instant liberation felt when you make it to first row. With all the excitement, there comes a point in every music festival when you forget about trying to keep your hair in line or the mascara from running down your face. Eventually, you start to focus on living in the moment. However, after having attended four Bonnaroos (camping and everything!), and soon a Boston Calling, I’ve mastered the art of at least feeling like I’m maintaining a fraction of my hygiene. I have to keep that hustle afloat.

  • Overpack.

Bet you never expected to see that, huh? Weather is completely unpredictable during festivals, so it's important to pack for every scenario. Bonnaroo in particular is notorious for being unbearably hot. We’re talking waking-up-at-6-am-completely-drenched-and-suffocating-in-a-tent, constantly-praying-for-rain kind of hot. Truth be told, you’ll never really know what you’re going to want to wear in that kind of heat. And of course, it gets cool at night! You don't want to be freezing while you're watching Sir Paul McCartney sing Hey Jude. BELIEVE ME.

Usually jeans are out, so leave those at home. I usually skip the jewelry for fear of losing it as well. But packing a variety of clothes (whatever you’ll feel most comfortable in) is always a safe bet. One day you may wake up feeling flawless, and the next a little more like a hot mess. Options. Options are key.

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clueless-027-full
  • Wear as little make up as possible.

It’s a given that music festivals are a prime opportunity to take your next Facebook profile picture. Between the art and the concerts, the Kodak moments are endless. But here’s the thing: you won’t want to waste precious festival time primping your face when the make up will inevitably melt off anyway. So stick to the basics! Waterproof mascara, matte powder, and a lip stain are all you need to look on point.

  • Feminine hygiene products are your best friend.

Nope, not tampons and pads. The other things. The ones no one likes to discuss? We’re talking wipes and odor spray here, ladies. Keep them and toilet paper in your backpack at all times, and you will be fresh as a daisy all day. Summer's Eve, will keep your summer even fresher. See what I did there?

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  • Camelbaks are necessary.

I learned this the hard way. My first year at Bonnaroo, I had no idea what to expect. So all I brought was a measly little 32 oz. water bottle that I had to carry around. I am a woman who consumes roughly a gallon of water everyday, so in the hot, hot, heat, I usually double that. I waited on a 105 degree day in a huge crowd for four hours to see Florence and the Machine that first year. Needless to say, I ran out of water. When the crowd pushed forward for Florence, my claustrophobia and dehydration combined caused me to black out. Thank goodness my friend was smart enough to see the warning signs and got me out of there pronto. From that year on, I have worn my Camelbak backpack from sun up to sun down. It isn't the most stylish, but hell, it could save a life. Water is important. Especially if you want to make it to see the artist perform. Also, pro tip: don't put liquor in them. Boiling hot vodka isn't good for anyone. That's gross, and you'll regret it.

  • Sunglasses and SPF are mandatory.

I cannot even begin to tell you about the horrific sunburns I've seen firsthand at Bonnaroo. It makes me squirmy just thinking about it. The thing about severe sunburns is that they not only hurt, but they also make you exhausted. One bad burn, and you could be out of commission for the rest of the festival. So keep sunscreen at hand, and you'll be dancing all day. The spray kind works the best when you're covered in sweat and grime. Keep reapplying, even if you think you don't need to. Your wrinkle free skin will thank you someday. As for sunglasses, I know tan lines suck. But eye damage sucks worse.

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  • Don't forget the little things.

I wish someone had told me what to pack my first year at Bonnaroo. So I'm just going to go for it here, okay? Consider it a favor for a friend. Tevas, baby wipes, hand sanitizer, rain jacket/poncho, protein bars, ibuprofen, coconut water (believe me), deodorant, headbands, and bobby pins are always the first things I pack for any festival.

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  • Let go of your apprehension.

Every single person that bought a ticket to the festival is there to have a good time. Which means every single person also wants everyone else to have fun too. So if you want to let loose and dance that gorgeous booty off to the Alabama Shakes, DO IT! If you'd rather crowd surf during Janelle Monae's killer set, go for it! Don't be scared of what people think. You do you, girl. Keep a buddy with you, drink water, and celebrate your freedom for the weekend.

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seinfelddance

We want to see your photos! Your favorite bands, your camping spot, your food, and of course, your Lady Hustle style. So tag your photos on Instagram and Twitter as #LHMUSICFEST

In the mean time, enjoy this Bonnaroo inspired Playlist, and head over to our INSTAGRAM to find out how you could win a free month of Spotify! ** Cover Photo by Danielle Turcotte --