Ah, music festival season! It's the time of the year when your Instagram feed will be filled with stylishly out-of-focus celebrity sightings, sun-kissed sandy selfies, and panoramas of that Ferris wheel in Indio. Music festivals are an expensive rite of passage for which I highly recommend getting yourself some complimentary tickets from your friend that works at the record label. There are also plenty of must-have music festival accessories for your summer survival kit that go way beyond sunscreen and all-weather shoes.
The greater Los Angeles area where I live takes festival season surprisingly seriously. Stores fill up with distressed denim and crochet tops, and public radio DJs spin endless singles from the bands making the rounds on the festival circuit. Before Coachella 2015 rolled through, it was impossible not to hear the big bold vocals of Alabama Shakes frontwoman Brittany Howard, and D'Angelo and The Vanguard ruled the airwaves leading up to Los Angeles' Metro train-adjacent FYF Festival.
But while you're enraptured by the thought of grooving 'til sunrise in the EDM tent, you might overlook a few items that will make your life a whole lot easier (and cleaner) during your stint as a tent-dwelling cultural pilgrim, so I'm here to help.
The conventional wisdom of stuffing your belongings in a backpack or fanny pack is also a boon for thieves looking to steal any valuables you may have brought along to the show. A crossbody bag is a much safer alternative — assuming you wear it across your body with the strap pulled tighter than normal. More points of contact with your body and the absence of easily accessible zippers make these purses harder to empty out without your knowledge, and impossible to full-on snatch.
Listen, young Padawans, you may think you don't have allergies, but when you drive into the desert, things get weird. The difference in ecosystems is jarring to your skin, hair, and, if you're anything like me, your immune system. Be safe and bring some allergy medicine so you don't spend the entire festival blowing your nose and wishing you'd taken this advice.
Just in time for festival season, S'well has released its super cute sister brand S'ip by S'well. These 15-ounce bottles will keep your beverage hot or cold for quite a while, so you'll be prepared even if the temperature drops with the sun — and in the California desert, it definitely will. Just remember you have to empty your water bottle before entering the venue grounds, and fill it up inside.
Dry shampoo is an obvious choice, but for those of you with less brush-friendly locks, check out the Arrojo Wave Mist — a light spray product designed to give your slightly dampened hair a full, beachy texture. The sea salt and kelp extract will help keep any oil buildup in your hair to a minimum too.
5. DIY trail mix for a cheap, easy, and healthy breakfast snack
If you're looking to save a little money on food during the festival, bringing your own easy to eat and non-perishable breakfast snacks can be a great start. This delicious trail mix recipe from With Style & Grace includes the perfect blend of dried fruits and various kinds of nuts, and you know there's nothing better than a good dose of protein in the morning. Plus, the mix of nuts is high in potassium, which is important to replace after a night of drinking.
So, you can't bring any kind of blanket or towel into the venue itself because too many people were using them to create mini VIP sections for their tardy friends, but you'll still want a picnic blanket to create a patio area in your campsite.
I love the Aveeno Positively Radiant makeup wipes, and have recently made them a permanent part of my beauty routine because while they're great at removing makeup, they also do a fabulous job with post-gym-or-jog sweat. They become absolutely essential when you're camping in a muddy and/or dusty field with nary a shower in sight.
There are some people who won't wait in line to get into a club, some who won't wait in line for the crowded restroom, and I would imagine, some people who are not going to wait in line to charge a dead cell phone. Many music festivals have mystical charging stations with lines for days, and it's not like you're not going to Instagram this experience, so make sure you have a portable charging unit to keep your Gram Fam abreast of your unsinkable coolness.
It's gonna be bright out there, so protect your eyeballs with some trendy sunglasses. If you're one of those people who frequently misplaces shades, stick to the inexpensive brands for festival-going.
Impossible Project rescued the machines from the last Polaroid factory from becoming a part of our cultural history so that you could continue to capture moments way too hip for the internet. Thank them by carrying on the tradition and bringing your Polaroid camera and film to your music festival of choice.