Music and summer music festivals go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly. There’s just the perfect combination of warm weather, music, dancing, occasional camping, and the meeting of new friends. Of course, these music festivals are extended events that can really take a toll, that is if you are not properly prepared. While you’ll learn as you go (and every festival has different rules and guidelines), here’s what you need to know about putting together the ultimate music festival survival guide

Always Check The Weather

Mother nature has a way of throwing a curveball whenever possible. This holds true throughout the summer, no matter what music festival you go to. So whether in Southern California or in North Chicago, it’s impossible to know exactly what the weather will be like. Even if you’ve been to the festival before, make sure to check the weather ahead of time. While you always need to have rain gear on hand (even if it’s just a few cheap ponchos), adjust and pack accordingly. You might end up needing more sweatshirts than you’d initially assume. 

Tarp It Up

Invest in a quality tarp. Your tarp will be one of the most underrated pieces of your music festival survival guide kit. It can go on the ground to protect your tent from mud (because those camp grounds can get pretty muddy, especially if it rains). The tarp is also a great addition for creating a canopy or for extending the entrance of your tent. If you have a truck you can also use it off the bed of the truck. There’s a million uses for it and it’s far more durable than a blanket. At Tarpestry you’ll find a wide range of tarps, all of which are tarps designed to amplify your music festival experience with a number of fun prints and designs. So make sure to check out the website for the latest selection of tarps. 

Invest In A Quality Cooler

One of those cheap gas station Styrofoam coolers is fine if you’re going to be out for one night. But if the festival is set to last for several days you need something that keep your food cool and protected for an extended period. Last thing you want is to get food poisoning because you ate tainted food that had been sitting in a hot trunk for the weekend. 

A Yeti cooler, for example, is an investment as it will potentially cost you a few hundred bucks. However, if you’re a lover of music festivals, camping, or anything else that requires you to move food about, there really isn’t anything better than this kind of cooler. It’ll keep everything at the right temperature for as long as you’re at the festival. 

Water Water Water

If there’s one thing you need to have plenty of water at the festival, it’s water. During some music festivals it will get pretty hot and humid (if you’ve ever hung out on a farm in Tennessee in mid July you’ll know exactly what we mean). Sure, having a cold beer or a frozen margarita is great and cooling, but it doesn’t keep you hydrated. One of the biggest medical concerns at any summer music festival is dehydration. 

Water availability at some music festivals is spotty at best, and nonexistent at worst. There might be “water stations” but the water quality isn’t always great, it’s often warm, and toward the end of the weekend it might be completely out. So bring as much water as you can. 

Even if you’d rather not pay for plastics, picking up a few cases of water bottles makes it easy to refill and have water with you. You can also pick up jugs of water, keep the water in coolers, then refill water backpacks. However, you bring your water, always buy more than what you’ll think you’ll need. It goes surprisingly quickly when it’s hot out and you’re dancing to the music.

Jumper Cables

You should have jumper cables in your car anyway. However, if you don’t, make sure to pick up cables prior to heading out to the music festival (the longer the cables the better). You’d be surprised at the number of vehicles that die during a music festival weekend. People leave their cell phones connected and running all night, or they pull electricity throughout the weekend. Even leaving a door slightly open and the cabin lights running will kill your battery. The last thing you want is not to have jumper cables and to be stranded. Don’t shrug it off and hope someone else around you has cables. Always prepare for the worst possible situation, so do yourself a favor and buy cables. 

If you have a small car you may want to pick up a car-jump starter kit. These devices are essentially portable batteries with jumper cable attachments. You’ll want to buy the kit based on the battery in your vehicle, but it is a great option and you won’t need to rely on someone else to jump your car. You will need to charge it before you head out, and if you have a larger vehicle like a V8 truck or SUV you’ll need to plunk down some good money, but when you need it you’ll be extremely happy you did. 

Start Your Music Festival Planning Today

This is a starter music festival survival guide, so if you’re off to your first music festival you’ll be packed and prepared. Of course, make sure to alter and pack accordingly as you go along. You’ll learn what works best for you and your own music festival-going experience. As long as you do this you’ll always have a great time and maximize the festival’s potential. And while you’re at it, make sure to check out the wide selection of music festival worthy tarps at Tarpestry. Here you’ll find all kinds of exceptional tarps that not only look great, but are perfect for setting your camp apart from the pack.