This is my third festival and the first thing I realized is this is not for the faint of heart. It’s not like going to an arena to hear your favorite artist at all. It’s intense. Something as simple as going to the bathroom is intense af and can easily make your festival experience, not a pleasant one. I’m going to tell you about my amazing weekend at the Roots Picnic, how we made sure we were prepared and some things we missed that we will make sure to never miss again.
Please drink water.
Lots of it…. I purchased so much water it’s not even funny. The heat, jumping around and not eating because you are so excited and don’t want to wait in a line, and doing a lot is a problem and a common thing. My friend ended up getting dehydrated and when we visited the paramedics they were telling us about the number of people they had seen that just couldn’t take the heat. I saw people on stretchers at Made In America; it gets real if you don’t take care of yourself out there.
Don’t drink before the sun goes down
I told my friends several times I probably wasn’t drinking at the festival. They kept looking at me like I was crazy and wasn’t milking the experience. When in reality heat, alcohol, and excitement is a bad mixture. Not just for me but for anyone. THIS IS WHAT I KNOW. Lots of people pass out due to dehydration so don't add liquor to the mix.
If you do decide to drink...
Get Airplane bottles. Bud Light cans were $10, so just save your coins and buy mini bottles from the store. How you get them in is on you. I ended up selling mine at Made In America which leads me to my next point.
You can make money
This weekend during the concert I sold a few of my own goods out of my festival care package to a few desperate individuals. People will walk up to you and literally offer money for whatever you have if they need it. After leaving the porta potty, the portable sinks they had were not working and a random lady pulled out sanitizer wipes and offered me one, after other black people saw her with them they flocked to her. She jokingly started screaming “$1! $1! $1!” and one of the people who had flocked to her responded, “do you have cash app I will really buy these from you”...IT GETS REAL.
Someone was selling umbrellas and ponchos for $20 a pop.
You can be cute if you want to but I wouldn’t suggest it
Anybody who is dressed up has never been to a festival before. Sweat, rain, heat from other sweaty bodies all mixed together…. NAH. I’m not dressing up and putting makeup on for that. I almost decided to wear my all white Adidas, instead, I wore an all white Nike windbreaker that someone spilled beer on. My legs were sticky (luckily we had sanitizer wipes and I took a lil bird bath) but my jacket now had beer stains. I don't even drink beer!
I was livid.
I threw my tennis shoes away! So don’t waste a perfectly good outfit on a festival; you’ll be uncomfortable in the heat and mad when it gets messed up because whether it rains or not...it’s getting messed up.
Being close to the stage is not always worth it.
If you are claustrophobic, or can’t take too many people, or the heat don't even bother. I usually try to get to the front at every concert unless it's too intense and 10 times out of 10 festivals are just that. When I saw the Migos at Made In America, the heat exuding from a thousand bodies around me, I couldn’t take it and had to leave. It is a scary feeling because it feels as if there isn’t enough air in the area you are in and it’s hot (you can think this is a joke if you want to). The same thing happened to my friend during the Jay Z concert and then it happened to a different friend this weekend during the Jadakiss set. Get you a lawn chair and chill in the back. Which brings me to the next point...
The sweet spots are normally on the sides of the stage. Follow the Photographer
Every concert has a clear path for photographers, follow them and then stop once you see security. It's that simple. It’s easy to break into a crowd of people to be closer to the stage but you must do so from the side, you get good views and most of the time an artist will favor a specific side. There were groups of old black ladies there to see Dave Chappelle and they had lawn chairs down to the front of the stage. THEY MADE THEIR OWN FRONT ROW SEATS LMAO in a sea of people and didn't care. The sides weren’t as packed and once we found these old ladies, this became our sweet spot. It was like this at multiple stages. We ended up front row at Jay Z, Uzi, Dvsn, Rich the Kid just cause we came from the side of the stage. Don’t try to get to the front thru the back go down the side.
Read and get familiar with the rules beforehand.
If I would’ve known we could have brought in lawn chairs I would have been right beside those old ladies down front with mine! I purchased $50 worth of bottled water just so I wouldn't dehydrate. What I didn’t know was they allowed you to bring an empty bottle to fill with water. Made in America did this as well (but they also gave everybody a free water bottle)
Don’t Push yourself
If you don't feel well, sit down. Go to the paramedics they have beds, free water, and a separate porta potty which is usually cleaner.
Get rest and eat well before the show
The amount of people you see passed out is ridiculous all due to poor planning and it can all be avoided.
Below is a basic list of all the things you need to make sure your experience is one for the books and not a miserable one because it can turn that way fast. Take my advice so you won’t feel like you wasted your money.
FESTIVAL SURVIVAL KIT
Battery pack (I always take two… my $5 below battery pack works better than the expensive duracell one.) Yea it’s cool to have good videos and photos but you also wanna be able to call your uber once the show is over.
Rain Kit: Umbrella, Poncho, Raincoat, Rain Boots (don't wear tennis shoes)
Sanitizer wipes & Hand Sanitizer
Fat Boy towel
A Church Fan
Blanket to sit on/ Folding Chair