Being prepared is the first step to having a good time at music festivals.
Photo by Courtesy Flickr/Eva Rinaldi Photography
Every year around this time, I start getting excited over fall, football and festivals. Fall music festivals, in my experience, are better than ones in the summer, due to the lower humidity and more people-friendly temperatures.
The Magnolia State has several fall music fests that are going to be awesome: The Jackson Rhythm and Blues Festival at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum Aug. 16-17; Celtic Fest Sept. 6-8, also at the museum; the 18th Annual Howlin' Wolf Blues Festival in West Point Aug. 30; the Fire & Feast BBQ Competition and Festival Sept. 6-7 in Yazoo City; Otherfest in Cleveland Sept. 21; and the Highway 61 Blues Festival and the Mighty Mississippi Blues Festival in downtown Greenville Oct. 4-6.
As a veteran music-festival attendee, I have seen women who didn't know what to expect at fests and just showed up unprepared.
Here is what I think my fellow women music lovers need to be prepared for fests this fall and beyond:
Water. If you're going to attend an outdoor music festival, start chugging the water days before, even if the event is in the fall. You'll help your body stay cool and, if you are going to be consuming alcohol, it will help you stay hydrated.
Clothing. Even if it's hot, and you just got this totally fabulous pedicure, you still should wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes. I've witnessed more arguments and confrontations over someone stepping on a girl's flip-flop-foot than anything else. Cover up your toes and feet. And do not let me see you wearing high heels. You'll thank me later. Also, feel free to wear something cute, but dress according to the weather. An outdoor music festival may not be the right time to sport that brand new snazzy silk blouse, especially if you are prone to perspiring a lot when you get hot.
A bag full of goodies. I guess it's the years of preparing for field trips in me, but I always try to bring a backpack or a beach bag filled with things such as a blanket to sit on outside, Germ-X, lip balm, sunscreen, a few Band-Aids and ponytail holders. You can never be over-prepared for a music festival, and your friends can add their things to your bag to save space. Your bag will more than likely be searched, so don't put anything stupid in there that will get you thrown out before the festival even starts.
Slow your roll. I speak from experience when I say to my girls out there that, when attending a music festival, you don't have to drink an entire cooler of beer, bottle of bourbon or jar of moonshine in the vehicle on the way to the show. It's not a contest. More than likely, the festival will have alcohol vendors. No one likes to be the one taking care of sloshed friend and not being able to see the bands they paid an insane amount of money to hear. Don't be "that drunk chick."