Chicago’s festival season is the best season, and it isn’t over yet. Be prepared for upcoming festivals such as Riot Fest and North Coast with some insider tips from someone who has been going to street festivals and music festivals since 2008.
Don’t rely on the festival having stocked toilet paper: bring your own. Bathroom usage isn’t its only purpose. If you’re getting a blister and don’t have a Band-Aid, fold toilet paper into a square and put it in your sock over the affected area. If you’re sweaty and don’t want to ruin your makeup or touch your face, use the toilet paper to dab off the sweat.
Wear closed toed shoes that are already broken in. Don’t want to wait to break them in? Bring your own Band-Aids and another pair of socks. You don’t want the blood from your feet and ankles to ruin your shoes.
Don’t exfoliate your feet before a festival. The calluses on your feet will save you from your shoes creating blisters.
Read the rules on what’s allowed and prohibited. It saves you the hassle of getting something confiscated or returning home. Having been to many festivals, I didn’t read the rules for Lollapalooza this year, so I wasn’t aware that backpacks weren’t going to be let in.They wouldn’t let me in unless I threw out my backpack, something I wasn’t about to do. I had to go all the way home to get a string bag. I ended up wasting three hours traveling back and forth via CTA and then another hour and twenty minutes waiting in line. I ended up wasting time and missing several bands I wanted to see because I failed to read the rules.
Know your skin type and take care of it accordingly. For lighter complexion folks, extreme sunburn and sun damage is a real issue, bring sunscreen and apply it accordingly. For medium complexion folks, like myself, you may tan very well and rarely, if not ever burn, but avoid the possibility of sun damage by applying sunscreen on the thinner-skinned parts of your body such as your face and chest. For darker complexion folks, who never burn, stay moisturized. Skin cracks easier when it’s dry.
Know your surroundings and take care of your fellow festival goers, even if they’re strangers. If it’s hot and someone seems a bit wobbly, ask them if they’re okay. If you see someone passing out, try to catch them to avoid them hitting their head or getting trampled.
Whether you’re going to a food festival to get your grub on or plan on spending several days at a music festival, be prepared in the best way possible to maximize your experience in a positive way.