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Contiki's Summer Festival Guide

#GetPacking with Contiki & Shopcade


You got your tickets. You’re on your way to see The Black Keys, Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis, Imagine Dragons, Calvin Harris, and everyone else you’ve ever wanted to see. What could be better?

Music festivals can make or break your summer. If properly prepared, you could have the time of your life while seeing your favorite bands. But if unprepared, you could end up at home with dehydration, sunburns, and a lost credit card. The key to successfully conquering any music festival is being prepared. Whether you’re at BBK in Spain , Splendour in Australia, or Sziget in Hungary, a few tricks can make a difference between having the time of your life or a nightmare to remember.  

- Losing your stuff can ruin your day. When you’re at a festival, it’s easy to put down a backpack and have someone pick it up. A small, cross-shoulder bag is the perfect companion. It’s small enough to not bother you or weigh you down after 12 hours on your feet, but it’s big enough to keep the necessities (money, ID, credit card, chapstick, sunscreen, program, phone, camera). Note: avoid bags with metal- too hot.

- Stay hydrated! When you’re jumping around and screaming (because if we’re being honest, it doesn’t sound like singing) your heart out to your favorite lyrics, you’re going to get all hot and sweaty. The trouble with that is you need the water in your body, so drink up (water, that is). Canteens and reusable water bottles are a great way to avoid spending unnecessary money on while making Mother Nature happy.

- Sunscreen and hats are your best friend. Sunburns and premature wrinkles are not cute, ever. SPF 50 might make you shudder if you’re at the beach, but you’ll worship it at a music festival. It’s so easy to lose track of time, get to your hotel or campground after a long day, only to find yourself unable to undress because you put the redness of a lobster to shame. Easy fix- a hat is a safety net for when you inevitably forget to put on sunscreen. At least your pretty face will be protected.  Aside from being practical, hats are the perfect accessory- from ball caps to floppy hats.

- External phone charger! Those portable little devices might be a bit of investment, but they are worth every penny when your favorite band takes the stage in Budapest and you realize your phone is at 5% battery. Save yourself the tragedy of not having enough pictures and invest in one.

- Check the weather the day beforehand and dress accordingly. A light sweater is the perfect thing to keep with you (90s style has made a resurgence, so go ahead and tie it around your waist). It can go from scorching hot during the day to chilly and damp at night. Save yourself from missing the headliners because you’re too cold. Also, while flip flops may seem like a good idea, you’d be surprised how easily they can break or get lost when you crowd surf (bucket list item!). Light, comfy sneakers  or sandals with straps are great options.

- Plan a meet up spot at designated times. Losing your friends is inevitable and cell service tends to be questionable at best. You’ll be dying to see Calvin Harris and your friend wouldn’t watch a DJ set to save their life. Either find an artist that you both want to see and choose a place at that stage to meet (in front of the sound booth, by a numbered light post, in front of a food stand, etc.) or meet up during a break so you can talk about how epic Franz Ferdinand or Phoenix was. Be sure to meet up at the end of the night, because if you’re in Budapest, you won’t want to miss the city at night.

- The most important things to bring are an open mind and an excited, optimistic personality. Be sure to check out an artist you’ve never heard of, talk to a stranger wearing the most ridiculous outfit you ever seen, and sing along to your favorite songs. Most of all, enjoy it and remember that not everyone gets the opportunity you have, so live it up with #NOREGRETS.

Other items to keep on hand:

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Wipes (because you can and will get dirty)
  • Earplugs (A secret of concert pros. You save your hearing and can hear the music more clearly)
  • Camera
  • Cheap sunglasses (don’t risk losing or breaking good ones)
  • Chapstick
  • Granola bar (keep your energy without spending money)

Looking for more festival fashion inspiration? Check out some of our favorite outfits and accessories:

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