Every year around spring, when flowers begin to bloom and the weather becomes bearable, the topic of discussion on campus tends to get a little groovier. Lucky for us, with sunshine and summertime comes an abundance of outdoor music festivals. To get you started off on the right path, here is a guide full of help-ful advice, tips, tricks and resources to help you prepare for your next music festival adventure. Doing some research and deciding what you want out of a music festival is key to ensuring a successful trip. You should be aware and take advantage of everything the event has to offer—you are paying for it, after all.
Choosing the Festival
First thing’s first: find the right festival. Things to consider when making a decision include the date, location, tickets and festival line-up.
To find a festival, try searching online or visiting your favorite artist’s website to see their upcoming tour locations. Websites that provide information on a multitude of upcoming events make finding the festivals that interest you much more convenient. To jump-start your search, try some of these sites:
Once you’ve picked out a few favorites, weigh the pros and cons of each and choose the best option. Are you stuck, or can’t decide between two? Try listening to the set list on a music streaming web-site, you could find some new favorite acts.
Check out the music software Spotify, which allows festival pro-moters to upload playlists that feature music from artists playing at certain events.
Tickets come at a premium, especially for college students. The experience is worth the price, but planning ahead is important. Fes-tivals normally have different ticket price tiers and the earlier edition tickets are usually cheapest.
Volunteering at a festival is one way to off-set costs and possibly even pay for your ticket and entry. But be aware of what you are signing up for, as responsibilities can get in the way of fun time. Some festivals even require a down payment fee from volunteers. At the end of the festival, the money will only be refunded given all volunteer responsibilities are fulfilled.
A typical volunteer program functions as a work exchange pro-gram. If you work for “x” amount of hours during the festival, you are given a ticket and a camping zone (if applicable).
Information about volunteering can be found on music festivals’ websites. Applications are normally only accepted for a limited time so be sure to submit one early. Volunteering hours are an-nounced prior to the festival too, so you have time to decide what acts you want to see.
Once you’ve bought your ticket, the next step is finding transportation. Is the festival across the country or state? Do you want to drive? Is flying there a possibility? Transportation can be the most costly aspect of going to a festival, so finding the most reasonable mode is important. Many travel websites offer plane and train deals that are often paired with a hotel. Arranging a carpool between friends is the easiest way to cut gas costs and add a fun road-trip el-ement to your music festival experience.
Music festivals can take place in dense urban cities or barren, remote fields. Depending on the type of festival you chose, accommodations can vary from tent-pitching to ritzy city hotels. Sites such as couchsurfing.com and airbnb.com are great resources for find-ing free or cheaper local places to stay. Be sure to note if the festival allows for exit and re-entry, too.
What to Bring (or Not Bring)
The memory of my first music festival is still clear in my mind. The summer after my senior year of high school, my best friends and I planned a road trip to the Bonnaroo Music and Art Festival.
We gathered information for weeks, talked with friends who had previously attended and read articles we found online. We thought we had everything covered. Food…check, money…check, gas…check; however, what we were not anticipating was having half of the “fun” things we’d brought thrown away dur-ing a bag check as soon as we entered the grounds.
Festivals normally have strict security policies posted on their websites that you should be familiar with prior to packing. Upon entering most festivals you are subject to a search, which may include, but it is not limited to, your car, bags, coolers, tents and body.
Also, a cheaper and less gut-wrench-ing alternative to bringing your $900+ DSLR camera is bringing a few dispos-able cameras and passing them out to your buddies. Document your experi-ence on a whim, and don’t worry about quality of the shots. The ability to be less worried about your camera will help you get that “artsy” angle regardless of your equipment.
Even with all these tips and tricks at your disposal, things may not always go according to your plan. Believe me when I say that looking back on your festival experience, you won’t remem-ber how you missed Kendrick Lamar’s last song, but you will remember when your favorite artist casually waltzed by after his set as you awaited your turn at the port-o-potties. Music festivals tend to attract a wide variety of people but everyone is there for the same rea-son—good music. Embrace the people around you and introduce yourself to your neighbors. You never know, the guy you lent some toilet paper to on the first day may be the same person who saves your tent from blowing away in the wind later on.
Above all, remember the top three rules of music festivals: no matter what you end up planning, where you end up going, or who you end up taking, have fun, don’t stress and expect the unexpected.
DO's & DON'Ts
Once you have decided on a festival, bought tickets and nailed down remaining logistics, it’s time to start familiarizing yourself with some of the do’s and don’ts of music festivals.
Bring cash. Although there are usually ATMs staggered throughout festivals, they are usually crowded and you run the risk of them being out of order. And you have to pay a silly ATM fee. If you know you will be spending a lot of cash, try and have it with you beforehand. You wouldn’t want to miss getting to see your favorite new artists.
Use protection! Sun protection that is. A chaco tan may be cool but red and blistering shoulders won’t be fun to deal with while pushing through a packed crowd. Remember to reapply and use sun-screen with a high SPF. A wide brimmed hat and sunglasses are key items that you shouldn’t forget.
Water, Water, Water. (At least 3 cases) You don’t want to be in a medic tent with an IV in your arm while your friends are watching A$AP Rocky. Here’s a tip—if you buy a case of bottled water and freeze it a few nights before you drive they will keep your food supplies cold.
Food and drinks. There is usually plenty of vendor food, but sold at vendors prices…so bringing your own food might be a good idea.
Alcohol. Different festivals have different policies on this so check their websites.
Toilet Paper (trust me, you don’t want to run out of this and porta johns aren’t known for their reliability).
Prepare for the elements. Bring your rain gear and clothes that will dry easily, festivals don’t stop just because of a little H2O. Tip: Ziploc bags are a great way to protect your valuables.
Clorox wipes. At some music festivals, showering can become, well...optional. Not to mention, a cool and refreshing moist cloth is a great way to cool down during the heat of the day.
Garbage bags. Tip: baby powder deodorizes yourtrash.
Have a plan. Whether it is bad weather or losing your buddy in the crowd, set up specific locations and times to meet up throughout the day to avoid confusion.
Make your campsite or car distinguishable. Finding your tent after an intense day of raving, dancing, singing, and sweating can be a very difficult task, especially when your tent has a backdrop of 75,000 other tents. Make identifying your campsite or vehicle easier by giving it some flare and making it stand out. Building a flagpole of some sort is a common and easy way to go about this.
Also don’t forget to bring fold out chairs and shelter from the sun. Making sure you have a crash zone to power nap is crucial.
- Glow Sticks
- Glass Bottles
- Nice Clothing
- Rely on Cell Phones
Most students can’t say they do cardio workouts twice a day, lift weights every other day and attend training meetings weekly, while also juggling academic classes and weekend competitions. But those students aren’t members of USC’s Bodybuilding and Fitness Club.
A group of like-minded students, members of the Bodybuilding and Fitness Club dedicate their time on campus to promote a healthy lifestyle amongst its members and throughout the greater USC community. Each year, the club hosts a variety of fitness activities and competitions on campus including a fall octathalon, strength meet and most recently the Mr. and Miss USC Fitness Competition (held this past Saturday, April 13). For third-year Hospitality Management student Heather Cooper, this was her first time competing and training for a fitness competition. She says, “Previously, I had never trained for anything more than a 5K.”
Participation in the club’s athletic events isn’t a requirement to join. In fact, there are many ways for non-competitive students to become involved. Several members volunteer to organize and run the various competitions. Harrison Greenlaw, former faculty advisor says, “We try to get all the members to learn, whether they are entering or just officiating.” Some students, like club officer and second–year Exercise Science student Ron Doiron, take advantage of the active community while training for other goals. Currently training for a strength meet coming up in late summer, Ron shares his knowledge with club members, imparting his straightforward approach to training. He explains, “It’s nothing specific, I just hit what needs to be hit.”
Most importantly, the club is committed to helping everyone achieve their own personal fitness goals and is open to students of all fitness levels. Members generally workout on their own time, but some club meetings are used as training sessions. Club workouts are aimed at teaching exercises that focus on certain parts of the body as well as safety, proper form and other important aspects of training. The more experienced club members help to train and guide newer members.
The club’s focus reaches beyond achieving the right exercise and training regimen. Maintaining a balanced and healthy diet is important to providing the proper nutrients to reach a specific physical goal. Second–year Exercise Science student, Jordan Hall finds maintaining a low carb, high protein diet and incorporating a lot of vegetables has helped her ease into the rigors of competing for the Mr. and Miss USC competition.
If you are looking to begin a healthier lifestyle or meet a community of active students on campus, checkout the Bodybuilding and Fitness Club during their weekly meetings on Wednesday at 6:30 pm in Blatt 107 or online at carolinafitness.com.
TRY THIS QUICK ROUTINE BEFORE YOUR NEXT WORKOUT
Train like the Bodybuilding and Fitness Club. They perform a group warm-up at the beginning of each training meeting.
- 30 arms circles (15 each)15 yds High Knees
- 10 slow push-ups
- 15 yards Butt Kicks
- 10 Deep Air Squats
- 15 yds Straight-Leg Kicks