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25 Essential Music Festival Tips. A must read before you attend a music festival.

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If you need music festival tips... this is for you.

Don't miss our tips for attending music festivals! For the last thirty years, we have had the great fortune of watching thousands of fans enjoy our music festival. Each year we see many questions asked by first-time festival attendees. No matter which music festival you are attending, it's only natural to want to know what you should pack, how you should prepare, and what you should do when the festival gates open.

25 Tips for Attending Music Festivals

We asked our amazing attendees for their best tips for attending music festivals. The Old Settler's Music Festival family did not disappoint. We received hundreds of tips from our friends and decided to package them up for you.

These tips aren't just for Old Settler's, they are for anyone attending any music festival. So if you hear someone asking...

Do you have Bonnaroo tips?

Who has tips for ACL Festival?

Got any Coachella tips?

What are the best Kerrville Folk Festival tips?

What tips do you have for Burning Man?

Got some Telluride tips?

... this guide is for them! If this is your first time attending Old Settler's, we know you will find it helpful too.

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25 Essential Music Festival Tips. A must read before you attend a music festival.

  1. 1. 25 Essential Music Festival Tips A collection of must-know tips for attending music festivals. No matter what music festival you plan to attend you will benefit from these tips provided by attendees of the Old Settler’s Music Festival.
  2. 2. “Come early and explore, read the program and festival guidelines, and familiarize yourself with the festival vibe!” - Stephanie Nelson, Laguna Beach, California
  3. 3. Funky hats
 or Bright sun “Hats and sunscreen can save lives!” - Jonny Levine, Austin, Texas
  4. 4. weather above or people in ponchos “Always check the weather (of course!) but, no matter what the weather says, throw a rain poncho and a long sleeve shirt or light wrap in your bag. I always bring at least two ponchos so I can give one (or more) away to someone who needs it!” - Nisa Wilson, Austin, Texas Photo by Amy E. Price
  5. 5. Dress in layers… Wear layers: your outer shirt can act as a sun- shade or for warmth during hill country nights. My favorite for hot days is lightweight, sweat wicking, sport-design, long sleeve shirts sold at REI and Whole Earth Provision, etc. That outer shirt an be dipped into water and cool you as well. The other layers optimally will be fresh thin tanks or long-sleeved and, for warming, thin thermal shirts, also sold at sporting goods stores and other places. - Amanda Winters
  6. 6. “Make sure and pack a backpack that is not too heavy that includes the following: • Reusable water bottle • rain poncho/light jacket • blanket or small seat (I use REI trail chair as it will clip on to back of backpack) • sunscreen • Tylenol • cash • shades with cleaning pouch • dry socks or sandals • bandana • phone charge juice pack.” - Clayton Oldham, Austin, Texas
  7. 7. Rules “Carefully read all the Dos and Don'ts for the festival you're attending. Many don't allow outside food or drink, and some are even particular about the kind of sunscreen you can bring in (e.g., bottles are fine, but spray-type applicators are not), so don't be caught unawares!” - Mary Capps, Austin, Texas
  8. 8. “Have some kind of option for getting shade...even if it's just an umbrella.” - Marissa Sweeney, Park City, Utah.
  9. 9. “Bring your best friend to sing and dance with.” - Deanne, Austin, Texas
  10. 10. Print out or Jean pocket “Print out the music lineup and fold it and keep it in your pocket for easy reference to catch the band you want to see.” - Will
  11. 11. Reusable water bottle “Bring a reusable water bottle.” - Ani DeWitt, Austin, Texas
  12. 12. CAMPING, JAMMING, PERFORMANCE WORKSHOPS, YOUTH COMPETITION, KIDS’ ACTIVITIES, ARTS & CRAFTS SHAKEY GRAVES · THE DEL MCCOURY BAND · LOS LOBOS · OLD 97’S · SAM BUSH · LEFTOVER SALMON GREGORY ALAN ISAKOV · SHINYRIBS · SARAH JAROSZ · ELEPHANT REVIVAL · THE LONE BELLOW ANDERS OSBORNE · NIKKI LANE · GAELIC STORM · PETER ROWAN & FRIENDS · THE TRAVELIN’ MCCOURYS MANDOLIN ORANGE · WOOD & WIRE · THE CALIFORNIA HONEYDROPS · VÄSEN · THE HONEYCUTTERS RIVER WHYLESS · THE LAST BANDOLEROS · THE PETERSON BROTHERS · BILLY STRINGS · THE LIL’ SMOKIES SESSION AMERICANA · AMERICAN DREAMER · AND MANY MORE Tickets: www.oldsettlersmusicfest.org
  13. 13. Chairs in front of stage “Set your chairs down FIRST THING at the stage you'll be at the most. Then use it as a home base. When you aren't there, others may sit in your chairs and that is COOL - embrace it and enjoy your special spot at the festival.” - Robin Lucas , Driftwood, Texas
  14. 14. Mosquito “Bring bug spray (as pleasantly scented as possible, of course).” - Gary, Austin, Texas Photo by Boris Smokrovic
  15. 15. Comfy shoes “Wear comfortable shoes.” - Kate Kavanagh, Austin, Texas Photo by Foroozan Faraji
  16. 16. “Bring another pair of underwear. Make sure they’re clean.” - Chad Forester
  17. 17. Bandana and ice Soak a bandana in the bottom of your cooler. Wrap around neck when the sun starts shining. This will keep you cool ya dig? - Greg Day, Austin, Texas Photo by Sofía Salom
  18. 18. Memorize the path / map? “Set up your tent during daylight, and memorize the path to the tent and bathrooms before dark.” - Hana, Boulder, Colorado
  19. 19. Blanket pic nic “Bring a blanket and have a regrouping spot for your peeps.” - Frank Cheff, Austin, Texas Photo by Susan Roads
  20. 20. Portajohns “Know where all the bathrooms are.” - Carlotta Hamilton, Austin, Texas
  21. 21. talk to strangers “Strike up a conversation with the unknown person standing/sitting/dancing next to you (between the music, of course!) - you already have the music and the event in common. At the very least, pass along a smile.” - Gwen Conner, Rosanky, Texas
  22. 22. Phone taking photos of bands “Be courteous and don't hold up your phone in front of people to record long sessions of a performance. Be in the moment. Close your eyes. Open your palms toward the music and dance like no one’s watching. You'll replay that memory in your head more than your video, I promise.” - Nisa Wilson, Austin, Texas
  23. 23. Family portrait “Pretend like everyone at the festival is your favorite family member, you will be treated the same in kind.” - Jeanette Ward, Austin, Texas Photo by Cody Aulidge
  24. 24. Hidden treasure “Make time for bands you've never heard of. They always end up being my fest highlights - not just because they are good, but because I feel like I've "discovered" some hidden treasure that I can share with my friends who aren't there. - Joel Simon, Chicago, Illinois
  25. 25. “Relax, go with the flow. Understand that at some point, two acts you'd like to see may be performing at the same time on different stages. Resign yourself to the fact that you might not be able to see everyone you want to.” - Paul Mueller, Houston, Texas
  26. 26. Clapping “Clap real loud for the musicians.” - Charles Link, Austin, Texas
  27. 27. “Be well rested.” - Larry Ouellette, Austin, Texas
  28. 28. From its origins as a one day bluegrass festival, Old Settler’s Music Festival has grown into a nationally renowned four day affair attracting 16,000 roots music lovers each year. As No Depression observed, “Old Settler’s is what a festival should be: simple, properly sized, stocked with excellent bands, and held in an environment where it is nearly impossible not to enjoy yourself.” With camping, jamming, kids’ activities, a youth competition, and performance workshops. The 30th Anniversary celebration runs Thur-Sun, April 20-23, 2017 in Driftwood (near Austin), Texas. Our lineup includes Shakey Graves, The Del McCoury Band, Los Lobos, Old 97’s, Sam Bush, Leftover Salmon, Gregory Alan Isakov, Shinyribs, Sarah Jarosz, Elephant Revival, The Lone Bellow, Anders Osborne, Nikki Lane, Gaelic Storm, Peter Rowan & Friends, The Travelin’ McCourys, Mandolin Orange, Wood & Wire, The California Honeydrops, Väsen, The Honeycutters, River Whyless, The Last Bandoleros, The Peterson Brothers, Billy Strings, The Lil’ Smokies, Session Americana, American Dreamer, and more. Check us out at oldsettlersmusicfest.org.
  29. 29. Enjoy the Music Thank you to our wonderful attendees for sharing these tips. We hope to see you at Old Settler’s Music Festival.
 
 Say hello at OldSettlersMusicFest.org.
  30. 30. Sharing is Caring… If you found our tips helpful please share with your friends. Thanks!

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