Spring has sprung, it’s in the air, you can feel it, a new positivity shines from within us as warmer weather appears on the horizon. It’s time to start thinking about gathering your friends in a field somewhere to cover yourselves in glitter or flowers before dancing and singing along to your favourite band. It’s festival season again.
It’s time to celebrate life at Coachella, Lollapalooza and the Burning Man. Or, consider venturing further afield and try Glastonbury, the Montreux Jazz Festival, Magnetic Fields or Benicàssim. There are literally thousands of festivals to choose from with something to suit every taste, however eclectic.
Not just about music, there are festivals for food, beer, arts and crafts, theatre, literature, the alternative, the weird and the utterly wonderful. It’s a global phenomenon, and rightly so! Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or first-time festival virgin, the experience is simply life-affirming and an opportunity to make memories that will last forever.
Everyone should try a festival at least once so we’ve put together a handy guide on the essentials needed to help make your experience a memorable one for all the right reasons. We asked some seasoned festival goers for their top tips on what items they can’t be without, ideas on what to wear, easy hairstyles, and simple skin-care.
Amanda from NY has been going to Glastonbury in the UK for over 10 years. A huge music fan, she’s seen everyone from David Bowie and The Who to Stevie Wonder and Dolly Parton perform on the legendary Pyramid stage.
Katherine from CA is a regular at Coachella, she loves celebrity spotting almost as much the music and her festival life revolves around glitter. Her favourite headliner is Florence and The Machine.
Marissa from WI loves Lollapalooza, She’s seen Paul McCartney, Alabama Shakes, Ellie Goulding, The Last Shadow Puppets, her favorite was Lana Del Ray in 2016. She just loves dancing and singing along to as many acts as she can.
What festival item can you simply not live without?
Amanda: I picked up a beautiful leather belt bag at Glastonbury one year and since then I’ve never been without it. It fastens around the waist like a regular belt but has all these compartments to carry your essentials like; money, phone, lipstick, etc. It means I’m hands-free to dance, drink and enjoy myself knowing my stuff is safe.
Katherine: I can’t do without baby-wipes and hand sanitizer. I can take off my makeup and freshen up using baby-wipes if the line for the showers looks too long or if the hot California sun is making me break a sweat. I’ve used them clean dishes and my tent, they’re great for everything. I take tons of them!
Marissa: The bathroom lines at festivals can be ridiculously long and the hygiene after a day or two is terrible so my secret is, I always carry a Shewee! It’s basically a portable toilet device, with a couple of different options. One allows us girls to pee like boys, standing up. The other, a flexible, disposable container that absorbs and seals liquid in a gel-like substance and is ideal if you’re caught out late at night in your tent.
How do you wear your hair at the festival?
Amanda: My hair is medium length, but quite fine and a little on the greasy side. I need to wash it everyday which isn’t always possible at festivals. Dry shampoo has always been my friend but lately I’ve been getting extensions and I have them braided into an elaborate do that requires little or no attention. My hair can get wet in the rain and it still looks fabulous!
Katherine: My hair is really short and I tend to dye it all sorts of funky colors, turquoise is my favorite right now, so doesn’t take a lot of care beyond a bit of product, but if it starts looking unkempt I’ll generally slick it back before adding a flower or pom-pom crown.
Marissa: My hair is wild and crazy curly, so after a couple of festival days it ends up in a top-knot or a couple of braids, I’ll usually add some glitter to the roots too and you can never go wrong with pretty slides, and the shops at festivals always have really cute things, you can get all sorts at the stalls, between bands I like to shop a little.
What’s your favorite festival outfit?
Amanda: At Glastonbury you can’t afford to be without wellies (rubber rain boots), the mud is everywhere and regular footwear is impossible. I like to wear shorts and a simple tee if the British weather allows it, but I always carry a waterproof coat that packs away really small. One tip, never wear an all-in-one jump suit, they’re a pain to wriggle out of in porta-potties!
Katherine: My staple has always been a loose floaty dress and some cute sandals or flip flops. Comfort is key at festivals but you don’t have to compromise on style, take things that are interchangeable and still look good even when they are creased.
Marissa: I usually opt for shorts and comfy sneakers or sparkly converse but paired up with funky tops, hats and I always go big on accessories, especially sequins and anything that sparkles. At festivals anything goes, that's why they are so much fun.
How do you simplify your daily beauty routine at a festival?
Amanda: I always get eyelash extensions and my brows done so my face has definition so I can keep makeup to a minimum. Gel nails are a must for me too, especially because putting up and taking down tents can get regular nail polish all chipped.
Katherine: Sunscreen is super important at Coachella, I always use factor 30 as a base and apply makeup on top. I love a shimmer highlight on my cheeks and I often apply a little eyelash glue to add some extra sequins and tiny jewels to match my outfit or my hair.
Marissa: AHA serums are great way to refresh your skin because of the exfoliating action, and I top mine off with a good tinted moisturizer that has added sunscreen. Being fair I’m also a huge fan of tinted brows and over the top fake eyelashes, then all you really need is bright lipstick and a cool pair of shades.