2021 Music Festival Musts: What to Wear & Bring

After over a year of virtual performances and online concerts, the 2021 music festival scene is starting to ground swell us back to new normal. Whether it’s wine tasting at Bottle Rock, jamming at Bonnaroo, living large at Lollapalooza or burning it up at Flipside, your festival experience should be filled with amazing memories, not constant concern.

No matter if you’re a Festival pro or ready to rave to your first ever, how you plan can make all the difference. Before you get your posse in place, have a read through our checklist made from pros for tips on getting the most out of your experience while staying within necessary Covid-19 safety regulations.


That is the question. While CDC regulations are relaxing to the point that fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear a mask indoors or outdoors except in “certain crowded settings and venues”, most festival organizers still need to follow state and local restrictions. You can count on lower attendance numbers (to keep capacity at under 75% or more) and more than likely a requirement to show proof of full vaccination.

But that’s not necessarily the case for all. Some festivals are including catch-all statements in their ticket purchasing legalese that state that by agreeing to go to their event you are “assuming all risks related to exposure to Covid-19”. So if that sounds a little scary to you, or you’d just rather be 100% in case not everyone else is…we highly recommend you bring an outdoor face mask. Here are three great options, all made for outdoor sports use, so they will breathe well, even in hot and humid air conditions…

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Even before the pandemic, this was a good idea as a way of keeping things like your ID and a copy of your ticket handy. Nowadays, it’s also a good place to keep your vaccine card, along with a quick stash of cash, and your CC. There is a wide berth of price points for these, ranging from cheap staple to high ticket couture that’ll be your outfit showcase. Here are a few options we liked…

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If there’s one constant about Festivals, it’s that Weather can be a fickle beast. Sure, the App tells you it’s all sunny days ahead…uh-huh, been there, done that. A lightweight poncho that stashes in your pack takes a second to pack, and might just save you from that downpour-that-came-outta-nowhere. Here’s a few easy packing ponchos that’ll keep you dry…


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Consider this your perfect excuse for trying on all those cute Festival outfits ahead of time. Put each outfit on, including accessories, and give them a good 360 in front of a full length mirror. And don’t just stand there! Move around in them, sit in a nearby chair, and then sit on the floor (yes, you heard us). You’ll most likely be sitting on the ground at some point, so you might as well make sure nothing tugs or feels uncomfortable because if it bothers you now, it’ll drive you crazy after a few hours. Here are 4 great fits, made of easy pieces that are stylish and comfortable in the heat…


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Even if you’ve been to the venue a hundred times, every year is going to be a little different (otherwise where’s the fun, right?). Not to  mention there are more than a few venues that have changed their location completely to accommodate for Covid-19 restrictions. The App will give you the latest map of the grounds, who’s playing when and where and will also text you alerts if anything changes (think rain delays or lineup switch ups). It usually also will include a do & don’t list which is extremely helpful so you know what you can and cannot bring on Festival grounds.


If you’re going super light, a fanny pack could serve you okay. But really, when you tally up things like your poncho (remember that?), sunglasses, fun glasses (for after dark), TP (or tissues), lip balm, hand sanitizer, wallet, phone, phone charger (yes, you should absolutely bring this or risk losing contact with friends and/or missing out on grammin all your antics, and/or calling that Uber) –whew- that list gets long fast! A small to medium-sized backpack will fit all those things plus give you room to stash your merch, some snacks, your hair tie, sunscreen (go with a spray, preferably SPF 45 or higher) and many come with straps so you can attach a small rolled towel or blanket (no grass stains on you!). Others come completely clear (best to check if the venue requires this). Bonus, if allowed, bring a Camelback and fill it up with water once you get into the Festival. Free H2O and one less thing in your hand. Here’s a few we recommend…

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Even if you’re not planning on imbibing anything alcoholic, you’re going to get hot, and you’re going to get sweaty. You may not even realize you’re thirsty until you hit the passing out stage. No one wants that. Most Festivals offer free water refill stations. Take advantage of that between band breaks by bringing your own water bottle (so long as it’s empty, security will let you bring it in). Try and follow the 1:1 rule if you’re hitting the cocktail station or the beer garden. When you’re winding down back at your hotel or your campsite, chug a good 8 ounces before continuing the party. Smart Festival fans know it’s good to think pre-emptively, so stash your room or tent with some coconut water, Gatorade or even Pedialyte. Your morning self will thank you.

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Skip the drama this time and settle on a list of who you want to see. Are your friends dying to see someone but you’re feeling more ‘meh’ about it? There’s no reason you can’t split off to see your favs. If at all possible, use the buddy system (surely at least one of your buds is as interested in the same artists as you?). Either way, plan it out ahead of time before heading to the Festival and make sure you agree on group meet up points throughout the day. If your band is going into overtime, text your besties to let them know you might be late hooking up with them. You wouldn’t want to worry about your friends, so don’t make them worry about you.


On the list after dehydration, improper application of sunscreen and poor choices of inebriation – bad shoe choices can ruin you for the whole Festival. No matter how adorbs those platforms or heels may be, remember you are going to be on your feet all day (or all weekend), and getting your dance on. Best scenario is to go for comfort and weather resistance. Think that’ll cramp your style? No way! Here are some great finds sure to give you happy feet

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It’s a golden rule and it’s about respect. Clean up after yourself by recycling and throwing away your trash. Nobody likes a messy roommate so take the high road here and be kind to your friends and mother earth. Being kind should also extend to your neighbors and the event staff. Treat others as you would have them treat you and you’re sure to avoid any unnecessary drama.

Festivals are all about music and positive vibes. Not everything will go according to plan but don’t let that bring you down. Create your own moment, try something new, dance with your fellow Festival goers with abandon. These are the times that make forever memories, so be safe, but get yourself out there and have a great time!

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