The ACL Music Festival is right around the corner and if you’re anything like my friends, they are always completely unprepared. In central Texas it stays pretty hot until the end of September. Because of that, it’s really important to keep cool and stay hydrated which a lot of people tend to forget until they’re suffering from heat stroke or something of the like. If you want to survive the weekend and make it pleasurable, here are some must-haves that you will not want to forget at the hotel room.
Sunscreen, including chapstick
Forget fashion! Fashion goes completely out the window if you’re entirely sunburned because people will be too focused on your red skin to notice your pretty new top. I’m not one to have issues with chapped lips, but even my lips get a little chapped when I’m out in the sun for nearly twelve consecutive hours. So, don’t ignore the lips! Check your chapstick tube to make sure it has some type of SPF otherwise it’s a lost cause. The important thing to remember is to consistently reapply both.
It goes without say that you will be sweaty and gross. You will use the porta-potties countless times. You will definitely get hungry. This is why I carry Wet-Ones, Cottonelle Flushable Wipes, and Pond’s Fresh MoistureClean Towelettes. You can find all of these at your local grocery stores, Wal-Mart, or Target where they have all the travel toiletries. I tend to prefer the Wet-Ones wipes over liquid sanitizer because the sanitizer gets really watery here in Texas and it tends to make a mess. Also, I just feel like I can see the grime coming off and feel cleaner, so to speak. The flushable wipes are great because you don’t know what people have done to the toilet paper in those nasty potties! And let’s be real here, actual toilet paper gets a little rough and starts to get stuck when you’re sweating all over for hours and hours. The wipes make the bathroom experience a lot better. I like to use the face wipes whenever I feel like I need to refresh myself because the sweat will not stop. I will usually use the same wipe for my face, neck, and chest. It really helps cool you off and you’re feeling clean. You can also use them if you’re going out directly after the festival. Wipe your body off and freshen up your make-up and you’re a new person!
Your deodorant label might say that it lasts 24 hours, but do you really want to risk it? If you’re using your wipes to freshen up, might as well reapply some deodorant to really complete the process. Trust me, you won’t regret it!
Blanket or towel
At some point you’re going to want to chill out under some shade and listen to the from afar. The grass is usually pretty crunchy here in south Texas, so having a blanket or towel to sit on will make the experience more pleasurable and less itchy. I like to take a sheet with me because it’s large, light, and doesn’t take up as much space.
Portable fan and cooling towel
My brother has played soccer for about 16 years so I’ve spent a lot of time outside. A couple of years ago he was in a sand soccer tournament and I was there no less than an hour before my body overheated. It was really strange because that had never happened to me. Since then, I’ve always been paranoid that it could happen again especially at a music festival. I wanted to reduce the chances of that reoccurring, so I always take a portable fan with me and my Chilly Sport Cooling Neck and Head Band. It’s not a head band that you might be thinking of; it’s more of a long rectangular towel and you can wrap around your neck and/or head. It basically retains water and when you activate it with some water, it evaporates and cools which is how you feel the coolness coming off the towel.
I think this one is self-explanatory. I will say that most people like those really small portable charging banks, but those ones don’t provide as much output. Due to that, it takes longer to charge your phone. I personally prefer AmazonBasics Portable Power Bank in 5,600 mAh because the total output is 2.4 amps. Most of those smaller charging banks usually have about 1.0 amps. Since the device has more power, you will be able to charge your phone faster and share with your friends. Although the device itself is a little large, you still save space in the grand scheme of things.
Mini first aid kit
You can’t predict what’s going to happen! You might need a Band-Aid so that’s why I like to take Johnson and Johnson’s First Aid To Go. It’s small and easy to pack and has Band-Aids, cleansing wipes, and gauze. I like to add some antibiotic ointment like Neosporin and even some type of pain-reliever for headaches and such. All music festivals have first aid stations, but I like to reserve those for dire emergencies.
Small zip-top plastic bags
I use these to store my phone to protect it from getting wet. Sometimes I like to take off my jewelry if I’m going up front for a show because I don’t want it to get ripped off so I put them in my bag so they’re easier to find in my backpack. I prefer to carry the quart size because I can put more than one phone in there and other things if needed. I typically purchase my local grocery store’s brand but a couple of the most commonly known brands are Ziploc and Hefty.
Better safe than sorry! You can usually find these at your local sporting goods store and sometimes at your grocery store where the umbrellas are. I use Amazon religiously and found that you can usually buy a pack of ponchos rather inexpensively. So save yourself some time and check Amazon first, especially if you have Amazon Prime.
Reusable water bottle
Staying hydrated is crucial! You don’t want to end up overheated like I did. It’s an awful feeling! If you want something hands-free, most festivals allow Camelbaks so that may be something to consider.
All of these items fit nicely into a backpack but if you don’t want to lug a backpack around, look into locker rentals at the festival you’re attending. Prices usually rise as the festival dates approach, so the sooner you book, the easier it is on your wallet. Be sure to read a list of the music festival’s prohibited items to avoid the risk of discarding anything.