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Fine tuning festival planning

Dominique Macias
Summer concerts, raves and music festivals are on many people’s bucket list for this upcoming festival season.

My experience with music festivals has been slim, but it was one of my best experiences to date. For example, the Crossroads Guitar Festival was one I had been wanting to go to since I first learned about it ten years ago.

I’d never been to a music festival, and the 2023 Crossroads Guitar Festival was a good first. Featuring artists like Eric Clapton, ZZ Top, and John Mayer, it proved to be a memorable experience as I not only saw my favorite artists, but it taught me many things about planning for a music festival in the future.

True music buffs know the origins of music festivals date back to the 1960s, although they were likely rooted in the traveling shows of the 1950s that featured major artists of the era. In some instances, The Chicago Times says these traveling shows gave artists their big breaks, bringing artists further popularity and fame in a time when YouTube and other social media platforms were nonexistent.

Three major music festivals of the 20th century stand apart from what has come before or since: the Newport Jazz Festival, the Monterey Pop Festival, and Woodstock. Some say these concerts stood as defining moments in the careers of artists like Jimi Hendrix and jump-started the careers of others like Carlos Santana.

Today, festivals like Austin City Limits, Coachella, and Lollapalooza are among the most popular music festivals, drawing large crowds every year with even larger headliners. These festivals have a combination of both new and old artists. The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Paul McCartney have both headlined Austin City Limits in  recent years; Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, and The Weeknd headlined Coachella two years ago. SZA and Blink-182 will be the 2024 Lollapalooza headliners.

Going to festivals is an exciting experience, especially when there are multiple stages to see with many different artists and genres. However, it is important to remember to stay safe and be aware of yourself and your surroundings.

Leaving with a plan is a major step in alleviating some of the stress that may come with going to a festival. Doing the research ahead of time can save you the headache of showing up and being unable to use certain bags or having difficulty finding parking.  

Wearing comfortable clothing can also play a major role in your enjoyment of the festival, especially when it comes to footwear. Seating is not always guaranteed at festivals, so being prepared to stand for hours at a time is important for both comfort and minimizing the pain that can result from being on your feet.

The most important tip for festivals is to take care of yourself. Especially with outdoor festivals where the sun is beaming down, hydration and sunscreen are crucial to keep the good times going. Both could have harmful effects on you, varying from light headaches to losing consciousness.

It is important to keep in mind that some of these festivals are the perfect places for thieves to take advantage as well, so keeping track of your belongings, including anything you may have purchased from the festival, is important so you don’t lose your festival essentials. 

Keeping all this in mind, going to a music festival takes planning; if you plan ahead and have a basic idea as to what to do, you can almost be guaranteed to have an enjoyable experience seeing your favorite artists.

Nicholas Maes is the sports editor and may be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Nicholas Maes
Nicholas Maes, Sports Editor
Nicholas Maes is a sports editor at The Prospector. He is a senior majoring in history with a minor in commercial music. He plans to continue his academic career in history after earning his bachelor's degree.
Dominique Macias
Dominique Macias, Contributor/Photographer
Dominique Macias is a junior majoring in media advertising minor in creative writing. She is a contributor at The Prospector. After graduation Dominique hopes to pursue a career in the media publishing world; as a photographer or writer.
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