Essentials: Music Festivals

||Essentials: Music Festivals

Essentials: Music Festivals

Everyone loves a good music festival! South Africans are particularly spoiled for choice (your guide to the 10 best festivals in South Africa) but if you’re not prepared, you can end up stranded on a dusty island of hangover with nothing but your stink as company. Here’s how to avoid that. (Also, cross-reference with these 11 tips for surviving a music festival.)


So it’s clear you’re going to need to hook yourself up with a tent and sleeping gear. But don’t kid yourself – most festivals are bitterly cold at night and smoulderingly hot during the day. Make sure you pack enough blankets, pillows and mattresses to ensure that the few hours of sleep you get, are warm and cosy. If you can get a gazebo going for some well needed shade in the afternoon, you are A for away.


OppiKoppi is renowned for its lingering clouds of dust, that get churned up with the stampeding of 20-odd thousand hippies and music fans, making their way to watch some of the best muso’s performing on stage.  Getting dirty is part of the fun, but breathing is sort of an important part as well – so take something with you to cover your mouth whilst you adventure from campsite to concert through a browny haze. Bandanas, hospital masks, dust masks – whatever your style or fancy, don’t get caught without one of these.


I’d like to think that if you are reading this you know that your Manolos are best kept in your cupboard for any sort of outdoor festival. Whether it’s the mud you are fighting at Splashy (5 reasons why Splashy Fen is unlike any other festival), the thorns at Oppi or the bushy landscape at pretty much any festival – make sure your trotters are comfortably protected with some solid flat shoes. Gumboots are pretty popular too. For the rest of your outfit, check out these tips on how to dress for a music festival.


At some point, you are going to reach your grimy, dirty, rock star limit and will need to get the smell of beer and bush off of you. There’s a few ways to do this, while still avoiding the queues and cold showers available. Take wet wipes and lots of toilet paper – you will thank me for this wisdom when you have something to wipe your hands with at the end of every day. Pack as much water as you can for washing your hands, neck, face and vitals and if you are feeling particularly larney – get yourself a shower pack that can be heated up during the day so you have a relatively warm shower. Get creative about setting up a shower curtain so that you can have some privacy – try looping a shower curtain around a hoola hoop and hanging it from a tree.


Chances are, whichever fest you find yourself at will limit the amount of glass and tin that you take into any main area. This is for your own safety, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take in your own plastic containers or bottles. I would have to recommend a small backpack that can hold two containers – one for your booze of choice and one filled with water. No one wants to K.O. before the party even gets started, so make sure you stay safe and happy by hydrating with water throughout.



My favourite parts of any fest are when everyone ends up back at the campsite with stories to tell and songs to sing around the fire. Groundcover to manage the dust and some lanterns and lights will surely improve this experience for you. Don’t forget to pack a torch, and if you can find one to go on your head it will make bush toilet trips ever so slightly more comfortable.


I haven’t quite worked out the most effective way to execute festival dining. I inevitable cannot resist the tons of food stalls with greasy delights and haunting aromas. But there’s something handy about having a small larder at your campsite that just may give you the extra stamina when you need it. Some items I’ve found to be useful are:

  • Pre-packed sandwiches that can last a few days without refrigeration. Try using ingredients like biltong, sun dried tomatoes and cream cheese that aren’t going to go bad quickly and that can still give a groovy flavour to your makeshift lunch.
  • Snacks, marshmallows for the fire, chips, nuts.
  • Juice and a 6 pack of Red Bull.
  • Ice for as long as it can last.
  • 2 minute noodles – easily made using boiled water from the fire.
  • Plastic cups, disposable plates and cutlery. No one is going to wash and re-use their cutlery and crockery, not properly anyways.


Trust me when I tell you that if you don’t somehow mark where your campsite is, either by means of a flag, banner, light or trail of sorts. You will get lost. For hours. In the dark. Probably intoxicated. Walking around in circles. Get together with your team and come up with a creative way to signpost your spot – spray-paint a sheet or banner, hoist a mascot or just make sure you take a walk when the sun is up and you can find some natural landmarks.


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By | 2018-09-17T08:37:02+00:00 September 17th, 2018|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Essentials: Music Festivals

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