Photo by Basma Humadi

How to Survive a Music Festival (or Concerts in General)

WHAT I LEARNED AT LOLLAPALOOZA AND OTHER CONCERTS

By Basma Humadi, Staff Writer

In a sporadic turn of events, one of my best friends and I decided to go to Lollapalooza in Chicago this year. The line-up featured all my faves, and everyone else’s: Lorde (rain caused her set to get cancelled midway though), The Killers, Blink-182, Chance The Rapper, The xx, Majid Jordan, Migos, Banks and Lil Yachty to name a few.

    Somehow it all came together: my friend’s sister had an apartment there we could stay at and the timing of the festival worked with our schedule. I ended up buying plane tickets during class in spring semester, and we got four-day passes for the festival. Despite us missing our departure flight from D.C. to Chicago, Lollapalooza ended up being really enjoyable.

    I turned 20, Malia Obama walked by me (casual), I met my favorite artist Aminé, and Majid Al Maskati from Majid Jordan made some serious eye contact with me during his set. Readers, I’m glad to say I fell in love instantly.

    I’ve been to a lot of concerts before, and this wasn’t my first music festival. I’ve been to Sweetlife, a former local music festival in the DMV area, twice before. So, here I am, majorly qualified and ready to enlighten you with my partial wisdom. This way, you won’t end up passing out front row like I did seeing Jidenna at Howard Theater this summer.

  1. Come to have a good time: Sometimes the weather may not always be that great or the crowds get annoying, but you’re at a music festival getting to see some of your favorite artists, so enjoy! Put your best foot forward and enjoy yourself!
  2. Stay in and guard your personal space: One of my biggest pet peeves at concerts or festivals is standing in a general admission crowd, having the people around you constantly bumping into you, pushing you forward, or generally just disregarding your own space. It’s hard to keep a “personal bubble” since everyone’s standing close to each other, so I won’t suggest that, but guard your space and be considerate to others- even though they might be super annoying and disregarding your space anyway.
  3. Try looking for things to do in the area: Sometimes it can be a while waiting in between sets for the next artist you like to perform. So, my suggestion is to try looking for interesting things to do in the area where the music festival is taking place. Since Lollapalooza was in Chicago, there were hundreds of different things to do in the city. Going out to explore whatever city you’re in while you have the time could make the music festival-going experience much more enriching. That is, unless you’re at Coachella or something, camping out in the middle of nowhere.
  4. Know your limits: On the first day of Lollapalooza it started to rain- it wasn’t anything very serious at the time, just some light rain. We bought some ponchos while ducking for cover at one of the lollapalooza tents, but my friend and I knew we didn’t want to stay for the rest of the night outdoors in the rain only to come home feeling muddy, gross and sticky. So, we left and it was a good decision on our half because later it started thunder storming and all the sets that night- Lorde, Muse and Lil Uzi Vert- got cancelled midway through. Know what’s good for you to do and don’t put yourself through unnecessary hardship, even if one of your favorite artists may be performing. This isn’t the end all be all and your comfort is worth more than putting yourself through tiresome experiences.
  5. Having a “good spot” isn’t everything: As a recovering One Direction fangirl, I understand the importance of needing to have a good spot, but don’t get so caught up in trying to get a good spot — whether it be by pushing your way through a crowd, or standing all day through endless performances so you can save a spot in the front — that you don’t have a good time. Chances are through your favorite artists’ performance your feet will be hurting the entire time and it won’t be that fun.  
  6. Take care of yourself: This is the kind of lame, cliché advice, everyone always gives- it is important, though. Drink water, listen to your instincts, and again, don’t put yourself into uncomfortable situations. Have a nice time, eat good food and bop to your favorite songs!

Photo Courtesy of Basma Humadi