A punter’s guide to the perfect music festival experience

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A punter’s guide to the perfect music festival experience

Laneway Festival 2019, Melbourne
Words by Tom Fisher

'tis the season.

Winter isn’t coming. It’s over, and boy are we glad. Spring is here, the grass is green, and the sun is beckoning. The dark, cold void that is the middle of the year, where your only highlight may or may not be your tax return, has blossomed into a time of adventure, of long days and even longer nights – festival season.

Here at Beat HQ we’re a little excited, so we have decided to knock up a guide for all you festival-goers out there. Whether you’re hitting up Meredith, Falls Festival, Beyond The Valley, or any other festival, this is for you.

You’re gonna need a costume

It’s festival time and you wanna get a little weird. Embrace it, you don’t wanna be that person wearing that Cotton On festival shirt. Sorry Cotton On, but nothing screams self-expression less than a mass-produced shirt worn by half the punters out there. So hit up your local op shop and pick out something strange. Or even pick a theme. Wouldn’t it be great to see Marty and the Doc rolling around your festival circuit, or Jerry, George, Kramer and Elaine?

Early bird gets the worm

Festival set times are interestingly swayed and often artists and bands can seem randomly placed within the schedule. There’s always a few diamonds in the rough, with many of the early performers not billed accordingly because of lack of talent, but rather lack of attention or exposure. Put simply, not as many people know about them yet. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check them out; head on down early and you could find a new fave.

Set the tempo and pick your poison

While the festival vibe is one of freedom with fewer limits than ol’ normal square society, it’s advisable to set a good drinking tempo that’ll keep you up and about, but not passed out in a field. Because hey, it is about the music after all, and you don’t want to crash and miss your favourite artist, or your favourite artist yet to be discovered – there is a whole world of music out there in your little festival universe. Also if it’s BYO, pick your drinks wisely, remember it might be a solid three days of knocking ‘em back.

Food is your friend

While you might wake up and crack straight into a cold one and begin to think you’re Hunter S. Thompson and can simply survive on an insane daily routine of alcohol (and whatever else!), you’re gonna crash. We as humans need food, and food is your friend. So check out the food available at the festival, you might find an epic vegie burger, a taco, or whatever floats your boat. Also, bring your own snacks too. On this nutritional note, don’t forget to bring lots of water (and drink it!).

Build your castle

How to choose and build the perfect festival camping vehicle

If you’re heading to one of the two or three-day festivals, you’re gonna wanna build a little home away from home. Of course, you’ll need the necessities, a tent, something to sleep on, but also deck it out. Add some decorations, lights, a touch of flair; fly your flag and fly it proud. Maybe it will tie in with your costume. Don’t forget to take it all home with you, though.

Get your festival playlist in shape

Start chipping away at that festival playlist early. For the road trip with your friends on the way there, for the early anticipation whilst setting up your castle, for the 5am conversations you might not remember. Impress your friends, and your friends yet to be made. Yeah, it’s probably going to include ‘Blue Monday’ at some point. Here’s a tip: throw in a few tracks from those performing at the festival then go bananas elsewhere.

Make a game of it

If you’ve got a little bit of spare time between the happenings of the festival, and the chat at your campsite is getting a little dull, how about some drinking games? A bit of beer pong, king’s cup, or have you tried beersbee? It’s a bit like a cross between beer pong and horseshoe, and you always have a drink in your hand, which is you know… nice. Maybe you’ll even coax some of your festival neighbourinos over.

Stay cool

Lastly, while we encourage having the absolute time of your life, don’t forget there are thousands of other punters around also trying to have the time of their life, and not to mention all the legends who work to make the festival experience possible. So stay cool, be respectful to the people and environment around you. If you see someone in a spot of bother, help them out, offer them that missing tent peg. Did you think this one was gonna be about avoiding too much sun? That too! And wear sunscreen!