Whether Slossfest is your first festival, or your 100th, you can never be too prepared. Knowing all the ins and outs for a weekend full of music and art is important to make sure you enjoy every minute.
Let’s be honest, 15 hours in the hot Alabama July sun can be brutal. For first-time festival goers you might under prepare not knowing what a full day in the life of a “festie” is like.
1. The Basics
For starters always make sure you have your ticket. In the past you don’t receive a wristband until you get to the festival grounds, so always be sure to have an electronic copy as well as a paper copy ready to go at the gate before you lose service.
With that being said, service is terrible. Thousands of people are all trying to find their friends and capture the same experience which means your data is working over-time. BRING PORTABLE CHARGERS. Best Buy sells MOPHIE portable blocks for $40. Get it, it’s worth it! I even bring cheap back-ups just in case. If you forget, there will be charging stations on site for you to use.
Driving to the festival can get a little hectic so don’t stress yourself out worrying about getting a good parking spot. Your best bet is to Uber or Lyft. I promise it will save you from missing your favorite band and they provide XL options for your whole festival crew!
If you do arrive with a larger group of friends, make sure to designate a meet-up location. Like I said, once you get in you never know what service will be like so it is always good to plan ahead. Example: Big Sloss sign (you can’t miss it when you walk in the gate), art sculptures throughout the main stages, Tito’s tent, or find a spot you’ll go to for each set, like “left of the sound stage by the rail.” This will be super helpful and keep you from draining your battery constantly trying to find people.
Another important thing to help you have the best Slossfest experience is the easy-to-use app. This allows you to create your own schedule and it notifies you when your favorite artist/band is about to play. I can’t tell you how many times I have been so caught up in everything going on around me I’ve almost missed a set.
2. Surviving The Heat
Camel baks and water bottles are allowed inside, so BRING THEM. Free water stations are provided throughout the festival to keep you hydrated so don’t be a rookie and end up at the medical tent because you weren’t prepared! It’s July, in Alabama, in an open field. You’re not going to regret it. Misting fans are also welcome (they’re less than $10 at Wal-Mart), so fill it up with water while you’re refilling your camel bak and spray your friends to keep cool.
Don’t forget to eat! Eating at a festival is just as important as staying hydrated. Over-heating on an empty stomach is no fun for anyone. So, take a break from the sun, grab a corn dog (jalapeno corndog recommended), and lay in the hammocks (at the main stage) provided by Alabama Outdoors.
3. What To Wear
Keep in mind once you’re there, you’re not going to want to leave. That means comfy shoes are a must! Chacos or Tevas have been a festival trend for the most reliable shoe.
Be aware that rain is likely at Slossfest, so be sure to check the weather before you head over. Last year got pretty messy! Have a good pair of rain boots ready just in case. I found a cute pair at Target for $30, cheap and won’t hurt your bank account’s feelings if they get a little messed up.
Speaking of rain, a poncho is a good idea! Light and easy to pack in your camel bak so you have plenty of room for all your other festival must-haves.
If you’re a glitter goddess do it all at home! You can’t bring glitter in the festival grounds so go ahead throw it on before you get there. If you don’t plan on bringing a backpack/camel bak, fanny packs are always a great option. Everything you need within convenient reach. If the weather is drier closer to the festival, I suggest bringing a bandanna. This keeps you from breathing in dust and dirt that will be kicked around while you’re showing off your best dance moves!
Shoes aren’t the only things that need to be comfy since you’re going to be there for a while. Shorts with a tank have never failed a festival-goer, but feel free to dress up in your favorite witty costume. Creativity is encouraged!
4. All About The Music
Don’t lose yourself taking a million pictures and videos that you forget the experience in front of you. You never get these moments back so save your phone battery and enjoy it with your own eyes for a while. Take time to go listen to local artists. I always find it valuable to see up-and-coming artists, because you never know where their careers will take them.
Meet new people and remember it’s crowded, so be considerate of people around you. This is what makes Slossfest one of my favorite festivals; people come from all over to see great live music in the heart of our favorite city. Make the experience yours, have fun, play safe and, most importantly, spread love!