Having the time of your life at a rave festival takes a mix of spontaneity and strategy. You need a solid plan complete with logistics and budgeting, but with room to have fun and take chances. Let’s not forget a varied wardrobe of rave clothing to last you the entire weekend!
It’s a lot to handle, so we’ve got 12 tips and tricks to help you prepare for your next–or first–rave festival.
1. Tickets and Timing
Get all the boring business stuff out of the way so you can focus on fun ASAP. This means getting your tickets in advance (day one, if possible), and coordinating travel and accommodations with your friends to keep costs down.
We suggest taking a day off on Monday if you’ve got a weekend rave planned, because you may need that extra 24 hours to recover and return to reality.
2. Attend Smaller Events
A full-blown rave festival can be intense and somewhat taxing, both physically and mentally.
Try attending small raves and parties near you in the months leading up to the big event. This will help you prepare for the loud music, flashing lights, and crowded spaces.
3. Keys to Camping
Rave festival accommodations are not of the 5-star-hotel variety. Instead, you’ll be camping out in conditions that may be less than ideal.
Tents and sleeping bags are a smart investment and will make your experience that much better. Just be sure you know how to deploy a tent properly and set yourself up for comfort and safety when you arrive at the site.
4. Essentials Checklist
Do you have all your essentials in order, including toiletries, personal products, medications, and more? The key to packing light is prioritizing the most important items while leaving the rest behind.
Reminder: make sure things like hand sanitizer, chapstick, mints, and gum are all sealed in their original packaging, so you don’t have issues at the security checkpoint.
5. Set a Spending Limit
The vendors at rave festivals have a captive audience, which leads to sky-high prices at most events. It’s easy to get carried away with the credit card if you aren’t careful, so set a budget for yourself before you enter the fray.
Attending festivals is not the most frugal hobby, but it doesn’t need to break the bank, either.
6. Know the Layout
Many festivals are held on large outdoor campgrounds with complex layouts. Avoid getting lost by knowing the lay of the land before you show up to the event.
It’s also wise to print out a map at home and keep it folded in your bag or pocket for quick deployment.
7. Stay Connected
Even the most tight-knit groups can get separated in the hectic festival atmosphere. Since you can’t always depend on cell phone service to send messages, plan on meeting at a familiar location so that you and your friends can reconnect easily.
Try to resist the urge to wander off and stay close to those you trust, since that keeps everyone safe, especially after dark.
8. Snacks and Hydration
The human body cannot survive on good vibes and glowsticks alone. You’ll need to stay hydrated and satiated throughout your weekend, and that means keeping water and snacks within reach at all times.
Granola, dried fruit, and jerky are great options that travel well. You can eat a few hundred calories at a time without being weighed down by a big meal.
9. Plan Each Outfit
Experienced ravers don’t leave their fashion choices to chance. Put together an outfit for each day of the event, with a few wardrobe changes here and there to keep things fresh. For example, rock a daytime outfit that shines with the sun, followed by a flashy and flamboyant fit for the evening event.
10. Layers Within Reach
Even in the heat of summer, temperatures at rave festivals are unpredictable. If you’re at EDC Vegas, for example, expect cold nights despite hot days. You’ll want to have sweaters, wraps, beanies, and sweatpants close by so that you can layer up and down with ease.
11. Accessories and Accents
A rave without accessories is like a rodeo without cowboy hats and boots with spurs. Stock up on goodies like kandi bracelets, psychedelic glasses, colorful bandanas, and other accents that you can mix and match throughout the weekend.
Better yet, bring extras that you can pass around at the event, make connections, and multiply the good vibes with others.
12. Proper Rave Recovery
Recovery is key to get yourself out of the hangover slump and back into the action. Be ready to drink plenty of fluids, have a healthy breakfast, and spend some time relaxing away from the frenzy of the festival. Recover well, and you can rave for days without risking exhaustion.
Make Your Next Rave the Best Yet
Master the art and science of raving and have the time of your life! These tips will come in handy and set a good example for the next generation of ravers to join the party.