While a ton of excited festival goers gear up for Coachella this week, we checked in with one of Grand Park’s Event Managers and music festival guru, Matt Saltzman, to see what he thought was ABSOLUTELY essential when going to a fest. Here are the SIX things he promises no festival goer should be without:
1. Cash…and backup cash
What happens if you just lost your wallet in the restroom or it got picked out of your pocket or your friend holding your wallet just walked away never to be seen again? Bring backup cash and stash in various places – In your shoe, your hat, in a different pocket separate from the wallet. Keep a $20 bill with you, you’ll be glad you did.
2. Water bottle maintenance
Bringing a water bottle to any music festival is my first choice, but you’ll most likely lose it. Instead? Buy water throughout the daytime when the sun is out while the refill lines are long (with your cash!). This saves you from frying while you wait to refill. When the sun goes down and it cools off a bit, you can start refilling the collection you now have. Make sense?
3. Phone… and backup phone
Obviously, your phone is important, but don’t spend your whole day taking pics and videos (future Spielbergs: please be mindful of those behind you) or trolling Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/SnapChat, etc. Instead, use your phone to find your friends because, after all, being with your friends is what makes music festivals such a blast! Make sure you have a plan ahead of time in the chance that your phone runs out of power. For example, team up with a few best friends and share each other’s numbers with the rest of your group so people have more than one option when trying to get in touch with you. Most big music festivals have charging stations, but are you really going to spend an hour waiting to charge up?
4. Protect those peepers and the rest of you.
Yes, looking cool is important. Protecting your eyes? Far less cool, far more important. Festivals like Coachella, etc. are normally several days long and your eyes may hurt from all the intense non-stop sunshine. It’s a good idea to bring an extra pair. Stash it with your bestie. Sunscreen is super important, but normally very plentiful at music festivals. In the case you “forgot” yours, chances are good someone may lend you some SPF.
5. Dancing shoes
You’ll probably be on your feet all day – dancing, walking, jumping etc. Make sure you’re comfortable. Don’t obsess about style because when you’re in a crowd no one can see your feet anyway.
6. One tall friend
Having a meeting spot is often the right choice, but sometimes it doesn’t always work. Instead, designate a super tall friend as your meeting place. Suggest they wear something super bright and/or hold something that beams light. This will help the group, ESPECIALLY when it’s dark out. If you’re the tall one, it can be kind of a bummer to have that responsibility, but on the upside, you’ll have friends all day long relieved to find you. Take it from me, it’s fun being that person.
– Matt Saltzman, Grand Park’s music festival guru.
P.S. Matt prefers to wear $5 wayfarer-style sunglasses and likes to rock running shoes. He hides his extra cash in his backpack, manages to get cell phone service just about anywhere, and comes into the fest at 6 feet, 3 inches.