From indie to rap to EDM to country, there’s a music festival out there for everyone. According to research, an estimated 32 million people attend U.S.-based music fests each year, traveling about 903 miles for the experience.
But a pilgrimage to see your favorite act is different from your average long drive. “Music festival road trips are less leisurely and more budget-oriented,” says Natalie Akers, Marketing Manager for Roadtrippers. “You’re also typically traveling with a group.”
Follow these dos and don’ts to make your next music road trip easier—and way more epic.
Don’t…Put Off Buying Tickets
Set a reminder on your phone and your work calendar for the on-sale date and time. Many festivals offer advance tickets, and some, like Coachella, allow you to pay in installments if you reserve early. If the festival is sold out but you don’t mind working, check the website to see if they let volunteer work in exchange for passes.
Do…Look For Alternate Accommodations
As soon as you’ve decided which festival to attend, figure out whether you want to camp, stay in a hotel or rent an apartment close to the venue. (Many festivals offer reservations with official camping facilities and links to discounted hotels.) If you can’t find a camping spot, Akers suggests checking out some sharing-economy apps as a great alternative to find a place to stay. Warm Showers, a site originally created to help cyclists connect with hosts who offered showers or a place to sleep, is a good place to start.
Do…Perfect Your Playlist
“Road trips are my favorite time to dive into full albums by great artists,” says Patrick Wimberly, a musician and co-producer for the New York band Chairlift. “It’s rare for people to find the time to listen to an album all the way through. Do it on the road.” Follow the music festival you’re attending on your favorite streaming service, and get caught up on the latest and greatest from the artists you’re about to see.
Don’t…Live Out Of Your Car
You may think that your car is a great place to sleep, store things or charge your gadgets. It’s not. Only keep things there that can withstand the heat. “Cover all your belongings that you leave in the car,” says Akers. “And don’t store electronics, food or medicine in it. Take them with you.”
Want to bring the kids along for the ride? Check out these family-friendly music festivals.