The past few years, I ventured to a number of music festivals in the greater Washington D.C. area. While some are almost too convenient for me (my parents live 15 minutes from Merriweather Post Pavilion), the one event I venture a bit further to is Firefly Music Festival.
Do I look like I would be able to live in a tent, humid weather and a crowd filled lot for four days? Absolutely not. Can I afford a hotel? Sure, but I would rather not.
I am one of few who travel more than an hour to the festival because I stay in Cambridge (below), Maryland where my family owns a condo. You really can’t do better than free accommodations, especially after buying an expensive music festival ticket.
What forces me to drive more than an hour to and from the festival for four days is the excitement of frolicking through The Woodlands with like-minded individuals. Imagine an entire forest filled with glowing lanterns, art installations, a silent disco, hammocks and your favorite musicians.
Firefly Music Festival is one of the first events on the East Coast to draw people near and far to listen to a variety of music. There isn’t just one kind of genre, or even an overbearing amount. In the past few years, the event even brought past timers that people dreamt of seeing, and finally was able to! Think back to The Killers, Paul McCartney, Outkast, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bruce Springsteen and even The Gorrilaz. This year’s lineup included a must-see headliner: Blink-182. In 2011, The New York Times deemed that no other band will ever be as influential as this trio, and I agree.
The Woodlands will bring new and old music together making it ideal for any millennial to attend ranging from teens to 20s (and maybe a handful of 30s).
Four days can be long and gruesome, especially in the heat. After attending numerous festivals, I created a checklist of necessary and thoughtful items:
- External charger: I bought mine from Amazon and it gives me a handful of full charges for the day. Although festivals usually provide a handful of charge stations, avoid the lines and use that as a backup.
- Ear Plugs: Let’s not go deaf together. Hearing damage is permanent and you might find yourself right in front of a speaker (last year I stood in the front for Odseza’s amazing performance, but felt every single bass drop pulsate through my body). Grab a few at CVS.
- Face mask: Heat means sweat, which also means body odors. An outdoor venue also means people will most likely smoke. I avoid clogging my lungs with a fashionable mask.
- Hand Sanitizer: Trust me, you’ll use the whole bottle.
- Toilet wipes: Sometimes the bathrooms don’t have toilet paper. Don’t be left wondering what to do.
- Flashlight: Although every phone comes with one, a small flashlight will be helpful to avoid muddy paths, find missing items on the ground and signal to your location to friends
- Sunglasses: I suggest a cheap pair so you can fling them around easily.
- Eyedrops: I wear contacts and bear a piece of plastic in my eye from dawn to past midnight can be a lot to handle, especially for several days. Although security sometimes will stop you, show them you have contacts in your eyes and explain to them that you need these drops. Worst comes to worst, you chuck them in the trash.
- Sunscreen: Sunburn sucks and so does skin cancer.
- Water bottle: Bring a canteen or have your boyfriend carry a hydration pack (commonly referred to as a Camelback). The amount of people I see dehydrated increases each year. Why not add a s’well bottle to your ensemble?
- Ziploc Bag: You never know when it might downpour rain or you need to stash something for whatever reason. An empty baggie barely takes up space, so why not throw it in.
- Flash tattoos: No festival is complete without metallic drawings plastered across your hands, arms, neck and stomach. Buy an entire pack and place these bad boys on the first day of the festival. It should last throughout, but feel free to place more if you sweat it off.
- Cat ears: Last year these were all the rage. My favorite vendor created the famous Jhené Aiko ears and continues selling collaborative pieces.
- Headpiece: I bought a few from AliExpress awhile before the festival. They added a nice touch to my summer outfits (see photo above).
Hope to see you in The Woodlands this summer! #RoadToFirefly2016