If this is your first time, you’re in for a treat.  Being prepared or having an idea of what to expect can be a little overwhelming for newbies and not being prepared sucks. Spring Awakening is just a week away! Not only are we excited about the branded stages, the diversity of genres and the lineup, but my favorite thing that returns is the silent disco! You can’t beat literally dancing to your own set as outsiders watch and question what is it you are listening to based on how you boogie.

If you are traveling in from out of town like me you want to make sure that you packed properly. Check the weather and bring appropriate clothing. You don’t want to freeze your ass off or be soaked with wet clothes and not have an extra pair to change into before heading to the afterparty. Listed below are a few things I’ve learned over the years that have really helped my experience be amazing.

1.       Camelbak. STAY HYDRATED. Not saying that you have to be the one to carry this, but maybe someone in your group. These come in clutch and are perfect for dancing around in. Drink as much water as you can throughout the day because with all that dancing and the heat it is important to stay hydrated. If you don’t have a camelbak be sure to water have a bottle of water. If you’re drinking, I suggest a glass of water with each drink or rotate from water to drink.

2.       Earplugs. If you hang out in the back, no worries here but if  you like to dance by those speakers for some bass, I suggest using a pair. Super important to protect your ears! No one wants to have ringing ears for the next week let alone not be able to hear. We all are here for the main reason and that’s to listen to the beautiful music. You don’t want to have hearing problems down the road because that would just suck if we couldn’t properly hear the one thing we enjoy and love.

3.       Fanny Pack/Backpack. You don’t want to put stuff in your pocket because there’s the chance of it falling out, breaking, or getting lost. With a fanny pack or backpack you can put all the necessities that you need and not worry about carrying or losing them. Spring Awakening also offers day lockers that also have charging stations in them. You can secure your locker here.

4.       Baby wipes. We get sweaty, we get gross. No one wants to be that smelly, sweaty person dancing next to you. Baby wipes are an easy way to clean up and remain fresh. Not only for your personal hygiene but the porta potties usually always run out of toilet paper and this could save your trip to the bathroom.

5.       Mophie Chargers/ external battery packs. Your phones WILL die. You’ll be annoyed and aggravated that you couldn’t record a song from a set, take selfies or find your lost crew. These come clutch when you have them! Not only can you walk around while your phone is charging but it stays with you! You don’t have to worry about dropping it off at the charging station or waiting for it to come alive.

6.       Sunscreen. Protect yourself from the sun. You don’t want to look like a lobster and definitely not a snake once you start to peel. Protect your skin and in years down the road, you won’t look like a bad leather bag.

7.       Comfortable shoes. You’ll be dancing, walking and more dancing. DO NOT wear flips flops. You risk the chance of them breaking (I know from personal experience) and then you’re walking around on the hot cement burning your feet.

8.       Money. You’re going to bet hungry and thirsty. Once you leave, you can’t come back in.

9.       Most importantly: Pace yourself. Give yourself time to chill, step away from the madness, get in the shade and just breathe.  Eat, sleep, rave, repeat! Do not forget to eat, drink water, and sleep. You have 3 days to rock out and don’t want to be dead come the last day. Stay safe and keep your body well nourished.

10.  Don’t Get Stuck on the Mainstage. Festivals are sometimes where I discover new music. Get lost, and explore! Discover hidden stages, meet new friends, and go discover new artists you’ve never heard of. One of my favorite moments was my crew was going to the main stage at a festival and my one friends grabbed and and goes “No! We’re going to see My Nu Leng, I promise you won’t regret it!” At maybe one of the smallest stages of the festival, this was by far my favorite set of the weekend!

Bonus pointer: Make sure you check out a View from afar! I hate the crowds for many reasons but the best place to see a show is always a view from the back. It’s easier to find your crew in a designated spot in the back but most important you have all the dancing room you need while watching the amazing performance. Watch the crown dance as one while you enjoy the visual light and laser production. If you’ve never seen a show from the back, you will be amazed as to all the production that goes into them. You will appreciate them much more!

If you’re from Chicago, you understand this weather. Spring Awakening Music Festival will take place, rain or shine. Check the weather and be prepared. 7 days and counting! Get ready to make memories, dance and have an amazing time!