Five Essential Tips for Making the Most of Music Festivals

Here at Madison Records, we love live music. Sure, we spend a lot of time in the studio working with artists to perfect their sound and collaborating on writing. But all of us are also musicians and huge music fans, and that means we’re always going to concerts and music festivals, whether we’re playing in them or just part of the audience.

As outdoor music festivals grow in popularity, you can find great festivals to attend from early spring through to late fall. In fact, there are quite a few going on in and around the Atlanta area in the next few weeks. If you’re planning on going to any of the local festivals, or hitting some in your area, here are a few tips to help make the entire experience more enjoyable.

1. Pack a backpack with essentials. Even though the sun’s not bearing down on us like it does in July, being outside for long periods of time means sunscreen is a must. It’s also important to tay hydrated, and most music festivals have water stations where you can fill up your camel back or water bottle. So be sure to pack a small backpack or fanny pack with things like sunscreen, a water bottle, hand sanitizer and sunglasses. You’ll also want to throw in a phone charge to replenish your battery after taking all those videos of the bands!

2. Plan ahead. Music festivals are a great opportunity to check out artists you might be unfamiliar with, but most of the time you’re also there to see a few specific bands. Check out the schedule ahead of time to find out when your favorite artists are on stage. Once there, grab a map or download the festival app to make sure you know where the stages are and that you have easy access to the schedules and times.

3. Make comfort a priority. While you’re planning ahead, check out the weather forecast as well. Having an idea of whether to expect storms or sun can help you plan for the right gear to stay comfortable for hours on end out in the elements. Our suggestion: even if the forecast calls for sun, it can’t hurt to throw a poncho in that backpack as well. Also, be sure to wear comfortable clothes and shoes for all the walking you’ll be doing.

4. Buy your souveniers early. Shirts, CDs and other paraphanalia will be for sale all over the place at a music festival. If you want to have something to remember your experience by, be sure to pick it up early in the festival, before product runs out.

5. Bring cash! While it’s true more vendors are able to take debit card or phone payments now, there are still plenty that work by cash only. Bring some cash with you if you want to be sure you can get those tacos at the food truck or the beer in the beer garden.

Check out these area music festivals coming up in the next few weeks:

Music Midtown, September 15-16, Piedmont Park. Four stages, food trucks and bars and concessions fill up the park for this exciting event. This year’s headliners include Kendrick Lamar, Imagine Dragons, Post Malone and Fall Out Boy.

Imagine Music Festival, September 21-23, Atlanta Motor Speedway. This three-day festival of electronic dance music will turn the speedway into an undersea aquatic adventure. In addition to the many bands scheduled, there will also be circus performers, art installations, yoga classes and a splash pool.

A3C Festival, October 6-7, GA Freight Depot. Now in it’s 14th year, this is one of the biggest hip-hop events of the year. Three stages showcase many different artists, and there’s also food trucks and live art.

Tanner Hendon