Fun DIY Ideas to Enhance your Festival Experience

My music festival lovers know that going to music festivals becomes so ingrained in our life that we plan out the rest of our lives *around* them. From the travel coordination, to the airbnbs or hotel stays, to the outfits, the trinkets and the food, festivals can start to add up to one hefty bill, especially if you are buying everything brand new!

Probably one of my favorite parts about going to festivals, even more so for overnight camping festivals are the secret DIY hacks I’ve picked up over the years that just make the whole experience ten thousand times more affordable, simple and enjoyable.

Here are my favourite DIY hacks to try out at your next big festival: 

#1 Although the festival community is full of P.L.U.R. practicers, there are some not so magnificent people that end up at festivals with intentions other than enjoying the music. Theft is only increasing at festivals, and it’s becoming so common that at my last EDC Orlando, 8 out of my 20 Airbnb mates got their phones stolen either directly from their pockets, fanny packs or backpacks! We all want to be in the moment, while being mindful and aware of our surroundings, but it can be difficult to do both. This is by far my favorite DIY hack because it cost me nothing, and has saved me endless amounts of stress. There are so many nifty devices and gadgets to protect your phone and backpacks in the festival scene, but they can become costly as well. Instead of spending hundreds on anti-theft devices, I simply use a suitcase lock on my backpack. I take the zipper of the main pocket, and lock it with the zipper of the front pocket and those babies are not going anywhere! If your backpack doesn’t have a front pocket, or if you only want to store your valuable items in the main pocket, simply lock the two zippers on the main pocket together. Usually the zipper will have an opening or a small hole, making it super easy to do. This cost me nothing, I already had the suitcase lock at home, and it is far more durable and resistant than some of the anti-theft devices you’ll see on the market. Now, where to put the key? You don’t want to put the key in your bag in risk of losing it or it being found and used. Suitcase lock keys are relatively small, so I hook it onto my kandi! I made a generic, plain kandi that I wear to every festival that sits on my wrist for easy access. It’s an extra step to get into your bag, but having the key on my kandi makes it a lot quicker, and I can rave without fear of theft. 

#2 This DIY hack is a bit of an odd one, but it’s been proven effective and I’ve used it more times than I’d like to admit. Whether it can be a bit unpredictable at festivals and coat check can be a hassle to line up, so when it’s cold or rainy out, instead of bringing your jacket that is just going to weigh you down and be a nuisance once the sun comes out again, I cut holes in a garbage bag and wear it like a poncho. It protects my outfit from the rain until I’m indoors, or until it’s dry out, and then I can dispose of it responsibly as needed without having to carry it around. Stay dry, and slay.

#3 Rave outfits are one of the most fun things you could ever put on your body, but from all your favorite rave sites, they are an arm and a leg, cost wise. Most of them are actually re-creatable if you know what to look for. This falls more along the lines of a hack, but gives you the opportunity to style and accessorize an outfit how you please to make it the look of your dreams. This will enhance your festival experience in so many ways. People will come up to you and ask you where you got all your pieces. Your look will be 100% unique and specialized to you. I like to order all my pieces separately rather than one complete look. Another hack is to use a bathing suit you really like and style on top of that. The base component of a lot of rave outfits is a bikini style piece, so rather than go looking for the perfect outfit, make it! Find a bikini/ bathing suit piece you love and begin to build! 

#4 Totems. If you’re an advanced festival goer, you know how importance of having even a small totem. Rather than waste time and energy trying to communicate through poor cell reception lines, or pick meeting spots that never work, spend a little bit of time making your own totem or flag. This is one of my favorite DIY projects that I’ve ever done. You can be entirely creative in this and decide what you want your totem/flag to say, and how large it should be. I’ve seen some insane totems over the years. If you’re looking for a flag, you can of course buy a premade one, but when I was looking for mine, I opted to design my own. It took me a day or so, but I plastered my own face all over it. I designed mine through BannerBuzz and they were super helpful, ensuring the quality was exactly what I wanted. At least my friends will always know where I am now, without a question. I personally love when festival squads make matching totems that are somewhat of an “inside joke”. It’s such a great pre-festival bonding experience with your squad and it will be a lifesaver in the festival. Grab some markers, some glue, a stuffed animal, a pole, some bristol board, whatever your mind can dream up (as long as it follows the festival guidelines), go nuts! Totems are much easier to spot in a crowd because they exist above head level. Meeting spots can get crowded and overwhelming because many people also choose the same area to meet with their individual squads. Work smarter, not harder!

The longer you rave and the more festivals you go to, you tend to pick up your own little tips and tricks. The biggest priorities when I go to festivals are safety, security and comfort, and these are my best DIY hacks to make sure I feel safer, more secure and comfortable while still looking my best! Letting go of the stress that comes with attending a festival is much easier when put these DIY hacks into practice!

Happy raving everyone!

By: Remy Lethbridge

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