How to Survive a Chicago Summer Festival (in Style)

How to Survive a Chicago Summer Festival (in Style)

Fellow Chicagoans… Festival season is upon us (click here for a pretty definitive list)! I’m a huge fan of music festivals like Lollapalooza, and have a few I plan to attend this year (Pitchfork, Lollapalooza and Piqniq).

The Top 5 Chicago Summer Festival Necessities

Chicago Summer Festivals

1. Camelback. The Camelback (or whatever off-brand strikes your fancy) is the quintessential music festival foundation piece. It’s important both because it holds the rest of the items on this list AND provides a steady stream of water once filled up. I usually work at the water filling stations when I volunteer at music festivals and those lines get long. Plan accordingly, and make hydration easy since it’s usually pretty hot and you’ll be moving around a lot.

Chicago Summer Festivals

2. Solar Phone Charger. A regular external battery charger is fine, but has limited recharges. Music festivals are notorious battery sucks. You don’t want to be in the position of trying to meet up with someone as your phone’s battery is in the dreaded red zone. If you’re willing to splurge, give the Panasonic Solar Charger a try. It’s $70 and good for multiple recharges. You could make up the cost by asking friends for a beer in exchange for using your nifty device. 😉

Bonus Tip: Knowing that phone connections can be a little jank, set a predetermined meeting spot if you lose your festi-besties (I just wanted to use that word).

Chicago Summer Festivals

3. Snacks! Festival food is always expensive, and never nutritious. Look at the guidelines provided by the venue for the festival you’re planning to attend to see if outside food is allowed. If so (score!), I would suggest a mix of fruit (healthy! refreshing!) and calorically-dense snacks like granola bars since you’re going to get hungry after moving around and being out in the sun all day.

Chicago Summer Festivals

4. Rain Jacket. The reason I suggest a rain jacket over an umbrella is because it’s easier to move around in and to store (in your Camelback). With Chicago summer festivals, the weather can change on a dime. It’s much more enjoyable to come to a festival prepared than to get drenched in a downpour (lookin’ at your Lollapalooza, basically every year). Make sure you’re also wearing shoes that can brave the elements – I always wince when I see a girl wearing sandals that inevitable cause blisters.

Bonus Tip: Your phone needs a rain jacket, too! Bring a plastic bag just in case.

Chicago Summer Festivals

5. Sun Protection. Even more likely than rain is SUN. Pack a travel-sized bottle of sunscreen, and wear a hat or sunglasses. You don’t want to be in pain for day two of a multi-day festival (or at work after a weekend of being in the sun all day).

Chicago Summer Festivals

6. Tickets, Credit Card, and ID. Let’s talk about the absolute worst thing you can do yourself when getting caught up in Chicago summer festival preparations – FORGET THE TICKETS. This has probably happened to everyone at some point and it’s the worst feeling to arrive at your destination and not be able to get in. On the fringes are forgetting your ID (no booze!) and a credit card/debit card/cash (No food! No cab afterwards!).

Here’s a checklist for you to save (it looks lovely on a Pinterest board) so you don’t forget the essentials!

Chicago Summer Festival

What else is a necessity for you when attending any of the Chicago summer festivals?

All Photo Credits: Amazon.com

Maddy Osman

Maddy Osman

Maddy is the founder of Chicago Cheap Ass. She loves to read, travel, cook, and play with her adorable dog Leonidas.
Maddy Osman

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