Heading to Hangout Music Festival: “Off the Radar” Essentials

Written by Stephanie Rosa

Originally posted on SightsNSoundsWithSteph.com in 2015

This weekend I am headed to Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama. In the spirit of festival season, I thought I would make a small list of “off the radar” essentials when attending an awesome music event.

  1. Toilet paper or a small pack of tissues – Things can get crazy at some of the festivals, depending on how many people are in attendance. For some of the bigger festivals, toilet paper can become a hot commodity by the time you hit day two. Carry a small pack of tissues with you in your bag just in case you hit a bathroom that has run dry (and the girl next to you will probably love you too).
  2. Totem/Poster – Nothing is more frustrating at a music festival than trying to find your friends in a crowd of 5,000. “By the right speaker!!” often does not cut it. For Coachella this year, my friends and I printed and laminated an 11×17 print out of Dora the Explorer and attached her to a selfie stick (totems were not allowed, and selfie sticks were not either but it was easy to get in). When the group split and would try to get back together, we would text each other “Dora up!”, and just like that, we were reconnected. Dora is coming to Hangout this weekend too; she was such a lifesaver in Indio!
  3. Tapestry – Many festivals this year will not allow in blankets because of how much space they can take up. Likewise, the last thing you want to do is carry around a blanket with you all day. A tapestry, however, is not only larger than a beach towel, but it can be very easily rolled up and put into your backpack or small bag. Bonus: it can double as a shawl for when it gets chilly in the evenings.
  4. Flashlight – I cannot tell you how many times I have dropped something or have been digging in my bag at shows for chapstick or my phone. The best solution for this is a small flashlight to put on your keychain or attach to a zipper on your bag. It’s something so small that can make a world of difference.
  5. Earplugs – I have been attending music festivals for years now, and I’ve noticed that as I get older my ears have gotten more and more sensitive (especially if I’m close to a speaker). This past year, Coachella gave away free Dubs, an earplug that promises not to hinder the pleasure of hearing loud music. In fact, they call them acoustic filters. I found the Dubs to be incredibly helpful, and quite enjoyable actually. I could still hear well and at the end of the night I was not hearing any buzzing in my ears.

Can’t wait to see everyone again this year! Hangout is one of my favorite festivals in the U.S. by far. See you in the sand!


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