A Normal Girl’s Guide to Music Festivals


…I want to go to Bonnaroo 

I am no newbie to music festivals, and raised in the “live music capital of the world” aka Austin, Texas, I’ve been fortunate to attend a lifetimes worth so I feel qualified to make this post. I have been going to my pride and joy of a festival, Austin City Limits for many years now, along with other Austin festivals Fun Fun Fun Fest and South By Southwest. This year I decided to take on a dream of mine, Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee. I went with my best friend and we had the time of our lives. I thought after this it would be a good time to create a guide that covers both fashion and beauty realistically without neglecting the nitty gritty that comes with any music festival.

I have my fair share of gripes that come along with “festival fashion.” While super cute, I think a lot of it is overdone and incredibly impractical but you’ll hear more about that later. I’m big on wearing whatever makes you feel good and pretty so those are just my opinions and please don’t let them deter you. Wear whatever the heck you want, I just want to be a voice of reason. I’m proclaiming my golden rule of festivals: BE PRACTICAL.

The mistake I think a lot of girls make when attending music festivals is that they dress or wear makeup in a way that can get really uncomfortable really fast in order to look a certain way. I want to make it clear that you can still look cute, just maybe with a couple tweaks to be more comfortable and to abide by the golden rule. I want to take you on a head to toe journey and give some tips of the trade so let us begin.

1. Head

Things that people often forget: Your head can get sunburnt! Hats are your best friend. Don’t take your new Rag and Bone wool hat. It will heat you up like an oven and not be fun. Straw wide-brimmed hats or ones with other thin materials and baseball caps are good go to’s.  Day one at Bonnaroo my scalp got a nasty burn because I am a doofus and didn’t wear a hat and then hurt and itched for the next 3 days and got all dandruff-y. It wasn’t cute. The baseball hat I wore for the next three days was cute and kept me shaded and burn-free.


Hats! Hats on heads! Bandana for wiping off face sweat 🙂

2. Face

Makeup is fun. It will also come off when you sweat. I tend to go makeup-free, but if you want to wear makeup make sure everything is waterproof or it will not stay. Fun makeup ideas are cool, but remember the golden rule: be practical. They will smear and smudge and melt off and leave a faint and muddled reminder of what they once were.Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 6.19.57 PM

So. Freaking. Cool. But realistically this would get destroyed by sweat and oil and all the feathers would most likely fall off :/ 

If you want some interesting beauty additions, Flashtats are awesome. They get sticky after a while because of sunscreen and sweat but they’re fun while they last. I got some for ACL and used the rest at Bonnaroo and just loved they way they looked.

Sunglasses are a necessity. I would say bring cheap ones because you never know if they’re going to break or get stolen BUT I wear my Ray-Bans and I’m always fine. Just use discretion and keep them on your body at all times.

3. Shoulders

I know backpacks aren’t the cutest thing. My go-to is bright orange Camelbak knockoff (they’re cheaper than the real thing and easy to find on Amazon!) that’s made for the outdoors and not exactly fashion-forward. But it’s a saving grace. I put sunscreen, snacks, my phone, keys, money, earplugs, etc. My life at a festival stays in that backpack and yeah it doesn’t always match my outfit but I take it off for pictures then no one has to know. 😉


Bae-ckpack makes a good pillow

Ridgeway by Kelty Backpack:


4. The middle area of your body where you wear clothes (idk)

Clothes at a festival are so important. You want to look cute but you also want to stay cool and not get sunburnt. If the weather is mild because its earlier or later in the summer/spring/fall,  it can be more fun to play around with different kinds of outfits but most festivals are smack dab in the middle of the summer and the heat can be brutal. At Bonnaroo I planned to wear cute lightweight dresses and shorts with flowy tops but I ended up wearing a bikini top and shorts basically the whole time because it was too damn hot for anything else. Tons of people just wore bathing suits and nothing else.


Bikini Top. S/o to Victoria’s Secret for always supporting me

If you get anything out of this, have it be the following. A festival is a place where you want to take comfort over style. I get wanting to emulate the “festival look”, I really do. But I have tried the whole Pinterest festival outfit thing and ended up either getting it dirty or sweating through the layers and being too hot or just being totally uncomfortable which led me to having a bad time. I had shorts one year that were a little tight and I thought I would be fine but it was just bothering me the entire time and I couldn’t focus on having fun because every time I ate they just got tighter and more uncomfortable. Just be practical. Don’t get me wrong, you can still be totally stylish, just make wise decisions on how you go about being stylish. Get a cute bikini top and some flowy shorts and boom. Pretty and comfy!

If you don’t want to wear a backpack, fanny packs are a good alternative if you aren’t carrying a lot. You’ll probably end up holding a bottle of water in your hand the whole time which can get a little annoying.

5. Legs

If its hot, wear shorts. It was 95 degrees at Bonnaroo and I saw people in jeans who looked absolutely miserable. I feel like this is common sense though.

If you want to wear a dress or a skirt or even really short shorts, know that chafing is real and no fun. Baby powder helps alleviate that but also slipping on volleyball shorts or something under a dress or skirt can eliminate the issue.


Smiling b/c volleyball shorts prevented chafing 

6. Feet

Cute boots with a small heel may seem innocent, but after hours on your feet they can be a nightmare. Opened-toed shoes are a recipe for disaster, your feet WILL get stepped on. Ow. Flimsy sandals are easily destroyed. I suggest Converse (not the white ones, I wore them to ACL last year and it rained and mud was unavoidable. It took me weeks to get them kind of white again), Vans, Toms, or any flat tennis shoe or boot. Basically don’t wear a shoe you wouldn’t wear on a hike, the conditions are surprisingly similar.


2014. LOOK AT MY POOR CONVERSE. They got even worse by the end of this day 😥

Lastly: If you go to a festival, please be careful. Drugs and alcohol can be okay, but don’t get yourself to the point where you’re too messed up to function. I saw so many people throw up unable to hold themselves together and thats so sad. There are always people falling over onto other people or getting in someone else’s space because they’re just so drunk or high. The other person did not sign up for that. You pay lots of money for good music and a good time and if you’re too f***ed up to enjoy it or remember it then what’s the point? You can ruin your weekend but don’t let your behaviors ruin someone else’s.

Thats all!


Song of the day: Daisy Chains: Will Joseph Cook


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s