So many festivals happen during the hotter seasons, and many of them are held at outdoor venues.
Although they are meant to be an enjoyable time, it can get hot and exhausting if you fail to care for yourself first. Not to mention, the mixture of loud music, alcohol, and super-hype attendees can make a festival seem like a playground of anxiety for a large portion of the population. And as lit as they can be, events like Afropunk can certainly be overwhelming at best when it comes to putting self-care at the forefront of the day. Being an avid festival-goer myself, here is how I survive and thrive.
Eat and drink when necessary.
I start every morning with a latte, but considering the amount of sugar it can contain and how long I plan on being out in the sun for a show that day, it may be worth skipping and replacing with a green smoothie instead. That way, I know I'll get an equal fix of both sweetness -- a la fruit sugars -- and real, lasting energy by way of the smoothie's green vegetables to boost my vitamins, minerals, and fiber intake.
Drink plenty of water, and do not ignore your body when it is telling you that you are hungry and about to pass out. I will never miss an opportunity to eat a slice of pizza or a taco from a food truck during a festival, even if it is slightly greasy and extremely overpriced. Food is nourishment, and it is important to feed yourself, especially while burning energy and being on your feet for hours on end.
Protect your ears and eyes.
Have some stylish sunnies in your purse in case the sun in sweltering and in your face the day of a festival. Another dual purpose option is a cute umbrella -- if it rains, you'll be covered as well. And seaking of the sun, bring a portable battery-powered fan to keep you cool, too. I always bring a pair of cheapearbuds from the drugstore since I like getting up close and personal near the performers.
Wear the right stuff.
Wear sunscreen 30, and go the extra mile of protection by keeping your beautiful curls tucked in a headwrap or underneath a hat. Wear comfortable shoes and breathable clothing that you might not mind getting a little dirty. I once wore a brand new pair of shoes and ended up in a mosh pit; needless to say, the show was memorable but my shoes were done for by the time I got back home.
Ignore the idiots.
Every event has a few buzzkills, but you don't have to be affected by them. I've witnessed my fair share of stupid people attempting to disturb the peace, but that doesn't mean I had to pay any mind to their behavior. If your mind is feeling uneasy and craving a moment to yourself in a busy crowd, never hesitate to step aside and duck off for a bit in between sets. Stand in the shade, go drink some water, and close your eyes for a bit (if possible). Give your brain a break, and just relax. After all, festivals are intended to be a sort of vacation from everyday life.
Last but not least, stay present.
There is a rare chance to see and hear great performances from amazing artists, so allow yourself to appreciate it. Put your phone down and don't worry so much about posting to your story. Yeah, that's coming from me. Even though I am notorious in my circle of friends for being the one who Snapchats and Insta-stories everything, I am certainly mindful of how much time I spend on my phone during festivals. Nothing beats the experience, the chance to be in a place with like-minded individuals, so the texts and mindless social media scrolling can wait.
Most importantly, have fun!
The NC crew will see you at Afropunk 2017!
Read our advice on how we slayed Curlfest 2017 here.