Festivals are a fun way to enjoy nice weather while relaxing with friends and family. The combination of local crafts, good music, and tasty culinary treats often draw cheerful crowds in cities across the country. Navigating the big crowds does take planning. However, with a little flexibility, incorporating festivals into your summer plans will be no hassle at all.
Over Memorial Day weekend I kicked-off the start of summer with a day at the Atlanta Jazz Festival. For me, there is nothing better than relaxing to good music. Listening to the smooth tunes of headliners Christian Scott and the renowned Ahmad Jamal, I enjoyed a sophisticated evening picnic with good company.
Festivals are the perfect summer outing because they offer something for participants of all ages. Family time is enhanced as festivals are great cultural learning opportunities for students on summer break. Much like my jazzy picnic, a good festival can make for easy in-town hangouts with friends. Planning a date? Festivals are also a great break from the average dinner and a movie. Whether venturing out to a local crafts show or camping all weekend at a music festival à la Coachella, taking a little time to plan ahead will maximize your experience.
Aundrea’s 4 Tips for a Fun Festival Outing
- Check out the festival website: It may seem like a no brainer, however, many people forget to check out the official festival website before attending the event. Online you can find important information such as what you can and cannot bring into venues, parking and transportation options, as well as ticket information and activity itineraries. Paying a quick visit to the festival website will save you time and help avoid headaches.
- Don't forget the obvious necessities: Heat exhaustion and dehydration are constant threats in the warm weather. While preparing for your day at the festival, pack a few bottles of agua and layer on the SPF. Additionally, be sure to bring along blankets and chairs (if allowed at the venue). At a minimum, always where comfy shoes. Ladies, this may mean leaving those sandals you haven't quite broken in at home!
- Arrive early: Inevitably, when attending festivals, I can never find parking or miss a long awaited act all because I leave late. Don't be like me. Arrive at your festival with plenty of time to walk around, stake out a good spot, and visit the food stalls before the masses come out.
- Go with the flow: In large crowds, be flexible. Keep the cartable items to a minimum and ditch the large bags.
When venturing out to enjoy the festivities and have fun, don't forget to take advantage of breaks in the shade, drink lots of water.
With more festivals popping up across the country, your name is likely all over an attraction. I certainly have my fair-share lined up.
An education policy wonk at the Georgia Center of Opportunity, Aundrea Gregg holds a Master’s degree in Social Policy and Planning from the London School Of Economics and a Bachelor’s in Classical Civilizations and Political Science from Howard University. She also is a nail painting enthusiast and writer living in Atlanta, GA. Connect with Aundrea on Twitter or Google+.
Edited by: Viviana Hurtado, Ph.D.
What summer festivals will you be attending?