Music Festival Checklist: Day-Pass Edition

A few months back, GD offered some guidance to the very non-scientific process behind selecting your music festival ventures. If you were fancying a trek to one of these wonders of the world, we hope you checked it daily, took copious notes, and hung it on your bedroom wall. Er, at least browsed the bold headlines…

Now that the season is upon us (or already has been for some luckier warm weather folk), fest vet Wes Anderson Kasik and I are noddin’ back to you with a two-part series. Here, we’ll outline a music festival checklist for relishing the moments once you arrive at your festination and brace yourself for those 2, or 3, or 4, or…days.

Wes is going to dive into the Overnight Edition. And I’ll be making suggestions based on my experiences for those festivals that aren’t as hospitable with their camping options– The Day-Pass Edition. They are these things (in bold) (below) (these parentheses).


Bring a sack

A napsack, that is. A book bag or drawstring bag. I am a law-abiding citizen here, scouts honor. Having some sort of carrier is mandatory for the day-pass fest; you won’t have a camp site to call ‘home’. It also makes for a lovely headrest if you find yourself weary and in need of slowing-down. So what should I place in this sack thing? Towels, sunblock, an empty water bottle. This, this and maybe these— just please, not this. Check out the FAQs on your festival site beforehand to get an idea. You’ll also be able to throw in any merch you graciously purchase from the local vendors in it too (sentimental memorabilia for future nostalgia is highly advised no matter the festival scenario).

Music Festival Checklistl forecastle festival

The sign– it’s good.

Tactical awareness

Know your surroundings. Most of these things take place in the heart of big cities: Chicago, Louisville, Atlanta Columbus (biased shout out!). Scope the hotel scene, and I’d also peruse the AirBnb availabilities. If you aren’t fortunate enough to book a place within walking distance of the venue, you’ll need transportation. Check if they have Lyft or Uber for a more efficient ride. If nothing else, at least know the local, trusted cabbies’ numbers. You don’t want to be stuck like a friend and I were one time in the heart of Chicago after the closing Bassnectar set of North Coast— warmth-less, poncho-less, date-less, ride-less, phone-less, brain-less; I think we just started walking in the direction of the tall buildings. I reckon it took us about an hour to stumble upon a taxi alone. Don’t be me; be wise enough for awareness and preparation.

tips for day pass music festival northcoast

OK, sometimes you’re lucky enough to stumble upon a limo.


Time is of the essence

Everybody wants to squeeze the most out of their whimsical journey’s juice. Usually, with the overnight campers, the lineup won’t be as concentrated. This means earlier starts, later sets, and more artists to view. Your proposition will likely be more compact in a day-pass only scenario, so you’ll want to get your shit together– but not too much. Perform your due diligence and research on artists and set times, but only enough to garner a C+ to a B. Where your grade falters on artist knowledge, level it out by equipping yourself– how ’bout an app— with all the set times. Let your curiosity wander to an artist you’ve never even heard of before. but ensure you’ll at least be seeing someone. I recommend getting there at the starting set (usually ~noon) in the day-pass only options and sticking around for its entirety (last set usually ends ~midnight). It’s more feasible, if only by a bit, than those overnight presumptive benders. Plus, you’re at the pinnacle of all parties– don’t waste it.


To get you warmed up for the summer sets, we curated some of our absolute favorite festival acts in this collaborative playlist:

Author: Nick Battaglia

Nick is a human being who spends an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out what he should be doing, instead of just doing; he hopes to change that in his new venture with Glass Duffle. Proud alumnus of Ohio University in 2011, Nick is currently situated in Columbus, 77.5 miles northwest of his beloved alma mater, according to Google Maps.

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1 Comment

  1. Try not to lose your hoots! That’d be my number #1 tip. Nice job again Sir Miklos.

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