Three more days.
The countdown continues, and the packing begins.
This may be one of the best weekends of your life, as long as you’re prepared.
Coming from someone who is going for the fourth year in a row, here’s what you need to know:
1. Pack right and pack light.
Packing can be tricky, especially in the Northwest where the weather can go from zero to a hundred in a matter of minutes. And at Sasquatch, it surely will. Days are hot and nights are cold, and somewhere in between, you can guarantee there will be some rain.
First of all, check the weather forecast.
Plan your outfits ahead of time and try to include as many versatile articles of clothing as possible (it’s okay to wear the same shorts two days in a row, ladies). Festival fashion is great and all, but practicality comes first. And, as you will quickly realize, car space is never enough.
Be sure to pack the fun things, like face paint and Frisbees, but don’t neglect the practical things as well, like flashlights and a reusable water bottle. Making a list ahead of time is highly encouraged to ensure you don’t forget anything.
2. Familiarize yourself with the rules.
Make the Frequently Asked Questions section your friend.
No, you cannot bring food, drinks or DSLR cameras into the festival. No, you cannot have a campfire. Yes, there are quiet hours. And yes, these rules will be enforced.
Between you and me, there are some ways around them. If you don’t want to pay upwards of $10 a drink (and who does?), I would suggest checking out some of these tips on how to sneak things into the festival.
Although they will pat you down before you enter, some of these tricks really work! But, no guarantees. (Be prepared to possibly pour a whole bottle’s worth of vodka into the grass. I’ve seen it happen many times and it never gets less painful to watch.)
You didn’t hear it from me.
3. Make your schedule ahead of time.
There are many great things about Sasquatch, but one of the not-so-great things is choosing between two headliners. If you haven’t checked the schedule yet, I’m sorry to break the news to you — two or even three of your favorite artists will be playing at the same time, on opposite sides of the venue.
Luckily, the festival website offers a customized schedule feature. You can look through the lineup and add shows to your schedule, then print it afterward.
I would advise comparing schedules with your friends to make sure that you have at least one other person to go to each concert with you. The buddy system is important, as your phone will die halfway through the festival, and the venue is easy to get lost in.
4. Be early.
Get to the festival early. The line of cars will extend several miles outside of the entrance — no matter what time you get there. You will spend a few hours in your car just waiting to get in. If you get there just before the festival starts, you will miss the first few concerts. That’s guaranteed.
Plan to leave your campsite early each day as well. Not only will your drunk friends take forever to get ready, but you will also have to spend about 20 minutes waiting in line to enter the concert venue. If you want to get a good spot at the show, you will have to arrive there early as well.
A few other tips:
- Bring dry shampoo, baby wipes and whatever else necessary to survive four days without showering.
- Bring comfortable shoes and lots of caffeine — you will be walking, a lot. And it will be exhausting.
- Meet up with your friends on the way to the festival. Whoever is in the car behind you will be your camping neighbor for the next four days.
- Bring a rechargeable phone battery. You will not have power, and you will want your phone for as long as possible.
- Bring portable speakers, lights and a canopy. (I made the mistake of forgetting these items my first year and had to party in silent darkness and rain as a result.)
- Have fun! Don’t let all the planning get to your head. Most likely, things will not go according to plan, and that’s okay.
Follow Andrea Harvey on Twitter @andrearharvey