What I wear to a summer music festival or concert and what I pack!
Do you love attending summer music festivals? I sure do! I go for the overpriced food, meeting random dudes while we laugh at random half eaten chocolate, and of course the bands! Coachella is pretty well known for their own fashion. But in the Northern California festivals, people wear what they want to wear. Don’t feel too much pressure to dress like a model! But if you have the time and money (and confidence) to purchase such an outfit, then go for it! At Bottlerock, Outsidelands and Aftershock, there isn’t pressure to dress like you’re in a fashion show. It’s not like Coachella that way, even though some women do dress boho style or like they went to Revolve’s website, most people are pretty relaxed! But if you dress in pizza printed one-piece pajamas, or a sequin cape, you’re sure to get attention because we love seeing people get creative! It is San Francisco after all!
Me, I just like to wear a cool tank top and whatever jeans with ankle booties. It’s nothing spectacular, but it’s comfortable enough and my tit doesn’t pop out my whatever ridiculous tops influencers tend to wear at concerts.
I designed a tee inspired by vintage 80’s metal band tees with a mix of synthwave graphics. I love the graphics and illustrations on those old tees. But it’s usually best if you actually listen to the band whose tee you are wearing! Die hard fans get pretty aggro if they see a woman wearing a band tee and just assume they’ve never heard their music. It’s very insulting because they know nothing about you and what’s in your music library. The good thing about my tee is that it’s not an actual band and no aggressive drunk guys will throw band trivia at your face. And best of all, people who took my survey wanted unicorns, so I gave you a unicorn!
I present Metal Unicorn! This design is inspired music from the 80s, both metal and synthwave music. The unicorn gallops amongst the cosmos. I created a bunch of different textures, mixing raster and vector. The most challenging part was the chrome effect from the text. The fact that the text is curved made all the tutorials I looked at not work out! I went at each letter with the gradient tool individually to achieve the effect.
I wanted something cool to wear at Bottlerock this year. Something that fit my personality and attract the attention of like-minded people. But it didn’t matter in the end because it rained and I didn’t have choice, but to wear a hoodie and a jacket! (So I made hoodies too!) While I couldn’t wear this to Bottlerock, this fits in way better with Aftershock’s fashion! I am so excited that I will be seeing Korn and Tool this year!
Click here or on any of the shirt photos to see the whole collection and see which Metal Unicorn fits your style!
Unless you’re in the band, don’t take a guitar! And definitely don’t take any beer, they won’t allow that!
One of the styles comes in as a raw edge racerback tank top. It will keep you cool on a scorching hot day.
I chose Vintage Black as the color for the majority of the shirts. I wanted it to have a worn-in look. Some of the shirt styles didn’t come in the faded black, so I chose a regular black. Don’t worry, in 30 years it will be sure to look vintage!
A high neck tank top option, this style is flowy and not cropped (as it appears to be).
I wanted to give you all options on how you want to wear this, that’s why I have tees, tanks and sweatshirts in many different styles and fabric content! Check out the entire collection!
If you don’t already, please subscribe to my shop’s newsletter (and my blog’s newsletter!) I write and build these all myself and I put a lot of thought into it! I don’t repeat content from my blog’s newsletter to my shop’s. My newsletter subscribers and Instagram followers are the first to know about my newest releases! You also receive coupon code or 15% off your first order, and I may also slip in a free shipping code from time to time! Sometimes I host a giveaway for free makeup in there! I hosted one last April! Congrats to Steph for winning that one!
Onto what bags to take to a music festival!
When it comes to carrying a bag at a concert, the smaller, and the flatter the better! With all the walking around, standing amongst the crowd and dancing, you want as little bulk as possible! But as much as security would prefer we don’t bring anything, that just isn’t a reality.
With all the bag restrictions, your options are limited. Each festival has its own rules, so be sure to look at the official website way in advance so you know if you need to buy a special bag for the event. Most festivals encourage clear bags, but some allow a small crossbody bag. Always check the website for their rules and never assume they will make an exception for you. I have seen security throw objects into the garbage without the guest’s permission.
Aftershock, for example, does not allow chains. So a Rebecca Minkoff Mini Mac will not be allowed. Aftershock pushes for clear bags, so as unsightly as they are, you better just get the clear bag and save yourself the trouble. Bottlerock, however, has no policy against chains and though clear bags are encouraged, they’re not as strict about it. I have taken my Mini Mac for many years with no issue. Outsidelands used to more lenient with bags but now they have changed the rules. Festivals constantly change their policies, so just because you brought something last year does not mean you can do the same this year. Some festivals are fine with backpacks that are all clear, but not the kind you’d take to school, which I had seen people bring to Outsidelands a few years ago. Honestly, I don’t know how people go to concerts wearing a big bulky backpack! That’s the last thing I want to bring! If you have to go with the backpack route, a drawstring clear plastic bag will do the trick.
I like a crossbody bag, my hands are free and it’s secure against my body. The concert is all day, your shoulder will ache from lugging around a regular purse, plus some don’t even allow purses of a certain size. Also, the concert is crowded as hell, you don’t want to be the person whose bag is hitting everyone in a crowd! Bigger bags are easier to pickpocket cause you won’t see or feel someone stealing your shit.
Depending on the festival, I either take my Rebecca Minkoff Mini Mac or a clear stadium bag that I got from Amazon. Oh look! Rebecca Minkoff makes Mini Macs in Clear! In Black or in White Smoke. But if you don’t have $200 to fork over, the ones on Amazon are just fine, don’t feel pressured to be the most stylish girl there. People really aren’t paying attention to that.
If their pockets simply aren’t enough, most men might be going with the drawstring backpack or fanny pack route.
I have designed a guitar fanny pack as well as a double sided drawstring backpack! This is not just for men of course!
I made the fanny pack so that it does not have the Metal Unicorn graphic, in case you wanted to pair them together! Instead I used my Crossed Flying-V Guitar illustration and a lightning bolt on top!
The drawstring bag is double sided and has the Metal Unicorn on one side and Crossed Flying-V’s on the other. I set the graphic low so when it’s cinched, it still looks like something.
I would absolutely love to create my own line of crossbody festival bags. It goes with my original business idea where I wanted to create practical and stylish travel bags. However, I need start up money. Making a purchase from my current store helps me build more brand so I can create completely innovative products!
Here’s what’s in my bag:
My mom would have to go through a checklist of stuff I’d need to bring to school because I would always forget. I often found myself without any pens, lined paper, my permission slip, or my homework. My mom actually had to safety pin my permission slip to my shirt. It was so embarrassing. As an adult, I have my mother’s voice in my head berating me to not forget things. I’ve been conditioned to get super pissed at myself for forgetting my stuff. So that is why I’m like this now. Now I am berating you. (No, not really. But this is actually how I talk to myself in my head. Actually, it’s a lot worse.) But I need to be insane about packing if I am going to show up prepared for what the blazing sun has for me that day.
I’m the type of obsessive person that will overpack because I think I need everything. I can’t sleep the night before because I am so worried that I’ll forget something. (Mom’s voice reprimanding me.) So I make sure that everything is packed and near the front door the night before. I know that many people aren’t the type and will actually pack for an overseas vacation the day of their flight. Vacations are too stressful for me. This tiny bag causes me enough despair.
Blah blah blah, no one reads my blogs. In conversations I’ve had with people, it’s pretty clear. Thanks, I’m glad I took two weeks to write this!
Mini wallet with ID, credit card, public transit card (if you’re taking that) and some cash. There are many vendors that don’t accept credit cards, so you’ll need to bring some cash. I also bring my business cards in case I meet someone cool.
iPhone – This is obvious. Make some space on your phone. Download the festival’s official app if you think you need it. Keep it charged.
Phone charger and cord- (Festivals probably have charging stations, but there might be a long line or you have to pay or stand somewhere inconvenient for about 15 minutes.) It’s kind of bulky and heavy, but at the end of night, you’ll be glad that your phone isn’t dead when you need it for the GPS.
Get the smallest, slimmest, battery stick you can find on Amazon. I use this one from Anker, but batteries are always being updated, so find the one you like! These ones are very cute. Make sure that you are also buying a charging cord with the battery, it’s not the same one that goes in your phone. For the cord that charges the phone, I like to use the shortest cord possible so there isn’t a cord tangling up in my bag.
Sunglasses + the flattest case you can fit in your bag. You don’t want to have to wear it at night!
If it’s super hot and you’ll be sweating, get ones with nose pads. Ones without them slide off my face. You’ll get the impressions on your nose, but at least your glasses won’t be on the ground.
This case from Quay Australia is flat and holo!
Travel or Sample size sunblock– I cannot stress this enough: Reapply sunblock throughout the day! Especially if you are feeling the heat on your skin, but you’re probably already getting burned. It’s a hassle, but do it anyway. You’re not that busy.
Lip balm with SPF- Your lips need SPF too!
Lip color- (or all 5 that you happen to be wearing, I overpack)
Concealer- This is optional of course, but sometimes I find that I need to touch up!
Makeup sponge- To blend out the concealer if you happened to reapply it. I’m not using my dirty ass hands.
These mini’s from Real Techniques are great and affordable!
Mini facial mist- It’s so refreshing when it’s hot! I have dry skin so I need to rehydrate. It’s also handy if you need to use your makeup sponge. I am using free samples.
Pressed Powder- necessary for me!
Mirror (If your pressed powder doesn’t already come with one, mine didn’t)
Black eyeliner- I rarely need to retouch my eyeliner, but it’s so small, who cares. Pack it.
Hair tie- For when it’s hot as hell, when you eat, or when your hair just sticks to your sweaty face!
Emery Board- Okay, not everyone needs this, but I have long nails and they break and they will snag.
Small Makeup Bag- I keep the small stuff in a makeup bag. It defeats the purpose of using a clear bag, but I hate it when my stuff falls out and rolls everywhere. I also want to hide my feminine products in there.
Hand sanitizer- I’d get a hand sanitizer holder and clip it to the outside of your bag. You don’t want to dig into your bag after using a port-o-potty trying to get your sanitizer out! Plus people will ask to use some, it’s just easier to have it on the outside.
Antibacterial Wipes- Yes, I insist on both this and the gel! If you’re eating, guess what? Your hands are a mess. Use a wipe. Done.
I didn’t pack any deodorant wipes, but it may be something to consider! But not a full bulky packet, try and get the smallest flattest thing you can pack. You don’t need 30, you need like 1 or 2.
A travel sized deodorant may be too bulky in some bags, but fine in a drawstring backpack.
Tissues- I always need tissues. ALWAYS.
Ziploc- This isn’t weird. I keep a snack size Ziploc for my garbage, so I’m not stuffing them in my bag. It’s handy when I’m out of reach of a garbage can. (Like in a crowd and you can’t get out of, or if you just don’t want to get up go find one.)
Proxabrushes (tooth picks with brushes on the end) or mini travel size floss- You’ll thank me when you get food stuck in your teeth.
Listerine Pocket Pac- Everyone will thank you.
Gum- Why do you need this too? Because it cleans your teeth better than a mint.
Car and house keys- If you can remove bulky keychains and unnecessary keys before hand, that would be ideal. You’ll need the room in your bag.
Ear plugs– you might not need them, But they’re small enough to pack, and you might end up near the speakers.
Medication- If you take any medication and MUST take it with you, have your RX info. I have seen a security guard check and then call medical personnel over to look at it. Just take it the rx info with you, if you absolutely need it. If you have to take the bottle, just take what you need the whole day. Not all 60 pills or whatever. Or hide the one pill you need it in something else. They seriously aren’t going to check every nook and cranny.
First Aid- Usually the festival provides First Aid and you don’t need to bring anything. Unless you’re already wearing a Band Aid and need to change it often, bring a couple of Band-Aids since they’re small and flat. Otherwise what are the chances you’re going to need one anyway?
Feminine products- I cannot tell you how handy the feminine wipes came in when the port-a-potty I was in ran out of toilet paper! Bring a few with you along with your liners and whatever else you need.
Empty Water Bottle- Not every festival allows this. Bottlerock and Outsidelands do encourage bringing empty plastic bottles and I reuse the ones I bought from them. Aftershock does not allow these.
Your ticket– FFS don’t forget the ticket to get in!
Do not forget your parking pass, and whatever else you need. Put it by the door the night before so you aren’t looking for it.
Some people take a blanket to sit on, I personally don’t. I’m always walking around, and unless there’s a band I want to see the full set of, I am constantly on the move. Plus, I hate the idea of lugging it around.
Have your bag packed the night before, ready to go! I sound like my mom here. But you don’t want to be late and miss out on a good parking spot because you waited until the last minute.
Have your phone charging all night, and the portable phone charger all charged up. Seriously, I know people who leave the house with a dying phone. That’s like leaving with a full bladder and complaining that you need the piss the whole drive.
I feel like I’m your mom telling you this, but I have a lot of friends who have forgotten their tickets, left the house with an empty phone battery, left their glasses, left their jacket, locked their car keys in their car. You, dear reader, hopefully this won’t be you!
If you feel like you might need it, rent a locker! For the festivals I go to, it gets freezing at night and you’ll want a sweatshirt and a jacket at Outsidelands! It’s also good if you want to buy souvenirs.
The following recommendations aren’t sponsored at all. These are truly what I use and it makes my quality of life a lot easier. These companies have never contacted me, unless it was an automatic order and shipping confirmation. They never asked me to post this. I am not an affiliate.
I saw an Instagram ad for a phone wallet. It’s by Monet and it’s a great addition to my phone! It’s such a simple thing, but it has helped me immensely! The loop makes it easy to hold onto your phone, especially if you want to record the concert. I also like the loop to just hold onto my phone. It’s a hassle to take my phone in and out of my bag so it’s better that I just keep it in my hand. I am always taking photos and I want to be ready at a moment’s notice!
You can slip in your credit card into the pocket and it won’t fall out. It makes paying for your food a lot faster because you aren’t digging in your purse!
I have been using mine since early 2018 and so far, it has not fallen apart or unstuck itself to my phone case.
As for my phone case I don’t use anything flashy. I prefer something practical, and if I drop my phone I actually want my phone to be undamaged. So I go for a partial rubber case/ partial hard case from Incipio. I never change out of it. Since my phone is an older model, they don’t carry what I have anymore. But just look for the highest protection level. But for fuck’s sake, don’t drop your phone! If you have the finger loop from the Monet wallet, it’s less likely to fall out of your hand.
Don’t wear high heels.
Wear something that you can walk around in all day. Know the terrain, if it’s all grass, or a combination of grass, rocks, bark, whatever. I never recommend sandals. I don’t like sandals. I don’t own sandals. I don’t even want to look at them. I hate the sound it makes when people walk around in them. People wear them in the rain, the rocks, in the bark. I assume they have Hobbit feet that can withstand splinters. I’m just a feet hater.
Wear something you can walk around in all day (maybe for 3 days). Give your feet enough protection because you might get stamped on in a crowd. Also be aware that the temp might drop about 30 degrees once it’s night.
Don’t be ashamed of sneakers. But if you want to be stylish, consider booties or combat boots. Break ’em in so you know they won’t give you blisters.
If your feet are prone to blisters, I recommend using these Band Aids as well as callus cushions. (Depending on your needs.) Plus some antibacterial ankle socks! It’s hot and you’re walking a lot. Maybe dancing. So yourself a favor, avoid twisting your ankle and don’t wear stupid footwear.
You might not like my advice, so wear whatever you want.
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored. However, my own brand is being promoted in this post. But I am not paying myself to post my own stuff, so it’s not really a sponsorship. It’s me posting about my own stuff, therefore there is no exchange of money.
As claimed earlier, none of the brands I linked are affiliate nor am I sponsored. These are what I have been using for years and have not been paid to write about them nor was I asked to do them a favor. They don’t know me or that I am posting about their products.
I could have tried to re-activate my Amazon Affiliate account, but they keep deactivating it even though I had commission money. (That I never got.) Any purchases you make from the Amazon links, are not affiliate links and I do not get paid at all.