Attending a music festival should definitely be on your bucket list—but it’s not something you want to do without knowing what you’re getting into.
Here’s a look at what you can expect from this year’s biggest events:
Where: Chicago (July 31-August 2)
Bands: Paul McCartney, Florence + The Machine, Metallica
Day 1: Fashion trumps functionality here. Check your outfits against a Nylon cover.
Day 2: Pack good shoes. The Lolla grounds are a little big (roughly 50 miles).
Day 3: If you want to avoid traffic, you’ll have to leave a little early (3 a.m. should do it.)
Where: Manchester, TN (June 11-14)
Bands: Billy Joel, Kendrick Lamar, Mumford & Sons
Day 1: Bonnaroo somewhat resembles Lord of the Flies. Arm yourself accordingly.
Day 2: The resemblance shifts to Mad Max. Enjoy the music, but watch your back.
Day 3: : It is only by day three that things start to look more like The Walking Dead.
Where: San Francisco (August 7-9)
Bands: Elton John, Sam Smith, D’Angelo, The Black Keys
Day 1: Ladies, make sure to pack your best jeggings and a hat with at least a two-foot brim.
Day 2: You’ll want to keep your metabolism up, so bring your personal sous chef along.
Day 3: Begin the day with a refreshing acupuncture session. There. You are ready.
Where: New York City (June 5-7)
Bands: Drake, Björk, Lana Del Rey, The Black Keys
Day 1: Set a reasonable food budget. We suggest a thousand dollars a day.
Day 2: Did you drive? Bad news: Daily parking is about a thousand dollars.
Day 3: At least the bag check is free. Just kidding. It’s a thousand dollars.
Where: Chicago (July 17-19)
Bands: Wilco, Chance the Rapper, Sleater-Kinney, Chvrches
Day 1: Oh, you’re going to the Pitchfork festival? That’s cool, we guess. Yeah, it’s just whatever now.
Day 2: Like, Pitchfork’s first festival was good, but the recent ones seem like they’re trying too hard.
Day 3: Have you heard of this other festival in Raleigh? Probably not. Oh my gosh, it’s amazing.
Where: Mount Union, PA (June 24-27), Tri-Cities, WA (July 30-Aug 1)
Bands: TobyMac, Switchfoot, Lecrae
Day 1: Your youth group is easy to spot with their T-shirts that say “Savior” stylized as the Snickers logo.
Day 2: Slip I Kissed Dating Goodbye into every backpack. Don’t want students getting creative at Creation Fest.
Day 3: Please call us if you see the members of dc Talk together looking like they’re about to reunite.