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Sunday, January 29, 2023

SAMF 2015: Eight things every festivalgoer needs for a smooth festival weekend

With the annual Spring Awakening Music Festival, known as SAMF on social media, starting in less than 24 hours, I'm positively vibrating with excitement for what this weekend will bring. While I've only been to a couple festivals, and this will be my first time at an EDM-focused festival, I've picked up some tips from seasoned attendees and concertgoers about how to make this weekend at Soldier Field much more easygoing.

1. Water

While this may seem like an understatement, it's very easy to forget to hydrate when you're dancing with thousands of other EDM fans. While the weather is only expected to heat up on Sunday, hydration is key when spending upwards of eight hours outside. 

2. Poncho

While I was packing for SAMF, I was unsure whether to bring some sort of rain gear. I brought a rain jacket to Pitchfork 2012, and while it was useful for the midday thunderstorm on Saturday, it was too bulky to transport around. A poncho is perfect if you want to have something to cover up in case of those pesky mid-set showers. 

3. Sunscreen

Don't let the forecast fool you: As a Midwesterner, I know that weather can change at the drop of a hat. While it may be storming Saturday morning, you don't want to be caught in a midday stream of sunlight and risk burning. 

4. Hat/Visor

Are you sweaty from too much time in the mosh pit? Is your hair looking a bit ratty after someone stole your flower crown? Hats are your best friend. Blocking out sunlight is one thing, but if you're worried about being Instagram-ready, hats can help hide those bad hair days you don't see coming.

5. Phone charger

We live in a society where technology is a downright necessity in daily life. The last thing you want to happen is losing your friends and finding that your iPhone 4S is dead. Bring two chargers with you for the weekend: one for your lodging, and the other to bring to the festival, just in case.

6. Quart-sized plastic bag

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If you're bringing a soft-sided backpack, or some other form of bag, a plastic bag to slip electronics or anything else into will be helpful if the forecast holds true. 

7. Gum/Mints

Fresh breath is key at any time, any place. Also, remember in middle school when someone would whip out a pack of gum, and instantly everyone wanted some? If someone asks, give your fellow EDM fan a piece and strike up a conversation. You never know where it could lead you.

8. Yourself

You are heading off to three days of a fun, invigorating festival in one of the best cities in the country. While it may be raining, have a good time, be present and try to disconnect a bit. You'll be happy that you did.

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