Pssst… I’m about to let you in on a little secret. This is the move music festival all-stars swear by. It’s how they keep dancing all weekend. Looking fresh. Doing it all with a smile on their face and a skip in their step.
They know how to sleep at a music festival.
Getting a good night’s sleep at a camping festival is key to having a great weekend. But it can be tough. You’ve got a lot of forces working against you:
- Your camp neighbors won’t stop blasting the latest Marshmello track.
- Your tent is trying to roast you alive —- hours before you’re ready to wake up.
- And there’s so much fun happening around you. You don’t want to miss any of it.
With a little preparation and the right tools, anyone can be a pro at getting some shut-eye. Read on to learn the secrets to getting a good night’s sleep at a music festival.
Stake Your Claim
Sleeping well at a music festival starts with scoping out a prime camping spot.
Look for even, flat ground. Be sure to set up your tent in the flattest part of your campsite. If camping on grass is an option, always choose grass over dirt or concrete.
Consider the location of passing traffic. Both vehicles and humans on foot. Pitch your tent away from main roads and paths. You don’t want that drunk girl falling on your tent right after you’ve dozed off.
This one’s pretty obvious, but make sure you aren’t downwind of the restrooms. Nothing will ruin a good night’s sleep like the sound and smell of a 5 am Porta Potty cleaning.
Always Be Prepared
Ever notice how much boy scout training comes in handy at a music festival? Be sure to keep an eye on the forecast the week leading up to your departure.
If temperatures drop when the sun sets, a few warm accessories will help make you comfortable enough to sleep. Big fluffy socks, a cozy pair of gloves and of course your favorite SpiritHood will keep you nice and toasty. Always have something warmer you can put on if needed.
This is especially true if you’ll be sleeping at Burning Man, where temperatures can fluctuate more than 50 degrees Fahrenheit from day to night. Sleeping at Burning Man comes with its own challenges. Take all of these recommendations to heart if you’re heading to Black Rock City.
If there is any chance of rain, prepare your campsite before you go to bed. The pitter-patter of raindrops on your tent is lovely to fall asleep to. But not if everything you own is getting soaked.
Tools for Slumber
When it comes to sleeping at a music festival earplugs are your best friend. The disposable options — foam and silicone — get the job done but aren’t great if you toss and turn while you sleep.
Instead, try reusable earplugs. The ones designed to filter excess noise from huge sound systems. Professional sound guys swear by them. These earplugs stay in better. And you’ll have them for both sleeping and avoiding eardrum-destroying decibels at the bass stage.
A silky eye mask will help you fall and then stay asleep. An eye mask is especially great if you’re having trouble dozing off. It helps to focus your mind and tune out distractions. The mask will also shield your eyes from the morning sun. Allowing you to sleep in just a bit longer.
Get off the ground. A good air mattress or camping pad will improve your sleep tremendously. Don’t forget to pack pillows and warm blankets.
Unless you brought your mommy with you to read you a bedtime story, you're going to have to get yourself to sleep.
Try following a similar routine to what you do at home. Brush your teeth and wash your face, to help signal to your body that it’s time for bed. Use some baby wipes to remove any dirt from your skin.
Hit the restroom before you zip up your tent for the night. Also, consider cutting out beverages an hour or two before going to sleep. This may save you from one of those brutal early morning pee runs.
Make sure your phone is on silent and no alarms are set.
For bonus points, turn your calm down ritual into a spa treatment. Bring some lavender essential oil — known for it’s relaxing and sleep-inducing benefits. Put a few drops on your wrists and neck to help lull you off to dreamland. Apply some moisturizer to your face and skin to fight the drying effects of being in the sun and dust all day. Listen to some calming tunes while preparing for bed.
The Last Resort
Maybe you tried all these suggestions but still couldn’t sleep. Or maybe you didn’t even try and watched the sunrise at the silent disco. All is not lost!
Here’s one more not-so-secret trick to surviving and thriving at a music festival.
TAKE A NAP.
If it’s the middle of the day, your tent is probably an oven and no place you’d want to sleep. If you’ve got some shade in your campsite, grab your earplugs and eyemask and catch a few winks here.
Otherwise, head into the main festival area. You’ll likely find more than a few chill, shaded spaces to get some rest. Enjoy a group nap with your fellow late-nighters snoozing by your side.
Sleep Is for the Strong
The key to having a great festival is to take care of yourself. When you’re at your peak, you can dance non-stop. You’ll attract awesome, fun people and be able to get the most out of your weekend.
It can be tough to pull yourself away from the fun especially at festivals with activities running 24-7. But you have to find some time to sleep. This is not optional.
Treating your body right makes post-festival recovery easier. Your return to reality will be a piece of cake. And, oh yeah — the best part? You’ll be ready for the next festival even sooner!