Ah, yes. Summer. The season of melted ice cream cones, lazy days by the pool, and everybody with a Spotify account's favorite activity: music festivals. These multi-day conglomerates combine all that's good in the world — the music you scream along to in your bedroom and the food you drool over on Instagram. 

When done right, music festivals are, for lack of a better word, magical. You'll leave with more than just a few filtered photos for your social media feed. You'll leave with an experience that will satisfy you for a lifetime, memories of your favorite headliner serenading you as you daydream during a lecture.

Armed with knowledge from my first music festival, GovBall NYC, I put together a guide that guarantees a once-in-a-lifetime festival experience.

1. Don't Be Afraid To Go Alone

Beatrice Forman

Even if it means braving the awkward 45 minute periods between acts by yourself, like I did. That's right. That's me enjoying my vegan ice cream in solidarity on Day 1 of GovBall.

Music festivals breed sensory overload. There's so much to do, so much to see, and so much to eat that it can get pretty overwhelming. That's why it's incredibly important to go with people you trust will find their way back to you during a mosh-pit or share a rain poncho.

Sometimes, those people are your whole girl squad. Other times that person is you and you only. Going to music festivals alone is, to quote the guy I sat next to on the Manhattan Ferry, a "transcendental experience." You get to control who you see and when you see them, which means you never get stuck in the back of the crowd.

2. Make a Schedule

Here's a crazy metaphor: a music festival is a battle. Despite sounding far-fetched, that's a 100% true statement. You are essentially battling thousands of other concert goers for the perfect spot to watch, say, Lorde debut a new single as the sun sets. 

That's why you need a plan of attack, aka a comprehensive schedule. Be sure to include all of the big name performers you desperately need to see, some small acts to pass the time, and some much-needed snack breaks.

#SpoonTip: While some festivals have their own app that allow attendants to create their own schedule, service isn't always reliable. I recommend using those Excel spreadsheet skills you mastered in a high school computer class to craft a reliable, and printable schedule.

3. Pack Like You're Going to the Beach

Lucky for us, we already know how to pack for a music festival. It's exactly like packing for a day at the beach. You're going to need to protect yourself from those summer elements (the sun and the heat), so pack sunscreen and all the factory sealed beverages you can.

Blankets and rain ponchos are also must-have items. Perfect for salvaging an impromptu rain shower, these items are small enough to fit in a drawstring bag. 

#SpoonTip: Don't just back for utility. Pack for fun, too. Feel free to bring bubbles, beach balls, and Polaroid cameras to enhance the festival going experience.

4. Be Friendly

beer, wine, champagne
Beatrice Forman

As the ancient proverb says, no one likes a party pooper. One of the worst kinds of people to be at a festival (besides someone who cuts the bathroom line), is someone who's discourteous in crowds. Do ask the tall dude in front of you to move if you can't see, but don't use a lame excuse about finding some "friends" to get to the front. Do wear comfy kicks, but don't sit down in a crowd.

Most importantly, talk to the people around you before the show starts. You're bound to bond with them since you already have something in common — music. The possibilities are endless. You might find your new best friend, non-Tinder hook-up, or dance partner.

5. Go Cashless

beer, coffee, tea
Beatrice Forman

While all your friends stuck on long lines thanks to cash are stuck in 2017, you'll be living it up in 3017.  No, really. Cashless tickets are the future. 

If your festival offers a cashless option, take advantage of it. Instead of fumbling to find the right change or waiting to insert the chip in the merch line, you can simply wave a wristband under a scanner. You're automatically billed, and can dance your way over to the next attraction. Sounds amazing, right?  

6. Take Advantage of the Free Goodies

You already know that the best things in life are free. You also know that you spent upwards of a hundred bucks on a festival ticket, so you probably want to maximize your experience. Luckily, if you pay close attention, you can eat and drink for free at festivals.

Subway is just one of the few brands aiming to entice a crowd with freebies. While they boast a free sandwich and a charging station, others are handing out free beverages, sunglasses, and other swag. 

#SpoonTip: Make sure to see what other offerings your music festival has. Typical offerings include record signings, impromptu acoustic concerts, and even mini golf. All — you guessed it — are free.

There you have it. Whether you're crossing the East River to get to GovBall, the entire country to get to Coachella, or the Canadian border for Osheaga, make sure to follow these tips for a low-stress, worry-free festival experience.