So you’re going to a music festival. Awesome. Music festivals are one of the best ways to meet new people, eat good food, have new experiences, and generally just enjoy and appreciate your life. (Full disclosure: I’ve been to Bonnaroo seven times from volunteer to VIP, and last year I went to Made in America’s debut in Philly.)

I have made pretty much all of the totally avoidable mistakes that there are to make, and I am here to tell you that whether it’s your first festival or you’re a seasoned pro, there are some things you have got to have in your arsenal to make sure your experience is truly memorable—and to avoid any situations that will take away from the fact that you are there to get down.

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