19 must-know Music Midtown tips and tricks
Planning to brave the Southern humidity to catch a glimpse of Cardi B or Billie Eilish at this years Music Midtown? The coolest concert series for city dwellers returns to Atlanta with new chances to hang with old friends, seeing your favorite bands, relax and party in the A.
Related: What should I pack for Music Midtown?
But a weekend in the city can quickly be ruined if you’re not prepared for three days of partying in 100+ degree weather with humidity. Here are 19 tips for surviving Music Midtown 2019 all weekend:
19 must-know Music Midtown tips and tricks
Water, Agua, H20! This is the most important festival tip! Many Music Midtown rookies are so lulled by the false sense of Autumn because it September that they forget to drink water! This can be particularly dangerous when mixing dancing, drinking and sun. A good rule of thumb is to drink at least 1 water bottle every 2 hours.
Wear Sun block. The sunshine and warm weather is what makes Music Midtown so much fun. But too many of my friends had a good day 1 turn into an awful day 2 and 3 because of a bad sunburn. Lesson learned: lather up! Waterproof SPF 50is recommended.
Comfortable shoes and clothes. Many people forget this simple fact: you will be on your feet all day during the Music Midtown weekend. Trendy and fashionable shoes may seem like a cool idea for the first hour or so, but by the time it’s midnight you will wish you had worn something more practical. Also, many people tend to forgot that Atlanta is hilly and can get very cold at night. Always bring something warm for the night time. You will thank me for this one!
Take a photo of your contact information. If you plan on bringing a digital camera, make sure to snap a pic of your name and phone number. If someone finds your camera and peeks through your photos, they’ll know who to contact.
Buy merchandise on the first day. The Music Midtown merchandise tent turns into a zoo everynight as all the fetival goers are heading for the exits. I’ve personally waited in a merch line for 30 minutes only to learn that the shirt I wanted was sold out. The trick here is to buy your merch at the beginning of the first day.
Have a physical meeting spot for you and your friends. “The ferris wheel ticket booth”, “back left corner of the Mojave tent” and the “entrance to the Heineken beer garden” are all examples of unique physical spots that you can meet your friends should you get separated. See tip #7
Text affirmative statements. Cell phone reception at Music Midtown is spotty at best because rural Indio’s cell tower infrastructure was not designed to handle 85,000 cell phones in such a small area. So never text “where are you?” to a friend because it could be hours before they receive it. And when you get a response, your plans could have changed. Instead, text an affirmative statement like “meet at the merch tent at 8:00pm”
Bring a small flashlight. Not only is this an essential item for Music Midtowners, but a small flashlight is very useful for other festivals as well. Coachella veterans know that it is easy to lose your group of friends while walking through the crowds at night. If you have a flashlight (preferably one that blinks) the leader of your group can hold it up while walking through the crowds so that the rest of the group won’t lose site of him/her.
Beware the beer garden. If you’re trying to limit your spending, follow this Music Midtown tip! Drinking lot’s of alcohol and 100 degree weather don’t mix well. Save the boozin’ until the sun goes down. Plus, the $8 beers don’t feel too good on the wallet.
Bring a positive attitude. Everyone comes to Music Midtown to see their favorite bands and to have a good time. Accordingly, everyone is in a great mood (probably the best mood they’ll be in all year). Don’t bring eggy vibes and ruin other peoples good times. Think about the other festival goers and don’t be selfish. Don’t block other people’s view of the stage with a sign or your girlfriend on your shoulders. Don’t push and shove to make your way to the front of the stage. If you want to be up close for your favorite band, get their early!
Bring Earplugs – The music is LOUD! Especially if you’re in the front row of the mainstage. I never understood why people stand directly in front of the speakers in the Sahara without ear protection. After All, that ringing in your ear after the festival is permanent hearing damage.If you want to be able to enjoy the music 30 years from now, you MUST wear ear protection at Music Midtown (and all other concerts). I recommend the EarPeace HD Concert Plugs because they’re cheap and effective. And they come with a free case. These earplugs won’t muffle the music, but instead, bring it down to a reasonable and safe decibel level.
Bring porta-pottie necessities – The porta-potties are notoriously dirty and smelly. Stepping into a small human waste box that has been baking in 100°+ heat all day is quite an experience. Be sure to bring extra seat covers (grab some from a local fast food restaurant on your way out to the festival), toilet paper, baby wipes and hand sanitizer, if its a huge deal for you.
Be prepared for allergic reactions – Bring your anti-allergy medicine because the dry dust and grass on the festival grounds irritates most people’s eyes and throat.
Save your cell phone battery – It’s very annoying to lose your group of friends only to discover your cell phone is dead. There are no charging stations in the festival grounds (but there are some at the campgrounds). So, turn off your wi-fi, bluetooth, data and close all of your iPhone background apps. You don’t need any of these battery draining features while you’re at the festival. Enjoy the music, don’t sit around taking instagrams of the ferris wheel all day. If you really want to make sure you’ll have battery, get a Mophie battery back.
Put medication in original bottle – Unless you want your allergy medicine to be mistaken for illegal drugs and thus confiscated by security, be sure to keep your meds in the prescription bottle. Even worse still, you’re detained by the police for trying to smuggle drugs into the festival.
Condoms & breath mints
Leave for the festival early every morning – If you’re staying at a hotel or condominium, as oppose to camping, make sure to leave for the festival very early. Traffic can get very congested around the Polo Fields. I stayed at La Quinta Resort my first year (just a few miles away) and it took me almost 2 hours to get to the Festival.
Remember it takes time to get from stage to stage – If there’s a band you really want to see, make sure you leave early to get there. It can take a good 30 minutes to walk between the Sahara tent and the mainstage when it’s crowded.
Don’t buy or sell drugs from/to strangers – There are lots of undercover cops at Music Midtown looking to buy drugs from friendly festival goers. Don’t let your weekend be ruined by spending a night in the Indio police station. Besides, drugs are bad (see the Naked Wizard video below). If you do find yourself in trouble with the law at Coachella, be sure to contact Forest Wilkerson, a La Quinta-based defense attorney who has experience in dealing with Music Midtown-related incidents. Her office can be reached (available night and weekends) at 760-777-4322. Save this number to your phone’s contacts now!
Print out the setlist (bonus tip!) – Festival staff do hand out set time pamphlets, but don’t spend time looking for one. Print out the set times before you arrive and highlight the artists you want to see. Making a plan is the best way to maximize your time.