Festival season is approaching, and - don't worry - the middle kingdom has plenty to offer for all you festival lovers.
Read on for our top tips for festival-goers to make the most of your experience! Including:
- what to bring
- camping tips
What to bring
- Portable phone charger(s) (充电宝)
Not only is your phone the best way to take photos to remember the festival and stay in touch with your friends, but in China, it's even more vital. It's so easy to use WeChat or AliPay to buy your bevs and snacks, not to mention, way safer than carrying wads of pink 100s. You can also use it to get the best discounts from WeChat official accounts and order a DiDi home at the end of the event. So BRING A PORTABLE CHARGER and don't forget your cable.
In fact, I'd bring a couple of chargers and cables, in case they break, run out, or god-forbid, that cute guy who said his phone was on 2% never gives yours back. You can buy portable chargers (充电宝）and cables（充电线) for very cheap on Taobao or from shops like Miniso & Nome.
2. Wet Wipes （湿巾）
Bring a big pack, trust me on this. If it's a multi-day event, you might be too hungover to use the probably grimy showers. Even if it's just one day, given China's summer heat it's worth having some on hand in case you get sweaty or someone spills a drink on you... it happens to the best of us.
3. Suncream (防晒霜）
The higher the SPF the better - don't get burnt!
4. Antibacterial hand gel （抗菌手凝胶）
We've all experienced Chinese public toilets, and there's no guarantee festival loos will be any cleaner. With that in mind...
5. Toilet paper/tissues (卫生纸）
Pretty self-explanatory in China.
6. Emergency money
Just in case you didn't pay attention to my first point, it's probably worth hiding a couple of 100RMB notes just in case - phone case, sock, bra... wherever it's unlikely to fall out of.
7. Insect repellent (驱虫剂）
Don't get bitten. See the picture below for the kind I always buy in China - most corner shops stock it (or you can always do the trusty taobao image search!).
8. Snacks and water
Festival prices can be exorbitant, so stave off your hangry alter-ego and make sure to pack some snacks - nuts, dried fruit, and crackers are all good options. Bring some water too, you can reuse the bottle if there are any water fountains at the festival.
9. Bin bags (垃圾袋）
Important if you're camping. Bin bags can be used for everything: collecting rubbish, sitting on to stop your butt from getting muddy, storing dirty clothes, patching a tent, even an emergency raincoat in a pinch!
10. Hairbands （发带）
Make sure you always have at least one on your wrist in case you need to fix your hair, or to rescue someone who forgot theirs.
Not only are bumbags (fanny packs to our American cousins) super convenient for keeping your valuables safe, they're also having a fashion moment - sling them diagonally across your shoulders for more street-style and less middle-aged-white-woman on a coach tour. Also super useful for squat toilets!
12. Hand-held fan （手提风扇）
Make sure you get a small electric fan - super cheap to buy in China - and you'll be the most popular person in that sweaty, sweaty, crowd.
Camping festivals are becoming more and more popular in China, so make sure to bear these in mind.
13. Bigger is better
Get a tent that's bigger than you think you need. You'd be surprised at how much space your belongings will take up, especially when you're too drunk to put them away properly.
14. Pitch perfect
Try to arrive early to secure the perfect spot. Make sure you're as far away from the toilets as possible - it won't be long before they start to stink, and that is not the festival vibe you're after. Don't pitch near a path - other party goers might stumble into your tent. Find a spot near a landmark, so it's easy to find your tent again when you're ready to rest.
15. Make your mark
Make a flag, or decorate your tent with paint to make it stand out from the crowd - that'll make it much easier to find in the dark.
16. Make friends with your neighbours
No, we're not suggesting a crossover between two beloved nineties sitcoms. Make friends with the people camping near you, and you're bound to have more fun, as well as feel more secure.
17. Don't lock your tent
This is useless, and only draws the attention of thieves. Make sure to always keep your valuables with you, and when you sleep, keep them in your sleeping bag, or as far away from the entrance as possible.
18. Hack your way to the front
The best way to get to the front of the crowd is to wiggle your way to to the side of the stage, then cut across from there. If you're desperate to get to the front it helps if you looked worried or panicked - people are more likely to let you through without complaining. You can even call out a friend's name and pretend you've lost them.
19. Make the most of WeChat
WeChat has a lot of helpful features you can use for festivals: see if there are any groups for attendees, this is a great way to meet people and share advice. You can also use the 'share location' function to locate your friends. Make sure to sticky your group chat to the top, so even drunk you can easily message them. You can pay back your friends quickly and easily using the transfer function.
20. Meeting points
Set a meeting point - somewhere small but memorable - where you can find your friends if you get lost. This is also useful if you all want to see different artists but want to find each other after the sets.
I've taught you well young padawan.
Now it's time to live your festival dream - get tickets for all of China's hottest festivals right here!
About the Author: Lizzie
Hey I’m Lizzie! Shanghai newbie, but that doesn’t mean I’m not in on all the hottest events, gigs and exhibitions.
You’ll recognise me by the frizzy hair (thanks, Shanghai humidity) and the impressive collection of peppa pig t-shirts. Catch me trying out the latest vegan spots, or, on the weekends, watching the sunrise from the backseat of a didi on my way home from god-knows-where!