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Last week’s Coachella marked the official kickoff for the summer-music-festival season. Though it’s too bad the closest major music festival to us just had to host a not-so-thrilling lineup this year—in addition to selling exclusively three-day $300 tickets—Coachella remains one of the world’s most famous music gatherings around, adding its name to a list that includes Lollapalooza, Glastonbury, Bonnaroo and Reading.
Coachella 2010 was pockmarked with a few—or, rather, a lot—of glitches, including inadequate crowd control, the roof of the main stage catching fire, a handful of U.K. bands having to cancel thanks to the ashy aftermath of the eruption of Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull (no, seriously, that’s its name) and the usual shitty traffic. But hey, if there was one redeeming factor, it was that festival-goers this year were treated to temps that remained in the low 90s—a real treat for Indio, as previous festivals featured temps that crept into the 100s.
It’s that extreme heat that makes it tough to pack for these multiday festivals: having to worry about not having to worry about getting your outfit dirty, staying cool, and, yes, of course, still looking good and meeting the approval of your judgmental peers.
A few tips to start off this festival season:
1) Breathable fabrics. Think cotton, seersucker and the like. No one likes funky butt for three days straight.
2) (Try to) Ditch the bag. Gals, carrying a purse while trekking around to catch as many sets as you can is no fun—plus, when you’re the only one around with a bag, you can be damn sure your friends will ask you to carry something for them.
3) Bikini tops. I know it’s hot, but for fuck’s sake, wear a tank top or something.
4) Protection. Sunscreen is obviously a must, but I’d also recommend leaving most of your make-up at home. Foundation will slide right off your face within a few hours, and no one thinks you look as bad as you think you do. Settle for some make-up with built-in SPF, from your lip color and powder to bronzer. Look for face-friendly SPF oil-free matte blocks like the one made by Dermalogica, $45. Cosmedicine also makes a great medi-matte oil-control spray for $35 that you can just throw in your bag . . . that you didn’t end up leaving in the car.
5) Headgear. Lightweight straw fedoras, Panama hats and boater hats are, yes, still cool—just don’t be like that one dude we saw sporting the heavy black-felt fedora in the desert.
This column appeared in print as "Dressed for the Fest."