So Coachella, Bonnaroo, Sasquatch, Bamboozle Left and the Warped Tour have passed, but that means we've still got Rock the Bells, Lollapalooza, All Points West, Pitchfork, the Fuck Yeah Fest, Outside Lands, Virgin and Austin City Limits left.
Chances are you've been to one, and you know firsthand all the very low low points (heat, hipsters, $5 bottles of water) and the somewhat-high high points of summer-music festivals. You swear every year it's the hottest it's ever been and that it's the last time you'll go. But come spring, when the lineups are announced and your favorite band ever is onboard . . . and so it goes.
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The tricky part, other than scrounging up enough cash to buy that $285 three-day pass and figuring out how you're going to catch My Morning Jacket and Portishead at the same time, is in trying to maximize your comfort level in 100-degree heat while trying to look every bit as cool as the kids in VIP.
Guys don't really have much of a choice—shorts, T-shirts, sneakers or flip-flops. But for the gals, the revived trend the past few . . . oh, I don't know, five or six years has been trying to look like you belonged at the summer-music fest that defined all that would follow: Woodstock '69. Joan Baez; Janis Joplin; the Grateful Dead; Sly & the Family Stone; the Who; the Band; Joe Cocker; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; and Jimi Hendrix were among the performers—these days, we get MGMT. But Woodstock was also a celebration of the counterculture, if you will, and this remains somewhat true for the fests of today.
Fashion always goes hand-in-hand with any counterculture movement. While this girl was photographed at the Glass House and not Coachella, she looks ready to romp in patchy fields and roast under the sun, all in the name of music. She has on an orange, marigold (there is a difference) and white tie-dyed, cap-sleeved shirt; a shrunken knit vest; a chunky cuff; shorts; and terra-cotta-colored boots. Her loose locks are tied back with a free-flowing scarf. While the outfit looks good on her, it also fits exactly into your stereotypical vision of the music-loving hippie. In fact, it's a tailored version of something one would wear to a themed party. It's also an outfit Marie Claire or the fashion blogs would feature in a "What to Wear to a Festival" photo essay filled with print sundresses, braided belts and white-linen tops. Whether or not that's a bad thing is up to you.
What remains true, though, is the fact that everyone—I mean EVERYone—looks like shit by the end of the day, anyway. Many females have opted to trade in "real" clothing for bikini tops, shorts and hopefully sunscreen, which seems the most logical solution to heatstroke and tan lines.