Arts and Jazz Festival is finally here and with that comes lots of fun, good music, fabulous art, and FOOD. All the food. But with all that fun going on it’s hard to remember the essentials that will make your festival experience stress-free and easy-going. So here you go! Check these babies off before heading to the festival to make sure you’re fully ready to party!

  1. A BLANKET AND/OR LAWN CHAIR: It took me a good five or six years to realize just how crucial these items are. Not only are they a protection from the inevitable mud that will be coating the ground but it also provides additional comfort for those times where you just want to kick back for a while, watch a good band, and relax in the shade with a beer and some good food. After all that walking and crowd hopping over the bridge ten times, you deserve a comfy place to rest!

  2. A GAME FOR IN BETWEEN SETS: This is a must. Whether you’re waiting for the next band to go on or you just want something to do to give your feet a rest, bringing a simple card game is a great way to kill time and enjoy some quality hang out time with your friends. I’m personally planning on bringing Coup, a simple card game that can be played with 2-6 people. It’s fast paced, easy to learn, and doesn’t require a lot of extra figurines or game pieces. Just cards. It’s also a game of bluffing which will be downright hilarious after you and your buddies have downed some craft beer or  canned wine (or if you’re just a REALLY bad liar like I am.). You can get this game and other fun festival-appropriate games at More Fun Comics!

  3. A FULLY CHARGED PHONE: Not so you can be on it all day and ignore your friends, but so you can take lots of pretty photos of your favorite bands and yummy funnel cakes and potato twisters and snow cones and popcorn and ALL THE FOOD. Hashtag 'em all #wddi so we can see all the fun you’re having!

  4. A REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE: Because you need to stay hydrated and because there is enough trash in the landfill already.

  5. CASH: For food. For drinks. For art. For clothes. For food. For trinkets. For activities. FOR FOOD. Every year I bring my own snacks and tell myself I’m going to eat those to save money and it never works. I go home with a smashed up apple in my purse and an entire bag of kettle corn and a funnel cake in my belly. So just be realistic, bring some extra cash, and treat yo’self!

  6. SUNSCREEN: For the love of your beautiful skin, PLEASE wear sunscreen. I don’t mean just put a little on your shoulders or nose. Lather that s**t up all over your arms, face, neck, legs, feet, wherever your skin is exposed. Yes, this means chapstick with SPF in it, too! And keep applying sunscreen on throughout the day even if it’s cloudy. One application of sunscreen is cute and stuff but it won’t protect you ALL day.

What are some of your favorite things to bring to Arts and Jazz Fest? These are just a few of my favorites but bring whatever you think will make your festival experience kick ass. Don’t forget to hashtag #wddi on all your Instagram photos so we can follow your festival adventures!

 Saturday headliner - Aaron Neville

Saturday headliner - Aaron Neville

 Friday headliner - Jack Dejohnette Trio

Friday headliner - Jack Dejohnette Trio