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Collector's Edition: Surviving Bonnaroo
"I couldn't be more excited to live in a bikini, get covered in a mud-dust hybrid, and sway to music I otherwise wouldn't care to hear"

In just a few days, I will be off in a car full of friends on our way to Bonnarroo, a three-day music festival in Tennessee. As someone who longs to embrace her inner hippie, I couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity to live in a bikini, get covered in a mud-dust hybrid, and sway to music I otherwise wouldn’t care to hear (I admit it, I’m a Top 40 girl…sorry).

Music festivals have become the latest hotspot to take street style photos. Ponchos, fringe, short shorts, tie-dye, gladiator sandals…that and more, much more all make appearances at music festivals. You might think it’s impossible to commit a style faux-pas at these things, but I’ve seen them. I’ve compiled a list of dos and don’ts for the ‘Roo.

Do Bring A Bikini

Or two, or three.  Admittedly, it gets so hot that the simple act of changing seems like a hurdle, but you’ll want the option to change suits if you feel too grimy. While we all want to get a great tan (don’t we?), straps could be a must. Or maybe I’m the only gal who’s not quite in the ‘bare my breasts’ freedom frame of mind.

Don’t Bring A Romper

Think about it. It’s a onesie. If you get hot, you can’t remove the top OR the bottom… it’s an all-or-nothing article of clothing. Which means if you need to go to the bathroom, you have to get naked. I get uncomfortable removing a romper to pee in the bathroom of a restaurant, much less in a Porta Potty surrounded by 90,000 festival goers.

Do Bring Flats

Leave your ultra-cool, super hippie flatforms at home. This festival takes place on a giant field, which means the terrain is anything but predictable. Tripping over uneven ground is a hazard and wearing huge heels will only incease your chances of injury– especially if you’ve been drinking since dawn.

Don’t Style Your Hair

Humidity. It’s what’s for dinner. 

Do Bring Hair Elastics

When it’s hot and sticky, long and luxurious hair is the last thing you want to feel glued to the back of your neck. Whether it’s in a messy ponytail or a chic sidebraid, the whole idea is to just get it away from you. Keep hair ties on your wrist in multiples; there will most likely be other women (or men) in the same predicament who are willing to barter.

Don’t Be Embarrassed by A Fanny Pack

Cash, a camera, sunscreen, lineup schedule, and a granola bar. The necessities. When you’re wearing a string bikini/board shorts and no shirt it might be tough to carry what you need. Don’t worry. No one judges here. A fanny pack (but a cute one!) will carry everything you need and won’t weigh down a shoulder in the process.

Do Bring Sunscreen

This isn’t an afternoon at Wasaga, leave the tanning oils at home. This is scorching heat from dawn right until dusk. Even with a high-grade SPF, you’ll most likely go home with a slight red tinge. Keep the sunscreen close (in your fab fanny) for constant applications. If you’re a pale burner like me, this is a commandment.

Don’t Always Wear Clothes

A quick trip to a Wal-Mart before hitting the festival can pack your car with all kinds of fun products, for example: body paint. Forgo the bikini top altogether in favour of a few strategically placed daisies. Tan lines won’t be an issue and I guarentee you’ll make loads of new friends. Be aware of your sweat situation though, it might cause you to lose your modesty.    

Do Bring Rainboots

On the off chance that it rains, the festival grounds will get muddy. There’s no better time to bust out those tie-dye, knee-high rainboots that make you feel like a kid again. Be warned though, a golden thigh and fish belly-white calf will be in your future.

Don’t Be Afraid to DIY

Go shopping for cheap, slightly oversized band t-shirts that you can cut and crop to your liking. Huge arm holes will make for fantastic air conditioning when it gets too hot, but will also have you working the popular trend of side cleavage. Everyone wins.


Bianca Teixeira writes about style for Toronto Standard. Follow her on Twitter at @BeeLauraTee.

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