Everything You Wish You Knew Before Your First Kiwi Music Festival

We asked seasoned festival-goers for their wisdom on portaloos, pulling and partying with strangers.
December 25, 2018, 9:07pm
Things You Wish You Could Have Told Your Virgin Festival Self

It’s summer, which means you are probably counting down the days to your festival lineup that has sucked your bank account bone dry. It’s a wild time to be alive, but for first-timers, the anticipation can be pretty scary. Momentarily living in a field of hot-boxed tents with thousands of inebriated people—who you have to share swelteringly hot and shockingly sticky portaloos with—can be a daunting experience to begin with.


That’s why VICE NZ has put together these pearls of wisdom from seasoned festival goers themselves—things they wish someone had told their virgin festival self. The hot tips can also help experts out to because everybody fucks something up each year.

Photos are supplied by Kiwi photographer and writer Joel Thomas—follow him on Instagram or check out more of his epic work here.


"Don't stress about sneaking in heaps of alcohol in shampoo bottles, you end up buying most of it anyway because theirs is cold and doesn't taste like soap."

“Always have a joint rolling session in the morning—pre-roll, not as you go.”

“If crowd surfing is on the cards, choose your bottom half attire wisely.”


“Prepare for shit fright.”

“Portaloos are so much worse than any portaloo you have ever used in your life…poo offsite.”

“Get out of the campsite during the day.”

“Shower at night so you miss the huge morning queues.”

“100 percent wear jandals in the shower, don’t ask questions just do it.”


“The girl you meet in the mosh is going to move into your tent.”

“Prepare to party on your own or with strangers.”

“If you decide to pull you have to do it on the first night, after that no one is showered or clean enough.”


“If there is an artist you can not bear missing, setting an alarm on your phone could be a good call. But also live in the moment too, and don’t let missing things ruin your time.”

“Prepare for everything to die. Bring a portable charger if that stresses you out.”


“Don’t just bring, wear mosquito repellant.”

“Pack your bag and then take out half of the clothes. You don’t need them.”


“Wear strong shoes you don’t give a shit about.”

“WEAR SUNBLOCK. Shade is hard to come by.”

“Bring at least two pairs of sunnies.”


“Your camp chair is considered a public utility, definitely don’t count on having a chair beyond the first day.”

“High chance someone will pop a manu on your tent so don't borrow mums expensive one.”

“Only bring your run down camping gear and then stick around on the last day to scope out an upgrade. People leave so much good stuff behind.”

“In a sea of warehouse budget tents, customise yours somehow so you don't mistakenly crash in someone else's.”


“Drink more water.”

“Bring some sort of cup holder. It saves you having to keep buying reusable cups with each drink, which can really add up.”

“Put a decent chunk of money aside for drinks. Preloading may be cheaper, but you really need to pace yourself. You don’t want to be that guy who didn’t even make it past pres.”

And most importantly: “Don’t be a dick or people will be a dick back.”

Follow Zoe on Twitter.