How to Recover after a Music Festival Weekend

by Mar 26, 2016Adulting 101, Tips and Tricks

Festival Recovery 101: How To Recover From A Music Festival

Let’s face it.  Whether you consider yourself a rookie or a pro, a multi-day music festival can take its toll on you, and the festival recovery may not be as easy as it used to be!

I’ve been doing this for years, and the road to recovery after a music festival doesn’t get any shorter as I get older.  In fact, I pay the price dearly after a long weekend now that I’m closer to 30 than 20.  (Shoot!  I think I’m closer to 40 than 30?!? How does this happen so quickly?)

I can’t even tell you how many times I have used the phrase “It’s a MARATHON, not a SPRINT!” in an attempt to make myself take it easy on Day 1 so I can last through Day 3 (or 4).   But you roll into the festival, set up your tent – and hey, let’s be honest – you crack a beer or make a cocktail to get into Festy Mode.

I’m not going to tell you to skip that first beer to toast the start of the festival.  It’s a tradition I plan to keep holding onto for years to come. 

I also know that quite often Sunday rolls around, and I wake up feeling a little rough from the amazing Saturday night late-night shows.  I say to myself that it would be a good idea to take it easy today – “Easy like Sunday Morning”.  But that’s not always the way things go, because as every knows – never miss a Sunday show.

So, that brings me around to Monday morning.  You’re packing up your campsite – or your hotel room – and may be feeling like you got in a fight with a dozen ninjas over the weekend. (The ninjas lost, of course.)  Your head is spinning with all the amazing music you heard and the great friends you met, but maybe from a few too many swigs from the whiskey bottle being passed around the late-night jam. 

Well, festy friend – it’ time to get your head back into the “real world” game. 

Here are a few tips to help you make the transition, and ease your music festival recovery:

Steps to a Music Festival Recovery

1:   DRINK

music festival recovery

Yep, you heard me.  A little “hair of the dog” typically helps make your Monday go a bit smoother while paving the road to festival recovery.  Make sure you save yourself a single beer for the morning, or my personal favorite, enough mix to make a farewell Bloody Mary.  (PSA:  Do not drink and drive.  I am by no means encouraging idiotic behavior here.  It’s time to be responsible, people.)  And I shouldn’t have to tell you this, but you should be consuming large quantities of water as well.  Get yourself hydrated, and your energy levels will be on the way to normal before you know it.

2:   EAT

music festival recovery

Sometimes the music festival schedule gets the best of us.  We are running around trying not to miss a set, enjoying adult beverages from morning until, well, morning, and probably not taking time to really think about eating something healthy and good for us.  So – it’s time to make up for lost vitamins and healthy calories.  My favorite feel better foods – start with a fresh fruit smoothie for breakfast and get some (veggie) Pho for lunch!  Not sure what it is about those two menu items, but they always seem to cure a solid hangover and get me on the path to festival recovery much faster.  (Note – Jason says pizza has been known to work as well)

3:   SLEEP

music festival recovery

If you do a music festival right, then you haven’t slept well at all the last few nights.  (Who makes these crazy schedules? Exhausting, but oh – so much fun!) So, it’s time to make up for lost sleep.  I like to start with a full 18 hours on the first day, but it’s not always an option. Whatever option you do have, just take it easy and let your body recover.  Think of all the time you’ll have to dream about the amazing weekend you just had!  FLASHBACK: I remember leaving the 2nd Wakarusa years ago (I won’t disclose my actual age here), and we were making a road trip to the East Coast.  We made it as far as St Louis, got a hotel room, ordered pizza and were out cold by 7:00 pm – woke up with cold pizza for breakfast at 11:00 am.  Hmmm…maybe my body was trying to tell me something? 


music festival recovery

Sometimes you just need to lose yourself in some mindless entertainment; lay around and do nothing for a bit while your mind and body remember how to focus and function in the real world!  With countless options for binge-watching your favorite shows and movies, there are literally days and days of entertainment at your fingertips! (You can watch a ton of content direct from Amazon – lots of it for free!).  Go veg-out on the couch and get yourself on the way to festival recovery!

5:   WASH

music festival recovery

Take a nice long shower, you dirty hippie.  We all know you didn’t want to shell out the $5 for a shower this past weekend, but now you have no excuse.  Use soap and water, wash thoroughly, rinse – repeat as necessary.  You could probably use a bath, too.  Soak those tired muscles from all of that dancing and running around! (I suggest you shower first so you aren’t soaking in your hippie scum.)  Wash your way to festival recovery!


music festival recovery

Like nobody’s watching.  No, seriously.  Plan ahead, get tickets to a show for the week after the festival, and get your mind and body back into that live music mode as soon as possible.  If not, you may experience some serious withdrawal effects!  As a matter of fact, doctors recommend that you see live music at least ONCE a week.  Some patients may require more doses of live music.  The Surgeon General assures us that you CANNOT overdose from too much live music, so go to as many shows as you can possibly handle.  (If you have overdone it at the show, please start at the top of this list and get back on the road to festival recovery.)


Congratulations if you aren’t a music festival rookie anymore.  Now stop acting like one, and get on the fast road to “music festival recovery”.


Need more advice?  Check out our extensive Adulting 101 articles and learn to festy like a pro!

Really need to learn the festy ways?  How about our Essential Music Festival Guide!

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