Strap up your Tevas, kids, because we’ve been to hell and back and we’re ready to dish (Coachella counts as hell, right?). Kicked off every April, music junkies, people who still think it’s okay to wear headdresses, bandwagon fans and Instaglammers set their differences aside for a series of four-day weekends to come together in dusty campgrounds around the country and pay homage to the best that the year’s music scene has to offer. Along with the drool-worthy lineups and overpriced merch stores come another highly anticipated arrival to look out for: festival fashion fads. This year was no exception, with celebrities and festival-goers alike bringing their personalized styles directly to our Instagram feeds.

As we all know, though, Instagram, with its filters and cropped images, can leave a lot of the story out. That’s where we come in. As sharp-eyed reporters on the ground, we saw a lot that the feeds and fashion bloggers left out. So whether you’re off to Outside Lands in San Francisco, Lollapalooza in Chicago, Bumbershoot in Seattle or anywhere in between, make sure to whip out these hot trends to get lips a-flapping and Instagram hearts a-rolling in! Take a look at our unfiltered take on this year’s hottest festival trends (and how you, too, can rock them!):

1. Sunscreen


Perhaps the most popular of this year’s sported trends was sunscreen. We saw people slathering this stuff on morning, noon and night. Preventative foresight is this year’s hottest trend, y’all! But how can you rock this tough-to-implement trend? Easy: simply remind yourself that your future dermatological health is more important than a tan that’ll fade after a week after you go back to your windowless office and – voila! – you’re on your way to be a trendsetter this season. If you’re feeling extra stylish, go lifeguard-chic by leaving your nose coated with unrubbed-in SPF 70+ sunscreen. It’ll come in handy when you’re drowning in the mosh pit.

2. Ibuprofen + Sunglasses

Tinted 📷: @willnichols

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One of the most popular drugs on this year’s campgrounds was the over-the-counter wunderkind ibuprofen. Best known for its ability to relieve the symptoms of hangovers, cramps and aching backs that have been subjected to four straight nights of sleep on a deflated camping mat, festival-goers favored this handy accessory throughout the weekend. Used smartly in conjunction with sunglasses, trendy folks staved off their adult weaknesses by shielding their sensitive eyes until the I.B. (as we heard some of the kids referring to it, pronounced as Eye-Bee) started working its magic. This trend is easy to get in on, just reach an age where your body does not miraculously heal from your bad decisions in twelve hours, head to your local grocery store and you’re set!

3. Earplugs

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Music’s not just for listening anymore, folks! One of the most popular trends that we’ve noticed on the festival grounds are earplugs. Sensible, responsible, stylish – what’s not to love? Sure, you forked over $400 for that flimsy wristband to see all of your favorite bands (okay, so you knew one before the Spotify playlist came out), but that doesn’t mean you’re going to subject your ears to a lifetime of subpar hearing just because of it. You came to this festival to hear music, sure, but word on the street is, garbled sounds heard through cheap earplugs are the new Beats headphones. You heard it here first, kids.

4. Inconvenient But Prudent Blankets

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When the highs are pushing 90° and the lows flirt with 40°, it can be confusing to try and dress for twelve hours on the festival grounds. Though in years past, most attendees have braved the lower temperatures in their summer best, this year we saw a surprising upswing of inconvenient but potentially prudent blankets hauled into the festival grounds. Often bulky and obtrusive – both to the carrier and to the folks standing next to them throughout the sweaty day – blankets have had to fight past the stigmas associated with carrying them, the most popular of which are their low pro-con ratios, their propensity to gather an infinite amount of dried grass and the regret the owner feels if the lows stay at a comfortable 60°. When asked about their choice to bring a blanket onto the grounds in nearly 90° heat, one attendee, who asked to remain anonymous said, “I wanted to be smart, but now I’m thinking about taking it back to camp. But then what if it gets really cold tonight?” What if, indeed, anonymous festival goer. What if, indeed.

5. Existential Crises

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As the average age of festival attendees rises, so, too, do the amount of hard, blank stares as band members reveal their youthful ages while expressing disbelief that they’ve actually made it this far. The collective thought is palpable in the hazy desert air: “They’re only 18? What am I doing with my life?” In our most oft-observed trend of the season, the adolescent optimism that ruled the trend-boards of years past has given way to the excruciatingly public existential crises. Though they can be hard to spot, as the individuals who have mastered the art of the public breakdown have months, even years of prior experience, the learned eye can catch a crises if one knows what to look for. Keep an eye out for boisterous shows of over-confidence, constant requests for high fives from strangers and anyone claiming to be a band’s biggest fan. Want to join in on the fun? Go through life with no thought of personal wellness or happiness and you’re on the fast track to rock this summer trend!

Which festival trend are you most looking forward to sporting? Tell us in the comments below!

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About The Author

Mary Zakheim
Content Writer

When she is not figuring out what the middle button on her headphones is for, explaining the difference between Washington State and Washington D.C., arriving to the airport too early or refusing to use the Oxford comma, you can usually find Mary in the mountains, at a show or on her couch. Mary is a content writer at Fareportal and likes annoying her coworkers with weird GIFs throughout the day.