NM Travels: The Music Festival Survival Guide - Neiman Marcus

NM Travels: The Music Festival Survival Guide

Megan O'Sullivan

September 7, 2016



Imagine a pine tree forest complete with a chocolate station, a wine tent, and booming with live music. San Francisco’s Outside Lands music festival is exactly that, but better. 70,000 people filled Golden Gate Park for SF’s annual music marathon, where a handful major headliners graced the stages, including Chance the Rapper, J. Cole, Lana del Rey, and Third Eye Blind, to name a few.


I haphazardly jumped onboard the Outside Lands bandwagon thanks to peer pressure and curiosity — when it comes to bringing music and friends together, I’ll likely cave. However, the three-day sprint was no walk in the park (despite taking place in a literal park). The whirlwind weekend was made possible by a few friendly pointers on packing and enjoying the magic. When challenged to pack for an event as trend-driven as a music festival, my instinct is to fold up my entire wardrobe — no fringe jacket left behind! Despite my allegiance to all things Iro, I had to face the truth: Carry-on is the new black. I consulted my co-Assistant Buyers here at NM on packing essentials and music festival must-haves. With fan favorites such as ACL and Burning Man on the horizon, we decided to bring you a Neiman Marcus certified Music Festival Survival Guide, curated by our savviest insiders.

Hyland Murphy, Assistant Buyer in Men’s Shoes and Accessories

Last Festival Attended: Austin City Limits, Austin. Jazz Fest is next on my list.

The Trend: Camo jackets. Yes, I recognize this Valentino is an extraordinary jacket and that I’m suggesting you wear it to a music festival! But I own a vintage version that I wear all the time—it’s lightweight, and I always get cold once the sun sets.

Layers. I personally recommend an around-the-waist flannel.

Sunnies, particularly in champagne hues.

Survival Tip: Don’t wear sandals — your feet will thank you. I also recommend an SPF tinted foundation, such as Laura Mercier’s Protect Foundation.

Jordan Duval-Smith, Assistant Buyer in Women’s Contemporary

Last Festival Attended: X Games Music in Austin, TX, although I’ve always dreamt of trudging through the mud of Glastonbury in a pair of proper goulashes.

The Trend: A well-executed Canadian Tuxedo is a thing of beauty. Vince’s raw-edge denim jacket paired with Joe’s cropped jeans exudes major cool vibes.

The Denim Mini. Particularly handy for hot summer music festivals, a denim miniskirt is an unexpected lifesaver. I love this super-stretch 7 For All Mankind skirt so much that I own it in two colors.

Survival Tip: Apply lip balm on the hour, every hour. With the sun and wind drying out your lips, this Fresh Lip Balm is a must for soft and happy lips all day long!

Margaret Hancock, Assistant Buyer in Ladies’ Shoes

Last Festival Attended: Austin City Limits, Austin, TX

The Trend: I learned the hard way that you should never wear sandals to a festival. Luckily, sneakers are hot, hot, hot! The two at the top of my wish list are the Gucci Ghost skaters and the Common Projects Tournament. When in doubt, you can never go wrong with the classic Adidas Superstar.

Survival Tip: Bring the right handbag! The perfect festival bag must be hands-free but big enough to fit your essentials (sunscreen, S’well bottle, lip balm). This Saint Laurent backpack is aptly named the “Festival.”

Gant Thiede, Assistant Buyer in Fine Apparel

Last Festival Attended: Heading to ACL in October

The Trend: The Embellished Jacket: It keeps you warm at night and your outfit cool.

Hand painted Moto Jacket
Star Denim Jacket
The Essential Bomber (NM Exclusive!)

Survival Tip: Staying hydrated is essential! I always carry by S’well bottle with me whenever I go. It keeps my water cold for 12 hours!

What I Wore:
Rag & Bone Distressed Crop Skinny
Current Elliot Grey Tee
Vintage Bandana, similar here
Theory Belt Bag, similar here
Adidas Superstar Classics




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