It’s a music-lover’s favorite time of year, and with good reason. Festivals are happening every weekend this summer, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a better way to savor the season than by grabbing your crew and absorbing some great live music. Whether you’re a first-timer or a festival vet, here are some tried-and-true tips that will keep you rockin’ well into the fall.

1. Stay hydrated and protected from the sun.

Water, water, water! It may seem obvious, but it’s easier than you think to get dehydrated while you’re busy singing and shouting along to your favorite songs. Thought many festivals won’t permit outside water bottles past the gates, several offer free water stations that will help you keep cool. While you’re at it, make sure you shield yourself from those rays, too. Generously applying sunblock every few hours will help keep those nasty burns at bay.

2. Pick and choose bands wisely.

Take a good, hard look at the festival schedule ahead of time, and be strategic about your choices. This means that you might have to skip out on the end of one act’s set in order to secure a prime spot for a big headliner that you’re dying to see. It’ll totally be worth it!

Crowds Enjoying Themselves At Outdoor Music Festival

3. Nail down transportation and accommodations.

Some experiences can turn out better if left to chance (see the next point), but figuring out how you’re getting to the venue(s) and where you’re staying are two pieces of the festival puzzle that you should take care of ASAP. For popular festivals like South by Southwest, hotels and shuttle transportation book up quickly, so don’t get left behind!

4. Go with the flow.

It’s all well and good to have a band plan and a place to lay your head at night. However, make sure to leave some room for unplanned adventures (while being safe and responsible, of course). Check out that secret after party you heard about while in line for tacos, or chat up that guy next to you in the shuttle. You never know where these spur-of-the-moment decisions could lead.

5. Combine comfort and style.

Of course, you want to make a statement with your concert ensemble, but you might want to rethink those three-inch stilettos. Think cute, comfy, and casual: patterned or graphic tees with shorts, sundresses, and broken-in sandals. And don’t forget your favorite pair of shades!