Free Press Summer Fest 2017 Preview

Free Press Summer Fest 2017 Preview

Before you go:

  • Download the #FPSF app (it is in fact free) for a schedule, lineup, map and other useful info.
  • Make a schedule for what acts you want to see (plus some backups in case you get sick of the crowds at your faves).
  • Register your wristband (see instructions below).
  • Designate a meeting spot with your friends for when your phone inevitably loses battery or you lose signal
  • Follow sjsreview on Snapchat for live updates from the festival!
  • Sleep well the night before for optimal energy for concert-going.

Music Festival Essentials:

  • Sunscreen: even if it seems cloudy, you can still burn
  • Water, Water and More Water. 72% of the human body is water. Need we say more?
  • Backpack, fanny pack, satchel or Camelbak — keep in mind you won’t want to carry around a big bag, so Camelbaks are an ideal size.
  • A Hat – ball caps, visors or waterproof sun hats will all do the trick. Note: denim ball caps seem to be especially popular this summer
  • Sunglasses – circular/John Lennon style or Aviators. Speaking from experience, it is very easy to lose sunglasses at a music festival, and very sad if the sunglasses in question are Ray Bans. So leave your favorite or most expensive sunglasses at home, just to be safe!
  • Flower crown & Flash Tats— it wouldn’t be a music festival without them.
  • Portable phone charger. Those Instagram pictures won’t take themselves if your phone is dead!
  • If you have an iPhone, put it on Low Power Mode before you head off to FPSF
  • Money — or register your wristband and pay cashless!
  • Apparel from Urban Outfitters and/or a basketball jersey
  • Clothes you’re okay with sweating all over. It’s Houston in early June. If you’re super desperate, go thrifting the day before (you can catch some cheap concert attire at stores in Montrose like Pavement)
  • Anything that says Calvin Klein (you know, for the aesthetic)
  • A Blanket. Maybe. If the grass at Eleanor Tinsley Park is dry and you want to lounge and peacefully jam out to slow indie rock, then be our guest.
  • Closed-toe shoes that can get dirty — VERY IMPORTANT. Sandals may be cute for festivals but aren’t practical- crowds will step on your feet all the time, and if it rains, your feet will be super muddy.
  • Empty hydration packs or water bottles to fill up inside the park; sealed water bottles are the only liquids security permits festival-goers to bring inside the park with them.
  • Hand Sanitizer- this one seems random, but port-a-potties and the numerous sweaty fans you will accidentally rub against will make you want to have a germ-fighting tool on hand.
  • Toilet Paper- never underestimate how gross port-a-potties can be, and never assume that toilet paper will be provided for you.

Cashless Payment:

Upon activating your wristband online at , you will have the option to register for FPSF Cashless. Utilized by other mainstream Music Festivals, such as Austin City Limits, cashless payment allows festival-goers to order food, drinks and festival merchandise from vendors with a swipe of their wristband. Users link their credit cards to their FPSF wristbands and set a PIN for security purposes, making cashless payment safe, easy to use and time-efficient. It also eliminates the drawbacks of carrying cash or a wallet, which are easily stolen or lost amidst the festival’s massive and sweaty crowds.


More tips!

Drink water before. Hydration cannot be emphasized enough; if you think you’ve had enough water, think again. The early June heat, coupled with the enormous amount of unsanitary body heat generated from the energetic FPSF crowds, will spike your chances of dehydration dramatically.


Camelbacks are especially useful for maintaining a healthy water intake, as festival-goers can sip on a constant stream of water throughout the day. Especially for those who love being front-row and are willing to wait for hours in the sun, your Camelbak will become your festival best friend.


Plan your day. Knowing when acts go on before the day of the festival and which performers will be playing at the same time will help you prioritize the acts that are most important to you to prevent missing anything. Additionally, note that guaranteeing a spot close to the stage requires an early arrival time at that stage before the performer goes on. For acts that are particularly popular, plan to arrive unnecessarily early if you don’t want to be sitting on a random person’s shoulders singing along from a half a mile away in the back of the crowd.


It’s Houston, so be ready for it to rain or stop raining at any time regardless of what the weather report says. Rain Ponchos will be available for sale on the festival grounds.


Check out the food! Just like the rest of Houston, FPSF has a mouth watering food scene that passionate fans might neglect if they do not take a break from the music to explore the rest of the festival. From Korean-Mexican Fusion to South African Cuisine to classic burgers and fries, FPSF is full of good eats. Notable food vendors this year include Pax Americana, Good Dog Houston, and Pass and Provisions.  


Be willing to experiment musically. Try out some new bands you’ve never heard of or follow a friend to an artist they love. It’s a music festival, so enjoy the diverse offerings! Chances are that you’ll discover a new favorite. Leading up to the festival, browse the lineup and listen to new artists so that you don’t miss out on bands you might love!


Lilah’s picks for the best of Free Press

Day 1:

  • cage the elephant (9:30 p.m.)
    • classic festival indie rock
    • Also 90% chance that the lead singer will be shirtless by the end of the set so that’s always a plus

Day 2:

  • Cherry Glazerr (12:00 p.m.)
    • unless you’re accustomed to heavy guitars and headbanging, bring ear plugs
  • Hippo Campus (1:20 p.m.)
    • class festival indie rock, but with a smaller crowd
  • Solange (6:30 p.m.)
    • be prepared to be completely blown away with ethereal visuals and vocals
  • Lorde (8:30 p.m.)
    • hopefully we’ll hear new songs from her album “melodrama”
  • Flume (8:45 p.m.)
    • electronic music and chill beats, a guaranteed fun time

Claire’s Free Press Playlist