It may only be mid-January but music festival lovers are already getting a head start on planning out their festival season calendars. This includes all the little details, from which musicians they want to see live to which cities they plan on traveling to for the season's biggest festivals, and even down to picking out the most festival-appropriate outfits to rock. But for some, festival season is already well underway. From Jan. 9 to Jan. 12, I kicked off festival season on board Holy Ship!, an EDM music festival that takes place aboard a 4,000+-passenger cruise ship, and spoke to some of the biggest EDM artists in the game to find out the musicians' go-to music festival outfits and provide all of you with some prime festival outfit inspo.
Let me tell you, after speaking to the artists aboard Holy Ship!, the major thing I've learned is that festival fashion is no longer just about flower crowns and unicorn hair. Sure, festival trends like glittery nipples and glittery butts are cool, but according to the festival regulars, it looks like the true meaning of festival fashion is found in self-expression — basically, in dressing whatever way feels most authentic and comfortable to you.
"I feel like [music festivals] are your place to appreciate music, but to also express yourself to be your own 'artist,' just how you dress or carry yourself," says EDM artist Devault.
If you're need of some inspiration as to what may spark your own desire for self-expression when it comes to your go-to music festival outfit, read on for some of the biggest festival fashion trends that musicians love.
DJs 12th Planet and Devault agree that graphic t-shirts are their go-to when it comes to dressing for a music festival. For Devault, he has a few brands he favors when looking for the perfect tee, including Mad Happy, Born and Raised, and For Those Who Sin.
He also adds that he loves to see fans decked out in graphic tees of featuring their favorite artists. "I always appreciate when [fans] are wearing old vintage or graphic tees or their favorite brands," says the artist. "When you start getting bigger and [develop] more of a fan base, your fans are a mirror of yourself, how you dress is subconsciously how your fans will dress, too."
12th Planet, on the other hand, prefers to rock a different kind of graphic t-shirt, but one that's still authentic to his current interests and invokes a sense of nostalgia. "I'm such a huge wrestling fan, [so] I only wear wrestling merch," says the artist. "Like 90 percent of what I own is wrestling merch, '90s wrestling merch or new wrestling merch, WWE or independent." Basically, when it comes to festival dressing, dress to express your personality and interests.
Don't be so quick to toss that old sports jersey you have in your closet just because Marie Kondo told you to. A few of the Holy Ship! artists agree that sports jerseys are an easy, comfy option for your music festival outfit — plus, if it's a team or fandom you love, that's just another way for you to express your authenticity.
DJ Petit Biscuit notes that jerseys are a prime go-to festival staples. "I’ve been making some Petit Biscuit jerseys that are really nice ... I think the jersey is part of my Petit Biscuit outfit," says Petit Biscuit.
Oversized Capes, Robes, And Kimonos As Outerwear
Throughout the music festivals that I've personally attended, I've definitely taken notice of one major trend: all of the oversized capes, robes, and kimonos worn over things like bathing suits, crop tops, leotards, and t-shirts. And apparently, this trend isn't limited to just the attendees.
EDM Artist Saymyname shares that an oversized custom cape by LA-based designer Brandon James is part of his go-to festival fashion. "My go-to outfit [for a performance] is a cape — it's like an oversized cardigan ... I have a black, a red, and a white one, and I’ll usually coordinate with a black tee and black skinny jeans," he says.
Of course, if you really wanted to take this trend to the next level, Petit Biscuit recalls "one of the most memorable outfits he's seen," i.e. the time he saw a fan rock a floor-length fur coat to a festival. "I'm interested in seeing people wear interesting stuff. I've seen a guy with a big, long, fake fur coat. That was really fun for me," says the artist.
Naturally, though, this may not be the best pick if temps are scorching hot. However, a more lightweight oversized piece like a cape, robe, or kimono is perfect for those festivals where it may be warm during the day, but colder at night. That way, in the harsh sunlight, you can sport your warm-weather clothes freely, but when the winds pick up, you'll still have a covering that provides some warmth. Not to mention, a cape or kimono is the easiest way to add some creative flair to an otherwise more plain outfit.
As compelled as you may feel to throw on your favorite pair of slides or strappy sandals for your next festival, all of the artists that I spoke to at Holy Ship! have made a strong case for opting for sneakers instead, especially if the festival you plan on attending is at a dusty venue or one that requires a ton of walking.
Devault shares that he opts for a pair of low-top Vans, while 12th Planet prefers a pair of Jordans by Nike. Saymyname says they've recently hopped on the chunky sneakers trend, which began in 2018 and is still taking over well into 2019, and copped a pair of the oh-so-popular Balenciaga Triple S Trainers.
Wild, Patterned Shirts
I think it goes without saying that music festivals are a place where it's OK and encouraged to be extra and to stand out if you want. Manila Killa shares that he loves seeing fans rock wild prints in patterns in outerwear or button-up shirts as a way to embrace that idea. "There are some really cool and risky prints that people tend to pull out during festival season," says the artist. "It's always cool to observe how far people are willing to take it with dressing at a festival."
This festival season, when you're picking out what to wear to the next event, just remember to go with what makes you feel the most, well, you, and opt for a look that is totally expressive of who you are.