How to prepare for a happy Hillside


A quick guide for festival first-timers  

Hillside — often described as Guelph’s hippy music festival — has a reputation that precedes itself; Hillside sounds really fun, but attending is like a Guelph rite of passage and that’s just a little intimidating for a festival first-timer.

To prepare you for your first ever Hillside experience, The Ontarion checked in with Hillside to create a quick guide that will leave you feeling festival-ready and free to have fun.

On planning

Making a schedule is an excellent way to maximize the number of bands that you’ll see at Hillside. It’ll also make you feel pretty rushed if your schedule is full of back-to-back shows at different stages.

If you really want to make a schedule then remember to leave yourself some time in between shows so that you can enjoy other things that the festival has to offer.

You never know, you might just stumble across a new favourite something if you choose to go with the flow.  

On sitting

Whether or not you take something to sit on comes down to personal preference. A blanket is probably the most popular choice.

Some people bring chairs to sit on, but they are forced to the periphery so a ground sitter’s view isn’t blocked.

People tend to sit or stand closer to the front of the stages depending on the type of music. There are also picnic tables to sit at in the two tented stages (Island Stage and Lake Stage), but it is first come first serve.

On weather  

There will be lots of shade, but a hat and sunscreen are definitely key, especially at Main Stage.

If it is rainy, most people wear raincoats or they just embrace the elements.

You’re welcome to bring an umbrella, but remember to remain respectful of others’ space when carrying or opening them.

On food

You can bring food and non-alcoholic drinks to the festival.

They will do a search for alcohol and illegal substances at the gate. Food and drinks can also be purchased at the festival.

On paying

Hillside’s vendors are all cash-only, but there are ATMs on the site.

Based on prices in previous years, if you’re at the festival all day and don’t bring any food or drinks with you then you’ll probably need around $50 for a day.

On other essentials

  • Earplugs
  • Dancing feet (or, shoes that’ll let you bust a move)
  • Bug spray
  • Comfy clothes (a chance to wear some funky tie dye!)
  • Social and environmental consciousness
  • An open mind and positive attitude

Now that you’re on top of how to prepare for Hillside, you’ll want to enter our social media contest for your chance to win passes.

Follow this link to find out more!

Photo by Mariah Bridgeman/The Ontarion.

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