2016 Summer Festival Gear & Apparel Guide

Text by: Curtis Van Woerkom

Brixton, Nathan, O

Summer is finally here, and that means it’s officially festival season! People will be flocking to their favorite fields and parks in droves to enjoy some great times in the sun. We here at Altitude Sports are fortunate to be located in the heart of beautiful Montreal, perhaps one of the most legendary festival cities in the world.

During any given summer, we enjoy Osheaga, Ile Soniq, Heavy Montreal, International Jazz Fest, Just For Laughs, and Francofolies to name a few. Not to mention the countless smaller fests, as well as Picnic Electronik and <href=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tam-Tams”>Tam-Tams (not quite festivals, but the same rules apply) on a weekly basis!

2016 Summer Festival Gear Checklist

To say we are spoiled would be an understatement! As you might suspect, we have learned a thing or two about how to take maximum enjoyment from our short summer season and our amazing selection of events. So read on for some tips and tricks on how to make the most of your festival of choice!


First, and I can’t stress this enough, WEAR SUNSCREEN. Nothing will take the strut out of your step more quickly than a healthy dose of sunstroke, and honestly, nobody wants to get sunburned. It hurts, and wouldn’t you rather attract attention for your individual style than for your uncanny resemblance to a tomato?

The next thing you will need in your quest for solar protection is a hat. Again, this will help with keeping your energy levels up throughout the long day ahead, I suggest something along the lines of a Secret Service Snapback by Roark Revival or for something a little more slick (and this one is unisex) check out the Gain Fedora from Brixton. Women may like the very stylish Dalila Hat, also from Brixton.

Roark Revival Secret Service Snapback

Discover the Secret Service Snapback


Brixton Gain Fedora

Discover the Gain Fedora


Brixton Dalila Hat

Discover the Dalila Hat



Next up an essential item is of course, shades. Nothing beats a cool pair of shades. I have always felt that choosing the right pair is a pretty personal choice. When you find the perfect pair, you will know it!

There are a number of fantastic styles available for both men and women. I personally have a pair of Boise Wood – Ebony – with Polarized Lens by Proof. These are probably the coolest sunglasses I have ever owned because the frames are fully made of wood. I cannot recommend this brand highly enough, great, lightweight with crystal clear lenses and a sneaky little quote etched into the left arm.

Proof Boise Wood – Ebony – Polarized Lens

Discover the Boise Wood – Ebony Sunglasses


Ladies might enjoy a pair of Aviator Full Colour, from industry leader Ray-Ban.You really need to feel your shades, so it might be a good idea to order a couple of pairs, choose the best pair, and use our easy returns system to send back the other ones!

Ray-Ban Aviator – Photochromatic – Pink Gradient Brown Photo Lens

Discover the Arista Sunglasses



Now that we are basically covered for sun protection, we need to consider hydration. The trick to longevity at a festival is staying well hydrated. This is absolutely key. A small investment in a refillable water bottle is both economical and environmentally friendly. Most festivals will allow you to bring in a plastic water bottle ( filled with water….don’t be cheeky!) so I will highlight my choice for a plastic bottle.

I am really digging the Little Shot by Nathan it’s just the perfect size so it doesn’t become a hindrance and it comes in a few, fun, BPA free colours.

If you want to carry a bottle but don’t necessarily feel the need to have it filled all day long, another great option is choosing a SoftBottle from Platypus. This way you can use it when you want, and stash it in your bag (or even your pocket) when you don’t. Typically, a SoftBottle will take up about 80% less weight and bulk than a traditional hard bottle. So, go with whichever option most appeals to you!

Nathan Little Shot

Discover the LittleShot

Platypus SoftBottle 0.5L Push-Pull Cap

Discover the SoftBottle



Our choices as far as festival fashion are concerned are of course, very specific to each individual. The best bit of advice I have on this subject is to make sure you select an outfit that looks great on you, is in line with your personal style and most importantly is comfortable.

For ladies a lightweight dress such as the Madge Dress from O’Neill or a nice combo of the Dream Away Skirt with a simple tank like the Pinterest Pocket Tank from Plenty Humanwear. The lads will probably want to go with a cool pair of shorts such as the Conway Men’s 5 Pocket Short from WESC and a simple button down like the Noize Short Sleeve from Volcom.

O’Neill Madge Dress


O’Neill Madge Dress

Billabong Dream Away Sirt

Discover the Dream Away Skirt

Plenty Humanwear Women’s Pinterest Pocket Tank

Discover the Pinterest Pocket Tank

WeSC Conway 5 Pocket Short

Discover the Conway 5 Pocket Short

Volcom Noize Short Sleeve

Discover the Noize Short Sleeve



I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that the best way to complete this outfit is with a nice pair of sandals. I implore you, do not make this rookie mistake! Yes, they will look good with your summer ensemble, yes it would be beautiful to feel the wind whip across your exposed toes but…. think…. the last thing you really want at a festival is exposed toes!

The most obvious reason is of course that you are likely to be standing in a tightly packed crowd of slightly inebriated people most of whom will not have the consideration to avoid stepping on your unprotected toes! The next best reason to cover your feet is the likelihood of having to enter into a port-a-potty at some point during the day. Believe me when I say, you do not want to be putting your nearly naked feet on the floor of one of these. Let’s just say, the conditions of these ubiquitous plastic potties is often less than pristine!

With this information fresh in your mind, let’s consider some simple options for shoes that will complete the outfit, be suitable for wearing all day, and provide at least a basic level of protection from the various threats that you are likely to face.

A couple of good choices for a festival fella’s footwear might be something like these Newport Bay 2 Eye Boat Ox from Timberland they are super comfortable and will work well with almost any outfit. If you are the type who prefers a flashier pattern you can never go wrong with a classic pair of Authentic SF Vans. Female feet can be complete with an awesomely cute pair of Palisades Vulc, available in a variety of summer friendly colours.

Timberland Newport Bay 2 Eye Boat Ox


Timberland Newport Bay 2 Eye Boat Ox

Vans Authentic SF

Discover the Authentic SF

Vans Palisades Vulv

Discover the Palisades Vulc



The final items we will need are a couple of choice accessories to tie it all together. If there is one lesson I have learned from my wife it is that a lady can never have too many purses. She swears by the Daily Classic Purse by Lacoste, it is cool, elegant and the perfect size to carry around without it getting in the way of your dance groove. If you want to go full flowing, maybe try adding a Zenna Scarf from Soia & Kyo, besides rippling gloriously in the wind, this can also be handy as an extra bit of adaptable sun protection.

Guys generally get the short end of the stick when it comes to accessories. We certainly don’t have as many options as the girls! There is however, one absolutely crucial accessory that we do get to enjoy, I’m talking about watches. A reliable and attractive timepiece has been a staple of men’s fashion since men started having fashion and I’m glad to say that nothing has changed in this regard.

A watch is also an essential tool for festival enjoyment. Knowing exactly what time it is will ensure you are at the stage you need to be at when your favorite band starts their set. Nothing is more disappointing than missing your song of choice due to tardiness! a very cool option is the Star Wars collection from Nixon. Personally, I enjoy the Darth Vader model.

Lacoste Daily Classic Purse


Women’s Daily Classic Purse

SOIA & KYO Zenna Scarf

Discover the Zenna Scarf


Nixon 38-20 – Star Wars Darth Vader

Discover the 38-20 – Star Wars Darth Vader

So now we have covered all the essentials for both men and women and you should be all set to avoid the major mistakes made by festival attendees. So go gather some friends and grab some tickets. Some magical moments are no doubt waiting for you this summer, you just need to make yourself available for them!

One last thing, be courteous to your fellow concert goers, please leave the selfie sticks at home, and if you want to take some photos, go ahead, just remember, the person behind you probably doesn’t want to watch the entire show through your phone screen ( and neither should you!).

Photo credit : TIME

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