If you are considering attending one of Australia’s many country music festivals, such as CMC rocks, Tamworth, or Groundwater Country Music Festival there are a few things you should consider chucking in your bag, as told by die-hard country festival-goers.
1. Ringers Western Shirts and Wranglers Jeans: Yes, it may seem obvious, but country fans are all about their brands. Ringers Western, Ariat and Wrangler are Australian favourites. And while you may not see actual cowboys donning these iconic brands, they are cool.
2. A mini electric fan: Welcome to Australian country festivals, where most venues take place in dry, dusty, red dirt, with temperatures soaring into the high 30’s to mid 40’s. For those dedicated enough to brave the wild-west, a mini fan is necessary to survive the long days.
3. Cowboy boots: Yet another seemingly obvious choice, but not just any cowboy boots will do. The cooler, the better. Delicate embroidery, tassels and classic Western styles are in fashion. Crowd favourites include brands such as Ariat, Ringers Western and vintage pieces from places like Depop and Op Shops, for a cool, personalized feel.
4. A truckers cap: If you want to look the part, cowboy hats are out, and truckers caps are in. Bonus points if the trucker’s cap is merch from an Australian country band.
5. Deodorant: Contrary to popular belief, this is controversial. The general takeaway from first-time country festival-goers is that many people in the crowd seem to forgo deodorant, and the stench can be unbearable. Don’t be that person. Bring your deodorant. If real Cowboys can make time, so can you.
6. Earplugs: Earplugs can be a lifesaver for hard-core fans if you are planning to get a spot right on the barrier or near one of the main speakers. Country music is known for being loud and proud, and if you are watching back-to-back sets, earplugs are a lifesaver.
7. Wet wipes: Sweat and red dirt can make a deadly combo. Often the lines for showers or facilities are miles long, and wet wipes will be your new best friend for a quick wipe down before you crawl into your swag and prepare for the next day.
Jess Morgan is a Law and Journalism student at QUT, she has always been drawn to words and the way we shape them. She has been published in QUT Glass, The Stew Magazine, the interactive exhibit ‘Love Letters to Brisbane’, ScratchThat, as well as being a reader for QUT Literary Salon. She has a passion for poetry, and free-form creative styles. Jess believes that stories shape us and connect us to one another. Find more of her work @wordsfromthe.sky_