I’ve have to admit it — I was pretty nervous to attend The Meadows Music and Arts Festival this year. This was the festival’s first year, and there were a few complications: rain was to be expected, The Weeknd had to cancel his headlining performance last minute, my friend and I were running late and were close to missing our five hour bus ride to New York.

Nevertheless, here I am, writing this review. It’s been about a full week since the festival, and I’m still recovering from how awesome it was. Here’s the best parts of The Meadows that I can’t stop rambling about.

1. The lineup was amazing.

gif via GIPHY.com

gif via GIPHY.com

After The Weeknd cancelled his time slot last minute, I was quite bummed. Actually, I was very pissed. My friends and I all wanted to see him so badly. Instead, J.Cole filled in for him and I didn’t think he was going to be as exciting or cool to watch but man, I was so wrong. His performance literally shook the crowd. We all had so much energy that happiness filled the air and we were all jumping up and down to his songs. Kanye West even showed up, and even though he had a pretty short-lived performance, he performed every one of his songs with so much intensity — it made up for the brevity of his act. His passion for his work was clearly conveyed, and we were singing along to (most of) his songs. Other amazing performers included Empire of the Sun, Pretty Lights, Grimes, Mac Miller, Kygo, Bryson Tiller, The 1975 and more.

2. The atmosphere made it an experience.

gif via GIPHY.com

gif via GIPHY.com

I probably could’ve stayed there for much, much longer if it were possible. Everyone (and I do mean everyone) was extremely kind and looked out for each other. Kindness was everywhere, except right before the Bryson Tiller concert. People started pushing to get closer to the front, but that’s pretty much expected. From bag searchers to security guards to food vendors, genuine smiles and excitement radiated from everyone’s faces. It felt as if everyone was dancing, not caring what others thought and were there to simply enjoy themselves.

3. The food was pretty good.

gif via GIPHY.com

gif via GIPHY.com

This was definitely a good thing. A very, very good thing. As an avid boba enthusiast, I deeply appreciated the presence of a milk tea stand called Tea and Milk. They also sold these warm, gooey red velvet cookies with the drinks. You wouldn’t be wrong in assuming I had a couple of those a day. Along with Tea and Milk were vendors such as Arepa Lady, Ramen Burger, Jack’s Stir and Brew Coffee and several ice cream stands. My taste buds were content.

If this blog convinced you to check out The Meadows next year, I have a few tips and tricks to have the best time possible at this festival (or at really any festival you attend):

1. Bring an empty water bottle. You’ll refill it again and again. You could buy some there, but those $2 could be spent somewhere better. And hey, the environment would appreciate it.

2. Bring a jacket. A light flannel or a heavy leather one are best. Wear anything that’ll keep you a lot warmer than those shorts and tank top you’ll be wearing during the day. It sounds annoying to hold, I know, but trust me, you’ll thank me later. Just throw it in a backpack if you really don’t want to carry it.

3. Hence, bring a small backpack. It can also hold that small empty water bottle of yours.

4. Get there early. The first day of the festival, my friends and I were stuck in a herd of sweaty people, all of whom were trying to squeeze through security to desperately see the first act. Avoid this.

5. See someone you haven’t heard of. Live a little.

6. Have a designated emergency meet-up spot with your friends just in case all (or most) of your phones die. You’d be surprised how much battery Snapchat will swallow up.