The business of giving advice is tricky. The adviser must have had enough trials and tribulations to be jaded, but also enough victories to be hopeful. Let’s say I’m a pro.

Let’s just say … you’re going to a music festival.

By the time you’re all reading this, I’ll be wearing a plastic tiara with the words “Birthday Princess” scrawled across the front in purple glitter, dancing the night away in front of Iggy Azalea.

Tickets to Music Midtown are probably the best present I’ve received since I was five and got a toy jeep for Christmas. (Thanks, Mom.) Even though I’ve been planning my outfits for two weeks, I’m still a little scared. I’m a music festival virgin, but with my veteran-of-Bonnaroo bestie, bestie’s map-friendly boyfriend and my fearless friend from home all by my side, I’m ready to take on Hotlanta.


Here are some tips and tricks I’ve collected on the yellow brick road to #EmilyTurns20WithBoB to help you in the future:


Don’t wait till the night before to do your homework.

I’m sitting on my bed juggling the Big Five personality diagram and a 500-word writing assignment, kicking myself for sleeping until 10 this morning. Do your nerves a favor and get all your work done more than a day in advance.


Pack for all terrains.


We’re in this weird time between summer and fall where it’s scorching during the day and freezing at night. Cardigans are your friend. Also, you’ll be walking, twerking and standing in line at the overpriced merch tables. My combat boots definitely made it in my bag.






Plan your escape.

Parking will be horrendous no matter where you go. No one ever knows how to drive, and there’s always that one guy who goes down a parking aisle the wrong way and gives no bothers about it. I highly recommend Uber, Lift or an actual taxi.




Be responsible.

Y’all know I am hype about my birthday in Hotlanta. Y’all also know my mom will be calling me in the morning and saying what she has said to me since I’ve been going on trips alone: “No sketchy boys. Don’t drink anything anyone gives you. Don’t go to the bathroom alone. Keep your phone charged. Always have cash on you. Don’t set your purse down anywhere.” Listen to Lisa. She knows what’s up.



Have a blast.

Take a minute to stand in the middle of the madness. Close your eyes and listen to the music and just take it in. All the different people have come together in one place at one time to celebrate the same sound. It’s the most magical place on earth in that moment. (Sorry, Disney World.)






So send me love, good vibes and Instagram collages on my birthday weekend extravaganza. Then go out and have your own.




Hugs, kisses and all my best wishes.