25 Things You Smell At Every Music Festival

The definitive ranking, from OK to hideous nightmare.

25. Funnel cake

Fried dough with a lemon-vanilla tinge will be the best thing you smell all day. But warning: your nose may be more game than your stomach.

ID: 3175357

24. Baby wipes

Carry perfumed-with-sunshine wet and cottony wipes for when you use the port-a-potties — no, they won’t have toilet paper — and use them as a shower substitute for your dirt-covered face and body.

ID: 3175387

23. Pizza

At a big festival, you can eat tacos, teriyaki bowls, burritos, artisinal popsicles, and more. But at the end of a long day, chose the salty and savory melting cheese pie.

ID: 3175769

22. Burning blunt

Notes of coffee, tobacco, and new friendship.

ID: 3175354

21. Sunscreen

At festivals, this can be used as both skin protectant and surfer musk perfume.

ID: 3175331

20. Beer foam

sakhorn38 / Thinkstock

Hops, carbonation, and cold satisfaction.

ID: 3175371

19. Dewy grass


Best in the morning, after the cleanup crew has come through, before the crowds have ruined everything.

ID: 3176951

18. Dry shampoo

Like chemically treated baby powder in an aerosol can, maybe with fruit.

ID: 3175379

17. Water refill stations

Naomi Zeichner / BuzzFeed

With their mix of chlorinated pool water and earthy well water smells, these are often suspiciously close to the bathrooms.

ID: 3175663

16. Camp stove fuel

Smells funky like a Zippo lighter, but makes dinner happen.

ID: 3175385

15. Dust

Matt Stopera / BuzzFeed

Acidic little pieces of dirt that want to live in your nose, mouth, eyes, and tent.

ID: 3175750

14. Golf cart exhaust

Golf carts are the most elite form on intra-festival transport. They amplify dust, and give it a diesel after-smell.

ID: 3175368

13. Armpit sweat

Chris Tuite / BuzzFeed

It’s no big deal, but everybody stinks.

ID: 3175703

12. Shoes caked in mud

Weirdly sour combo of dirt, sweat, sun.

ID: 3175475

11. Damp shorts

David Brendan Hall / BuzzFeed

Yeah, your butt sweats that much.

ID: 3175805

10. The inside of your baseball hat

It’s been incubating the stressed-out sweat coming from your brain.

ID: 3179064

9. Fog machine


A million fast-moving particles of heated “fog juice.” Plus, encourages smokers.

ID: 3179175

8. Soggy hay

Hay is thrown over mud/grass to keep ground dry. As it soaks up spills and rain, it ends up smelling like mold, maybe urine?

ID: 3175366

7. Recycling

Fermented beverage bottles, fermenting.

ID: 3178997

6. Compost

Naomi Zeichner / BuzzFeed

Everybody’s food and drink scraps, baked by the sun. Reeks of social responsibility.

ID: 3175369

5. Cigarette smoke

Makes the air in a festival tent smell like a humid ashtray.

ID: 3175780

4. A tent

All of your breaths, stuck in a small space.

ID: 3179086

3. A fart in a tent

Who DOES this?

ID: 3175461

2. Puke in a tent

Basically this is nuclear war. Take care to avoid at all costs.

ID: 3175378

1. Hot port-a-potty

This is like puke in a tent, except there’s other people’s puke, poop, period stuff, and pee, too — ALL THE WORST THINGS — and it’s all baked for a couple hours.

ID: 3179417

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