It's time to start looking forward to and planning for music festival season. Whether you can only make a local festival or are planning a vacation around a destination festival, planning is required. Here are some helpful tips to start thinking about now.

Summertime just brings out the music in people.

Why sit in an indoor arena when the sun is shining and the breeze is blowing? Being outside and listening to music is different because the music becomes part of the natural landscape instead of bouncing off the walls of an indoor arena or conert hall.

Some outdoor arenas have a grassy lawn area where you can bring a blanket or a chair so you are free to kick back, relax and enjoy. You may even be able to catch the warm-up bands from the parking lot while you're having a tailgate party with your friends.

Concerts in the rain can be fun, but...

One of the disadvantages to outdoor concerts is, of course, rain. Some of the best concerts are rain soaked — remember the pictures of mud soaked fans at one of the most famous outdoor concerts ... Woodstock! So always be sure to have Plan B ready with umbrellas or ponchos. If the forecast really calls for bad storms or if a storm kicks up during the concert, the show may even be canceled— and hopefully rescheduled.

Enjoy the sun

The sun is great at outdoor concerts. If you're going to be rocking under the midday sun, make sure to wear sunscreen. With the music making the time go fast, it is easy to forget about how long you've been out in the sun. A bit of protection is always a good idea. Another way to stay cool is with a big, floppy hat, or at least a baseball cap. That way you can be stylin' and still avoid those nasty UV rays. One memory you don't want to bring home with you is a sunburn.

Stay hydrated

Singing, dancing, clapping and jumping all burn calories. As with any other form of exertion, it is vital to replenish your body with water if you're out in the sun for any length of time. And here's a news flash - alcohol is not going to help. Neither will Iced teas or coffees help your body stay hydrated on a warm summer's day. The best way to retain fluids? All natural H2O, or fortified waters, or unsweetened fruit juices.

Little kids love concerts, too

Remember that little bodies tend to get dehydrated even quicker than older kids or adults. Especially if you'll be attending popular concert series at summer amusement parks or beaches, remember to pack bottles or sippy cups of water or juice. Keep them nourished by carrying along baggies of their favorite snacks, cereals and fruit.

While you're packing for the concert, be sure to add extra diapers for the little ones, and depending on your kids' ages also bring a change of clothing, and a book or two to keep them entertained during intermissions.

Local and worldwide - Summer is outdoor concert time

From amateur performances in the town square to flashy metro stadium concerts, there are outdoor music events to be found in practically every city and every town worldwide. All types of music - from classical, to hard rock and hip hop, can be enjoyed by all for the cost of an admission ticket and, sometimes, for free!

via 2011 Summer Concerts & Festivals Guide - Listings & Schedules.