August is upon us (it’s bonkers how fast that happened) and that means festival season is reaching its crescendo. Sure, we’ve already seen heavy hitters like Coachella, Governor’s Ball, Sasquatch, and Bonnaroo come and go, but the August calendar is ripe with musical and artistic expression. We’ve got Lockn’, Afro Punk, Outside Lands, and the granddaddy of them all, Burning Man all coming up this month and if you fancy yourself a festival-goer, or plan on taking the plunge for the first time, here are a few things to keep in mind.
BE (T)HERE NOW
Festivals are a celebration of art. Go in with an open mind and free yourself up to something you’ve never seen or done before. Obviously, this shouldn’t be taken to the extreme – I’m not condoning you ingest something given to you by a stranger – but take yourself out of your comfort zone and feel the palpable love and energy of your fellow revelers.
On top of that, there is an incredible amount of music, art, and interactive art at all of these festivals. Don’t psych yourself out by thinking you made the wrong decision in seeing one artist over another. Every artist there created their art for you. Enjoy it for what it is: beautiful.
SURRENDER TO THE FLOW
I got some news for you, kiddo: festivals aren’t easy. The weather is rarely perfect, cleanliness is either non-existent (Burning Man) or behind an hours-long line (music festival showers), the food can be somewhat tiresome, or expensive, and if you’re not the “outdoorsy” type, well, are you sure you’re in the right place?
The time you spend at the festival may not be your prettiest, or your most comfortable, or your most well-rested, but it will be your most fun, if you allow it to be. Don’t forget, most everyone out there is in the same position you are. No one has showered, or slept all that well, or stopped sweating, or even changed clothes, but that’s all part of it. This is an opportunity to explore the world of communal celebration and to enjoy art with throngs of eager spectators. Forget your “everyday limitations” and become a part of the festival.
DONT FORGET THE STUFF!
When thinking about how to maximize your mental enjoyment of festivals, it’s easy to forget about the physical stuff. Never fear
Underdog is here for I am here to help.
There is no better way to acclimate yourself with the festival, or the festival-goers, than by living among them. Being a part of a temporary shantytown has its draw backs, sure (it’s not often quiet and there are people EVERYWHERE), but it’s an incredible way to really a feel for what’s going on around you.
Some extra (warm) clothing
If you find yourself in rain storm and covered in mud, you’ll want to have something to change into. If you think being cold and muddy is uncomfortable at the time, try putting on those same smelly, muddy, crusty clothes the next day. It’s not fun.
You’ll also want to bring something warm for the night times. A lot of these festivals take place in areas that can get a bit chilly after the sun goes down and you’ll want something cozy to slip into, trust me.
They may sell food there, but you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on food while your dancing the day and night away. Bring yourself some unperishables (jerky, dried fruit, nuts, etc…) and/or a cooler filled with the basics (eggs, bacon, cheese, and the like). Nothing like waking up in your shantytown to the smell of fresh cooked eggs and bacon, amiright? (It’s also a killer hangover remedy.)
There is a lot of time to fill at these things and nothing says festival like a nice Frisbee. Bring your favorite throwing object and “throw” the day away (ba-dum cshhhh).
Seems superfluous, especially at a festival, but like I said, you will be spending time by your tent, especially in the mornings (read: afternoon) and you’ll want some speakers to break the silence and get the good grooves flowing.
Costumes are synonymous with festivals. If you want to fit that bill, which is welcomed and encouraged, don’t forget to pack your body paint, feathers, adhesive jewels, and capes. This is your chance to become “Arye, the Walking Dream Skirt” – yes, that really happened.
Actually, on second thought, don’t listen to me. Half the fun of the festival is figuring it out on the fly and winging it. Just get out there and have a good time.
(Note: Please be mindful to try and stay away from potentially insensitive costumes and costume elements. No one wants to be THAT guy)
Until next time – peace, love, and rock & roll