"Reach out to people, open yourself up, and adventure is inevitable"

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Six Tips for Festival Season

Six Tips for Festival Season

Woodstock, 1969

Woodstock, 1969

          With Coachella weekend finally over, we’re probably going to be seeing a lot less flower crown action on our news feeds, right? WRONG. That’s because festival season is finally upon us! Besides the infamous desert extravaganza, there are plenty of other festivals all around the country ripe for the attending. Festivals can be absolutely magical places for music fans to come together and bond over one of the most powerful uniting forces in the world, but with that said here are a couple of things to keep in mind before you pack your bags

1. Make some new friends! If the fest you’re going to is in your city, there’s the potential that you could find a whole group of new concert going pals, if not, now is your chance to have friends all over the country! If you’re relatively outgoing, just start with you name: say something like “Hi, I’m Mia where are you from?” and if they’re from the same place as you, awesome! Compare favorite restaurants, schools, or concert venues. If you’re uncomfortable starting conversations out of the blue, wait for the right situation. For example, while waiting in front of the stage an hour before your favorite band, ask the person next to you if they’ve ever seen this band live before. You can bond over lack of knowledge about the show or you can share wisdom about what they were like last time.  Maybe even exchange phone numbers and try to meet up later that weekend.

2. DO NOT PRETEND TO KNOW ABOUT THE BAND. I am super serious about this one you guys. If you’re talking to someone at the fest and they say something along the lines of “hey, have you ever heard of Cantaloupe Moonlight?” DO NOT SAY YES. In the rare event that you make it through this conversation without looking like and idiot, you will have to go home and obsessively Google “Cantaloupe Moonlight” if you hope to continue a friendship/relationship with this person, and worse what if they’re a terrible band?? You have to pretend that you like them now! FOREVER! But this is the very best case scenario. Worst-case scenario, you might end up looking like these people.

            Plus, if you just admit that you don’t know the band, the person will most likely be willing to share some of their knowledge with you. Now you have a free excuse to text them when the fest is over and you finally looked up their favorite song.

3. Time to master “comfortable cute.”  Since you’ll most likely be outside on a big field, consider the weather. Will it be rainy? Will there be mud? Will it be crazy hot? (Yes).  Time to decide whether your fest calls for an airy dress with sandals, or shorts and sneakers. The key is cute comfy, weather appropriate. You might look like the coolest girl in the world when someone starts snapping pictures, but you won’t be able to enjoy yourself if you’re adjusting your dress every ten minutes. The girls in this street style article from Pitchfork 2013 seem to have the whole thing on lock. Also note that a few of them have a light jacket or shirt tied around their waists. It does tend to get colder at night, depending on where you are, so make sure your outfit can transition from morning to evening.

4. Cultural Appropriation: Don’t do it. This is a hotly debated topic, which is why I will try to approach it as carefully as possible. I’m not going to take the time to explicitly explain cultural appropriation to you, but please take the time to educate yourself on it if you don’t know what it is already. In short, it seems as though certain festivals atmospheres have summoned a sort of trend in which people take significant symbols from a culture that is not their own (i.e. bindis, Native American Headdresses, dreadlocks etc.) and disassociate them from their religious or cultural significance in the name of fashion. An overarching response from people of color all around the world is to take offense, finding these actions uncalled for and disrespectful. While many people heard this cry and listened—Glastonbury Festival restricted the sale of Indian Headdresses this year— a lot of other people chose to ignore it. I understand that not everyone is going to agree with me about whether or not people of other cultures should be offended by “harmless trends,” but all I ask is that we all show some consideration this festival season.

5. Do your homework. Every festival has a set of rules for what you can and can’t do within the parameters of the fest. Read some forums or do a quick Google search about your festival rules. Even besides the clearly set standards, the Internet is a great place to read about other people’s experiences. You can learn from their successes and failures in order to improve your festival experience sans the rookie mistakes.

6. Release your inhibitions/feel the rain on your skin. By this I mean let go! Have fun! Dance! As long as you are not ruining someone else’s good experience (the same way you wouldn’t want them to ruin yours— I’m talking to you, super tall dancing guy in the front of the crowd) then allow yourself to be a freer, more open version of your self. Music is magic, which means you’re basically at a harmonious Disneyland. How can you not have fun at Disneyland? Go forth and conquer. You are the queen of the summer.

 

 

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