Oh music festivals… you so and so. To the unseasoned eye it may look like nothing more than a bunch of sunburned stage-rushing clumsy crowd-surfers. To the initiated it is a subtle art form, the experience hinging on the fortitude of your imagination (moral compass, maybe). Self-expression is key. Navigating these magical playgrounds can be tricky, so here are a few pointers to get you going:
Getting there – Safety first! Make sure you wear your seatbelt. You actually do need to get to and from the festival in one piece (preferably). Make a mixtape of the bands performing for your road trip; it will psych you up for things to come.
Camping -Try to commandeer a camping spot with natural shade. Add markers to the campsite, or whatever means possible to remind you where you pitched your tent. Trust me you don’t want to be THAT hobo passed out in someone else’s tent. For maximum comfort pack some lanterns, a comfy camping chair and plenty of shade (think gazebo). Don’t forget food and beverages.
Speaking of food – Pack practical foods, cheese will melt and meat is a no-no (unless its biltong). Pack something that’s easy to carry but still nutritious and filling. You can never go wrong with a bag of citrus – clementines or oranges are not only nutritious but insanely refreshing, with the added bonus that you can chuck some in your vodka OJ. Try packing crackers, tuna, nuts and dried fruits. Food stalls can be pricey and unhealthy, but also very convenient.
Drink and drugs – It’s important to pace yourself. Remember to eat before you drink and drinks lots of water. If someone offers you drugs, that doesn’t mean you have to say yes, feeling comfortable is key. Look after yourself and your friends (or that one friend), take a time out, grab some fresh air and drink all the water in the world.
Keep an open mind – Not everything will go as planned. You will forget things. You will lose people. Not a big whoop at all. Good thing you are at a music festival. You will be surrounded by thousands of people who just want to have a jam of a time and more than happy to lend a helping hand. All you have to do is talk to them. You will meet the most interesting people at music festivals, from all walks of life.
The little things – Remember sunscreen. Remember sunglasses. Remember to drink millions of water. Be nice to people. Enjoy the little things. The dust, the weirdos, naked people and the best live bands, DJ’s, dancing and jam sessions.
Written by Suta Kavari who is working his way up to being the biggest festival hopper in town.