Everything you Need to Know About Going to a Music Festival Alone
So you’re thinking about going to a music festival alone. Whether it’s because your friends bailed on you or you simply don’t know anyone else who wants to go; Shit happens.
The greatest experiences in life are normally those that we share with others; family vacations, spending time with a significant other, competing in team sports, the list goes on. Because of this, there is generally a negative stigma placed on people who prefer to enjoy experiences alone. Thus, going to a music festival alone can appear to be something that would be terrifying or otherwise frowned upon by others.
Why You Should Go to a Music Festival Alone
If you are thinking of going to a Music Festival alone, I have one bit of advice that will change your life for the better (and save you some reading); just do it!
The great part about Music Festivals is that nobody will care that you are there alone. Everyone who attends Music Festivals is generally there for many of the same reasons; to see their favorite bands/artists, to escape their everyday lives, and most importantly to have fun.
One of the pre-conceived notions people tend to have about going to a Festival (or anywhere for that matter) solo is that others will care. Nobody will care and nobody will think you are “weird” for being solo. In fact, people will likely be impressed by your bravery and courage. Besides, you shouldn’t be concerned with what other people will think; you are there to have fun and experience the music after all.
Going to a music festival alone will most definitely take you out of your comfort zone. You are automatically in the 1% by deciding to go solo; a majority of people would never do something this bold. But you are unique! Embrace your uniqueness and don’t be afraid to miss out on the experience of a lifetime.
Stepping outside of your comfort zone in life is one of the greatest paths to personal growth. Believe it or not, this will help to improve your character, personality, and most importantly your level of independence. You will come out on the other side feeling like a new and improved person. In this way, going to a music festival alone can prove to be a life-changing experience.
Compared to going to a music festival with a group of friends, going solo gives you the liberty to do whatever you want. Going with other people sometimes means having to sacrifice seeing specific shows for the greater good of the group. It’s happened to me more times than I’d like to admit.
This is one of the main reasons why going alone to a music festival is worth it. You can go where ever you want when ever you want. If you want to camp for the pit at the main stage all day, you’re free to do so. If you want to bounce around from stage to stage for 20 minutes at a time to see a bit of everything, do it. When you’re solo, the world (or in this case, the festival) is your oyster.
Typically, when you go to a festival with a group of friends (small or large) you are more likely to stay with that specific group and not branch out. This is unfortunate because music festivals are jam packed with some of the coolest and friendliest people you can ever meet in one place.
Luckily for you, you will be doing your own thing. So bring an open mind and you’re guaranteed to meet a bunch of awesome people. Missed connections happen way too often, so make sure you keep in touch with the friends that you make so you can connect with them at future festivals!
Tips For Going to a Music Festival Alone
1) Pre-Fest Prep
Prior to attending a music festival alone, you will want to be 100% sure that you are adequately prepared. Since you will be on your own (for the most part) you must be certain that you have all your t’s crossed and your i’s dotted.
2) Packing Smart
This is one of the most important steps especially since you won’t have anyone else that you can rely on. Be sure to look through the FestPrep First Timers guide to ensure that you are prepared for the best weekend of your life.
Keep in mind that if worst comes to worst you will be surrounded by tons of people willing to help out. If you forget any smaller items like rope, tent stakes, or something similar, one of your neighbors are more than likely to have extras. However, don’t be that guy/gal who forgets their tent or hydration bag!
Most Festivals nowadays also have convenience/general stores with certain perishable and non-perishable items for purchase like ice, drinks, toiletries, food, etc. These items will obviously come at a premium price, but it’s still a good safety net to rely on just in case.
3) Sharing is Caring
Another super easy way to make new friends when going to a music festival alone is to bring some cool presents to give out. People love freebies and it is a terrific way to start a conversation with a stranger at a music festival. My personal favorite is to bring a big pack of individually wrapped bubblegum for the weekend. Everyone loves bubblegum!
Another cool idea is to print out cool stickers with funny pictures or messages on them. Kandi (not the edible kind) is also an amazing way to meet people especially if you are going to an EDM event. There are many other freebies that I’ve seen be given out at music festivals. Whatever you decide on, be sure that it is something that is safe (for people and the environment) and that other fest-goers will appreciate.
4) Awesome Outfits and Accesories
I had to make this one separate from the packing section because it’s that important! Having a cool and well-thought-out outfit is an amazing conversation starter that will make finding friends so much easier for you. The options for this are endless, but here’s a couple of ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
- Superhero or TV character cosplay
- Anything involving tie dye and bright colors
- Something involving cool LED lights
- Onesies (the warm and comfortable kind)
- Creative kandi pieces (necklaces, braclets, masks, etc.)
5) Getting There
If you are driving alone, you will want to make sure that you have your parking pass for your vehicle. Some festivals require it and some don’t, so double-check the festival’s policies before making the trek.
Not everyone has the luxury of having a vehicle to take to the fest; if you fall under this branch, try to find a ride with a fellow fest-goer! Between Reddit, Craigslist, and Facebook groups you can surely find another friendly person with some space in their car.
If all else fails, you can always try the old-school method of hitchhiking (which I personally don’t recommend) but hey, to each his own.
6) Good Vibes Only
I know I’ve been preaching the whole friendliness thing but you’d be surprised how many people go to music festivals with bad vibes. Remember, this is your escape from reality so treat it as such and make the most of your weekend getaway by sticking to the unwritten golden rules.
A majority of people will be coming with the same mindset, so don’t be afraid to strike conversations with others. You already have so much in common with all of the people there. Here’s some questions you can ask to get things going:
- *waiting at a stage for X artist to come out* “Have you ever seen X before?.. he/she throws such a good set!”
- “Hey how’s your weekend been going so far?”
- “What are the best/craziest shows you’ve seen this weekend?”
- “Hey want to slap this bag of wine?!”
The opportunities are endless, so put yourself out there and make some new friends.
7) Safety and Security
Since you will be attending alone, it is of utmost importance that you take the appropriate safety and security measures. First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure that you keep all of your valuables (keys, wallet, electronics, etc.) tucked away in your tent or car. PRO TIP: if you make friends with your neighbors at the start of the weekend they will more than likely keep an eye out for you and your belongings.
Keep your phone secure in a place where a pickpocket would have trouble accessing and where it won’t accidentally fall out; preferably your front pocket or inside the pocket of a fanny pack.
Party responsibly! Since you will primarily be looking out for yourself, don’t be that guy/gal that consumes too much and ends up in the Medic’s tent or worse. The best way to have fun is to know your limit beforehand, and stick to it.
8) Enjoy Yourself
Feel free to let go. Dance like no one’s watching. Eat a lot of vendor food. Check out random events (besides the shows) over the span of the weekend. Drink plenty of beer and water (more importantly, water). Soak up as much of the atmosphere as you possibly can. Nobody will be there to take care of you so, again, make sure that you do so responsibly.
Have any other tips for people going to a music festival alone? Want to share some of your memorable solo festival experiences? I’d love to hear from you!