Fest Etiquette 101: Music Festival Do’s and Don’ts
Music Festival Do’s and Don’ts
In this post, you’ll find 10 tried and true music festival Do’s and Don’ts. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a first timer, it’s always wise to brush up on your music festival etiquette. Read along for an important lesson in festival etiquette 101.
Bring a positive attitude
Always come with a positive mindset no matter what life has thrown your way recently. Music festivals are the escape from mundane reality that many of us need. Keep a half-glass-full attitude and your experience will be that much better. If you go into the weekend with a negative or pessimistic mindset, you will miss out and drag others down with you. This behavior only leads to regret in the future because you will look back and think about how it could’ve been different.
Talk to strangers
You will find the craziest and most interesting personalities at a music festival. Many people have crazy stories and most of the time they are willing to share. Be nice to everyone, spark up some friendly conversations and enjoy the ride!
It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t go all out right away on the first night because you will end up regretting it later on. Be sure to get some sleep even if it’s just a few hours here and there. Don’t over-do it for the sake of FOMO; you simply will not be able to enjoy yourself for an entire weekend without adequate rest.
PRO TIP: Take naps or sit down under shaded areas and open spots in the back of the crowd. Pack a blanket, tapestry, or bed sheet (the bigger the better) and you can plop down where ever you find space! This is more commonplace than you’d think. Just be wary of doing this in high traffic areas because people will most likely not notice you as they are walking.
During different shows and sets that you attend, be respectful of those around you and of the performing artists. You may not be interested in the artist currently on the stage but someone in your direct vicinity might have been waiting weeks or years just to see that same artist.
If you’re camping, be respectful to your neighbors as well! Of course everyone is there to have a good time and enjoy themselves; but some happen to go to sleep earlier than others. Try to keep noise levels to a minimum especially super early in the mornings. Your neighbors will certainly appreciate the gesture.
Give plenty of high fives and hugs
Everybody loves hugs and high fives. Now is the time for you to put your skills to the test. Reach out for that high five and be sure to keep eye contact on the elbow. Give hugs to anyone: neighbors, your friends, the guy at the security tent with a grumpy look on his face. Just spread the love! Good Vibes = Happy Festival.
This is mainly concerning smart phones. You will definitely be tempted to record and capture every cool moment you experience (trust me, these will be plentiful). But leaving your phone at your campsite, in your car, or tucked inside your bag is OKAY. Not only is it okay but I would encourage this for several reasons:
- You keep yourself in “the now” – opposed to being focused on your phone every other minute, you can be present in “the NOW” and experience life the old-fashioned way. Trust me when I say that there will be plenty of videos online for you to see if you want to re-visit those moments after the festival. It will keep your focus away from things going on elsewhere in the world (i.e.: social media) and more so on enjoying the vibes and atmosphere.
- You avoid distracting others – at every music festival or concert I’ve ever been to, there’s always that person (or people) who never put their phones down and just record entire performances. Not only is this distracting to the people who are actually trying to enjoy the show; it is detracting from the person’s ability to actually enjoy the moment because they are so focused on recording it!
This isn’t to say that I am 100% against using your smart phone at music festivals. I just believe that it is better to use them sparingly.
At a music festival, you’re going to see and interact with eccentric types and people of all cultures and backgrounds. Keep an open mind through out and avoid being judgmental of others. Remember, everyone is there to have a good time, so spread the positive energy!
Push through thick crowds
When it becomes too tight to move forward, you’ve gone far enough. We’re all there to see our favorite artists and we all want to be as close as possible for them. Be mindful of others; there are times when I have waited hours just to get a good spot, only to be passed by someone who decided to push through the crowd at the last minute. This type of behavior only ruins people’s moods and detracts from the positive atmosphere.
Buy “party favors”
While I do not encourage recreational drug-use, let’s be real; this stuff is found all over music festivals and party atmospheres around the world. If you decide that you’re going to partake in such favors, be responsible. DO NOT buy anything from strangers at a music festival without first testing the substance; even if you do, you should be very careful. I can’t stress the importance of this enough. Too many people have overdosed at festivals in the past due to unknowingly taking bad stuff.
To put this into perspective, a study conducted in 2017 by the British Association for Psychopharmacology found that only 60% of the “Molly” and “Ecstasy” samples (collected at events in the US) that they tested contained the compound MDMA. This means that 40% of what was sold as “Molly” or “Ecstasy” actually contained various unknown and harmful compounds. This is generally how people overdose or end up in the medic’s tent.
Luckily, this situation is completely avoidable. Test kits are widely available on the inter-webz. A quick Google search should lead you in the right direction.
DISCLAIMER: The possession and use of recreational drugs in the United States is illegal; participate at your own risk. Test kits are also technically prohibited at most US music festivals (oh, the irony). IF found, they could be confiscated and could lead to your personal belongings being searched, or worse.
Be that guy/gal
Of all the music festival do’s and don’ts, this one might be the most important. At the end of the day, we all love having fun; some, more than others. But always party responsibly and keep in mind that you are not the only person trying to enjoy themselves. You can end up ruining or negatively affecting someone else’s weekend due to the poor decisions that you make.
If you plan on going over-board, make sure that you have a friend (accountabili-buddy) who is more sober than you. That way, he/she can take care of you if it were to come to down to that. Better yet, know your limit and stick to it.
Have any other personal music festival do’s and don’ts that didn’t make the list? List them down in the comments below!