Good Vibrations

Good Vibrations

4 festival etiquette tips for the summer concert season.

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By L.B. Holten

The summer concert season is upon us, and all of your favorite bands are hitting the road. As the U.S. festival scene expands, your options for one-stop-show-shopping have never been better. If you’re gearing up for your first fest, we have a few tips to help shepherd your good vibrations.

Prep Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

The festivities start well before your journey to the grounds, so preparation is key. Any festival worth attending will have a detailed FAQ section on their website (which they’ll probably email directly to you) outlining what you can and can’t bring, as well as tips to guide your general merriment. No matter what summer fest you’re attending, though, your essentials are going to be the same; sunscreen, a refillable water bottle, and sunglasses will all go a long way to ensure you’re still having a good time when the headliner hits the stage to close out the evening. A blanket is never a bad idea, and it gives you the option of getting off your feet for a bit without having to fight for usually limited seating. Comfortable shoes, above all else, will do the most to keep you groovin’ throughout the day. Trampled fields and campgrounds are no place to make daring fashion choices with your shoes, nor are they suitable for breaking in that new pair. Go with what you know on this front.

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Hold The Phone

Because we love you and care about your safety, we dispensed with the practical things first. But we gotta talk about your phone. If the festival offers an app that makes getting to the grounds and through the gates easier for all involved, by all means download it. Otherwise, your phone will serve you better from your pocket or bag. Capturing a great moment with your favorite band is a thrill, but more often than not you’ll find yourself scrolling through your camera roll later deleting blurry shots. Also, the people behind you really don’t want to see the show through your 5.5” screen. The grounds will be lousy with photographers all sporting far better equipment and access than you. Let them do their thing, and leave your hands and attention spans free for you to do yours.

Pit Stops

We’ve talked about you, now let’s address everyone else. There will be other people on the grounds. Lots of them. Possibly 60,000 other people—that’s roughly a tenth of the population of the damn fine state of Wyoming. Gatherings like these only work if everyone is looking out for one another, and luckily all this takes is a little common sense and some presence of mind. Making your way to the front is a blast, but remember some people may have camped out all day to snag prime real estate for their favorite act. If you’re of the taller persuasion, be mindful of any vertically challenged folk directly behind you. If someone (crowdsurfers, shoulder riders, kids in the pit) goes down, help ‘em up and dust ‘em off. They’re probably all right, and it’s because you were there to lend a hand!

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Beauty In Chaos

Any high school freshman can tell you what comes of best laid plans, so be prepared for things to go ever so mildly awry and just roll with what’s in front of you. Did some rain decide to show up to the party? Cool, go jump around in some puddles. Overlapping sets on opposing ends of the grounds? Go with your gut and pick the one you can’t imagine missing. Separated from your friends? Get out there and make some new ones; heartfelt hugs between sweaty strangers are massively underrated.
With a little forethought and the right attitude you’re guaranteed a good time. So stay hydrated, shake your thang, and have a ball!

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Images via Sasquatch (1,3) and Gov Ball (2)

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