Tis the season in which infinite SMS’, Facebook messages, and Twitter @ mentions are exchanged regarding the newest, hottest music festival lineup. As the polar vortexes of winters past subside and a glimmer of temperate hope surfaces this week, let it also remind us that festival season is imminent.
I love festival season because it epitomizes everything we try to embody here at Glass Duffle: lifestyle, travel, and good tunes. With the industry’s ever-growing popularity, and an abundance of festivals old and new occurring each year, one might feel bombarded with all of the choices. I’ve had the privilege of attending 8 (by my hazy count) of these near-utopian experiences so far in my lifetime, domestically and internationally; and, with a bit of luck, copious more will be on the horizon. So in effort to sift through all of the options as knowledgeably as possible, I’ve outlined a few tips to note based on my adventures before arriving at your final conclusion(s).
If you’re like me, you thrive in a setting where you’re comfortable being yourself amidst the energy of others in which you already have familiarity. Being in the presence of known good folks can act as a social lubricant when meeting people as well, as some of the most lasting memories of such endeavors can be the relationships you make with strangers in the moment. Ensure you have a solid core of friends who have your back if times turn tough, who are more or less carefree souls, and have a low maintenance level. Most of all, strive to be with a group of humans who positively feed off of your energy and vice versa. Laughter, dancing, wiggling, smiling, and infatuations, amongst other positive verbs of humanity, will follow infinitely.
Variety is the spice of life
When perusing the lineups of your wishlist, I highly recommend taking into account the diversity of the artists and genres active. Some festivals are electronic-heavy; some are rooted in the indie and folk scene. In my experiences, the most rewarding are ones that defy any niche genre and offer a wide scope of the sounds, instrumentals, and on-stage magic that world music offers. You’d be surprised that you can bee-bop around just as swimmingly to a bassline as you can a bluegrass breakdown. Furthermore, festivals such as Bonnaroo even offer an all-encompassing view on the arts, booking critically acclaimed comedians for an available change of pace.
Look at your coordinates
There are a few things to consider when contemplating where, on the longitude and latitude coordinates, you’ll be shacking up with your headband, shades, and backpack this summer. Climate and landscape are two underlying factors here. You’ll want to be aware of the normal seasonal temperatures; usually these ventures are held all day in the dead heat of summer, and let me tell you, that shit can get hot. I’ve had some of my most enjoyable festival experiences in ones that offered a body of water to cool off in at any time if the need arose. So do your research, know yourself and your body, and make an educated decision.
‘Wake up, you idiots! Whatever made you think that money was so valuable?’ Well, no matter which way you look at it, the paper will pave your way to your adventure of choice this summer. And, if you’re like me, you’ll probably underestimate the cost of going somewhere. Dammit. If you wanna attend one of the big boys, you’re going to be shelling out some serious dough. I urge you to look at some more cost-friendly gems that may not have the glorification of the major festivals; you’ll just have to do your proper research for those, depending on what I mentioned in number three. Some other things to take into consideration with your budget, besides the tickets: food and drink vendors, booze, merch, camping gear/hotel lodging, more booze, and miscellaneous. So, if you’re feeling particularly ambitious, you could always volunteer!
And now, in no real order, your completely biased festival favorites from me, the author writing this. Whichever route you choose, enjoy, and I hope to see ya there.