You anxiously refresh the festival website hoping that your efforts to score tickets are successful. You spend months planning the perfect costumes and outfits. You fine-tune your packing list. You wait in long lines to get into the grounds and find the perfect campsite. And, you deck out your campsite and decorate your body before finally heading into your favorite musical paradise.
Then you don’t remember the rest of the weekend.
Sound familiar? Festival culture often encourages making significant investments of time and money on fun weekends that you might ultimately never remember. Have you ever thought about ways to get more out of your time at a festival?
One easy way to be sure that you have a full, enjoyable weekend that will stick in your memory is to consume less alcohol.
Stay with me. I know that festivals are your chance to let loose and party hard. It’s a full weekend—sometimes a whole week—of celebration. However, I’m here to remind you that you don’t need to get blackout wasted to have a wild time. Bingeing just for the sake of being at a festival will catch up to you—probably before your favorite artist goes on. Stay within your limits, and the fantastic time you’re about to have this weekend will stay with you a lot longer.
You ’ll experience more of the festival.
Being adequately hydrated and not hungover means you’re sure not to miss a thing. You’ll feel well enough to hear the up-and-coming bands that tend to play earlier in the day, which will potentially lead to discovering a new favorite. A bonus? You’ll remember everything you hear so you can start building that playlist when you get home.
Let’s not forget the parts of festivals outside of the music! You’ll have free time to browse the booths of the local vendors for unique crafts, art, and jewelry that you might have otherwise missed while sleeping off your hangover. You can become the spectator instead of the subject in the sport of festival people watching (my favorite activity). Plus, the new friends that you’ll make will get to meet the real you, and they’ll also recognize you as more than “that person who seemed cool, but daaang—she was sooo wasted.”
You'll be able to afford more festivals.
Alcohol at festivals is expensive! Limiting your consumption means saving money that might be better spent on a souvenir from the experience. Even just limiting drink purchases to when the sun goes down or when you’re walking between stages will make a big difference. I like to only use cash at festivals—when the budgeted money for the day is out, the spending stops! Additionally, spending less frees up your finances to attend more festivals or support your new favorite groups by purchasing their music or merchandise.
You’ll be more free to enjoy the music.
The idea that you need to be drunk to let loose and move is an extreme misconception. ANYONE can dance sober or simply just not hammered. Let the bass get into your blood and bones and allow the energy around to move you while you dance without risking spilling your beer.
When you aren’t continually focusing on how to get another drink or where you might have set yours down (and what might have happened to it as a result), you’re free to be focused on the moment. You won’t miss the rad light effects or the unexpected song transitions. Being fully present ensures that you fully experience all of the festival magic happening around you.
How do you festival better? Make any rookie mistakes that might help the next fan stay safe and alert? Have you been to any festivals that do an excellent job of promoting your wellbeing, and want to give them a shoutout?? Comment below or tag us @betterdrinkingculture.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jenn McAmis is a digital nomad who lives with her two rescue dogs in a 1984 Toyota Sunrader camper. She spends most of her days barefoot searching for the next outdoor adventure, drinking too much coffee and dabbling in all things woo-woo. You can follow her journey on Instagram @travelinglovefairy and subscribe to her shenanigans on her website.