So, you want to attend a festival alone?
Or, perhaps, and even more likely, you know you will regret missing this festival, but can’t find anyone to attend with you?
Well, hello independent woman! You can’t see me but I am giving you a standing ovation from the other side of the screen right now. Attending a festival alone is a major decision, but one that only promises great times and irreplaceable memories- if you prepare correctly.
Now, I have to say that I am terrible when it comes to preparing my meals for festivals. Like, “Wow, it’s day 2 of this festival and I am pretty sure I’ve spent $50 on mediocre pizza slices” terrible. Self-awareness is all part of this beautiful journey though, right? And, as long as YOU take the steps to be prepared and not go into debt because of regrettable dining choices, then I have done my job.
My first solo festival was the beautiful Vertex festival in 2016. I had received my ticket and was ready to attend, but had nobody else to venture out with. However, it was three hours away from my house, the first opportunity I had to see Rufus Du Sol, and the first (and sadly the last) year of the festival. These three factors made it a no-brainer that I just had to experience it.
As I was preparing for the event, I received a Twitter message from a girl who saw that I was attending Vertex alone, as was she. In typical Millennial fashion, we exchanged information without a second thought, and made plans to meet up at the festival. Long story short: we did meet up, she was great, and introduced me to two other fantastic women within the first hour of me being there. We are all still connected to this day.
Fast forward two years, and I have now attended a handful of festivals alone. If there is any anecdote I can pass along, it is that you will never truly be alone when you make the choice to just go for it. As long as you prepare, come in with self-confidence, and keep an open-mind: the festival is yours for the taking, mama.
Share Your Location With Friends.
Before you go, turn on your Find my Friends, and let your closest 5 people (Mom and Dad included) know where you will be.
See if there are any Women-Centered Camping Options.
Bonnaroo and Electric Forest are trailblazers in this area. Both festivals have separate women-identifying camping areas that you must sign up for before the event. Along with that comes organized meet ups and panels for campers. I have yet to do this, but it is my 2019 festival season goal.
BROWSE the event Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter hashtags.
This is how I connected with my new friends before Vertex. Browse festival-related hashtags, look at the event group on Facebook, and see if there is anybody else going solo, or perhaps, a group that you could join.
Camp as close to the venue entrance as possible.
This requires getting to the event a bit early, but the closer you are, the less your solo walk back to camp in the middle of the night will be.
Only bring what you need, what will keep you warm, and what will keep you healthy. A wagon to carry your gear to camp will make your life so much easier.
Light It Up.
Bring extra lighting for you and your campsite. Safety first.
Get Comfortable Introducing Yourself.
Isn’t it crazy how it still takes some mustering up of courage to introduce ourselves to strangers, even though it has never actually gone bad? Just do it! There are so many outgoing people looking to create connection. In fact, festivals have become my favorite way to make new friends (As I talked about here.)
If it helps, asking people to take a photo for you is also an easy way to strike up a conversation. If you are the one to break the ice, then it makes you look even more confident in your new friends’ eyes. They don’t have to know you practiced your introduction in the car the whole way to the festival.
If you aren’t the best at approaching people to talk, bearing gifts makes that situation a bit easier. Something as simple as a lollipop, a spritz of water, or as involved as glittering them up. Offering a gift or service is a breezy way to make introducing yourself easier.
It’s easy to get carried away with the fun, especially when you have your BFFs with you. Now, when you are solo, you are the only one looking out for you. Enjoy a couple drinks, but do not get to the point where your judgement is impaired. Know your limits, but don’t reach them.
Attend workshops and seminars.
Use the experience as a time to get to know yourself on a deeper level and expand your mind. Often times, it is really difficult to make workshops at a festival if your friends aren’t into it as well. Because, partying. My meditation experience at Lightning in a Bottle was truthfully the greatest solo experience I have ever had.
Do whatever the hell you want.
Independence is so much fun. Not worrying about making sure 10 other people are happy is also a plus. Use this time to make new friends, explore everything, sleep in as late as you want, and see every single artist you want.
Keep safety at the forefront of your mind, but keep yourself open to new experiences. May this be a festival you remember for a lifetime and come out of with new members of your squad. Cheers!
Have a question? Want to share your solo festival experience with me? Let’s connect!