A guide to the friendless festival


Dominique Smith

Selfie taken with temporary friends in crowd waiting for J Cole.

Dominique Smith, Opinion editor

People often feel insecure when it comes to being alone, especially when attending an event. Simply seeing a movie by oneself can elicit fear and anxiety in a person, let alone taking on a large scale music festival by yourself. But don’t let the sea of hipsters, over priced garlic fries and lack of friends scare you away from experiencing something great.

This is a music festival survival guide: Solo Edition

Get Creative

Get in for free. Music festivals are full of people who get in for free, and they didn’t have to sneak over any fences in the process. Volunteering is the cheapest and smartest way to get a free ticket into the venue, and you’ll meet people through working as a bonus. If you sign up months in advance or just luck out, you’ll be assigned to work the morning shifts. Yes, you’ll have to put in a little labor, but once your shift is over you have the rest of the day to enjoy the festivities. The popular artists perform at night anyway. There are still a couple more festivals to catch before the end of the season. Treasure Island is Oct. 15 and 16, and Camp Flog Gnaw is Nov. 12 and 13.

Pack a Snack

Flying solo means no friends around to buy you that $12 lobster roll, but don’t spend your hard earned money on food. It’s just not financially smart and inevitably some drunk festival goer is going to accidentally knock it to the ground. Packing snacks is your best bet, but make sure you check what can and cannot be brought into the festival. Alcohol is, of course, prohibited from being brought into any music festival, so I’ll go ahead and mention smuggleyourbooze.com — you’re welcome.

Dress Accordingly

Why be uncomfortable when you don’t have to? Arriving early in the morning to volunteer is not the time to dress to impress, your friends won’t be there anyway. Weather can fluctuate greatly throughout the day and you’ll enjoy your time more if you’re prepared. Yes, some people will be in full Coachella attire, but that’s not suggested. Go the practical route by wearing a stylish yet warm jacket, layers are a must and comfortable shoes are a no brainer. Also, anything with a lot of pockets is handy for any gadgets you might want to bring, like a portable charger which is highly recommended.

Be Prepared

Many music festivals such as Outside Lands and Fuck Yeah Fest have apps that allow users to make a personalized schedule, including set times and locations for the performances: make a schedule. You’ll feel awfully disappointed if you miss the act you came for. Ensure you’ll get a prime spot by arriving at the specified stage 45 minutes to an hour early. If you have time to kill in between sets, roam around and check out some of the art installations or food demos going on throughout the festival, or check out an artist you’ve never heard of, it’s worth it.

Get Some Temporary Friends

This isn’t absolutely necessary but recommended. It’s very easy to find friends at music festivals. Being there to see the same acts gives you an automatic in. Please make sure you choose wisely, you don’t want to end up being stuck with people that complain more than your actual friends. Some of your temporaries might offer you some of their drugs — don’t take them — remember you’re still technically by yourself, and responsible for getting yourself home.

Venturing out on your own can be extremely empowering, spending time by yourself can be just as fun as with a group, and meeting new people is a huge bonus. Sometimes we become fearful and miss out on experiences when we feel we have to be in the company of others, because it’s not “socially acceptable”. I challenge the people reading this to not live by that standard.