Back in the summer of 1999, the idea behind ENO was born in the campsites and throbbing crowds of Festivals. Since then, our original parachute hammock’s popularity grew, and today they can be seen not only at music festivals and community gatherings, but nationwide. Regardless, Festivals still hold a special, hammock shaped space in ENO’s heart, and if there’s any chance one of ENO’s owners or staff can get to one, they will snap it up before you can say SlapStraps!
To a seasoned vet, the Festy life can be a cake walk, but to a newbie, the sights, sounds and sheer amount of people everywhere, all the time, can be just a tad overwhelming. Seeing as though summer is just around the corner – prime Festival time – we’ve thrown a few tips together to help you get the most out of every festival you choose to dabble in!
1) Dress appropriately – Although it’s tempting to take your favorite outfits for every occasion you can think of – you have to think sensibly (sorry!). Remember, you’ll have limited space and probably limited privacy, so planning 5 outfit changes per day has its limitations. Instead, think about how many days and nights you are there, work out what the weather is going to be like, recycle some key staples, and layer up! It’s worth taking note that even if you’re partying in the desert, as soon as that sun dips below the horizon, the temperature drops. Although a case of PBR may help counteract some of the chills, bring some key layers that will pack well, look great, and not break your heart when they get filthy dirty in the heat of a Skrillex impromptu dance party.
2) Plan ahead, captain – Which bands do you want to see, where are they playing and how busy they will be? This obviously applies mostly to the larger music festivals, but is still worth thinking about even if you’re going to your local Apple Festival too J ! With a lot of people (and chances are a lot of alcohol) you don’t want to be stuck at the front of The Shins at the same moment you realize Phish are about to start playing and you’ll be forced to watch at the back of the pack with the telescopic lens you forgot to bring. Every Festival has a site map and lineup schedule on their Web site. We suggest you take a look and set your priorities BEFORE you begin to enjoy the festivities so you won’t miss out on anything you paid good money to see. Make sure you coordinate with you Festival pals too so you don’t end up fighting to the death whether you’ll make it to The Beach Boys 50th Anniversary set, or if you’re going to stay put at Aziz Ansari’s standup.
3) Agua Agua Agua (and food!) – This seems pretty self-explanatory so we won’t dwell, but good times require good energy. Throw in 105 degree summer time sun, and you may have a recipe that only ends with you hooked up to an IV in the medical tent. Bring plenty of water and refill regularly at the free water stations. A few high energy snacks won’t go amiss either…think nuts and power bars…simple, easy to pack, and super high in nutrients that will help you go harder for longer!
4) Don’t leave $5000 in your tent; have a sensible day pack – This also sort of goes without saying, BUT, in the midst of festival love, remembering that not everyone is trustworthy can get lost among the heavy beats pumping in the background. It’s not uncommon for things to go missing, tents ransacked, and some stealthy characters lurking in the shadows waiting for you to leave your basecamp. Instead, get you an awesome day pack and fill it with the necessaries! These include, but are not limited to – Water; Sunscreen; Snacks; Toilet Paper (!!!); Hand sanitizer; Flashlight; Money; Camera; Poncho; Band-Aids. ENO has a number of bags that are awesome for carrying your goodies around stylishly and smartly. Check out the Relay, the Possum Pocket, the Earth Bag, the Grocery Getter and the DayTripper!
5) If you’re driving….remember where you parked…if not…take public transport – Although driving may sound like a good idea initially, think about how you’re going to feel 3 or 4 days later running on a combined 6 hours of sleep, ramen noodles and red bull. Don’t ruin a great weekend, and possibly increase the chances of accidents, by driving home in a less than perfect condition. There is almost always public transportation that can ferry you to and from the Festival site, so do your research and explore every option. If driving is the only way, remember where you parked! Taking a picture of your parking spot, any notable landmarks, or any signs nearby so you can find your way back in the sea of cars days later!
6) Less is more (group size) – You may have a huge group of tight knit friends, but when it comes to festivals, it is the Less the Merrier, not the More when it comes to roaming the site. Everyone has their favorite bands and probably very strong feelings to see them. So, to minimize BFF tiffs and to maximize fun, travel around in smaller groups. You can always organize set times throughout the day to join up with everyone, maybe after-parties, snack times, or something similar.
7) Refresh! Find a pool or river (or bring a lot of baby wipes!) – Not all festivals have a water source, but refreshing may be the decider between going to that fifth set in a row, or heading back to your camp for a quick power nap. If the site has a pool, go and have a dip whenever there’s some downtime in your schedule, or if not, most festivals have temporary ‘Spray Stations’ or cooling mist booths. Wakarusa in Arkansas has a river y’all can dip in! It will help you cope with the sun, regain some power, and in some cases catch a glimpse of some of the Festival’s VIPs relaxing in the shade just ‘cos they can.
8) Stay connected throughout the Fest – Think about how many people there are, the size of the site, and the amount you fun you will be potentially having. DON’T FORGET YOUR PHONE! Staying in touch with who you came with can be vital, especially when it comes to one of you getting lost in the crowd. Most Festivals also have their own App these days, so you’ll be able to stay on the ball with events, bands and any promotions they may be running during the Festival.
9) Make sure your wrist band is on nice and tight! – If you lose it, you’re screwed, end of. If you’re caught without it on, the 350lb security guard who just dealt with a shwasted, puking teenager may not be as trusting as we are J Keep it on nice and tight y’all!
10) Don’t forget your hammock+tarp!!! – For this one we’ll inspire you with photos we have received from our own Festival Rep, Walker, and some other Festival loving ENOpians. We also visit a bunch of Festivals, including Bonnaroo and Wakarusa, so go take a load off your feet and relax in some ENOs…
For a list of some of the Festivals we are attending, take a look at our FaceBook page!
Enjoy yourselves guys and gals!