We've lived it. Let XO help you during through that oh-so-special (somewhat chaotic) time of the year: Festival Season. With the sensation of GovBall still hovering over Randall's Island - we could talk about bands and whatnot... OR we could help you get through the rest of festival season with your soul, outfit and dignity in tact. You know we're always thinking of you.
WORDS | Lola Odetola
Additional reporting by Moeima Dukuly
1. Don’t get dehydrated
Water. Water. Water. Have I stressed it enough? It’s pretty essential guys! Even if you’re not the type to drink anything but fruity, sugary, corn syrupy sodas (no bueno) -- do yourself and everyone else a favor and DRINK H2O. Even if that means you have to add some lemon or strawberries to it for flavor, just stay hydrated. You’ve been warned. The consequences of NOT drinking water means you’ll be the guy/girl passed out, being carried out of a crowd of 1000+ onlookers yelling judgemental things like “Get it together” or “…And that’s why you don’t do drugs.” Thus bringing shame on you and everyone that has to carry you to the medical tent. EMBARASSING! File that under, “Not Cute”.
2. Don’t like every single band playing
This will really mess you up. I’m going to be completely honest here. The only way festivals ever work out for you is if you only like about 3 of the 100 bands on the lineup. If you’re craving any more than that, you’re destined for disappointment at some point. The creators of these events do an incredible job of finding out your two favorite bands and making them play a set at the same time at opposite sides of the park. It’s absolutely delightful. By delightful, I obviously mean super lame and hurts like a punch to the kidneys. Your ticket should come with a free pass to clone yourself for 12-36 hours. I mean…it costs enough.
3. Don’t wear white shoes, socks, skirts, tops etc
Definitely done this. As a lifelong sufferer of the chronic “Trying to Be Cute” disease I was determined to serve looks and I successfully did -- but by the end of the night my brand new white platform sneakers were borderline destroyed. They were sacrificed in the name of dopeness. I implore you to find another road to cuteness. Mine is paved with the bodies of broken, dirty white shoes and accessories. Save yourself.
3. Don’t take ANYTHING from a stranger
This can be traced back to when we were all young and our parents told us to not take candy from strangers. You might be “grown” now, but guess what – THE RULES STILL APPLY. It’s exactly the same thing at festivals but in adult form. Anyone can slip anything into something and give it to you. Just be smart, I shouldn’t even have to tell you this.
4. Don’t go without snacks (if possible)
We all love to eat (if you don’t I cry for you) and we all love to save money so why not stop at your local Duane Reade, CVS, Publix, Kroeger, Tesco – WHATEVER -- and stock up? It’s very important for you to do research first, if your festival allows minor outside food then get a few things that won’t weigh down your bag. If you do choose to buy food from the festival, keep in mind that the lines get ridiculously long around noon so I would say, buy something in the morning and just carry it in your bag until lunch time. It’ll help keep you going, especially if the sun is beating down on you and squashing your will to live.
5. Don’t believe every “photographer” If you wear something really cool to the festival don’t be surprised if photographers all over the park hunt you down for a pic for their blog or magazine. Most of the photographers will be form cool indie sites or personal blogs. You’ll get the occasional big name like Huffington Post or Refinery29 which can be really exciting. The biggest thing to keep in mind though: not every photographer is who he or she says they are. They’ll use a big name like Rolling Stone or something to get an amazing photo of you then a few days later, when the pics don’t show up on the site, the crushing realization will arrive: they were taking advantage of you. I speak from experience. (Side note: people that do this are a new alien form of loser)
7. Don’t take it so seriously
Remember why you’re at a festival! It’s to have an amazing time! To jam to your favorite music! Maybe even to look oh so cute! Try not to get too caught up in the commotion and just take time out for to lay out and relax, and let the tunes soothe your soul. Know that you cannot possibly be in 10 places at once so decide where you really want to be and keep it simple. There is no point in stressing yourself out, it’s supposed to be, FUN, dude! JUST. CHILL. OUT.
8. Don’t wait to get a spot in the crowd
If you’re really serious about seeing a certain band or artist MAKE SURE you’re at that stage more than an hour before their set. Two hours if you really want to be in the front. The issue with doing this is that you’re probably missing a few really good acts going on on the other stages but it’s truly the only way to secure a good spot. Also remember that if you’re in the front, that means you might be crushed by the weight of the crowd behind you and/or STUCK THERE when the show’s over. Make smart choices people.
9. Don’t leave the house without your phone FULLY CHARGED
Some festivals have actually come into the 21st century and have charging stations located around the park. For the ones who are still in partying in the Stone Age, you must make sure that you leave your place with 100% battery. You may lose your friend and need to make a call. You may have your tickets saved onto your phone, you may even have to take a few pictures of memorable moments. Don’t get caught out there. Save as much battery as possible by turning your backlight low, going into your settings and turning your cellular off and shutting down apps that you aren’t currently using. You’ll be there all day, be stingy with your charge.
10. Don’t wear a lame outfit
Last but not least, DRESS TO BE SEEN. C’mon now. The late great Yves Saint Laurent said it best: “...Style is eternal.” It’s not for everyone but it is a great conversation starter, and how you say so much without saying anything at all. You’re going to be surrounded by thousands of likeminded people who obviously (hopefully) love music and could be great potential friends or colleagues. Where else can you dress like an alien and be accepted? Where else can you wear that glow in the dark band tee and get so much praise? GO HARD AND DON’T LOOK BACK! (Just leave the floral crowns at home. They are SO OVER. #justsayin)