Soon will be the season that weekdays hardly exist in comparison to fun-filled weekends. Soon will be the season where you never put away your camping gear because you’ll just have to get it right back out again. Soon will be the season where you spend more time with your festival family than you do your actual family.
However, even as that blessed time approaches, the fact that months have passed since the last outing is becoming nearly unbearable. As all the scenarios that were just described in relation to last season become more and more muddled in the mass of memories that have taken their place, you look for anything and everything that can serve as a pseudo time-machine, transporting you back to those places you hold so dear.
It’s never easy to be forced away from something you love, and after a certain amount of time, regardless of what that something is, you begin to experience withdrawals. Here are a few ways to tide yourself over in order of least effective to most effective.
I’m sure there are many reasons festivals give out wristbands instead of paper tickets these days. They’re more convenient, they’re environmentally friendly, and they allow for just that much more artistic expression. (In 2013, Coachella’s weekend 2 wristband had two sharks who were in love on it. Pretty dope). I’d like to think the main reason wristbands are more common is because it’s harder to just get rid of a wristband. A paper ticket could be unknowingly mixed in with a bunch of other papers and tossed in the recycling bin never to seen again, but a wristband is unmistakeable. If paper tickets were used at a fest it’s likely that it would be left in the campsite the whole time or lost before the fest was over. With wristbands you’re forced to wear it the whole time, and when you see that wristband with the festival’s logo sewn in even months after you took it off, suddenly the memories of when you were wearing it don’t seem so far away.
Although I’m a huge advocate of not using your phone at a festival in order to totally immerse yourself in your surroundings, it is still a good idea to have it with you solely for documentation purposes. Even though the people who stand there filming everything on their phones are some of the most annoying people at the fest, there is a balance to be found. When it comes to remembering a particular moment or a particular set, a 30-second video can be just as effective as a 10-minute video, and one well thought out photograph can be just as effective as a full album. Either way, when the withdrawals start kicking in, having concrete evidence of what occurred at the festival really can do wonders. They say a picture is worth a thousands words, well a picture of your favorite festival has a hell of a lot more to offer you than words.
Music has always had the power to heal. It can wash away blues as easily as it could open tear ducts like dump valves. One of the reasons music can do this is because of how well we as humans can associate memories with music. Listening to one song can transport you to a completely different time in your life. All you have to do is close your eyes, listen deeply, and you’re there. This works the same way with festivals. It’s true that there are plenty of festivals out there where music merely exists in the background of your experience, which would make listening back to what you heard throughout the weekend more difficult, but for the most part, a festivals lineup is one of the factors which decides whether or not someone will go. If the lineup is good enough to convince someone to go, there are probably more than a few artists they’ve already heard. If a festival is slowly fading from your mind, think about your favorite set of the weekend and type the artist’s name into soundcloud. You’re bound to find something on there that’ll jog your memory.
Festivals are better with friends. It’s a fact. But they’re also some of the best places to meet new friends. While most people have a core group of people they go to festivals with that probably has some funny name, it’s very important to meet new people at fests as well. Although it may not seem like it, but the people who are truly about the festival life are a very tight-knit group. If you meet someone at one fest, there’s a very significant chance you’ll run into them at another. This creates a separate group of festival friends different from your main crew. Of course reminiscing about fests with your main crew will help with the withdrawals, but it’s very likely you spend a ton of time with those people outside of fests as well, which means there are plenty of other things to reminisce about with them as well. By reconnecting with someone who you pretty much only see at fests though, all of your good memories with them are related to festivals. That person is like a living-breathing reminder of how great festivals are, and because the season is getting closer, it just means you’re closer to seeing that person more regularly.
Seriously just take a look a the calendar and count how few days are left until your first fest. I’m sure it isn’t that many. Be strong. You can make it.