Raving alone can be one of the best decisions of your life, but it can also be pretty intimidating, especially if you’re traveling far for a festival across the country. Raving solo gives you the freedom to see who you want, be on your own schedule and meet some of the coolest people you’ve ever met in your life. But heading to a show or festival solo also comes with added responsibility and heightened concern for your personal safety.
So, here are some super important tips to help you if you’re planning to tackle a festival by yourself. Trust me – follow these tips, and your eyes will open to a new world with previously unexplored opportunities.
- Research the area. Make sure you know where you’re headed, and what you’ll need to make your experience hassle-free. Check out budget hotels, but also ensure that they’re in safe areas. Locate the local police station, and jot down any important emergency phone numbers you could potentially need.
- Join a Facebook Event Group for the Festival. The Tomorrowland Facebook group takes over my timeline – but for good reason! You can easily meet other solo ravers, and potentially even share rides or camping areas. These groups are especially helpful if you’re heading to a specific festival for the first time because people will post first-hand information and tips that you might not find anywhere else.
- Make Sure You Keep Your Friends and Family Informed. This may sound like something from middle school – but if you’re traveling and raving solo, you need to keep at least one person informed of your whereabouts. Just one text a day, hotel information and a timeline of when you’ll depart and return is all you need to supply to help those who care about you feel confident in your game plan.
- Bring Along ‘Conversation Starters.’ If you’re a shyer raver – someone who might have trouble reaching out and meeting new people – there are subtle ways to cure your nerves. Bring copious amounts of gum, custom kandi creations, lots of water bottles (if you’re camping) and portable chargers with a ton of juice to help those around you. Trust me – if you give the raver next to you even an extra 10% of battery juice or a piece of gum, you will immediately have a new best friend.
- Explore Different Stages. This should be a no brainer for anyone, even if you’re in a group. But exploring stages will help you feel out the vibes, and discover where you feel most comfortable and also where you could meet the coolest people.
- Pay Attention to Totems and Flags. Totems and flags serve more of a purpose than looking pretty and cool. Totems that say things like, “Come Dance with Us if You’re Alone” are becoming more and more popular, and can be an easy way to meet a new crew. You never know – you might also find flags from your home state or country – immediately connecting you to a new festival family.
- Be Smart – And Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help. Raving solo was one of the best decisions I ever made. But it also requires you to be extremely prepared. Make sure you stay extra hydrated and take the extra precautions to ensure your own personal safety. If you meet new people, get their phone numbers so you have options to reach out to in case of an emergency – or if you just want to meet up with your new crew!
- BE CONFIDENT! While I was initially embarrassed to rave alone, I’m now proud to do so. Embrace the fact that you have complete and utter freedom, and could potentially meet people who will be a part of your life for years to come. On the other hand, if you have a weird feeling about something — trust your instincts. Also, just keep in mind, you never know who you’ll trade kandi with, who you’ll camp next to, who you’ll headbang next to on the rail, or whose life you might change forever.