I just got back from Counterpoint in Georgia which was my first music festival, aside from “that time I spent 5 days back in October chasing rappers around Atlanta,” aka the A3C Hip-Hop Festival. This time I did the whole “sleep in a tent for three days and don’t shower” thing, and I learned a lot. Thankfully I’m not being selfish with the wisdom and I’m choosing to share my knowledge with you because I’m #based.
1. Don’t wear a leotard
I know, I know, you see that neon green leotard with the plunging neck and mesh panel on Etsy and you think, “OMG that’s PERFECT for the upcoming festival I’m going to!” And while that may be true, don’t do it! Remember how much of a bitch it was going to the bathroom in a one-piece bathing suit? Well, this is just like that except add in the fact that you’re wasted and/or tripping balls, and if you just say “fuck it” and pee without pulling the thing all the way down it’s not like you’re just jumping back into the pool anyway and no one will notice. People will notice. Oh yeah, and that cute mesh panel down the front? It’s ripped now because you weren’t careful enough the 57th time you peed, and now the $27 onesie that you “could totally wear again” is basically useless.
2. Do whatever you can to get into the artist tent
Or artist lounge, or whatever they’re calling it. Take it from me, there is free shit (read: liquor) and a chance you might get to see Trinidad James in the flesh, and also watch shirtless ScHoolboy Q ride away on a bicycle. In my experience, your chances are best when it’s late at night and the security have stopped giving a fuck (see #7).
3. Don’t bother paying for a shower
You can pay $8 (or whatever sum of money they’re trying to rob you of), take a 5-minute shower, and promptly get sweaty and caked in mud the second you step out of the shower, or you can take that $8 and get a beer.
4. Don’t have sex in a tent, hypothetically
Not saying I did this, but if you have sex in a tent, just know your lower back will be one giant bruise the next day. You will not be able to sleep on it or even sit in a chair with a back. Hypothetically speaking, of course.
5. Don’t get a new piercing if you know you’re going to a festival in a few weeks
No matter how often you say you’ll clean it, you will get distracted by much better/more exciting things, including but not limited to: Riff Raff, beer, pregaming, pizza flavored Pringles, a guy walking around selling T-shirts. You will not clean that shit. It will get infected, and soon you will have a bloody hole on the side of your face.
6. Google Image the shit out of all your favorite artists beforehand
Study their faces. Know what they look like. Try to burn images from their Instagram (aka not heavily photoshopped ones) into your brain. I’m saying this because when you’re in the aforementioned artists tent and standing 3 feet from Trinidad James, but his hair is in braids instead of his signature fro, he has no grill on, and his teeth actually look wayyy less fucked up than you remember, by the time you’re done having the, “Is it him? No, it’s not him. But wait, is it him?” debate and resolve to go say something, he’ll be gone.
7. The first day of the festival is your day to try to break the rules
Odds are, it’s disorganized AF and the high-school volunteers haven’t quite figured out how to pretend like they know what they’re doing yet. You can probably get away with murder (Editor’s note: Writtalin does not condone murder or manslaughter in any way), meaning: sneaking alcohol onto the festival grounds will be easier, “accidentally” wandering backstage will probably be easier, basically doing anything you’re not supposed to will be easier since security likely has no fucking clue what’s going on and that they should be stopping you.
8. Pringles are your friend
Seriously, if I didn’t make it clear before: Pringles Over Everything. P.R.E.A.M. That is all.
9. Just be careful with drugs
Sorry to sound like a mom but I’m just extremely skeptical of people at all times, even when drugs are not involved, but also especially when drugs are involved. Like yes that white guy with dreads walking around the camp grounds offering “party favors” is probably okay but at the same time he also has no real reason to sell you exactly what he’s claiming he’s selling you, aka not bath salts, so just be careful now, ya hear? My personal rec is to just acquire all necessary goodies beforehand, or buy your dealer a festival ticket. Maybe he’ll give you a discount for bringing him more business, I don’t know how he does business, but that’s what I would do (sidenote to the NSA: I am not a drug dealer). Also, another protip: don’t trust white people with dreads.
10. Bring earplugs if you’re camping!
I added an exclamation point at the end because this one is super important. It’s freezing as fuck at night and as soon as 10am hits, it’ll be hot as balls in your tent so you won’t be able to sleep. You want to maximize all your potential sleeping hours, so don’t let that idiot dreaded white guy (different guy from the one above, but still should not be trusted) who’s ranting about how he’s not racist until 5am at the top of his lungs (protip: he’s definitely racist) keep you from that precious beauty rest! You should probably find a way to get back at him in the morning though, because he really is an asshole.
11. Learn how to French braid
If you have hair that’s long and thick like mine, you will want a way to keep it out of your face that looks cute and that you don’t have to keep re-doing every 30 minutes, or like, ever. Enter: the French braid. Those Frenchies were on point when they created this hairstyle.
12. Don’t bother with makeup
Another one of those moments where before you leave you’re like, “I’ll totally put on foundation, liquid eyeliner, mascara, and eye shadow every morning!” and when you get there you’re like “LOL.” Your pores are going to be clogged enough without heaps of beige-colored liquid/powder so just skip it. Bring lipstick if you’re into that though so you can feel like you don’t look like a complete scrub. You’ll still look like a complete scrub, but as long as you feel pretty that’s all that matters.
That’s all I’ve got for now! Now go forth and be merry and meet famous rappers and don’t die.