Baby's First Festival
BREAKING NEWS (if you owned a time machine and could go back 2 weeks):
Two weeks ago, I attended my first music festival.
This may come as a surprise to you. Yes, I like music. In fact, I love music. In facter, I lust music. In factest, I need music. So how come I've never been to a festival?
Let me answer your question with another question: WHAT MAKES YOU THINK I'VE NEVER BEEN TO A MUSIC FESTIVAL? Oh. I already admitted that..
The reason for having never gone to a music fest is simple: I've just never gotten around to it. The festival that helped me get over my fear of being in a large sea of sweaty drunk people that all have to pee was the 7th Annual Fun Fun Fun Fest (FFF Fest) in Austin, Texas. Does that name sound stupid to you? Does this LOOK stupid to you?
The asterisk here is that I've attended Fun Fun Fun Fest years ago, but only for a few hours. This time, I went for the full 3 days.
Things I learned at my first festival experience:
Avoid a BandTANa
We forgot sunscreen on the first day. I thought it'd be smart to wear a bandana. While it protected my forehead from getting burned, it didn't protect the rest of my face. So at night, when I took the bandana off, I looked like I had a white skin bandana, which is coincidentally now fashionable in the East Village.
|"Rookie move, bro. Always supplement a bandana with sunscreen for great skin like this."|
Maybe this is a sign I'm getting old. Or is it a sign that I'm getting smarter? Earplugs not only help protect your ears, but they actually make the music sound better, isolating the sounds being played. Also, they look totally cool in front of hot babes.
|"I can't hear youuuuuu. No really. I didn't use earplugs at Fun Fun Fun Fest :( "|
Check out bands you haven't heard of
Don't just fill your weekend with bands you know. Catch a few minutes of other acts you've never listened to. The purpose of a festival is to celebrate music. One of the best ways to do this is discovery. If I had a different mindset, I never would have found my new life coach:
Keep your eyes open for celebrities
Rooney Mara, Val Kilmer, and Michael Fassbender we're all at FFF Fest filming the new Terrence Malick film. They recorded on-stage with the Black Lips. Additionally, my girlfriend and our friend spotted Gosling at a thrift store that weekend. Of course, I was around the corner. But it's a good thing I didn't spot Fassbender AND Gosling in one weekend or I would have had to write this letter:
We've had a good run. I'm sorry.
Take advantage of the extracurriculars
FFF puts on Nites shows that are free to attendees of the festival. We went to a couple of the shows, but the best one was a comedy set from a handful of comedians including Hannibal Burress, Doug Benson, and Doug Mellard. Oh, and at one of these Nites events, a friend of mine peed next to Ryan Gosling.
Listen to as much music as possible
I heard so much music. And I enjoyed all of it from Japandroids to Run DMC to Fang Island to Dum Dum Girls. Don't be the person setting up 5 hours before the headliner so that you're on the rail. Enjoy other bands up until the headliner. Or make sure the people playing on the stage of the headliner before them are bands you'd like to see. Or wait on the rail and chalk it up to music discovery. What do I know?
Bonnaroo 2013. Who's in?