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Over the course of the last decade, the energy of the American music festival scene has coursed through our nation's veins.
Musical buffets such as Sasquatch, Wakarusa, Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza are enough to lure all sorts of hipsters, trendsters, burners and subculture alike to make these "mecca-like" journeys.
As a patron, I feel obliged to help any of whom that are attending a festival this summer to not make the same mistakes as those deemed the less fortunate in these weekend-long situations.
Here are a few helpful tips:
1) Think H20. Always carry a water source to your shows of choice. You will probably be abusing your body in some sort or fashion. Hydration is key to not being the guy foaming at the mouth.
2) Don't trust the guy wearing a Mickey Mouse, Fantasia, wizard hat. He means no good.
3) Designate a reasonable meeting spot and time. Chances are, your attention span will be slim to none in the clammer of sweaty groovers. This makes it a wee bit complicated to keep up with your friends. If your group isn't the "planning type," then you might be better off just holding onto each other's belt loops.
4) Sunscreen. I repeat, sunscreen. Not tanning lotion. Sunscreen. Places like Manchester, Tennessee get pretty toasty in June.
5) Don't be afraid to dance. You'll encounter all sorts of spastic, radical moves throughout the shows. Don't worry about being judged. Everyone wants to see you just let go.
6) Don't be the push and shove character in the crowd. Everyone is just as admittedly uncomfortable as you are. Relax, dude.
7) Bring a bandana. Whether you wear it on top of your head, to cover your face or just a sweat band on your arm you'll be glad you have it. Plus, well, they look cool if worn in a righteous fashion.
What's most important about the festival experience is that you leave with a sense of vibrant satisfaction. As if you have known and seen what another could only recognize as their wildest dream. Recognize that you were another blood-pumping artery in the body of a subcultural phenomenon.
Let the music and good vibes be your guide.
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