The big event is just around the corner (May 23-25) and what better way to get you festival ready than with some invaluable words of wisdom from The Lion-at-Large.
DO: Bring tons of tasty (non-alcoholic) liquids and plenty of beat-pumping speakers for the campsite. Batteries not included, so stock up, or get an adapter for your friend’s car. Sorry we had to idle for an hour Mother Earth.
DON’T: Get crazy at Wal-Mart, Kreugers, or Trader Joe’s, and purchase any food items that are even remotely taxing to cook or eat. You’re at a festival with a ton of inexpensive and on-the-go food options. That can of organic vegan stew looked great, but you forget a fucking can-opener. Idiot.
DO: Get up early(ish) and stand in a brief line to get a $4.95 breakfast burrito in the campsite marketplace. Trust me, your friends aren’t going to enjoy your buddies attempt at an omelette, I’m pretty sure he is still high on acid anyways.
DON’T: Take forever to get ready, your friends don’t want to wait 12 minutes while you figure out where your hoodie/fanny pack/sunglasses/backpack/camel pack/scarf/toque/leg warmers/booty shorts are, because Cut Copy started five minutes ago, and you’re already late.
*Remember this is an in-and-out friendly festival, perfect for dramatic changes in weather. Also, less is more. Be comfy, cool and have something tied around your waste for when the wind picks up.
DO: Take a TON of photos on your phone, be smart with your possessions obviously, but have a talk with yourself and realize that you are capable of taking care of your phone. Trust me, so many amazing moments happen and you’ll probably forget them without some kind of evidence.
DON’T: Try and be an amateur photographer and bring your brand new point-and-shoot Canon Rebel into the festival. You will waste more time trying to figure out how to get the focus right, while trying to figure out the best way to dance without smashing the fucking thing. Remember, less is more, and your iPhone probably works just as good at this point.
DO: Consume any substances you might have your hands on responsibly. Remember less is always more in most cases and you don’t want to be admitted into the medic tent before any of the music has even started.
DON’T: Commit to the cheapest, most watered-down American beer. Diversify your bar; bring a bit of everything, especially things that have a bit of hop or flavour. Trust me, by the second day your sense of smell and taste won’t be quite what you remembered.
DO: Wander around and enjoy what all the random tents/vendors have to offer in the marketplace. You’ll thank me when you just got a backstage pass to Foster The People because you killed it at hoola-hooping or just beat the Kokanee rep at a push-up competition and won a bar tab at the beer garden. There is a ton of free shit and good times to be had in between shows, and you’ll usually end up with a free drink or at least a tasty chilidog, even if you lost the push-up contest. Oh look a giant shower next to the DJ tent! Get into it!
DON’T: Get stressed if you lose your festival crew, grab a beer somewhere, get into the nearest crowd at the nearest stage, go pee, meet new people, wander around a bit, get back in the giant shower, or take a breather and eat another chilidog. Guaranteed someone you know within the hour will scoop you up. Remember, you’re here to have fun, not pout and get flashbacks of that time your parents left you in the mall, you’re an adult and you can have fun by yourself.
DO: Have a meeting spot for every stage. If you are travelling with a Sasquatch veteran or anyone who knows the space, make a meeting point at some area for each of the festival’s three stages — front and left of the stage, back and center, or the middle right. Whatever your group’s spot is, even if you end up hopelessly separated from all your friends, you can find a schedule and make an educated assumption as to what they might be watching. Front right at M.I.A. — oh there they are, dancing and missing you.
DON’T: Spend all your time cuddle-puddling on the giant grassy hill, it’s a great place to have a drink, eat a snack and regale your friends with all the funny stories of day, but this is a festival best experienced on your feet and in front of a stage. You wouldn’t pay $400+ to hang out in Stanley Park, would you?
DO: Bring a travel sized bottle of sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) and as many lip-balms as you can possibly carry. It’s crazy how much you’ll realize you want and love lip-balm. Get the apple flavour; it’ll change your pasty-mouthed life.