Don’t get us wrong, music festivals are meant to be a good time. Jumping about haphazardly, sweating profusely and losing friends in a sea of people are all hallmarks of the classic festival and a lot of the time we’re able to emerge reasonably unscathed.
But there will always be those people who just don’t get it. Stumbling around with no care for collateral damage and making a general nuisance of themselves, these are the rookies who tend to ruin it for the rest of us.
As Laneway is this weekend and the festival circuit still has a few bangers up its sleeve before summer disappears, it would seem that now feels an appropriate time to scrub up on some basic etiquette to save you from a blowout.
1. Don’t get carried away
Literally. We know how exciting it is. We know how thirsty you are. But please, for the love of god pace yourself. A festival is a marathon and if you sprint out of the gate, you will end up having to bow out (ungracefully) around the middle of the afternoon. Matching your drinks with big gulps of water is a good tactic for longevity.
2. Be courteous when pushing through the crowd
It can be alarming when you suddenly find yourself alone as friends are swallowed by the river of people traipsing between stages. But don’t let the unadulterated joy you feel upon receiving a “FRONT LEFT” text prompt a vigorous shoving of all humans in your path back to safety. An ‘excuse me’ can go a long way.
3. Be aware of your height
Being tall at a festival is a blessing, but one that comes with responsibility. Though you may have an unobstructed view of the stage, consider who might be behind you, or perhaps offer a shorter person a brief shoulder ride. ‘Brief’ being the key word here.
4. Accept the queues with grace
When you’re at an event with thousands of other people, there are going to be queues. No two ways about it. Trying to speed up your quick departure from friends by cutting in at the front will be met with a chorus of boos from people who (justifiably) think you’re a jerk. Equally, those who stand in a line and feel the need to make it known to everyone how ‘ridiculous’ it is, or how long they’ve been waiting can really bring the vibe down. Our suggestion? Join the back, and take the time to ponder quietly on the day so far.
5. Be prepared for the day
Do your research. Invest in a fanny pack. Get a visor. Whatever you need to do to avoid being the one person who brought a card to a cash party, or the girl who lost her phone because she packed a bag that didn’t close properly. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of arriving home from a festival with wallet, keys and marbles intact.
6. Don’t be a slave to Instagram
That old attitude of ‘if I didn’t Instagram it, did it even happen?’ needs to be put to bed here and now. Yes, yes it did happen and a couple of videos will suffice to show every one of your 508 followers how much of a rad muso you are. Music festivals should be about the music, so take a couple of snaps for the memories, before putting the phone down and appreciating the artists on stage. They’re giving you all of their attention, it’s only polite to reciprocate. Lest we forget last year’s Queens of the Stone Age debacle. Plus, the music always sounds better without the distraction of a phone.