By: Angela Viesti
Spring has sprung and festival season has begun. Each year, new and established festivals publish their set times, maps, and afterparties to the eagerly awaiting masses who’ve secured their coveted (and costly) tickets and lodging.
A three day festival weekend can easily cost a couple grand, depending on where you stay and what you bring. Then there’s the question: how far will you go to make a statement? The outfits, the accessories, the grooming–all expressions of You. And finally, you have the physical preparation and post-fest recovery, which varies greatly from person to person and festival to festival.
In order to bring you the best tips and ideas for making the most of your experience, I consulted two queens from the cannabis space who happen to be well versed in the festival scene:
Leah Stella, a resident Kush Queen, has worked and attended just about every type of festival that exists as an experience creator, performer, and booth manager, among countless other roles, and Roni Stetter, a blogger and cannabis professional at The Hurt Guru by day and a festival enthusiast, harm reduction advocate, and safety volunteer by night.
Leah and Roni were kind enough to share some incredible insights that I sprinkled in throughout this blog. Read on and take what resonates with you into the 2019 festival season!
Festival attendees are known for donning eccentric fashions and baring lots of skin. Many spend weeks and even months at the gym shredding and counting macronutrients. I fully support anyone wanting to get fit and feel their best, however, I see nothing healthy about overworking your body and depriving yourself while obsessing over the way you look.
Commit to healthy food choices leading up to the event rather than “quick fixes” or weight loss supplements, as most result in temporary results and have unpleasant to downright unhealthy side effects. Balanced nutrition, proper hydration, and sleep will fuel you and help you perform at your peak while supporting your body’s recovery in preparation for and, as echoed by Roni, in recovery from a festival.
Take the perspective of building stamina, strength, and flexibility to prepare your body for all the dancing and walking you’ll do so you can focus less on external results. Pay attention to your body and give yourself time to rest between intense workouts. Challenging yourself is great, but if you wind up injured you’ll set yourself back in terms of your fitness goals and you could ruin your festival experience if you hurt yourself.
To boost your recovery, draw yourself a bath and drop in a Kush Queen bath bomb (Relax and Relieve make a great combo for post-workout!) or try the DIY Infused Bath recipe from our blog. Incorporate tinctures or edibles to ease pain and heal from within. After your bath, apply Melt pain relief lotion to any tender and sore areas to keep the pain at bay while you sleep or go on about your day. Adapt this as your post-festival recovery by taking your bottle of Soaked with you to the bathroom or showers.
Festivals are all about self-expression, and as such, considerable time is spent shopping for and putting together unique festival outfits. To save money, experiment with DIY embellishments, shop at vintage or second-hand stores or organize a clothing swap with your festival loving friends. I asked Leah for tips on hosting clothing swaps as she had this to say:
“Make them mostly female so girls are comfortable undressing around each other…lots of food, drinks, and mirrors. It’s so fun to see other girls enjoy your clothes and to find new gear for yourself. Arrange everything into piles by type of clothing.”
If you must buy something new, shop socially responsible brands that pay livable wages and provide safe work environments, or support a local artist or maker who’d love for their creation to be at a festival. Since your threads are an expression of you, customize pieces to make them unique and special. Leah chimed in with this:
“Go downtown or a craft store and buy cool appliques to attach to clothes. Glue/sew jewels onto clothing and accessories. Don’t just buy whatever trends are current for “festival fashion” in social media. People support originality and can always tell if you’re wearing something that isn’t you. Be comfortable above all else.”
Roni seconded the importance of being comfortable and added:
“…Having comfortable shoes goes a long way in ensuring that you’ll only have good memories of the event. Everyone loves a crazy costume, but when choosing your clothes and gear for the night, try to think of how you’ll feel at 2 am.”
So true. It may not seem necessary at noon when you’re getting ready to head to the venue, but consider packing a light sweater for the later hours. A long day in the sun followed by a long night under the stars will impact your body temperature, especially if you suddenly go from a dense crowd to a wide-open field. Thinking ahead will save you from a potential disaster and misery.
Exercise caution when it comes to bringing cannabis. All three of us agree that although cannabis is always present at festivals, it’s not always allowed–with the exception of some cannabis festivals (yes, some…there are weed festivals that don’t allow consumption, believe it or not)–and you run the risk of having it confiscated (or worse) by entering a festival with it.
It’s important to protect yourself from the elements whether you’re out perusing the fairgrounds, splashing away at a pool party, or setting up your campsite. Failure to do so can result in the dreaded festival flu–not pretty at all. I’d highly recommend bringing these items:
Sunscreen (must-have) and a hat or parasol to block direct sunlight
A water container that you can clip to yourself (a great suggestion by Leah)
A bag that attaches to you, like a fanny pack, backpack, or crossbody bag
Bandana or mask to protect your respiratory system from dust
I’ve never camped at a festival before, so I asked Leah what first-time campers should know and she offered this wisdom:
“Be ok with manual labor, heavy lifting, and ‘living’ with your campmates; don’t camp with people you don’t know because you’ll be living together and working together. Come prepared. Don’t mooch…[to make the most of your experience,] go with people you truly like.”
Speaking of people, it’s important to have a plan in place with the folks you’re attending with since you’ll all be in a new element that’s nothing like the outside world. Roni suggests this:
“Being with a group, or at least a buddy, at all times is your best bet for staying safe at a big event – and these should be people you trust….identify where all the first aid stations are in the venue… [and] set a meet-up spot in case someone gets separated (cell phones rarely work at large-scale events).”
Despite interference from shitty cell service, download the Find My Friends app (for iPhone here or Android here) and share your location with your squad for the duration of the event. Phones may not always work but this extra step could make all the difference. Just don’t forget to turn it off afterward!
The real point in going to a festival is to have a good time and discover something new about yourself, about humanity, through music, art, and connection. Leah offers up some excellent reminders about being present for the experience:
“We go to festivals to play and reconnect with our inner child…Get lost by yourself at least once…get off your cell phone…practice being in the moment and not worrying about schedules.”
No matter the type of festival you’re drawn to–music, art, cannabis, transformative, or anything else–there are universal ways to make the most of your time and have a life-changing experience. Test out these tips and let us know what worked for you and your festival crew!
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