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5 Tips For Summer Music Festival Season

5 Tips For Summer Music Festival Season

With summer comes swimming, heat, the sunshine, and (my personal favorite) outdoor music festivals. If you’re not going to one of these 20 outdoor music festivals, perhaps you’re preparing to go to one of the other hundreds that happen in the U.S. and Canada every year. If you’re really lucky, maybe you’re even headed to your first one ever.

Whether you’re new, a veteran, or somebody that likes to dabble here and there, here are 5 ways to make sure your outdoor music festival season goes off without a hitch.

1. Set Up A Comfortable Tent and Sleeping Gear

When it comes to festival camping gear, you have different options to choose from. Budget campers like myself might opt for a small tent, but beware: just because it says it will comfortably fit three people doesn’t mean it actually will. Mine claims that a trio could sleep like babies, wrapped up in its innards, but in reality, it might fit one and a half. My significant other and I are cuddlers, so it was no problem. However, if you’re going with your best mate and spooning isn’t on your “guys’ festival-to-do-list”, opt for a larger tent. A good rule of thumb is to divide by two, so if you’ve got two people, shoot for a tent that claims to comfortably fit four.

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    Of course, this doesn’t account for all of the stuff you may be bringing with you. Some people recommend a four-person tent for those who want a lot of space and perhaps the addition of an air mattress. If you don’t go the air mattress route, you’ll want to consider throwing down a foam mattress pad, or at the very least a heap of blankets to soften a night or two of dirt and rocks you’ll be sleeping on.

    Another tip: make sure you know how to set your tent up before you embark!

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      2. Bring an Easy-Up Living Room for Rain or Shine

      Whether or not you’re going with a big group of people, you’ll still want a place to comfortably chill when you’re not in the festival grounds dancing your faces off. Lay down some old rugs for carpets, deploy the easy up canopy, and kick back in a lawn chair or two. Pack a couple of blankets in case you get cold at night, and remember to bring coolers to keep your food and drinks cold during the day.

      Folding tables also help keep things out of the dirt and grime, but they’re not essential. Basically, just bring all the things you’d want with you if you were spending a cozy night in your own backyard, minus the fire pit.

      Professional tip: Remember to clean while you party! Festival camping gets dirty, and trash bags are your best friend. Pack it in, pack it out.

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        Of course, if you have access to a mobile home, that’s also a fantastic commodity to utilize. A house on wheels that has a bathroom will save you from using the port-a-potties every time you have to relieve yourself. Additionally, most people forget that they don’t have easy access to electricity while camping, so a car battery will definitely do the trick if you need juice. Extra points for those who have solar panel roofing on their rig or simply bring their own solar charger.

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          3. Pack the Right Food and Drinks

          Everybody has to eat, right? When it comes to the food you bring, you’ll want to bring solid food that you can easily pack and store in a cooler. Not all festivals are going to have outdoor grilling areas, only some do (for example, What the Festival generally does). Unless you’re bringing your own portable grill, don’t pack anything that you wouldn’t eat if you couldn’t warm it up. My suggestion is to pack some junk food.

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          Remember that you’re going to probably dance all day and all night. Fruits like apples, bananas, oranges, pineapples, and watermelons, all represent great health food packed with energy and water. Fighting dehydration is a major festival concern. Jerky, cheese, and granola bars are also great sources of energy.

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            Water is just as important to remember to pack, as food or at least receptacles/containers for storing it. Hydration packs are great for festivals because they double as a backpack as well as an H2O container. Athletic kinds of people like runners, campers, and bicyclists may already have them.

            When it comes to non-water beverages, remember that alcohol purchased inside festival grounds is going to cost an arm and a leg. First of all, if you plan on drinking, make sure you’re not mixing alcohol and other substances because you’ll have a bad time. Second of all, consider bringing your own bottles and mixers because they’ll be literally three times cheaper. Also, if you plan simply you can still create mixed drinks like margaritas at a much lower cost.

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              4. Festival Attire & Accessories

              I cannot stress enough, when it comes to not only clothing and accessories, but also to your camping gear, check the weather before you embark. If it’s going to be warm, pack accordingly. If it’s going to rain, bring a poncho or a waterproof jacket. Remember, if you’re going to dance hard, you’re probably going to soak your clothes in sweat. Bring at least two pairs of clothes for each day you’re going to be there, not including jackets and extra warming layers. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, and it will definitely take up more room, but if you want the safest bet, that’s the way to go.

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                Of course, as we’ll see in the next section, you’re going to want to bust out your flair and get weird. Gaudy jewelry, face paint, masks, and footie pajamas tend to work for most people. A word on footie pajamas (or the “onesie” as it’s lovingly referred to as): I used to think wearing it was just a stupid fashion statement by the EDM crowd, but it turns out that onesies are actually nice and toasty when it’s cold out.

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                  Another important item that too many people forget is the all-important totem. Now, not everybody is going to need one, but if you’re going in a group, at least one person in your crew is going to need a proper totem. These are generally just really tall poles with signs on them, and while they’re usually entertaining, they also serve a more important purpose. When you’re in a crowd of 5,000 plus people, finding your friends is hard unless they’re flying a 15-foot totem that lets you know where they are at all times. Don’t forget a totem, unless you’re okay with getting lost and separated from your friends for a whole night.

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                    5. Have a Good Attitude and Prepare to Get Weird

                    The last but most important thing you’ll want to remember to bring to a festival is a good attitude. Things aren’t always going to go as planned, sometimes it will be too cold, and other times it will dump rain on you for 12 hours straight (What the Festival 2016). Remember, the only person able to make you have a bad time is yourself. With the right attitude, you can overcome any obstacle and remain happy about anything.

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                      Another thing to remember is that people at these festivals run around naked, and do all kinds of weird things. A friend, I like to go with to the music festivals has a tradition of brushing his teeth with whiskey and swallowing the mouth-goop mixture instead of spitting it out (don’t want to waste whiskey now!). The point is that if you’re going to go to one of these festivals, be prepared to get weird.

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                      I’m not saying you have to run around naked while doing weird things and brushing your teeth with whiskey to fit in with the crowd. I’m just saying that if you’re not prepared for weird behavior around you, you might be a tad bit uncomfortable. My advice? Be weird yourself. Step outside of your comfort zone a little bit. Shed the assumptions that you’ve been unknowingly burdened with by society and go a little crazy. You might be surprised at how liberated you feel.

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                        Bonus Tip: It’s Okay to be Frugal!

                        Festival tickets tend to cost a lot of money. For example, attendees of the pricey EDC Las Vegas spent anywhere between $900 and $1200 for their trips and tickets (not including camping costs). I’ll probably be going to five festivals altogether this year, which may cost a little more than that (I have my ways, though).

                        The point is, when you’re camping, you have the ability to be more frugal, spending less on hotel rooms, fancy drinks, $15 packs of cigarettes, and more on your own gear. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with spending money on festivals. Research has shown that many people don’t regret spending money on good experiences. So, if you can’t do it on the cheap, don’t fret; you’ll probably still have a good time anyway.

                        Conclusion

                        Above all, remember to be safe this festival season. Take the same precautions as if you were going to summer camp — bites, rashes, dehydration and heat exhaustion can all be major concerns. EDC 2016 had a zero death count, the lowest for the first time in three years. Here’s to hoping that the trend carries over to other festivals.

                        Peace, love, respect, and enjoy your festival season!

                        Featured photo credit: Wiki Commons via commons.wikimedia.org

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                        Andrew Heikkila

                        Owner-Operator of Earthlings Entertainmnet

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                        Last Updated on August 20, 2019

                        How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                        How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                        Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

                        Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

                        I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

                        You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                        Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

                        When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                        I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                        Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                        Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                        Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

                        1. The Inner Critic

                        This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

                        • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
                        • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
                        • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
                        • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                        The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

                        Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                        2. The Worrier

                        This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

                        The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

                        3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

                        This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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                        This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                        The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

                        4. The Sleep Depriver

                        This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                        The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

                        • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                        • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                        • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
                        • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                        How can you control these squatters?

                        How to Master Your Mind

                        You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                        Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                        There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                        • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                        • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                        This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

                        The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

                        Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                        For the Inner Critic

                        When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                        You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                        For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

                        You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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                        “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                        If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                        • They rile up the Worrier.
                        • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                        • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                        • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                        • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

                        Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                        Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                        For the Worrier

                        Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                        Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

                        You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                        • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                        • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                        • Muscles tense

                        Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                        If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                        Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                        “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                        Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                        If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

                        Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

                        Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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                        For example:

                        If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                        “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                        Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                        “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                        Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                        For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                        Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                        The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

                        • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
                        • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                        • Muscles tension

                        I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                        Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                        Breathe in through your nose:

                        • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                        • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                        • Focus on your belly rising.

                        Breathe out through your nose:

                        • Feel your lungs emptying.
                        • Focus on your belly falling.
                        • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                        Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

                        Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

                        One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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                        Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                        For the Sleep Depriver

                        (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                        I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                        Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                        1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                        2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                        When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

                        From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                        For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                        If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                        You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                        • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
                        • Shut down your thinking.
                        • Calm your feelings.
                        • Simply focus on the present moment. 

                        The Bottom Line

                        Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

                        You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                        Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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                        Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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