Over the past several years I have been going to music festivals with my friends. We plan it out, we make reservations, we caravan and we head out for a great weekend. Now that I am doing my traveling alone and over 3,000 miles away from all of my friends, I knew I would be going to at least one music festival alone. And this past weekend, I did just that.
After a good friend of mine needed to back out of our plans to go to Hurricane last second, I knew I would still make it out to Scheebel, Germany. I was a little reluctant, primarily because I knew that language could be a barrier for me, and I did not want to approach people awkwardly.
After 3 incredible days at Hurricane Music Festival, I walk away having made 12 absolutely incredible friends. Friends that actually became family, and we labeled ourselves “The Family” for the weekend. The Family was from all over the world, covering 6 different countries and speaking 4 different languages (the common one being English, of course). While it may seem intimidating, going to a music festival by myself was one of the best things I have ever done in my life.
Thinking about attending a music festival alone? Check out some tips below on how to have an awesome time.
1. Be open and be open minded.
– Scan the crowd, look at people, high five someone, receive a free hug from someone holding a sign (they’re everywhere at music festivals). Rather than close yourself off to others, open up a bit. It’ll typically lead right into a conversation or a dance party.
– Wear something fun. People who have on a cool outfit, a funny onesie or a stylish pair of glasses have a conversation starter. Its likely someone will want to know where you got your cool piece of clothing and that leads into an introduction.
2. Talk to someone.
– It sounds easy enough but sometimes being alone is intimidating. The key to being alone at a music festival is that nobody knows you’re alone until you tell them. You could have easily lost your friends in a crowd. If you’re standing next to someone, say something to them. I made a friend this past weekend complaining about having to wait in a line. We spent the rest of the evening together Friday, and it was great. We had a blast dancing and meeting other people together.
– If you have something to add, say it! How I met The Family was in a crowd at Chet Faker. I overhead a guy and a girl talking and the guy said to the girl “Do you have a pen?” and she replied “No”. I had a pen in my backpack, so I said “Sorry to interrupt but I overheard you needed a pen. I actually have one, and paper too if you want it”. That immediately started a conversation, and it lead into more introductions, and eventually, The Family came to be.
3. Walk around the campsite.
– On the second day of the festival, I knew I had some time to kill before I was going to head into the grounds to catch some music. I got ready, had some lunch and decided to walk around by myself throughout the camping area. I knew there would be groups of people hanging outside their tents, making food and playing drinking games. I also knew that eventually someone would probably say something to me, and sure enough, thats what happened! I ran into someone else who just felt like walking around, so we walked together a bit. We wound up talking to a group of friends who were from Germany (most people were), and I got along with that group well, so I stuck around with them for part of the day.
4. Lose your new friends? Go make more.
– It can happen when you lose the awesome people you hang out with. Its usually a result of miscommunication on a meeting point (that happened to me this weekend) and poor (or no) cell reception. If that happens, don’t worry! Go out and make some more friends. You can always reconnect with people you met the next day or at the end of the night.
5. Don’t be afraid to be alone.
– One thing that I told myself this weekend, was that I was a lot of fun. No matter who I was with, if I was by myself or with some new friends or with The Family, I was having a blast. Being at a music festival is fun because its all about the music. Despite whether or not you have people to dance next to, you can still have a good time on your own. Grab some good food, grab a drink, walk around and see what activities or art installs are available to look at, check out the sponsor tents and groove to your favorite musicians.
Being alone at Hurricane Music Festival was awesome. I had the freedom to do what I wanted, when I wanted. I could leave halfway through a band and sprint to another. Being alone means being able to do whatever you want without compromise. Its great to have friends next to you, but its also great to be in the company of yourself.
Tomorrow I head to Glastonbury Music Festival in the UK. I will spend 6 days on the farm with about 225,000 other people. The festival is huge and expands about 4 times the size of Coachella. This year Florence and the Machine, Kanye West and the Who are headlining, but there are tons of other acts, tons of stages, and lots of surprise guests. I know two girls from Australia (that I met in Barcelona and reconnected with in Berlin) that are attending, and I hope I can connect with them there. If I can’t, I’ll be wandering the fest and making new friends.
Hope that helps and let me know if you have any questions about attending a music festival alone. Just know that I HIGHLY recommend it! XO