Going to a music festival alone can be intimidating, especially if it’s your first time. Despite some initial nervousness you may feel, this solo trip has the potential to be an unforgettable experience.
When you’re riding solo, you can be fully open to all the opportunities present at the festival and you will have the ability to completely curate your experience to your own tastes.
Follow your ears, put a smile on your face, and boogie on over to see your favorite artist. You could end up making some great friends and learning all about yourself in your festival full of freedom.
Read on below for some advice to make your solo festival as enjoyable as possible:
1. Organize hotel or campsite and transportation
Since you’ll be on your own at least until you arrive at the festival, make sure you have solid plans for where to stay, and how to get to there. Nothing is worse than being stranded or homeless, especially when you’re riding solo!
If you’re camping, be sure to buy a camping pass and come prepared—check out our Music Festival Camping Guide for all the camping essentials.
If you look like you’re having fun, people will want to join you. Be approachable! The best way to do that is to put a smile on your face.
3. Enjoy your freedom
Without being bound by friends’ desires, you have the chance to completely customize your festival experience, whether it be trying the delicious food, admiring the art, laying in the sun, or dancing in the middle of the crowd.
You get to create your own schedule! See all of your favorite artists, and check out new ones whenever you can. Be open to new genres of music—you might discover a new favorite, and you can always leave if you’re not feeling it.
4. Take Pictures
Without friends constantly dragging you to a stage, you have time to stop and take pictures whenever you want. Capture the moment; you’ll love being able to look back on all your festival memories.
And don’t just take pictures for yourself, help others get that perfect festival shot! Offering to take a group photo is a great way to break the ice.
5. Wear something fun
Crazy costumes, cool makeup, funny hats, etc. are all great conversation starters. People love to point out hilarious or fashionable outfit choices– it’s undoubtedly an easy way to get people talking.
6. Try to stay off your phone
It’s hard—many of us have an ingrained habit to pull out our phones whenever we’re alone, but staying glued to your device makes you less approachable.
Don’t miss the moment; the reason you’re there is to experience the festival, so go out and do it! Try to go look at some art, hang at a stage, or explore the festival grounds instead of playing on your phone.
7. Bring fun gifts to give people you meet
People always love it when you give them fun little surprises at a festival. Whether it be snacks, bracelets, toys (like mini water guns), sparkles, or anything else you can think of, they will love your thoughtfulness.
8. Be prepared
Riding solo means it’s all on you—you are your own responsibility.
Since you won’t have a constant group of friends, make sure your phone is charged (or you have an external charger). Remember where you parked or where to catch the shuttle, and bring all the necessities—water, chapstick, wipes, money, ID.
There are many music or festival-based Facebook groups and Instagram accounts (i.e. @EDMhumor) that will often organize meetups at festivals.
In the weeks before the festival, join groups or follow accounts that are based on the specific festival you’re attending and the genres of music that will be present, and keep your eyes out for any posts about meetups!
10. Have backup stories in case you get nervous
While most people will be impressed if you tell them the truth of your power move to go solo, having some backup stories can be a safety net.
If you start feeling really nervous about your solo status, you can always tell people you lost your friends, or that you’re meeting up with someone later. That way, starting a conversation with new people can be less intimidating.
Dance alone, dance with other people, do it all. If you are worried about making friends, I’ve discovered that I meet the most people when I dance with them in the crowd. After vibing on the dance floor, friendships spring up naturally and excitedly. Let go and have fun, and enjoy yourself!
Grace, our Marketing Promotions summer intern, is a rising senior at the University of Michigan who attends as many music festivals as her obligations permit. To read more, check out her page on EDM Identity.