Music Festivals these days are not quite like the Woodstocks of the past but they promise a lot of the same experiences.
So when an opportunity comes around to indulge in a weekend of music, beer, food trucks and carnival rides… it’s very difficult to say no.
There is so much youth crowding the space that surely my girlfriends and I can syphon some of it off of them! Our inner 90s hearts come to the races too, seeking head to toe fashion and accessories to dress up our old souls.
What a bizarre and beautiful scene this becomes.
It’s like a play, a beautiful play that you are writing, starring in and directing all weekend long. Costumes and thespians galore, so much talent, so much energy! It’s a magical place to put yourself. The best part? You can write away the sorrows and insecurities divorce has left you with.
Here in this place, we are all writing our own story and no one needs (and certainly doesn’t want) to see any of that self-pity. It’s a Festival for f*#$ sake. Lighten Up!
In the course of three days, we indulged in such exoticly festival-ish treats as black forest cherry iced coffee, Jamaican jerk chicken, merlot wine flavored ice cream and slushies; brown sugar cinnamon flavored chicken wings, cucumber lime and mint popsicles, a bucket of fresh cut French fries, pho-licious cuisine, WaWa breakfast and coffee and lemon ginger organic soda.
We sang along to some of our favorite music. Outkast, Walk the Moon, Foster the People, Teagan and Sara, St. Lucia and Vampire Weekend (which I personally voted as the best show of the weekend). Not sure I’ve ever seen so many dashingly handsome musicians! There’s no feeling quite like the exhilaration of screaming your favorite songs along with the talented musicians and life hungry fans.
On the final night, we closed the show down by romping through the carnival rides with no lines, late at night, in the beautiful weather and bright colored flashing lights. This was all very magical. Right down to the crazy maze that we dashed out of, not trusting what was behind those crazy mirrors and up those creepy stairs! The tilt a wheel with it’s seriously questionable lap protectant bar nearly ended our lives I’m sure, but it was probably the most I’ve laughed and cried in a single setting in a really long time.
Festivals are becoming so popular and so available these days all across the country that this experience is completely attainable. Once you have narrowed down your search and purchased your ticket(s)- it’s time to prepare for this soul loving experience.
Things to beg, borrow or steal: (Or just purchase them from your closest retailer…)
- The maxi dress. I purchased my first maxi dress for this event and found myself wondering why it took me so long to get here. It was like putting on an instant cloak of goddessness. Those youthful things can keep their bra-less crop tops. Me in a maxi dress equals goddess of festival which is much more what I want to create in my life anyway. So many beautiful prints, so comfortable, so versatile. The only problem with this approach is I found it hard to take off when it came time to go back to work. Clearly there is room for improvement in what society considers “business casual.”
- Those mini backpack things that went out of style and then came back with a vengeance. When you are entering a festival that you can’t escape for an entire day, the goddess must bring with her a few things to survive and these backpacks are ideal for ease of hauling that shit. What shit?
- A rain poncho- this became the best $5 investment for us considering the first two days it rained. All. Day. Long.
- Your lip product of choice. Don’t bring your new NARS $26 lip pencil unless you enjoy losing expensive, beautiful things. RIP “New Lover” color, forever in our hearts and that one picture that I took after applying.
- Water bottle, of aluminum grade, preferably. Most festivals have re-fill stations and you can keep yourself hydrated. This is intensely important for spending all day in the sun.
- Sunscreen, hat, scarf or other shield against that giant star of fire. Showing a little shoulder or leg is hot. Burning it to the intense shade of lobster and asking for skin cancer is not.
- Camera/Phone- this backpack or similar vessel will protect your camera and/or phone. There are many sights to photograph at a festival.
- Sunglasses- when it’s sunny, these might as well be your face. This is you. What face are you going to put out there for these festival goers to admire? Anything goes- the wilder the better!
- Armpit wipes. This is not glamorous, but possibly the most innovative and refreshing idea to pack. Sun and sweat has a price. Smelling yourself and others around you doesn’t have to be that price.
- Festival Shoes- Watch the weather. Your shoes must mesh well with the weather in a festival setting. If it’s raining all day, don’t forget your rain boots. If it’s sunny, plan for comfortable sandals that you don’t mind getting dirty. When your feet are happy, your body will be happy. Don’t test this theory with a brand new pair of cute ass heels at your festival.
What you should know going in:
- These bitches are young, mostly. And if they aren’t, they sure act like it. Make peace with that. It’s totally OK and totally cool to play this role.
- 90s fashion means things like crop tops and high waisted tiny shorts are back. And teenagers can pull these off really well. Don’t let their voluptuous youth shadow your own light! Besides. Crop tops leave little room for imagination and your ability to not give in to them simply speaks for your mysteriousness.
- Prepare to be present. This means your phone should only be used to take photographs, post a very occasional picture to share your experience, (over posting is not cool- just enough to make sure people know you are alive and beautiful.) and check in with your kids (if appropriate. You are NOT a poor parent if you don’t check in with your kids during this weekend.) This is not the time for brooding or thinking about your life. This is the time for LIVING, and BEING with the festival goers around you. You can’t syphon their youth and share your light if you are caught up in your mind.
- If you haven’t yet figured this out yet… Love is not exclusive to a spouse and your unwavering love for your spawn. Your marriage may be over, but that doesn’t mean you are short on Love. Send Love, Be Love. Accept Love. Love the music. Love that girl dancing uncontrollably and flipping her hair in your space. Love the feeling of your stomach dropping and your anxiety rising when the carnival swing ride goes way higher than you were prepared for. But most importantly- Love Yourself and the space you created.
Then go on loving yourself and that space you create every day. Go on loving.