This past week, Cristina and I ventured fifteen hours in a car to Middle Of Nowhere, Tennessee to attend the music festival, Bonnaroo. As two high-maintenance divas, we were a bit apprehensive of sleeping in a tent and not having standard plumbing for four days. However, the lure of getting to play dress up for a couple days, and seeing Kendrick Lamar was enough incentive for us to throw our cares of personal hygiene to the wind. I’m happy to announce that we did in fact, survive and can live to tell about it.
Here’s everything you need to know before you dive head first into festing.
Getting The Perfect Instagram Photo
Rachel: If you’re anything like me, Do It For The Gram is not a saying, it’s a lifestyle. An outfit never even happened, if you didn’t ‘gram it. You’re going to want to document your new carefree flower crown wearing lifestyle, as you are now basically Kendall Jenner at Coachella. Although, since us plebs don’t have the luxury of using perfect candids taken by the paparazzi, we have to get creative. You have two choices: have your friend take a killer solo shot, or dare to find a stranger and hope they know what they’re doing (which they probably won’t).
Since you aren’t a Kardashian though, you won’t want your feed to be full of solo photos. So you’ll have to find a kind passerby (or two, or three) and just say it: “Will you take picture of us?” Worth it.
Lack of Drink Choices
Rachel: The key to any outdoor event is keeping hydrated. In our case, a good 60/40 booze to water ratio seemed to do the trick. Personally, I couldn’t drink beer even if my life depended on it. Surprisingly, the world does not revolve around me (shocking, really.), and most festivals only offer beer. Even so, beer prices inside any festival are like, triple what they should be. The cost to get a good buzz would usually be the same you’d spend for a decent blackout.
Like any good alcoholic would tell you, the answer is to sneak in a flask. In a giant cloud of smoke, cigarettes and other, there you’ll be chugging away. D.A.R.E. would be so proud.
Cristina: Seeing as I live in Austin, Texas, a place where hippies migrate to in droves come October for Austin City Limits, I thought I would be prepared for the hippies at Bonnaroo. Nope. Nothing could prepare me for the amount of high-fiving, dread-having hippies I would encounter. These are real hippies. These hippies don’t wear Free People, they wear garments they picked up at a garage sale, or a Goodwill. They don’t shower, and the girls “bleed freely.”
When dealing with the real hippies at music festivals, you have to remember they’re just as afraid of you as you are of them. Because they’re on five drugs right now and they think you’re the Loch Ness Monster. Kidding, the hippies are actually really nice because they believe in loving all people and all that bullshit. One of the nicer hippies I met even offered to share his drugs with me. Although it was an incredibly nice gesture, considering the high prices of most psychedelics, the only poison I enjoy ingesting is alcohol. I still recommend making friends with the hippies, though. They have cool stories.
You’re Outside All Day
Cristina: When 5,000 people are shoved against each other trying to get as close to the stage as humanly possible in 99 degree weather, it’s gonna get sweaty up in there. Bonus: not all the sweat on your body will be yours! Aren’t music festivals FUN?
Hand sanitizer will be your new best friend. I went through almost an entire mini bottle of that stuff over the course of four days. I’m not even a germaphobe in real life, but it just gets that bad. Use it and overuse it. The picture above was taken after a particularly sweaty human fell back and wiped about a gallon of their body fluids all over me. As disgusted as I was, I couldn’t let that ruin my experience. The key is to sanitize, sanitize, sanitize. Just rub it all over your body.
Hair And Makeup
Cristina: If you didn’t Instagram a picture of yourself every day at Bonnaroo, did you even go? The answer is no. Rachel and I took about a million pictures the entire weekend for this reason alone, but it’s hard to look your best when the killer temperatures make your hair frizz and your makeup slide right off.
You need to invest in a good setting spray for your makeup if you don’t want to look like an oil slick. As for your hair, rock that top knot. It keeps your hair off your sweaty neck and gives you a mini-facelift. If it doesn’t dry out your lips too much, go for lip liner over lipstick. It won’t slide around as much and you don’t need to reapply as often. Since port-a-potty’s don’t have mirrors, you’re going to have to improvise when you do need to reapply. Use the front-facing camera on your phone to check yourself out and apply that lip liner like Kylie Jenner.
Finding A Good Spot
Rachel: I love concerts. There’s order within the chaos. I know exactly where I’m going to sit, who I’ll be sitting next to, and how close I’ll be to the stage. Festivals took that perfect format, ripped it into a million tiny pieces, and said, “fuck it.” Goodbye, front row seat with my name on it. Hello, mess of pushy fans.
I found several solutions to this problem. The first is to get there early. That option is for suckers. The second choice is to just get right on in there. If you’re small and quick on your feet, you can weave your way in and out of sweaty bodies to the front. This proved to be effective with the right amount of liquid courage. Thirdly, if you’re lucky enough to end up next to the right people, you can find a brave man who will offer (and instantly regret) to put you on his shoulders. Other than the possibility of giving this nice man back problems he’ll face for the rest of his life, it’s a great choice. You can look down on everyone and feel like royalty among men.
Shitty Cell Service
Cristina: There’s about a million people at music festivals, and they’re all trying to send tweets and post Instagram photos that accurately convey to their friends how much fun they’re having. Millennials, amirite? The cell towers are usually so crowded, even iMessage won’t work. I know, I know, it’s peasantry.
There’s really no way around this one, you just have to keep pressing refresh and wait it out. I guess you could put your phone on airplane mode and just enjoy the festival, but how would anyone know that you’re actually enjoying yourself without posting it on social media? Better to just wait it out. The likes and favorites are worth it..