If you weren’t at Aaron’s Amphitheater at Lakewood for the ONE Music Fest you MISSED OUT! It was phenomenal! I would’ve bought the tickets just to see The Roots, but then to have Ms Lauryn Hill close the night! Talk about sensory overload. It was a melodic orgasm in my ears.
But there were a few things I felt could’ve made our trip a bit easier. And with Music Midtown coming up next weekend, TomorrowWorld the following, and next month you have the A3C Hip Hop Festival and Alchemy: The Georgia Burn, I thought I’d impart some wisdom on how to Master the Music Festival.
1. Know what type of festival you are attending.
You do not want to be dressed for TomorrowWorld with a million glow in the dark bracelets and necklaces, only to get there are discover it’s Line Dancing Music, not EDM. While you are doing your research on the festival, take some time to research all the acts. Especially the smaller ones, because this years openers are next years headliners. Wouldn’t it be cool to say you were on to them before the radio go ahold of them?
2. Always be prepared.
Thank you BSA for this lifelong motto. In so many ways do you need to do this:
- Your budget – allocate money for tickets, food & bev, t-shirt, bribing of the guards, potential cab ride home
- What you bring – know ahead of time what you can & can’t bring and know what their definitions are.
- Ex: my mate and I both brough small backpacks (which were allowed according to website), but when we got there the staff said his was too big and we had to walk all the way back to the car.
- Scope out the joint ahead of time – This is an “if you can” bullet point. So for all my native ATLiens. When you are going to Music Midtown or the A3C Festival, read a map. Not just to know where the stages are but so that you will know your surroundings. Is it a readmittance event? Then leave the park and go grab a beer for less than what the vendors are selling.
- Ladies, I had a cousin that lived off Piedmont and Monroe. This came in handy for Music Midtown because I was able to leave, walk up the street to her house, use a CLEAN BATHROOM and get free bottled water. See where I’m going with this?
- Packing – This is for the overnight festivals and burns. Know the weather and times. Make sure you bring appropriate clothing, food, medicines, etc.
3. EXPLORE! Have fun and have an adventure.
Now that you’ve made it in and you know where bathrooms, emergency exits and first aid stations are – let loose and get lost.
- There are usually a bunch of art stands at these events so get some cool henna painted on you, buy an overpriced set of earings, or walk around with a drink in a glass shaped like a guitar.
- This is also the perfect time to check out some of those lesser-known groups that you listened to on Sound Cloud!
4. Make some new friends.
One of the most beautiful aspects of the music festival is that you have some many people from different walks of life being unified over a single love. No matter what these people do in their day-to-day lives, you all are here because of one commonality – the love of music. So don’t be scared. Smile at your neighbor and offer them a spare beer. You’d be surprised at what they might offer to share with you in return.
5. Leave in an orderly fashion.
- Pick up all your belongings and throw your trash away. There is no need for any adult to be tossing trash on the floor and walking away. You didn’t get away with that in grade school so why are you trying to do it now?
- Don’t rush the exits
- Accept that everyone is trying to leave at the same time and don’t be a pissy driver.
- Expect traffic, police, roadblocks, etc.
6. The After Party!
Remember that spare money in your shoe? Once you get out of traffic (or if you are smart, did your research of what’s within walking distance from the venue) find a bar where you and your friends can post up with other equally hyped concert go-ers and rehash the night. Trade stories, best moments, buy each other a round in celebration because you are high on life right now and nothing is bringing you down.
7. CRASH. Congratulations. You made it home and in one piece! It’s 3 AM and, while you might still have a few bits of adrenaline pumping through you, you’ve had a big day, night, weekend and you deserve to sleep for the next 12 hours. So get some Zs so your can tell everyone about one of the greatest experiences of your life!