I just received a really great question via email about going to festivals solo. Instead of just replying to her, I decided to turn it into a post for everyone else to see. If you happen to have a festival related question just email me at tucker @ TheFestivalGuy.com (no spaces).
Thanks, Madelyn, for reaching out! This is a very good question, as going to festivals solo is not easy. I have done it many times and it’s taken a lot of trial and error to figure out what really works. To get things started, it’s important to know that festivals are always fun and that a solo festival is still way better than staying home. With this in mind, I can honestly say that going to a festival with a larger group, ideally 8-16 people, is much more fun than with a small group. It’s also easier since everyone can share things like shade structures, chairs, coolers, food, and additional things like lights and a boom box.
How do you get a group together if you don’t know anyone going?
The answer is easier than you would think. Basically, you just latch onto an established group that is already going. All you need to do is post to Facebook asking if any of your friends know anyone that is going to the festival. In the festival community it’s understood that a friend of your friend is a friend of mine. So if one of your friends knows someone going, they should introduce you, and that group should be happy to have a new friend join their them.
If you still can’t find anyone going, you should post to the Facebook page of the festival. Someone out there will gladly bring you in, and by the end of the festival you will have a handful of new friends.
I did this at Shambhala this year. I didn’t know anyone going, so I asked my friend who did know people going to see if they had room for me. They did and invited me to camp with them. It was amazing! And now I have a new group of Canadian friends because of it. We have hung out at Burning Man and Symbiosis Gathering since. I also offered to have them come to one of my home festivals, Coachella or Lightning In A Bottle, and camp with my crew. It’s like a festival exchange.
So I encourage you to reach out to people you know, and of course people you don’t know, because we’re all one community. Likewise, if a solo festivalgoer ever asks to join you and your friends, I hope you’ll welcome them with open arms!