Nothing beats being stuck in a field for a few days with thousands of other music lovers, smiling as if you mean it, while your internal soundtrack wails like a whammy bar between euphoria and existential anxiety.

Forgotten How to Festival?

At least, that’s how it was in the good old days of 2019, when life was more about shredding chords and less about shedding viruses.

You may have been to one of the U.S.’s rebooted overnight events already this year, but if you’re looking ahead to festivals with only a vague recollection of what to do, fear not. We’ve rustled up a refresher for you.

Tickets. Don’t forget these. Ditto wristbands and any other proof-of-purchase paraphernalia. There’s nothing worse than rocking up and realizing you’re that person. Your friends will laugh in the first couple of minutes. But they won’t after half an hour.

Camping gear. Have moths chewed fist-sized holes in your tent since your last outing? Have your poles rusted? At the festival, consider tying something — a small flag or undies — to your tent to make it stand out, the same way you would with a black suitcase when flying. It’s not impossible that someone will be happy when you mistakenly clamber into their tent at four in the morning whispering, “Hi honey, I’m home,” but the odds are against you.

If you’ve parked close to your tent and hear repeated hissing during the night, it might be that someone has slashed your tires, but it’s probably just a tent full of teens doing whippets. Best to nod along with closed eyes as if you’re familiar with all those new songs released during the COVID era, with lyrics like: “I used to respect her, but now she’s a vector.”

Take baby wipes — especially if you’re taking an actual baby. But even without one, those sweet, soggy rectangles can be the difference between festering in bile and festivaling in style.

Wash your hands after going to the toilet. When you’re done, wash them again. Then scrub the tap and the soap dispenser. Finish with a spritz of hand sanitizer. Then wash your hands again.

Don’t bother filming anything. You’ll never watch it, even if it’s just a three-second clip of what your mashed brain thought was the highlight of the whole weekend.

Festival fashion. This has changed since 2019. Or has it? Avoid the stress and wear the oldest clothes you have. People of the same vintage will think those bootcut jeans look cool. Anyone born after 2000 will think you’re making a statement and ask you to dance with them in their TikTok vids.

On-site first-aid and emergency numbers. Punch those digits into your phone or write them on your arm, but don’t injure yourself in the process. Even if you don’t need them, someone else might, in which case you’ll be a festival hero.


Festival Reminder

Oddly enough, this “festival” concept reminded us of one of the very early CyberCuties in Penthouse Magazine (well, “very early” in this administration). She has one of the great names ever, Hopeless SoFrantic, and at least at the time she was living in a converted bus, traveling and … you guessed it … playing in festivals whenever she could. Not oddly at all, we then decided that we could definitely enhance this perhaps unnecessary advice.

See? Sometimes we’re simply brilliant. … PenthouseGold, should you wish to join, by the way. (Sometimes we also suck up.)

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