Country music festival season is upon us! Rejoice! Or, alternatively, weep for your wallets! It can be a little bit of both, honestly.
Now, we all know there are some absolute musts for festival season (like making your own custom schedule and a meeting place inside the festival if you split from your friends). But what shouldn’t you do? That’s just as important, and Wide Open Country has you covered, my friend.
Here are 10 things you should never do at a country music festival.
1. Wear Cowboy Boots
Seriously. Don’t do it. Unless the festival happens to be littered with cow patties or rattle snakes, boots don’t serve much purpose at a country music festival. You don’t have to pretend to be a cowboy or cowgirl to enjoy the music. Your feet will die, and if you choose to also wear shorts you’ll leave with the weirdest tan ever.
2. Push to the Front of the Line
Oh, it’s no big deal, you’ll just slowly grind and hump your way to the front of the crowd? Think again, pal. People who spent a lot of their time camping out in front for their favorite bands deserve some respect. And they’ve got every right to get their elbows up when some Johnny-come-lately thinks it’s totally cool to rub their greasy body over everybody to stand directly in front of you.
Also, if you eclipse the 6-foot mark, have some dang respect and don’t stand directly in front of that 4-foot 10-inch girl.
A term lovingly sanctioned by poor college kids who feel it most prudent to get hammered on cheap alcohol before an event, “pregaming” has its roots in fiscal responsibility (er, sort of). But it never goes as planned because somebody always goes too hard and starts yacking before the second band even begins.
Plus, as soon as that sun starts beating down the whole thing compounds. And all that sweat mixed your boozy self creates quite the stank. The truth is, a good music festival doesn’t require booze to be a good time. But if you want to imbibe, pace yourself and put it in your budget. Don’t slam a bunch of cheap alcohol an hour before and then become your buddy’s liability.
4. Forget Sunscreen and Water
Yeah, yeah, you feel super lame re-applying sunscreen. But just remember: it’s to ask a friend to get your middle back area with sunscreen than with aloe. Because at least then you don’t look like a grouchy tomato who can’t carry a backpack for a few days. Unless you’re into shedding your skin like a snake.
And the water thing is really just good life advice. Double your intake if you’re also drinking alcohol.
5. Record the Whole Thing On Your Phone
The view in real life is way better, and your phone audio sound that good. Plus, somebody somewhere is invariably already uploading a better clip to YouTube. And now a lot of festivals make professional video available online anyways. So all you do is record a video you’ll never watch and walk away with 12% battery at 2 p.m., you monster.
6. Follow That One Cute Girl/Guy Around
It’s creepy, and they can totally tell.
7. Trust The Porta Potty Situation
If you’re bringing a backpack, be the festival hero of your friend group and pack an extra roll of toilet paper and some clean wipes. Things start to get hairy in the early afternoon, and by nightfall all the accuracy is out the window. Trust nothing and assume the worst.
8. Pass Up Some Free Eats
Somebody handing out popsicle samples? Yep, snag that. Energy bar? Would love one. Not gonna finish those fries? Hey, no shame there. This stuff gets expensive otherwise!
9. Bring One Of These Things
These things are the worst. You might as well put a sign in front of yours that says “jerk parking.”
10. Show Up Late
Having a gameplan of you who you want to see is an excellent decision. But what if your favorite bands don’t start until a little later? Get their early anyways. Parking is easier, lines are shorter, and everything is just generally more enjoyable. Plus, here’s a secret: the early festival bands of today are the headliners of year to come. Be one of the cool kids and say you saw so-and-so back when they were on the pipsqueak stage.