Why Going to a Music Festival Alone is a Must

Sure, having a gaggle of friends to argue about two overlapping artists is cool, but have you ever followed your own festival instincts?
November 18, 2022
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© Vonecia Carswell / Unsplash

Traveling alone around Europe’s most debaucherous cities will make you feel fearless. Skinny dipping where LA’s sunrise meets the Pacific Ocean will channel your Chi. Solo clubbing will be liberating enough for you to realize nocturnal self-dates are the price you pay for freedom. Going to a music festival alone, well, will make you feel like a sitting duck.

At least in the first place. No matter how much you manifest for it to be hundred-to-one, the scenario where all your friends bail with your tickets already bagged and your glittery outfits all planned is always in the cards. 

Emotionally floored at the thought that this is not your festival season, you will bitterly unpack and hunt for a reselling ticket platform to alleviate the damage – at least the financial part of it. 

While setting up your own tent and not having a crew to argue with over two artists overlapping can make you feel swamped, going to a music festival alone is the new frontier of nomadic travel. 

Forget about reselling that ticket. Don’t unpack your bag. Ride solo. This is your chance to peel back the layers of the music world alone, forget about your lost and found friends, and leave behind the days when sacrifices were the only way to reconcile all parties. 

Going to a music festival alone is a groundless taboo 

Over the past decade, those beat-fueled events have been fetishized as proof of social worth, where the festival gangs’ size decides your cultural capital.

Everywhere you turn your head, music festivals are billed as romantic affairs where couples bond passionately over sharing a pill and the same excitement over Nina Kraviz’s sets. 

They are advertised as the holy music kingdoms where you are in the middle of your pack and the beat drops so hard you stop thinking and start feeling. No viral TikTok or underground ad ever said that festivals are three-day music gatherings where solitary people pitch their tents together. 

© Hayley Murray / Unsplash

That’s why the idea of festival-ing solo jumps out the window a second after it pops into your head. A rather taboo subject, this self-emancipation practice might not seem like a rare bird at first glance. 

But some people will be on the same journey of self-discovery as you. The thing is, you never spot them. Besides the people matching on purpose, could you ever tell those who have come with friends apart from those who haven’t?

Crowd crazes, constant pushing, and group mixing will disguise solo festival-goers enough for you not to pinpoint the guy that came alone, the hook-up couples, or the biggest group in the crowd. 

Plus, nobody is paying thousands of dollars to be the Sherlock Holmes of people who go to music festivals alone. If you feel like your fellow camping neighbors are low-key judging you for setting up your tent alone, you might have something called the spotlight effect

The psychological phenomenon translates into the feeling of being noticed, judged, or stared at more than actually you are. In reality, people don’t give a flying crap about who you came with, whether you are alone or not and how many pills are in your pocket (but maybe not so much the latter).

It’s not all peaches and cream 

Festival-ing solo sounds like a liberating and life-changing bucket list item you must tick – until you realize logistics suck. Flying to Ultra alone will feel like a sluggish adventure since true crime podcasts will replace your sequin-covered chums.

© Wendy Wei / Unsplash

You will need to play the responsible adult who packs enough to avoid a dreaded “Do you have a spare toothbrush?” ice-breaker.

We won’t lie to you – the separation anxiety caused by missing the gaggle of friends who padded your ego will hit you at some point.

After a seven-hour drive and dozens of very sweaty trecks between your car and the festival grounds, you will want someone to set up your tent with. 

When you’ll be in a front-row moshpit with a mouth drier than the Sahara desert, your dying wish will be someone taking one for the team and embarking on a bar queue journey.

Not to mention nobody is nice, drunk, or doped enough to give up their spot for the next free portaloo. 

But that’s the whole point of going to a music festival alone. There is no better way to let loose and immerse yourself in the solo trip experience than shedding the safety net of your group. When there is no schedule to follow or a lost friend to scour the festival’s grounds for, it is your time to shine as a three-day CEO. 

Kissing your group-induced restrictions goodbye 

Just think about it for a moment – within the first hour of a music festival, a group has already lost at least one of its members. In a festival posse of more than three, it seems you’re always waiting for someone to return from the portaloos, bar, or wandering journey. 

Call it your festival gang, but in reality you can count the number of times the group has been united on one hand. You don’t have to worry about the rave mom that got separated one-too-many hours ago or waste time searching for the keta-couched friend who wandered off alone. 

© Stephen Arnold / Unsplash

That works vice versa. You have zero reasons – and group members – to ask what stage you should head to and how many Lord of The Rings treks you have to survive to see someone else’s music hero. 

Instead of maneuvering between stages, fields, and bars to find the most crowd-pleasing food vendor, you can follow your own instincts. Let your music taste buds do the itinerary and wander off in the sweaty crowds. 

Not having anyone else’s needs, wants, and desires hanging heavy on your shoulders will feel like you’re 16 and casting off your 11 PM curfew for the first time. 

Riding solo at a music festival means you are the big boss. You are in charge of setting the schedule, deciding which bands are yay or nay, and calling the shots for back pain-induced breaks.

Make your lonely experience entirely unlonely

One might still worry that despite being surrounded by moonlit mosh pits and wild groups boozed up on forest fruit cider, going to a festival alone will be a nomadic experience. Music festivals are feasts of faces where countless supportive smiles, frog eyes, and sunglasses-wearing Peggy Gou fans bond with you over music. 

Going on a hunt for dancing partners and beat-loving troops that you can join might not be easy peasy, but it’s not mission impossible either.

Strike up a conversation in the bar queue about how annoyed you are at your favorite band’s delay. Compliment someone’s glitter-soaked outfit to forget about how close you are to pissing your pants and how long the portaloo line is.

© Joey Thompson / Unsplash

If you are scared to talk to people, tell them you lost your friends and ask them to tag along. You might never see those guys again, so be your most unhinged self – chances are you will vibe with at least one fellow festival-goer.  

Truth be told, your three-day self-date is the key to stop missing out on life experiences and waiting for your mates who promised they would come next year. We are holding ourselves back from making the memories we will tell our grandkids about. 

We are getting in our own way. Going to a festival alone will allow you to unleash the rawest, most genuine version of yourself – which is the type of adventure you need to get on. 


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