Five Simple Ways to Make Cool, New Friends at Summerset This Weekend
Only two more days! More than just a chance to see a ton of amazing artists in one go, the music festival experience is also about the fun feeling of community and it's an opportunity to meet new people from all over the place who like two of your favorite things – good music and having fun! Here are a few really easy ways to support the Summerset community and start conversations with new people
1. Bring extra and share
Gum, sunblock, water, etc -- bring extra of the basic necessities and find opportunities to share with people who have run out or weren't as prepared. We all know we've been on the other side where we're just dying for some gum or left our sunblock in the car and were so grateful to find a kind stranger who was willing to share. Be that stranger this weekend! We've come far since preschool, it feels good to share and help out. :)
It can be kandi, glow stick bracelets, mardi gras beads, or just plastic necklaces from the dollar store -- bring some little festive things to give out to strangers or new friends you make. It's a great way to make a happy, quick interaction with someone in a crowd, and it's a nice way for new friends to remember you and bring some memories home.
This is some next-level festivalhead preparation, but there are some odd things you can buy on the internet that are so fun at concerts. Diffraction glasses have special lenses that diffract the lights at shows into crazy kaleidoscope patterns and new colors and they engage a whole new sense in the experience of the music. I love offering my glasses to people next to me in a crowd and seeing their face go from really surprised to super into it (to finally embarrassed how they should probably give them back by now even though they don't want to). You can get sturdy plastic ones for yourself for pretty cheap, but you can even get paper versions in bulk for cheap and give them out.
Fingerhands are these strange little 2.75-inch hands that go on your fingers but look super realistic. They come in sets of five and open up so many possibilities (check out the Fingerhand Movement instagram for all the ideas) like High 25s, tiny handshakes, tiny hand patty cake, etc. Basically, they're super weird, they freak out people in various mindstates in fun ways and are a pretty bold conversation starter.
Beyond that, just hit up your local dollar store, man. There are tons of toys, games and glow in the dark stuff that could be great to bring to the campsite for hanging out with people at the end of the night. Another aspect of the music festival experience is a bit of regressing to childhood, like going to summer camp again, so just be open to the possibilities of playing around!
This one is totally free. I shout out compliments constantly as I'm walking around at festivals and it fills me to the brim with good vibes. It's not a secret that people put some thought and effort into their festival aesthetic. I know I've pored over festival makeup instagrams and pins for hours in excitement for upcoming weekends. Tell people you like their hair, their makeup, their dress, shorts, top, necklace, accessories, anything! If someone's awesome look stands out to you and gets your attention, you should tell them! Don't fall naïve to gender myths either, even the broiest of bros care. I've seen so many dope hats and hat pins and cool shoes at festivals. And the really hot dude with the great arms smiles just as genuinely as anyone when I tell him that that hat is indeed super dope.
5. Ask questions
People love to talk about themselves, that's the first rule of a good interview in Journalism 101, you just have to find what they like to talk about. Festivals are home to weirdos and people with crazy stories about drug experiences, as well as people who are super normal functioning adults who use these weekends as the occasional very-needed get away, and all these people are super interesting to talk to, even if it's just for five minutes in line for water. There are the obvious starter questions like, Who are you most excited to see? or Have you been to Summerset before? or Where are you from? but I really like to follow up with questions that get people telling stories of fun or crazy memories they're passionate about like, What is the best set you've ever seen? Which festival has your favorite vibes and why? How was your trip getting here? What is the worst or most disappointing show you've ever been to? What was your first festival, who did you go with or who did you go to see? Questions that look a little bit into the past and give more insight than who that person is in just the present. Questions that have the potential to start really lively conversations. You can tell a lot more about a person even just from how they sort through their memories and how they choose to tell a story.
I hope everyone makes some cool, new friends this weekend. Can't wait to see you all there!