Getting the Squad to the Fest

Large group of (friends presumably) posing for photo. A squad if you will.
Photo by Jacob Avanzato

The new year is upon us, and with it, comes consideration of which adventures to embark on this year. You might start planning some international travel, trips to weddings, and of course, which festivals to attend.

Nowadays, there are so many options for festivals that it can be hard to decide which ones to go to. It seems that once April hits, festival season dances all the way until October with little breaks between events. With so many options available, how do we choose?

Even more importantly, how do we get the squad all on board for one event? How do you get all your friends to pull the trigger and buy a ticket to the same festival, when everyone has different interests and circumstances?

This is something I’ve pondered a lot in my ten year festival career, and as someone who has managed to get a solid group for every festival I’ve ever gone to, I think I’ve cracked the code. My number one tip to get the squad to commit?

Small group posing in crowd at The Nook stage. Man on left has his finger pointed up as in, "number 1."
Photo by Brian Greenblatt
This guy’s got the #1 tip

Be the first to make the commitment.

This goes for travel as well. Everything is all theoretical until someone actually makes a purchase. Once one person buys a ticket, the others will think “Oh sh*t, we are really doing this!” and follow suit. Call it a domino effect or call it FOMO, I guarantee if you start buying and planning for the event, others will want to get in on the action.

While making the commitment is one way to light a fire, it’s important to consider that not everyone is financially able to at the same time. Luckily, many festivals nowadays offer options that make it financially possible to get in on the action without breaking the bank.

If you buy early enough, you can sign up for a layaway plan that cuts down a big investment into a smaller monthly bill leading up to the festival. Another option is to participate in the work exchange program.

Many festivals have options for pre, post, and during-festival work in exchange for a ticket. I’ve participated in all these programs, and they are such great ways to get to the festival if you are trying to save some cash.

Media team standing in a circle in front of the Media Hive aka nectar collector (of the sweet sweet content).
Photo by Arian Mahboubian
Media squad at the nectar collector <3

Lastly, I want to point out that you don’t need the squad to have a kickass festival experience.

Let me tell you a little story. I was away at college in San Luis Obispo and I heard about a nearby festival called Lightning in a Bottle (only 45 minutes away from SLO back then). I knew I had to go. Unfortunately, I didn’t really have a festival crew at college like I did at home. But I decided to do something bold and go anyway.

I would camp alone. I enrolled in the  work exchange program and began working at the commissary on the weekends leading up to the festival. Not only did I make friends there, but as the festival got closer, I was talking to a friend of a friend and mentioned Lightning in a Bottle and go figure, she was going too!

I told her my solo-mission plan and she invited me to join her camp. I did, and that weekend was still one of the most memorable festivals I’ve ever been to. Not only did I have an incredible time, but the new friends I camped with became my best friends and my new festival crew.

Bubbles in the foreground of a photo of a woman dancing in the background, slightly blurred.
Photo by Eric Allen
Everything is bubbles when ya rollin’ solo

Catch us together this year at Camp Stop Won’t Stop at Lucidity! The point of my story is: Of course, we want the whole crew to come along when we go on epic adventures like those that will be had at Lucidity. However, don’t be afraid to do something bold and go alone.

We all know that festivals like Lucidity are full of community and friends waiting to be made. Invite your squad and do your best to get them there so they can share in the beautiful moments with you. But just remember that no matter who gets on board, unique adventures will be sure to come your way—and new friends, as well!

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