Ever since the original Woodstock in 1969 (the less said about the 90s reboot, the better!) music festivals have been a place where many people undergo a transformation. Temporarily liberated from their 9 to 5, their responsibilities, and even showering, many people feel a joyful freedom that keeps them coming back year after year. 

For many people, music festivals are also an opportunity to engage in recreational drugs. Since the aforementioned Woodstock, during the legendary ‘Summer of Love’, psychedelics have been the elixir of choice for those who want to fully immerse themselves in these temporary shanty-towns, built to host the power of music and community. And, with growing interest in psychedelics (especially magic mushrooms) it is likely that this festival season we might see psychedelic use reaching levels not seen since Hendrix was shredding the National Anthem. 

Magic Mushrooms are the Safest Recreational Drug

In many ways this is great news. Magic mushrooms are acknowledged to be the safest recreational drug, beating out other festival favorite alcohol (which is ranked 7th safest, compared to shrooms no.1). If more people at a festival were on shrooms, it figures that trips to the emergency tent would be less. It also figures that it would be good vibes all round. Shrooms are known to promote feelings of love and connection, not to mention they make music sound amazing.

Using Magic Mushrooms Responsibly At a Festival

This, of course, comes with the caveat that you use your magic mushrooms responsibly. The key to responsible shroom consumption is as follows:

  • Know your experience level. If you are a newbie to psychedelics always start with a low, low dosage. You can always have a little bit more. Conversely however, do NOT get impatient and throw another 5g of magic truffles down your throat because you haven’t ‘felt’ anything yet. That’s a well-trodden route to disaster.
  • If you are more experienced, then you can experiment with higher doses, based on what you know agrees with you. However, at a festival it is always best to exercise a bit of caution. A highly stimulating and social environment can sometimes send even the most seasoned tripper for a loop.  
  • Ensure that you purchase your shrooms or truffles from a reputable seller so you know what you’re getting. You probably shouldn’t risk the shriveled fungus that bloke offered you from his fanny pack. 
  • Know what experience you want. A slight buzz? Some twinkly visuals and giggles? Or a full blown communion with the festival gods? Read up on dosages, and memorize our Dosage Chart
  • Have a support group of friends, a safe place to retire to, and a bottle of water with you.
  • Read our How to Trip For the First Time guide. Yes, even you experienced Psychonaut — tripping at a festival can sometimes make you feel as though it’s the first time all over again. 
via Unsplash
To fail to prepare is to prepare to fail…

While it is vital to educate and prepare yourself for any shroom (or other psychedelic) use you will be enjoying at a festival, it is also crucial you prepare for the overall festival experience adequately too. Any forays into the psychedelic realm will be enhanced and supported by the preparations you do to make your festival experience as smooth as possible. Like with any psychedelic trip, organizing our Set & Setting is key, even in the unusual environment of a festival. If all your bases are covered, and you feel secure, you can more easily melt into your magic mushroom experience. 

How to Prepare For a Music Festival

Unless you happen to be ‘glamping’ in a boutique yurt, even the toughest festival-goer can have their endurance tested. Sleeping on the ground, losing your friends, walking for miles between stages, finding your friends, subsisting on over-priced veggie burgers and beer, being kept up by the guy with the acoustic guitar three tents down? That’s not even taking into account the sheer power the weather has to shape your experience. Knee-deep in muddy puddles? Sun-stroke? Both?

With all of these variables, what you really need is a clear guide on how to make the most of your festival experience — which will also lay the groundwork for any psychedelic journeys you might embark upon while you are there. 

Pre-Festival Preparation (What to Know Before You Go)

Read the Festival Rules and FAQs

It may sound boring, but you wouldn’t believe how many people don’t bother checking the fine print before they sling their tent on their back. Some festivals do not allow glass bottles, or BBQs, or over a certain amount of food or drinks, for example. There is nothing worse than watching someone confiscate the items you just splashed a bunch of cash on. 

Check the Weather Forecast

Whether you’re in the desert of Coachella or the swampy fields of Glastonbury you gotta be prepared for whatever the heavens throw at you. Check the forecast and pack accordingly. But even if the weatherman says sun, sun, sun  — always pack a rain poncho just in case — they take up almost no space, afterall. 

Pack Comfortable Shoes and Clothes

You may not realize it, but which shoes you wear is actually one of the most vital decisions you might make all weekend. A festival means spending hours on your feet — whether it’s squelching through mud, hopping over boiling concrete, or dancing in crowds with over-enthusiastic people stomping on your feet. Comfortable, sturdy shoes that won’t give you blisters are essential. It’s better to wear an old faithful pair into the ground, then baptize a brand new pair with blisters. 

As for clothes — that’s down to your individual taste — but we favor airy fabrics, lots of pockets, and a warmer layer to throw on when it gets chilly. 

Get To Know the Schedule

Now, we’re not saying memorize the schedule — unless you happen to be the Rain Man of the festival circuit — but having an idea of when and where the acts that you really want to see are on is useful. Many festivals have an app you can download that will keep you abreast of the schedule. And, if the Wifi is patchy, take a screenshot to consult at a later time. 

What To Do Once You’re At the Festival

Agree on a Meeting Point

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a group of friends at a festival will always get split up. Whether lost in the crowd, set on seeing different acts, or distracted by sparkly lights, it is inevitable. As soon as you arrive, agree on a meeting point. This is especially essential if the internet is in short supply. Getting lost at a festival is often one of the best bits — you might make new friends, or discover your new favorite artist. But it is reassuring to know you have a north star to return to. 

Be Sensible with Drugs and Alcohol

A festival isn’t just one mad night out. You have to pace yourself throughout the weekend, so you’re not already destroyed by Saturday morning. This means for every alcoholic drink you have, you should match it with an equal amount of water (twice as much if it’s hot). If you are taking psychedelics, follow our rules above. And, if you feel anxious, don’t force yourself to partake — it’s better to feel comfortable. Remember, you are in a public place with thousands of people, so being responsible for your own personal safety is paramount. 

Care For Your Community

When you’re at a festival, your community extends further than just your mates that you’re camping with. It’s the whole festival. This means being a good member of the community. Be kind, be conscientious. Don’t stand at the front of a gig you’re not interested in talking loudly. Please don’t mosh aggressively at those who don’t seem into it. Don’t light up a cigarette or joint and smoke out the crowd. Don’t hold your phone in everyone’s eyeline filming videos you’ll never watch back. If you see someone looking lost or distressed, check in with them. Etc. Etc. Y’know good Samaritan stuff! 

Bear-in-Mind Budget

Most big festivals are expensive. It’s frustrating but true. Once you’ve splashed out of the initial ticket there are many more costs to anticipate. First things first, check if the festival you are attending is cash only or not. Secondly, even if they do have card machines, try to take out some cash anyway — sometimes the connection does go down. 

Then it’s the actual prices — food and drink at a festival can be killer. Some festivals let you bring your own food, and even camping stoves. But if they don’t, you still gotta eat. Put aside money to spend on food that will keep you going — at a festival, not eating enough can be almost as disastrous as drinking too much. 

If you can, also put aside money to spend on merch — t-shirts, records, tote bags and the like. Your favorite band needs love! 

Do Not Set Out Without These Festival Essentials

  • Refillable water bottle: most festivals have taps and water points dotted about the grounds. Fill ‘er up!
  • Phone charger: so you never run low on juice. Even better is bringing a rechargeable power pack so you don’t have to queue or pay. 
  • Sunscreen: IMPORTANT! Even if the sun seems to be behind the clouds, spending the whole day outside may leave you red-faced. A face-shading hat can be a life-saver too. 
  • A small bag: whether it’s a backpack, a fanny pack, or some other pack-variant, keep it small, but roomy enough to fit your water bottle, phone, and other essentials.  
  • Ear plugs: in today’s festival culture, people look after their ears. It is easy to get hold of affordable ear plugs that protect your hearing while letting you enjoy the music. 

Each festival has its own flavor, but we’re sure these tips will be useful wherever you end up. This festival season, whether you stay sober or get psychedelic, we hope you have a Summer of Love.