My after feels are real from What the Festival 2017!
After a long recovery and a few other festivals, I’ve finally gotten everything together to begin sharing my story.
If you read my last article, What The Festival! | MY First Festival Experience, the anticipation leading up to my first festival was by-far the worst and best few days of suspense I’ve ever had to deal with in my life. I packed and un-packed just to repack 90% of the same items I had just un-packed. It didn’t end until we where loading our gear into the car to start our journey to What The Festival 2017.
Before I knew it I found myself standing in the middle of an empty field. The field quickly became populated with cars, R.V.s, buses, and everyone in them. The crowd grew from hundreds to thousands of festival goers, all carrying their gear down to search for where their new home would be for the next few days! As I stood there mildly overwhelmed….it struck me….
This is my first electronic music festival EVER!
My excitement grew as the tent city began to form within the trees. Music started bumping from renegade speaker boxes. I could hear people laughing and joking which continued coming in waves for hours as people settled in. With a drink in one hand and tent equipment in the other, our camp started to come together.
Juliano had spoken about The Onion before the festival. I hadn’t fully embraced the concept of what it was until after we had put it together. Juliano and Tiana designed the onion for burning man. The concept behind The Onion is to enter and feel comfortable enough to peel back your own layers! With our comfy pillows surrounding the inside of The Onion, everyone finally dressed in festival gear and holding all new drinks, a minor break was in store before we departed from camp.
I had imagined before a festival everyone would sit around and do some kind of pre festival planning, but that was obviously the festival nuub in me talking because before I could figure out what was fixing to happen next, Juliano unpacked his face paints and started giving everyone there own individual face dots with simple paint and a comb; glitter was being tossed around, drinks handed back out. I think for just a moment, I was having so much fun…I had forgotten we where there to go somewhere other then our camp. The hardest thing we had to do was get everyone rounded up all at once to enter the festival.
The trek to the security gates was even an adventure, running into one kind person after another..everyone was smiling and everyone made me feel welcomed; like every person was already my friend I had just forgotten all the names….
“No flex zone festival”,they called it! I was amazed at how well everyone kept to that mindset.
The smoking sections, oddly enough, was where I caught myself hanging out at a lot; it was like every section of the festival and camping had its own smoking section and every time I went for a smoke I met someone new and interesting. At one point in the smoking section, I had been “bro adopted” by this group of guys who had called themselves the “golden boys”. It was one of the high lights of my festival. In one moment we’re all dancing around, smoking and hanging out, with the music jamming on the blue-tooth–the few moments later we realize everyone is out of cigarettes but we where having to good of a time to stop..the smoking section had officially become our own personal V.I.P. section.
Bouncing from one stage to another it was hard to focus on enjoying any of the art installations with someone different on each stage. Being a beginner in the festival World, I was semi clueless on what to expect my first night, but by the beginning of the next day I had become a head banging, bass face, shuffling, suspender wearing, festival kid.
As the sun started to rise over Mt. Hood, and our tired legs made there way back to camp….I could only smile.