Music Festival Dropout

I would like to start by apologizing for being a terrible blogger, summer hit and I went MIA. I had a feeling this might happen once I realized I was telling my friends and family “sorry, I don’t have anything until August” when they conveyed the desire to spend time with me. I regret being the kind of twat that tells people that I can’t see them unless they make an appointment months in advance. For the record, I am currently writing this after semi-flaking on an outdoor concert with my friends (sorry gals). Thus far this summer I have been a bridesmaid in a wedding, flew to Kansas to meet my new nephew, visited my BFFL from NYC, attended my alma mater’s alumni weekend, saw Beyonce in concert, camped at a four-day music festival and gone on a week long family vacation along with lots of happy hours, dates, dinners and wine clubs in between. I would like to make it known that I AM NOT COMPLAINING, but being a yes person sometimes means not having a lot of time to sit down and word vomit onto the internet. So blah blah blah I will try to do better, I swear.

Firefly Music Festival

Photo courtesy of rvamag.com
Photo courtesy of rvamag.com

Months and months ago, my friends Sarah and James mentioned that they were thinking about getting a group of friends together to go to Firefly Music Festival in Dover, DE. Multiple day festivals have always been a daunting idea to me because, more or less, I hate everything about them: heat, rain, sweat, bugs, camping, smelly people, crowds, lines, lack of bathrooms, standing, $8 beers, $18 grilled cheese, do I need to go on? Anyway, when S&J brought up Firefly I was like “YEAH!” (but it will never happen). Well, a couple months later and I’m getting the text that tickets are being purchased in the next two hours…yay or nay? I decided that I wouldn’t have this chance many more times in my life and said here, take my $500. While there were plans for an RV with my friends, I ended up camping with my sister, her boyfriend and her boyfriend’s 24 year old friends; not ideal, but completely worth it in the end.

The Music

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I have pretty eclectic music tastes and was excited for the 2016 lineup even though there wasn’t anyone I was DYING to see. We ended up going into the festival every day around noon and I wouldn’t leave until two o’clock in the morning. The bands we saw, in no particular order, Jack Garratt, Two Door Cinema Club, The Lonely Biscuits, The Wombats, Saint Motel, Fitz & the Tantrums, Porter Robinson, Of Monsters & Men, Florence & the Machine, Kings of Leon, Jeremy Loops, Coin, Grouplove, Elle King, Silversun Pickups, Vince Staples, Parson James, St. Lucia, Fetty Wap, The Neighborhood, Chvrches, A$AP Rocky, M83, Deadmau5 and Ellie Goulding. We managed to pack in as much music as humanly possible over four days and there were still bands I wish I had seen. The best were definitely Ellie Goulding, Florence & the Machine, Deadmau5 and Jack Garratt. The worst? Fetty Wap. BY FAR. I wasn’t planning to see him, but went along with the group and we sat for 30 minutes listening to a mediocre DJ that did that thing where he mutes the music every other word so the crowd can hear themselves sing along ((insert eye roll here)). Did I pay hundreds of dollars to hear thousands of other drunk idiots singing along poorly to songs on the radio? I don’t think I need to answer that question. The highlight of Fetty Wap’s tardiness? The Justin Beiber/Adele mini set right before Fetty Wap came out and we promptly left. Some people will say that the price tag for Firefly is high, but when I consider the amount of bands I managed to see in those four days as well as the experience in general, it was worth it.

The Survival

Photo courtesy of IG: @fireflymusicfestival
Photo courtesy of IG: @fireflymusicfestival

I was once given a kitschy sign by my aunt that says “I’m outdoorsy, I like getting drunk on patios” which is 100% true and affirms three things 1. I enjoy drinking 2. I like drinking outside 3. Neither of these things make me truly outdoorsy AT ALL. When I realized that camping was really going to happen, I was filled with dread, but also triumphant because now I had a good excuse for buying those 600 moist wipes at Costco months before. A impulse purchase has become the pinnacle of preparedness! I’m known for almost always having a very heavy purse. Why? Because I prefer to be prepared and not in a Girl Scout way, but because I hate being cranky and I will be cranky if someone is complaining.. Bitch, don’t kill my vibe. I carry everything I may need as well as anything someone else might need. I carry a granola bar in my purse every day not for myself, but for my sister who I see about once a month and is a hangry maniac. For example: my sister once asked if we could leave to go get something to eat while waiting for a cop to come because I had just been rear ended. Here is a list of things I found absolutely necessary:

– An air mattress: If I go back to a festival again I would not camp, but if you do camp, disregard the snotty looks from the hippie kids next door and blow up that $150 queen size, double height inflatable cloud with its own headrest with no shame.
– Comfortable shoes: I saw tons of girls in flat sandals, flip flops, boots, etc., but I invested in multiple pairs of cute, inexpensive Keds and slip on sneakers because my 27 year old arches cannot take standing and walking for 12 or more hours. I averaged 13ish miles a day people, 13. MILES. A. DAY. One blister can ruin the whole weekend, treat your feet like the amazing workhorses they are.
– Sunscreen: Who wants a melanoma or to be peeling for your first three days back in the office? No one. Wear sunscreen and reapply often because you’ll be sweating a ton. Also bring aloe, sometimes the sun and fun just gets you and you’ll get burnt. Nothing quells the pain of a good burn like aloe vera.
– A hat: Inevitably your face is going to get a little pink or your eyes will become tired of squinting in the sun (even with sunglasses) and a cute hat that actually covers your face will seem like the best invention man has ever made.
– Reusable water bottle: Most festivals provide refillable water stations and during the heat of the day, we were refilling 32 oz water bottles once an hour. We pre-gamed in the morning and danced all day so hydration was key. Never in my life have I seen so many people passed out anywhere and everywhere and I had zero interest in joining their nap time.
– Moist wipes: I took 300 moist wipes to Firefly and used them everyday throughout the day. I used wipes instead of paying for and waiting in line to shower, to clean my hands when the portapotties ran out of hand sanitizer, to wipe down particularly gnarly toilet seats and to clean my hands before eating. Just toss some in a ziploc bag into your purse and you will not regret it.
– Flash tats: Because duh, they’re fun.
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All in all, it was a dirty, exhausting and fucking fantastic weekend for me. On the other hand, my sister was not a fan. Definitely know what you are getting into and plan accordingly. My biggest mistake? Not having more input on the food we had at the campsite and having to eat a hot dog for breakfast. I really love hot dogs, but that just felt wrong.

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