Written by: Sarah Dickens

Festival season is in full swing and like many of you, we’ve been having a great summer traveling around the country in the name of music. It seems the world of music festivals is growing rapidly as there are new festival announcements almost weekly. With the popularity of festivals taking off like a rocket ship, we here at Trillvo have five important festival etiquette tips for you!

Music festivals are a place of worship. Attendees travel the globe to worship life, freedom, friendships and music. Festival goers spend time admiring otherworldly views, sights and sounds, but it’s up to the attendees to ensure the success of the event and it’s return in the years to come. Below you’ll find ways to ensure you’re favorite festival, whether it be Electric Forest, Lost Lands or EDC, returns for many years to come.

Photo from Roverpass

Leave No Trace

Many festivals have adopted a ‘leave no trace’ policy. Meaning, what you bring into the festival is your responsibility and you need to be the one to clean up after yourself. These large scaled music festivals are a sacred land, usually nestled in a forest or located near the roaring ocean. It is up to the attendees to ensure that land is respected.

  • Campsite cleanup is of utmost importance. Every festival hires volunteers to help with cleanup following the weekend, but they are not there to clean up entire campsites of trash or pick up every single glow stick bomb you thought was fun at the time. Please be respectful to the land and clean up your surroundings before heading home.
  • At the festival you will find food, drinks and gift vendors. Imagine 40,000 people throwing their trash on the ground – the festival grounds wouldn’t be magical anymore, but turn into nothing more than a wasteland. There are trash cans located all throughout the grounds. Don’t litter, find a trash can or use the designated recycling bins.
Photo from Electric Forest

Utilize the Festivals Environmental Efforts

Every major festival will have an environmental effort plan in action. There will always be a place to throw away trash, recycle or contribute to the compost. Festivals like Electric Forest are even ensuring all food vendors provide eco-friendly plates, cups and straws that can be composted and put to use elsewhere. If every attendee participated in these efforts festivals would become more of a blessing to their surrounding areas than a nuisance.

  • Donate your camping gear that you don’t want to take home. Most major festivals partner with local homeless shelters and donate all left behind gear. Instead of leaving that canopy up for a volunteer to dispose of take it down and take it to the designated donation area.
  • Help remind others that we are only visitors on the festival ground and pick up trash you may walk past. If others see you putting an effort into preserving the land they will follow.


Crowd Behavior

Festivals are HUGE. It may seem small and intimate, but festivals like EDC can have 100,000 people attending and things can get crazy. Remember that we are all there to have fun and that can be accomplished by being polite, respectful and understanding.

  • Mosh pits are fun but not everyone wants to be involved. Instead of just flailing your body around try to gather a group or move people out of the way to ensure some poor 110 pound girl doesn’t get swept up in the madness.
  • If you want to move through the crowd, go for it! Politely ask to move in front of someone instead of bulldozing through. We can assure you you’ll get where you want to be with little struggle if you simply use your manners.
Photo from Envision Festival – Ron Worobec

Take Care of Each Other

Festivals are long, sometimes hot and all around exhausting. There will be a mix of veterans and first time festival goers and it’s up to the attendees to make sure everyone has a great time! It’s imperative that you take care of your neighbors and fellow music lovers.

  • There’s no denying people go to festivals to party – hard. If you see someone who may need some water, food or a fan then go to them and offer your assistance. Many times simply offering someone some water can help them get back into the game and create a friendship with someone new.
Bonnaroo Medical Tent – Photo from Everfest
  • If you see someone who needs medical attention, act fast. Festivals hire a medical team for a reason and they need the attendees to be their eyes. If someone looks like they need help go the attention of the nearest medical aid or security guard and they can get them the help they need. You or the person in need will not get in trouble for seeking medical help, so don’t let the thought of getting an officer involved scare you, because you could save someone’s life.
  • If someone looks sad, lost or bored make a new friend and invite them dance! Festivals are a place to learn new things and meet new people, take care of others and make some lifelong memories!
Photo by Insomiac

Judgement Free Zone

You’ll see things at festivals that seem like they would only happen in your wildest imagination, or on an episode of Rick and Morty. Use the festival to learn about new cultures and find new music. Leave your judgement at home and enjoy the weekend!

  • Outfits at festivals can be awesome and outrageous. Where else can you walk around and see someone wearing pjs or someone covered in glitter (hopefully biodegradable) from head to toe in the same place? Festivals are a place where we can fully express ourselves in the most free way. Don’t judge others by their outfits – compliment a girls shoes or tell that guy his glitter beard is badass!
  • Dancing is another form of self-expression that shouldn’t be judged. Everyone is there to have a good time and you should never make someone feel self-conscious!
Photo from DoTheBay
  • Age – this is a big one, you will see people of every age at festivals. Instead of making fun of that ‘old guys’ dance moves go join in and tell him he’s your goals. We know we sure hope we’re raging at 70-year-old.
  • So you’re a basshead and you’re surrounded by Marshmello fans….. who cares? Let people enjoy the music they enjoy and don’t belittle anyone for their preferences. Once again, we are all just having fun in the name of music!
EZ2014, Danilo Lewis, DLG, electric zoo
Photo from Electric Zoo

Music festivals are a thing of magic and we want them to stick around for as long as possible. If we all use a few of these tips we can ensure the festival world will continue growing and who knows, maybe one day we’ll all be raging on the moon. Festival season is in full swing so take these ideas with you into your next fest and have a great time!!

Posted by:Sarah Dickens

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