Alrighty, so a few weeks ago, I provided a few festival behavior guidelines, but I feel the need to release an addendum, especially since we’re almost upon July 4th holiday weekend, which means the hottest party of the year in Chicago — The Chosen Few Picnic!!
Now . . . if you’ve never attended this event, this post will likely be wasted on you because many of these items are specific to the Chosen Few Picnic. My apologies for the regional focus, but this post might actually inspire you to come to the event to see what all of the fuss is about.
That said . . . here goes . . .
- The first rule of the Chosen Few Festival — don’t complain about the cost of the Chosen Few Festival. Yes, at some point the picnic-turned-festival did not have an admission fee, but that was also before tens of thousands of people were in attendance, and what was once a cute little get together has turned into an event that probably wouldn’t even fit into the space of most stadiums. The free days were also before international exposure and the addition of an impressive roster of entertainers and world renowned DJs. You spend more money on well drinks in a weekend of socializing at bad clubs with worse music. You’ve also given lots of money to people that you don’t know, so support the people you know and love, who have built an amazing brand, quit yer bitching and enjoy the weekend.
- This event is an outpour of peace and love. Leave the weapons at home. You won’t need them.
- If you’ve never been to the Chosen Few Festival, it’s all about HOUSE MUSIC. Don’t come to the Festival and complain that there’s no hip-hop. There will be no hip-hop. You knew what you were getting yourself into.
- Dress for comfort . . . and good taste. The Chosen Few Festival is the time to be cute . . . but not TOO cute. By the end of the day, you will be covered in dust, dirt, your own sweat, other peoples’ sweat, barbecue sauce and spilled drinks. Wear your favorite gym shoes. Also? Just a gentle reminder that if you wore it in high school, it might not fit properly today. If that’s the case, have your clothing flashback in the privacy of your own home rather than at the Festival. Because that’s too much . . .
- If you have a tent and want your friends to find you, make it stand out. Preferably something aerial — like a flag. Describing your location by saying that you’re in “the gray tent, due south of the stage” is tantamount to telling someone that you’re somewhere on the lakefront and expecting them to locate you.
- If you’re a “stroller” — meaning you don’t have a home base and prefer to wander around the festival all day — don’t just assume that you’re going to tent surf, eat everyone else’s food and drink their liquor. First of all, it’s rude. Second, you should probably concern yourself with who made the food, how long it’s been sitting out, and who’s been hovering over it all day. Bring your own stash, or prepare to patronize the vendors.
- On the flipside, don’t bring an abundance of food and chafing dishes, and then complain that nobody contributes. Festival day is NOT the day to complain. If you wanted people to contribute, you should have coordinated with them well before the event. Also, if you don’t want to be hemmed up in a tent with 20 overserved friends who are gobbling your burgers, don’t invite them in. Find them on the dance “floor” instead.
- Don’t try to move through the crowd in a large entourage. You will get lost. Spend more time partying, and less time coordinating with your 12 friends. In fact, mentally prepare yourself NOT to see 1/2 of your friends who are in attendance. If you see them, great. If you miss them, you’ll see the pictures on social media the next day and say: “How did I miss you!?!” There are 20,000 people in a park, half of which are in tents. That’s how.
- Bring several external batteries for your phone. Because thousands of people are jamming the signals in a small area, your phone is working extra hard, and will suck through your battery in 1/4 of the normal time. If you separate from your friends and your phone dies, there’s a good chance that you might never see them again.
- Think twice before bringing your children. I realize that you want to show off your spawn, and while it’s a lovely thought that you will expose your infants and teenagers to your old friends and the music that served as the backdrop for your coming of age, I promise you that it’s not a good idea. Your baby doesn’t want to be pushed in a stroller in a sea of thousands, with the view of the backs of everyone’s sweaty legs, and your toddler will get lost in the shuffle when mom and dad get stopped every five minutes to talk about what they’ve been doing since high school or reminisce about that legendary night at the Power Plant. Your kids don’t really want to be there anyway, and it will be disappointing to you that they don’t care for the music. And unless you would like that degenerate friend from high school to offer your teenagers a hit of weed and tell them about when he and their mom used to date, you might also want to leave the older kids at home.
- If you DO bring your children, don’t enlist anyone else to watch them while you go dance. Nobody is in the frame of mind to be a responsible babysitter at the festival, and God only knows what your kids will have learned upon your return.
- Manage your consumption according to the facilities. This is a porta-potty environment, and the event lasts for several hours each day. If you’re like me, you would sooner insert a catheter than use the porta-potty if you can at all help it. I’ll let you in on my Economy of Liquids rule, which means that I will be trying to consume the smallest amount of liquid that has the maximum desired outcome. Specifically, this means that I will be sipping whiskey from my flask throughout the day, rather than drink 5+ beers. First of all, I hate beer. Second, that would be setting me up to consume over 60 ounces of liquid, forcing me to hit the porta-potty multiple times during the day. Be mindful of mixed drinks, which have a sugary base and will cause a headache before the day is over. Also? It’s probably not the best day to try out new foods (like Ree-Ree’s special collard greens) if you have a questionable digestive system.
- Festival weekend is NOT the time to experiment with edibles. Some of you have prescriptions for medical marijuana in the form of candy or other deceptive treats, and others of you are anxious to try it. You will be in a very bad place if you eat an entire “special gummy bear” in general, but definitely if you try it for the first time at the festival. I’ve seen the results. Take my word for it.
- Don’t get hands-y with someone else’s significant other. You’ll probably run into a lot of people with whom you have history at this event, but that gives you no right to pretend that you’re back on the floor of the DJ booth in the Warehouse. You don’t have to reminisce about it either. Everyone has moved on. Keep your hands off of your ex-hookups and the Festival will remain a weekend of peace.
- Read the previous post about general festival etiquette, and pay special attention to #3 and of course #6.
- Have a GREAT time, enjoy the music, and dance your ass off!!!
For more info about the event, visit the Chosen Few DJs website.