Who doesn’t love a good outdoor festival? I’m a Chicagoan, and once the weather gets right, I and my fellow Second City residents love nothing more than to party outside like we’re getting paid.
But some of y’all get a little excited and forget your festival flow manners. Don’t worry, though. I’m here to help.
Festival Behavior Guidelines
- No serious conversation. So, here’s the deal . . . everyone at an outdoor festival is happy that the weather is warm enough to actually be outside without the threat of double pneumonia. Do NOT kill my sunshine-induced high by trying to embark on a conversation about business, meetings or quite frankly anything that doesn’t involve drinks or music. Just don’t.
- The answer is “I’m fine.” Generally, I love an honest answer to this question, but when you’re at a festival, the answer to “How have you been?” is something like “I’m doing great” And keep it moving. When we’re having lunch, I can hear all about your in-laws, your bad-ass kids, your bunion, the gory details about your coworkers who make you work life hell. But festival day? IS NOT THAT DAY.
- Don’t play the “guess how we know each other” game. Nothing is more aggravating than someone who enjoys quizzing people they’ve met one time at a dark party on how they know each other. While it’s great that you have amazing recall, ain’t nobody got time for that. Just remind them, if you must. And keep it moving.
- Manage your bodily fluid. Granted, I’m not so much a hugger in general, but I do enjoy a hug from my friends — if you’re clean! In short, if you’re sweaty, a bear hug is NOT necessary (or welcomed). I have on my summer fashion, which can be ruined by your sweat. So, if you rode your bike to the festival, or you’ve been walking around drinking all day, maybe a nice air kiss on the cheek would be appropriate. But engulfing me in your sweaty armpits is a no. A hell no.
- Pace yourself. If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably well into adulthood, and if you’re not, you’re probably one of my younger relatives who could stand to benefit from this information (AT SOME POINT). That said you know damned well that, when you start drinking at noon — in the sun — there’s a good chance that keeping up that pace will have you passed out behind a tent, in a pool of your own vomit, by 3:00. This is NOT a good look. To avoid embarrassing yourself (and ultimately me, if we’re friends),if you plan to be at a festival all day long, divide your drink tolerance by the number of hours you plan to be there. For example, if you can only consume three cocktails before making out with a stranger, and you plan to be there for 8 hours, you are allowed to drink only .375 drinks per hour, and THAT’S IT. If you want to increase your tolerance, drink lots of water and eat a meal. For the record, funnel cake and churros are not meals, and in fact due to the high sugar content, will exacerbate your stupor and cause a ridic headache the next day. Grab a nice grilled chicken sandwich or burger and keep it moving.
- Do not ask for a sip from my flask! Yes, this is how I roll. I had the foresight to manage my own cocktail situation. I suggest you do the same. And I also don’t want you wrapping your nasty lips around the mouth of my pristine whiskey-filled flask. There are bars everywhere. Find one of them.
- You are responsible for your drunk friend. If you have a friend who is out there, falling all over herself, and one second away from doing her best Exorcist projectile vomit impression, puh-leeze take it upon yourself and get her drunk ass out of there. I say ‘her’ because there’s always some woman, drunk out of her gourd, flashing her underwear in public due to the over-consumption of frozen margaritas. It sucks that she’s curtailing your fun, but if you didn’t encourage her to follow rule #3, this is the price you pay.
- Have a supply of gum or breath mints. This should be self-explanatory, but nobody wants to smell your gyro while you’re violating rules #1, 2 or 3. Keep it minty. And moving.
I’m going to reserve the right to add to this list at a later time, but in the meantime, enjoy your festival season!