Going to Hardly Strictly? Me too, and like all other festivals, I’m going to wander around in a contemptuous disdain for every attendee besides myself. While I’m trying to boogie-woogie to some Boz Scaggs, some tall asshole is going to be standing in front of me wearing an oversized hat and spilling boxed wine on my shoes. Frankly, I’ve pretty much had it with festivalgoers who don’t know what they’re doing, but are endlessly confident in their actions. So, just for them, here’s a #LazyHostGuide list of Dos and Don’ts to cover every foreseeable situation that might dampen my personal enjoyment of bluegrass.
DON’T wear sandals and then complain about your broken toes at the end of the weekend. Sandals are only appropriate for one activity: avoiding foot cancer (or whatever) when showering in a public bathroom. Beyond that, cover your damn feet. If I have to worry about stepping on your toes while doing the Hammer Dance, there’s no way I’ll be able to nail it and impress MC Hammer to where he pulls me on stage (a girl can dream, right?)
DO bring a lawn chair, especially if you’re tall as shit. I am exactly average height for a Latino male, so the majority of my festival experiences are plagued by trying to catch a view of the stage through a series of pinhole breaks in the towering sea of tall dudes. My calves are like 30-inches around because of all the tip-toeing I’ve had to do over the years, and although the ladies love them, I’d rather see the goddamn stage.
DON’T bring your dog. Is your social psyche so fragile that you need an animal with you at all times because it’s the only thing that will give you its undivided attention? Fido could not give a shit about Father John Misty no matter how much you creepily manipulate his paws to make him look like he’s dancing, and if somebody steps on him, it’s your own damn fault. Don’t endanger them and don’t annoy us. Dogs are like babies you’re allowed to neglect at home for long stretches of time. Check your privilege.
DO take a minute to decide on your drug of choice. Try to match your drugs with the atmosphere of the festival. You don’t want to be doing ketamine during Gogol Bordello, or be on acid for The Devil Makes Three. Leave your coke and PCP at home, and instead cram your cigarette pack with joints and get ripped on Franzia. Speaking of which…
DON’T forget to bring alcohol. The rules allow you to bring beer and wine in non-glass bottles, a rarity at any festival, and a godsend to the chronically unemployed. If you get tired of carrying around two five-liter boxes of wine, you can always stand on them to see the stage better, under the condition that you give the people behind you free range to drink your shitty wine. What do you care? You have 10 gallons of it.
DO bring your iPad to hold up during a show to record or Shazam or Facetime or whatever bullshit you idiots are doing with those. iPads are WAY easier to slap out of someone’s hands than an iPhone, and they Frisbee better too. (Think of it as a dick tax.)
DON’T use the Porta Potties. The line is too long as is, so try to do your business before you come, or do it near the artist entrance if you can find it. (Hint: it’s the one lined with piss and shit)
Those are my guidelines for enjoying yourself, getting belligerently drunk, and keeping those toes out of sight at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. And if you see a skinny white dude with glasses and a moustache carrying two boxes of wine, feel free to buy a $40 gram of outdoor schwag off me. I’ve got plenty.
Photo by Grey3k