Summer music festivals can be a great way to spend a weekend with your friends and prove that not only are you "down with the kids," but you're willing to weather subhuman living conditions and crowds of 100,000+ people to prove it. But not every Billy Music Fan can just show up and expect to know proper festival etiquette, so here are some valuable guidelines that will help you get the most out of your festival experience.


Complete Guide to Summer Music Festivals for Newbies

To set up camp, one person should stake the tent, while the rest of the group debates the merits of camping as a pastime. The same person will also be responsible for packing up the tent at the end of the festival as the group rates every act in order from best to worst.

Protip: Call dibs on the high ground early, as the tent lowlands will inevitably be flooded at some point.


Complete Guide to Summer Music Festivals for Newbies

At your music festival there will likely be a big to-do about "being green," "keeping carbon conscious," and "not killing the good vibes by lighting trash cans on fire." But the best way to say stay environmentally friendly is by laying down a fucking brutal glare on anyone that looks confused by the difference between the "compost bin" and the "recycling bin."

Protip: Conveniently forget that the amount of fossil fuel used by festival-goers to drive cross-country, combined with the power necessary to generate Daft Punk's light show, has already raised the planet's temperature a single degree. Total vibe ruiner.


Complete Guide to Summer Music Festivals for Newbies

Correctly dancing at a summer music festival so as to not embarrass yourself is a careful tightrope walk, so pay close attention. Never, never, (never) ever be the hardest thrashing person in the crowd – this will cause the festival elite to shun you, and you'll be surrounded by a five foot shame radius for the remainder of the weekend. The proper amount of dancing involves bobbing your head up and down in place, and doing so violently only when there's a key change or a guitar solo enters the higher octaves.

Protip: One person per set is allowed to hula hoop in rhythm to the music, so feel free to hula so long as you've pre-scanned the crowd.


Complete Guide to Summer Music Festivals for Newbies

Any form of cleansing will prove to be an exercise in futility, as when you step back onto festival premises you'll be instantaneously coated with a combination of dust, marijuana fumes, sweat and other assorted crud, frequently referred to as "hippie filth." So don't bother. Instead, embrace your festival grossitude, and enjoy the shower at the hotel on the way home, which will without a doubt be the best of your life.

Protip: For these reasons, festival hook-ups not recommended.


Complete Guide to Summer Music Festivals for Newbies

Keeping your body at just the right level of buzzed – often referred to as "headiness equilibrium" – will be important for optimal festival enjoyment. Too blitzed, and you'll be getting carted off on a stretcher during Animal Collective's opening set before any enjoyable music is even played. Not blitzed at all, and the cries of "narc" will be heard for miles around. The precise formula for "headiness equilibrium" is two beers and one joint hit for every fifty pounds of body weight.

Protip: Formula is doubled if Phish is playing.


Complete Guide to Summer Music Festivals for Newbies

Crowd participation is MANDATORY in any of the following instances: a) musician mentions drugs b) musician mentions alcohol c) musician mentions the name of the place you're currently in d) musician is Weird Al ('cause Weird Al is awesome).

Protip: Singing along is optional, except if Paul McCartney is playing "Hey Jude," in which case you're required to sing every single "na" regardless of how long Sir Paul drags the situation out.


Complete Guide to Summer Music Festivals for Newbies

Hold it in.


There you have it. Happy festival-going everyone, and may the bland, vaguely-charming sounds of Mumford and Sons make you feel closer to your fellow man.