/ Festival Navigation

Navigating The Festival

Photo Credit: Joffrey Photo

The first thing you should do when you get into the festival is make a complete lap of the venue and make the effort to learn the property. The more you learn on this trip, the easier the rest of your festival will be. On this initial lap, take time to memorize each stage’s name so you don’t have to keep checking over and over throughout the festival. You will also want to pay special attention to where the stages are and where the best sound will be.

You will also want to find:

  1. A central meeting point that is easily identifiable and make it your group rally point.
  2. All of the different bathrooms, and think about when they will be busy and when they will not be. Most bathroom lines are avoidable if you go to the right ones at the right times.
  3. Visit the vendors and sponsors to see if there are products or promotions in place that will improve the rest of your festival.
  4. A shady place to get away from the sun or be sheltered from the rain.
  5. The water refill stations.
  6. The lost and found.
  7. Medical tents.
  8. Places to charge your phone if you didn’t bring an extra battery pack.

In our day-to-day lives we are bombarded with advertisements. and they’re all pretty annoying. These advertisements are so annoying that it’s an obvious reaction to want to avoid them in all parts of your life. Festival sponsors are different. They pay to be a part of the festival and recognize that if they can improve your favorite days of the year, you might like them a little more. As you explore the festival, make sure to visit each booth and see what each sponsor is contributing to the experience. You will find that many of them will offer amenities that will instantly help you have a better festival like phone charging, ear plugs, sunglasses, or chances to win upgrades and other awesome prizes.

My best sponsor experience was at the Chipotle booth at Outside Lands. Anyone that went and played a quick little Chipotle arcade game would receive a buy-one-get-one-free coupon. I LOVE Chipotle, so by the end of the weekend I had over 20 coupons. I ate Chipotle every day for the next three weeks to save money for Burning Man. I’ve checked in every sponsor's booth since then to see what they were up to.

As you explore the festival, make sure to check out the vendors. The people working there are business owners who work all year to make products for you to check out. Think about your friends and family that you will be getting gifts for in the coming year, and see if you can support one of the vendors and keep your money in the community. Not only will your loved one be getting a unique gift, but you will be supporting a small business and someone working to make their dream a reality.

Three Rules Of Festival Navigation

  1. Walk on the same side you drive on. As long as we all do this, we will not have to weave in and out of each other. For high-traffic walkways, be conscious of your speed in relation to others. If lots of people are passing you, then make sure to stay on the outside of the walkway.
  2. Enter and exit the side of the crowd instead of clawing past people from the back.
  3. Pay attention to the festival zones. The festival zones are there to serve as guidelines as to when it’s okay and not okay to come into the crowd.


Love (Red): The Love Zone is for FestivalGoers who adore the artist and are going to show up before the show and stay for all of it. This group needs to be extra polite as they are surrounded by diehard fans of the artist. *It is considered rude to bring a totem into the love zone because you will be blocking the view for everyone behind you.

Like (Yellow): The Like Zone is for FestivalGoers who are fans of the artist but might show up a little late and leave a little early.

Party (Red): The party zone is where anything goes and everyone is free to come and go as they please.

Meetup (Green): Go here to meet new friends who love this artist and are looking to talk to new people.

Learn how to become a contributing member of the festival community by reading The FestivalGoer's Guide and have your best festival every time you go.