Almost everyone in the world enjoys some type of music, but not everyone loves the crowds, smells, bright lights and insane decibel levels that come with many live music performances. These sights and sounds are only amplified at large music festivals. I recently attended Shaky Knees Fest in Atlanta, GA and very quickly learned how to enjoy my experience without overloading my senses. I wanted to share some tips and tricks I utilized so that my not-so-social butterflies can see their favorite artists live too without needing any extra therapy sessions afterward!
1. Sit in the back instead of standing at the front
Leaving some distance between you and the action keeps you OUT of the pit of sweaty bodies and IN to what you're listening to! Many outdoor music venues have hilly, shaded areas that are perfect for spreading a blanket and enjoying the scenery from afar!
2. Sunglasses are your best friend
Don't wanna make awkward eye contact with the 60 y/o man who has had one too many Natty Lights? Put those shades on! Sunglasses can also help diminish the intensity of crazy stage lighting. Plus, if there's any amount of sun exposure at the venue, you're gonna want some extra protection.
3. Carry a small backpack if you choose to enter the crowd
If you're feelin' fine and want to venture into the audience, a small bag can act as a literal shield between you and that person who's standing a few inches too close. It's not rude, it's just providing you with a small amount of personal space.
4. Go with people you trust
Bring buddies that you know will be able to support you and your needs and also have a great time themselves! I highly recommend finding people that don't mind a sit n' chill experience rather than moshing at every act!
5. Take care of your body!
Hydrate, consume as many calories as you burn during the day, and if you're tired, REST. Your body and your brain will thank you for keeping it safe and healthy during what is basically a music marathon!
The bottom line is: do what you know is best for you as an introvert and don't do anything that isn't. You know your limits and you can set boundaries. Music is for everyone, and everyone should be able to come together to enjoy one of life's greatest gifts!