Elf Fest at Lothlorien Nature Sanctuary for my third fest of the year. I will follow that up a scant week latter with my fourth fest of the year at Our Haven Nature Sanctuary by attending Babalon Rising Pan-Thelemic Festival. So Today I wanted to share some of the tips and tricks, and do's and don'ts of attending a Large Pagan gathering.
Let's start with packing to go. First there are the obvious things, like a tent, food, clothing, etc. A few things to think about with your packing, first most all the camping pagan festivals I have ever been to take place in the middle of nowhere. So if you think you need it or are going to need it, pack it. Don't forget things like medications, rain gear, (I don't care if the forecast calls for the hottest weather the area has had in 50 years. Bring rain gear it is better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.) special food if you have special dietary needs. Remember like I said chances are the Fest is in the middle of nowhere and it will be a hall to the nearest town to get what you have forgotten. Then there are the things people don't think to bring, like a drum or musical instrument if you play, there is always drumming and dancing around a festivals main fire. Ear plugs, if your like me you like drumming just as much as the next person, but you may have a limit. I know when I have reached my limit whatever time that may be 3AM, 4AM I want to go to sleep, and some fest grounds that I have been to don't have very good options for camping away from the noise. Condoms, I don't care if you're in a committed relationship, married, single, or whatever. If your going to a Pagan Fest your most probably a Pagan and we are not afraid of sex or sexuality, so these go right along with the rain gear. It is better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them.
Now I would like to share a few Fest do's and don'ts with you that I have learned over the years. Do introduce yourself to your neighbors that you are camping near. A merry meet and hello goes along way and you may make a life long or at least a fest friend. (I now have many friends that I only get to see at Fest because of saying hello.) Don't make a mess of the area you're camping in. No one likes a bunch of crap and trash scattered across the camp site, pick up after yourself. Do share what you have with others. I always try to organize a community meal with those camped around me at every fest I go to, once again it is a great way to make friends. Don't fell you need to do and see everything the fest has to offer. I know at some of the larger fests like P.S.G. there might be 4 workshops all happening at the same time I want to go to. Remember your their to have a good time so don't get all worked up if you can't do everything you want, just relax and enjoy yourself. Do respect the fest grounds and those that are in charge of the fest. They have worked very hard to put on a fest for your enjoyment, tell them thank you if you see them and follow the rules of the festival. Don't be a douche bag. No one likes that person, and nothing will get you asked to leave a fest quicker than being one. I have not nearly covered all the do's and don'ts of festival, or packing for that matter. Our Haven Nature Sanctuary has a pretty good suggested packing list for festival on their site that you can find here. If you have any hints or tips, tricks, do's, and don't's please share them in the comments I look forward to reading them.