July 26-27, 2013 at Winding Ridges Estate in Aurora, IN; a gathering will take place in the name of music, art, community, and love. The first annual Star Gaze Music and Art Festival!
For many of our friends, this will be their first time experiencing an event like this. Multiple days, camping, self-sustaining, and full-sensory stimulation. I’ve heard from several people that they were apprehensive about attending because they were worried about the long drive and the two day commitment. I hope this article will ease your minds.
The seasoned Festi-heads will probably find themselves nodding along as they read, since this will all seem like basic stuff (because it is), but these basics will ensure that first-timers to festival culture feel comfortable.
Star Gaze is a small festival, microscopic in comparison with mega-events like Bonaroo, but nonetheless you should come prepared if you want to maximize your experience.
First of, what should you bring to Star Gaze?
- A Tent
Nothing will make you feel more at home at the festival than pitching your tent. It will give you the security of your own territory and you won’t feel like an outsider at this strange place you’ve never been before. Sleeping in a car is not fun or very comfortable, so get into the pioneering spirit and bring a tent. You’ll probably also want a sleeping bag, cot, or air mattress to go with it.
Food is good. You kind of need it to survive. There will be minimal food on the festival grounds, so we advise you to bring enough to keep yourself energized. Pack as if you’re going to a picnic…for two days straight. Bread and sandwich ingredients, energy bars, trail mix, potato salad, chips, cereal, fruit, etc. anything along those lines is a good idea.
Water is good. You kind of need it to survive. We will have taps, hoses, and bottled water there but you can save yourself a lot of back-and-forth trips by bringing some water of your own. A gallon of spring water is less than $2 at Kroger and you will be surprised how fast it goes. You’ll need it for a lot more than drinking: washing your hands, cleaning off dishware, soaking your feet when they hurt from walking all day, the uses go on and on!
- A Cooler (and ice)
Next to the tent, the next best thing for making you feel comfortable out in the woods is a cooler. It will allow you to widen your food options which can make all the difference in enjoying the multiple days of wild fun. Whether it’s just for cold milk for your morning cereal, cold beer for the hot afternoon, keeping the sliced turkey fresh, or cold water after dancing your ass off; you will not regret bringing a cooler.
If you’ve already bought your ticket and you’re bringing all your food then you could come with empty pockets and still have an awesome time BUT you might regret missing out on some great opportunities. The bands will have merchandise, the artists will have prints of their work, and vendors will be offering things you can’t find at Walmart.
Some people might okay going for days in the same sweaty t-shirt, but I know that for others this would be a serious damper on the good times. Bring a change of clothes for day one, sleeping clothes, day two clothes, and maybe an extra set just in case you get an uncontrollable urge to jump headfirst into the pond. If it’s hot during the day, you’ll want to bust out the shorts, but if it gets cold at night you’ll be glad you brought a long-sleeved shirt…just in case.
- A Flashlight
The main festival grounds will be lit, but the far side of the pond and the campgrounds will not. Come prepared and bring a flashlight so you can see where you are walking.
Sunburn is a bitch, enough said.
- Bug spray
Bug bites are a bitch, enough said.
Now here are some things that you SHOULDN’T bring with you.
- DON’T bring glass
There is no glass allowed at Star Gaze for safety reasons. Glass breaks, and at Winding Ridges they have several dogs, cats, and goats that walk the property. We don’t want them to get hurt stepping on your glass. Some goes for your fellow humans that will be attending. If they wish to walk barefoot they should be able to do so.
- DON’T bring weapons
You won’t need to defend yourself at Star Gaze. If you are super paranoid about bears or raccoons attacking you in the dead of night, well bring some mace or a loud whistle. No knifes, guns, or explosives are permitted.
- DON’T bring bad vibes
Leave your worldly worries at the gate and let go of society for 48 hours. Bringing in your guilt or anxiety about bills, jobs, ex’s, etc. will not only prevent you from enjoying the festival but stress if contagious, and you could infect other party-goers as well.
SO now with that covered, let’s focus on the non-material things that will ensure you have an awesome time at Star Gaze.
- Stay for both days
I’ve seen some say they might come for only Friday or only Saturday. If circumstances prevent from attending both days, that’s one thing, but if you’re worried about committing that much time I think you’re making a mistake. Embrace the community of fellow party-goers! Camp out and enjoy the whole festival, both days AND nights. We’ve got big things planned and you will have a MUCH better time enjoying the whole meal, rather than only getting a tiny taste.
- Talk To People
As we get older, we tend to take less and less time to make friends. We grow complacent with our close circle and rarely exchange more than polite small talk with strangers. Use the out-of-the-ordinary setting of the festival to meet someone new. Talk to any of the musical or visual artists walking around, ask someone to teach you how to hula hoop, or ask somebody who they came to see. Odds are you will make an acquaintance and realize you are not as awkward of a person and YOU told yourself you were.
The festival is the sum of it’s part, of which you are one. Cheer and applaud the bands, don’t be afraid to tag that graffiti wall, join in during the discussion board and guided meditation. If you have a talent, show it off! A festival is a opportunity to do the things that “normal” society thinks is weird and you will feel leave feeling recharged and self-fulfilled.
It’s okay. No one is going to judge you or make fun of you. Don’t be scared. Don’t say “I can’t dance” because you can! If you want to do the robot, domo-origato. If you want to spin in circles then be our guest, or it feels good to sway from side to side, then do it! Congratulations you just danced and I bet it was awesome.
- Take pictures
An event like Star Gaze is the most fun when you share it with your friends. Capture the moment and hold on it. You can look back months or years from now and say “Wow, look at us back then! Having a blast.”
- What happens at Star Gaze, stays at Star Gaze
It should go without saying, but the festival is a judgement-free zone. We are there to share a great time and embrace each other for who we ARE not for what we THINK we are or what we WANT others to be. If you know that you are in the wrong for criticizing others, it will allow you to be free from also criticizing yourself, and you will have a better time as a result. No bad vibes allowed.
Thank you for reading and I hope this cleared up any confusion about Star Gaze. If you still have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me on facebook or here on tumblr.
See you all at Star Gaze!!!