Etiquette: Laws of the Lawn

Rules for attending outdoor festivals.

May 26, 2009
Outside Magazine

CREDIT CARDS are useless. Bring cash and precious materials—extra beer, lots of ice—for bartering.
LAWN CHAIRS: If they're empty, they're fair game.
Porta-Potties: You're a grown man. Stand in line.
LODGING: It's a festival. Bring a tent.
LATE-NIGHT JAMS: At a good event, they can be the best shows of the weekend. Keep a respectful distance. Listen closely. Do not attempt to sing harmony. No spoons.
SUNBLOCK: Yes. MenScience TiO2 SPF 30 ($31;—waterproof, which means sweat-proof.
NOODLERS mean no harm. Just steer clear of those helicopter arms.
CROWD COMMENTARY: If you think the scene, venue, andor bands have gone downhill, don't buy a ticket. Once you're there, "[Event] has gotten too commercial" = "I am a dick."
GETTING BACKSTAGE: Unless you're a 21-year-old blonde, do not attempt.
BEDTIME: Sunrise is good. Pack a thermos of Irish coffee, but go light on the coffee.
WATER: One glass for every beer. You're in the sun.
BLANKETS: If yours is ten by ten feet and there are two of you on it, you're not entitled to that angry sneer.
HERO WORSHIP: Buying your favorite band's T-shirt is cool; wearing it while they're still playing is not.
CROWD SURFING died a sad death in 2003.
HEADGEAR is essential.
BEACH BALLS are not. But let's face it, we love 'em.
PROXIMITY TO THE STAGE is generally more trouble than it's worth.
NUDITY is not OK. Except when it is.
PSYCHEDELICS: If you haven't dabbled since high school, now's probably not the time to get reacquainted.
FLASKS, on the other hand, are a must. We suggest George Dickel White Label (750 ml, $24;

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