Whether it’s your first time at psytrance festival or you’re a seasoned veteran, the tips and checklists here will help you be prepared and bring everything you may need for an optimal psychedelic trance festival experience!
What to expect at a psytrance festival
A typical psytrance festival will consist of one or two dance floors: the main floor and an alternative stage. In addition, there is usually a chillout section with psybient and chillout music. The latter is perfect for relaxing and chatting with like-minded people. Even if you’ve lost your friends or are going solo (see the next point), you’ll find plenty of friendly faces here who are open to connect.
Furthermore, most psytrance festivals will also have an area with presentations and workshops, where you can do yoga to soothe your muscles if they’re sore from hours of walking and dancing.
And of course there will be a camping section. If you’re not a huge fan of camping, many festivals now offer pre-setup tents or even glamping expriences. Depending on the location, you may also find an AirBnB or cheap hotel nearby. But for most festival-goers, camping and being in nature is part of the fun.
If you’re able to arrive early, find a nice spot in the shade and with some elevation, to shade yourself from the sun and stay dry in case of heavy rain. The fresh pre-festival spirit is also great for meeting new people!
And last but not least, there will be a shopping area with psytrance clothing and food stands.
Most festivals will offer a newpaper with an overview of the lineups, workshop timings and a festival map upon arrival.
Going solo or with friends to a psytrance festival
While going with friends is fun, sometimes people find themselves at a point in life where they may consider going alone to a psytrance festival.
Perhaps you’re new to the genre and haven’t made any friends yet who enjoy the same music, or perhaps you’re having an early midlife crisis and suddenly find all your die-hard party friends have become suburban housewives with a bunch of kids and busy schedules (that’s a me…)
If you feel awkward doing so, rest assured, lots of people go solo to psytrance festival and find joy in the experience! It allows for lots of freedom and if you’re open to connecting with new people, you’ll soon find that it’s easier to do so. There will be plenty of smiling and friendly faces who are open to chat (or in the worst case on tons of substances and happy to find a victim to info dump on).
Fuel and build your muscles with protein and carbs
While most festivals will have plenty of tasty options to eat, keep in mind you will be burning a ton of calories with constant walking around and plenty of dancing.
Crackers, muesli, bread, dried fruits and whole-grain treats are great for morning and midday carb-loading to fuel your muscles, while protein bars at the end of your day will help your muscles recover and prepare for the next day.
Protein bars are even more important if you’re a vegetarian or vegan. While most if not all psytrance festivals will have vegan options, I’ve personally found them mostly lacking in protein content, save for perhaps a much too small amount of tofu.
Prepare for changing weather circumstances
Bring a rain jacket just in case. Layerable clothing will be your friend. You may run pretty hot dancing to your heart’s content on the middle of the dance floor, even if it’s a chilly fall night in Western Europe.
Ponchos are therefore one of the most popular festival attires, since they’re easy to take on and off. If you don’t own one yet, you’ll likely find them sold at one of the festival shops, but you’ll also find them on eBay or Etsy(search for “hippie poncho” or “festival poncho”, or your local hippie shop.
Prepare for carrying around your stuff
When you’re not in around your tent, you’ll need to carry around a bunch of stuff. Backpacks will suffice for most people, but if you tend to carry around a lot of stuff or are there with kids, a granny trolley or pull cart can be a lifesaver. This may not always be an option depending on your mode of transportation to get to the festival, but