The sun is shining, Chance the Rapper is performing and you’re dressed like an electric neon Stevie Nicks. Yes, that’s right – festival season is here. Bring on the glitter and shredded jorts!
While music festivals are a great opportunity to see all your favorite acts in one place, while sipping on overpriced water, they’re also the perfect venue to meet like-minded singles.
In fact, according to new research from UK events and ticketing agent, Skiddle, one in 10 people now meet their other halves at a festival. One in 20 of us have even gotten married at a festival (can I have Drake officiate my festival wedding? Because that would be great.)
It makes sense that festivals would be a good place to meet your future significant other. I for one can’t count how many times I’ve been on a first date and had some version of the following conversation:
Them: “What kind of music are you into?”
Me: “Have you heard of (insert artist)?”
Them: “No, have you heard of (insert artist)?”
Me: “No, have you heard of (insert artist)?”
Me: “Do you even like music?”
Them: “I mean, I guess music is OK?”
Me: (insert visible eye-roll and audible sigh of frustration)
If you meet someone at a festival, you’re pretty much guaranteed not to have a conversation like that. You’ve both paid your admission and committed to seeing a bunch of the same artists and bands. There’s a good chance you at least have a few things in common right off the bat. Plus, breaking the ice is super easy. Just ask them what their favorite act has been so far!
Plus, there are festival people and non-festival people. As someone who is somewhat introverted and isn’t enthused about sketchy bathroom situations, I used to think I was definitely NOT a festival person, but after attending my first large festival (along with 100,000 other people), I can say that I most definitely am a festival person. There’s something really exhilarating about being in a venue where so much great music is right at your fingertips. Even if you don’t have exactly the same taste in artists, you’re more likely to meet someone at a festival that shares your sense of joie the vivre.
Also, the face of festivals is changing. The drugged-out, muddy, jamborees of yore have been replaced with events that are much more inclusive and family friendly. (Forty-three percent of people surveyed by Skiddle know someone who has taken their child to a festival, while 39 percent of participants said they knew someone who has been to a festival with their parents!)
But if strategically bumping into that cute Drake fan (and hoping they’ll take it as a sign you’re interested) isn’t really your jam, the good news is that dating apps tend to be on fire at festivals (I mean, what better way to pass the time while you’re waiting for the next show to start than swiping right or left?)
Last spring, Tinder reported that that the app usage ricocheted up to 300 percent in Palm Springs and Idio for Weekend One of Coachella, compared to the weekend before. As Twitter user @SteeloBrim said, “Coachella is just Tinder and Spotify’s love child.” Indeed.
Not only are you going to be in close proximity to other music fans, but festivals tend to bring people together from different geographic areas, exposing you to people you might not have met in your hometown.
So, what’s the best way to meet people at a big festival? Well, for starters, just be yourself, relax and have fun. “When you’re at a music festival, it’s likely that everyone will be in a great mood and open to meeting other people,” said Megan Weks, international dating and relationship expert. “It’s a low anxiety place to make new connections.”
Instead of going into the festival with the intention of meeting someone, take in everything around you while staying open to new conversations and people.
But, as usual, be safe. Just because you’re at a festival, doesn’t mean your usual dating precautions should go out the window. If you’re planning on meeting up with someone you’ve met on a dating app, let your friends know where you’re going and with whom. Don’t feel pressured to drink or consume anything you’re not comfortable with and, by all means, do not accept drinks from anyone you don’t know.
Lastly, don’t let yourself become glued to your phone. While dating apps will definitely help you meet more people at a festival, your phone shouldn’t be your main focus. Check it intentionally – for example, in between shows – so you don’t miss the main event: everything that’s happening all around you.