Every year, the competition for music festival attendees heats up a bit more. No longer can they just book a bunch of sick music acts, cook some tasty burgers and wait for the line to form outside the festival grounds. Thanks to Burning Man’s ridiculous success, weird has become the motto for attracting more festival goers.
You might not want Burning Man levels of weirdness at the festival you end up at, but trust us, you want some weird there. Weird makes the party memorable and it makes you cut loose a little more. You end up with a better story to tell for years afterwards. Here are five of the weirder things festival goers will experience this summer.
Electric Daisy Carnival: Insane Fireworks
Sure, we’ve all seen our town’s fun little fireworks display on the Fourth of July or New Year’s Eve, but everything is bigger and brighter in Las Vegas. When the Vegas installment of EDC goes down, 300,000 naked or alien-costumed EDM fans descend on the nearby desert for a three-night party and light show — and when you’re in the middle of the desert surrounded by way too many people for the DEA to arrest at once, the late-night fireworks display will change your life. Though it might make those other holidays seem boring forever.
What The Festival: World’s Largest Wading Pool
What The Festival is a new entry to the festival circuit, but the forests of Oregon are a great place to try out a bunch of weird things, like the world’s largest temporary wading pool. You know, so you can listen to DJs all day while hanging out with a few thousand girls in bikinis, even if you’re hundreds of miles away from the nearest ocean. They even thought to continuously clean and filter the water in case the party gets crashed by dirty hippies — the fest is in Oregon, after all.
TomorrowWorld: DreamVille Campground
You might expect to find bizarre tent colonies in the mountains of Georgia, but not with an EDM soundtrack. Well, the whole point of TomorrowWorld is to mess with your expectations, and that goes double for its camping experience, DreamVille.
Try to picture the episode of “Community” in which Troy and Abed start the massive interconnecting blanket fort, but take it outside and put it next to a giant music festival. These tent folk are the same people you’d want to chill with at a club, so roast some marshmallows and embrace the weird.
Hangout Festival: Beachside Wedding Chapel
The 2014 Hangout Music Festival‘s basically a giant party on a Gulf Coast beach that someone invited Outkast, The Black Keys and 70 other dope bands to play at. This is a great place to have plenty of drinks and hook up with strangers, as are all music festivals.
The difference here is, if you need a break from the partying, you can go watch people get married in a chapel on the beach. If you’re sober right now and don’t realize how bizarre that is, try to picture how psyched Drunk You will be to root for random couples to tie the knot on a beach surrounded by 35,000 people.
Bonnaroo: Silent Disco
As far as music festivals are concerned, there’s Bonnaroo and then there’s everything else. At this point, it’s an institution. A mud-caked, sweaty institution of music, dancing and camping.
There’s no shortage of weird things to do at Bonnaroo, but nothing is better than the Silent Disco, a massive dance party in a tent where everyone has to wear headphones to hear what the DJ is spinning. That means you never have to try to make conversation on the dance floor because you can’t. Want to dance with that hot girl over there? You’re gonna have to let your dance moves do the talking, dude.
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