Party Of One
A joyful person with arms raised at a vibrant outdoor festival, surrounded by colorful abstract shap...

How To Attend A Music Festival Alone & Actually Have Fun

Tips from those who’ve been there, done that.

by Marilyn La Jeunesse
Elite Daily; Getty Images

If you’ve ever wanted to attend a music festival but your friends don’t have the money (or just don’t want to go), that’s totally OK. Life’s too short to wait for your friends. You should go by yourself.

It sounds weird at first. Why would you want to attend a festival all alone? Isn’t the whole point of it to enjoy music with others? Yes, but if you don’t go, you won’t be enjoying the music surrounded by thousands of other people who are there to vibe and have fun.

Samiha, 23, a content coordinator for a recording studio, has been to over 50 concerts alone, both locally and internationally. She once even traveled to the U.K. by herself for two full weeks and relied on friends in the One Direction fan base to recommend the best places to sightsee.

“In a culture of couples and cliques, independence is so important,” she tells Elite Daily. “We can't wait for other people to have fun because we'll be waiting forever. Go to the show, book that trip, and take yourself to dinner. At the end of the day, the person that matters most is you and a party of one is always a party.”

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Content creator Peyton, 24, who runs a social media management company, can relate. Having attended the Austin City Limits Music Festival and several concerts alone, she’s found the experience to be rather special. “You get to call all the shots and make the most of what you paid for,” she says. “No unexpected potty breaks from friends or missing your favorite artist because the majority of the group wanted to go see another artist at the same time.”

Below, Peyton, Samiha, and others share the best tips for attending a concert or music festival alone.

Start Slow

Say it with me: Doing things alone isn’t weird! It might take a little getting used to, but doing things solo is a great way to step out of your comfort zone. Peyton recommends working your way up to attending a music festival alone to allow yourself to get used to not having others around.

You can’t hold yourself back from doing the things you want in life just because you don’t have someone to do them with.

Pick an activity you love, like reading at a coffee shop or walking in the park, and try talking to the people around you. “Doing things alone, big or small, is such a confidence boost,” Peyton says. “It allows you to enjoy activities you love at your own pace and in your own way! It’s also a great way to get to know yourself and the people around you without the comfort blanket friends can provide.”

For Marcela, 26, a public relations specialist who has been to seven concerts solo, attending shows alone was nerve-wracking at first, but it eventually allowed her to build up a tolerance for doing things alone. She’d eventually garner enough confidence to go to Colombia by herself for an entire month. “You can’t hold yourself back from doing the things you want in life just because you don’t have someone to do them with,” she says. “It might seem scary going to a concert alone or going on your first solo trip, but the risk is worth the reward.”

Know Your Festivals

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It might sound silly at first, but Peyton recommends buying tickets to a festival where you love the majority of artists playing. This will cut down on the amount of time you’re meandering about (read: really aware that you’re by yourself) and allow you to make the most out of the event. You can easily schedule your day floating between stages and merch tables without having to worry about what to do with your downtime. Plus, you never have to worry about your friends not wanting to stand in line for autographs.

Samiha notes the importance of doing research beforehand, especially if you’re traveling somewhere new to enjoy the show. She recommends looking up what the demographic of the festivalgoer is, how far your accommodations are, and maybe even where the closest hospital is (you know, just in case…). “It's important to be as knowledgeable as possible, especially as POC, if you've never been to the city or state before.”

Strategize Beforehand

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Before attending, Tess, a 26-year-old writer who recently saw Bad Bunny solo, recommends strategizing ahead of time. “If you’re concerned about safety, review maps of the festival grounds before arriving,” she says, noting that on-the-ground employees are always a great resource to help you feel secure, especially if you’re not feeling well. Samiha says she normally stays near event staff or makes sure an official is in eyeshot just in case anything happens.

Remember, just because you went to the festival alone doesn’t mean you can’t meet up with friends partway through.“If social anxiety is an issue, the friend-of-a-friend strategy could be great to have in your back pocket, in case you want to have at least one person to fall back on hanging out with,” Tess adds. It’s your experience, so do what makes you happy.

Pack The Essentials

First things first, you need to check the bag specifications for the festival. Some venues only allow small, clear bags while others will allow you to bring full backpacks. Once you know these requirements, Peyton and Samiha recommend packing some of the must-haves: a first aid kit, a portable phone charger, and an empty water bottle. As a former festival fiend, I’d recommend packing a foldable fan to help you keep cool on hotter summer days.

Talk To The People Around You

Peyton, Samiha, Marcela, and Tess all say it’s easier to make new friends at a festival than you may think. “The first time I went to a concert alone I was nervous about feeling lonely,” Marcela says. “Once I stepped into the stadium, everything changed. … When I got to my seat, I became best friends with the group of girls next to me and we sang and danced all night long. It truly was the best night ever and reassured me that I could go to another concert alone and be OK!”

Remember, you're not the only one going solo.

Peyton echoes this, noting that she’s made tons of friends while standing in the crowd waiting for her fave artists to play. “Explaining that you came to the festival solo is such a great conversation starter,” she adds.

Samiha says she usually tends to make friends on the day of the show. She typically meets people in merch and concession lines and once even met a new friend waiting for the portapotty. As someone who travels frequently to attend concerts, she’s also bonded with fellow fans at airports and in her hotel.

The right mindset is the key, says Marcela. “Remember, you're not the only one going solo. Look around and try to spot another solo concertgoer. You might just make a new friend who can join you for your next concert.”

Dance Like Nobody's Watching

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There’s a lot of truth to this age-old adage. Samiha says the best way to have fun at a concert solo is to act like you’re the only person in the room. “You were brave enough to go solo and you're brave enough to enjoy yourself.”

Marcela adds that anyone feeling nervous should remember that everyone is there because they love the same music as you. “These are the artists you’ve been counting down the days, dying to see,” she says. “The people around you feel the same way, so turn to the person next to you and get ready to sing and dance all night long.”