I Tried Going To The Biggest Electronic Music Festival Solo — Here Are My Tips And Tricks For Making The Most Of Your Time Alone

    When you're on your own, you get the freedom to roam, discover new artists, and uncover hidden gems, all at your own pace.

    If you're wondering about going to a music festival solo, I'm here to talk you into it. My name's Pernell, and I love going to festivals with friends — it's like being in a movie with your favorite people and a built-in soundtrack. Since I have anxiety and am a people pleaser (not a judgment, just a fact), I've been eager to finally try a three-day festival completely alone at my own pace and in my own style to decide if it's right for me. That's how I ended up at EDC Las Vegas, the world's largest rave, with me, myself, and 500,000 other people.

    author overlooking edc 2023 music festival

    I'll be honest: Attending and camping at a music festival of EDC's magnitude on my own inspired some lonely moments. But the freedom that came with being alone also led me to discover side quests, new friends, and great music. So, if you're solo-fest curious, here's why you should full-send that thought, along with my tips on how to survive it:

    1. Being a party of one means you can see whoever you want, whenever you want, however long you'd like!

    2. Flying solo makes it more manageable to meet new people, make festival friends, and build better bonds.

    author with fellow raver at edc rave

    3. You can choose to be as close to or as far away from the stage as you wish when you're on your own. And it's a lot easier to make your way through a crowd if it's just you.

    author at front of le youth's set at edc

    4. Going alone gives you the freedom to roam. And don't just limit yourself to the stages. Check out the rides, pop-up shops, and food spots you normally wouldn't be able to.

    map of edc with an aerial view of the venue

    Those are the main reasons why I'd recommend trying out a festival solo if you don't have anyone to go with, or just want to try it out. Now, here are my tips on how to meet others and make the most of being alone:

    5. Consider bringing a totem! It makes for an easy conversation starter — I met so many people over the festival weekend because of this sign, and it also helped them find me again.

    (top) sign that says 'fuck anxiety' in front of dj lane 8 (bottom) author with fellow ravers in crowd at edc rave

    And if you're not really a totem person, or they're not allowed, wear statement shirts — go for meaningful or niche-funny, that way you know people are coming up to you because they're having a positive connection to what you're wearing.

    (left) author with t-shirt that says 'music saved my life' next to kaskade (right) author wearing shirt that says 'everybody knows you're a bottom'

    6. Join online communities through Facebook groups and Reddit ASAP. There are probably even groups dedicated to people attending solo. You can "meet" people through these communities ahead of time, learn really valuable tips from festival veterans, be inspired by people's outfits, or even find roommates.

    (top) edc las vegas subreddit (bottom) facebook groups of edc vegas solo journey, edc gays, and unofficial edc reddit electric daisy carnival

    7. If the festival you're going to offers a camping component, I highly suggest it. There will for sure be fun activities to participate in, and you're more likely to meet folks who are excited to socialize before the festival doors open.

    (top) tents at camp edc (bottom) camp edc map and schedule of activities

    Also, not having to worry about a commute or catching a shuttle back to a hotel was clutch. When it was time to go, I just had to walk back to my campsite. This allowed me to take breaks and naps in my own bed during the festival. I felt way safer letting loose and partying on my own because of it.

    author in tent

    8. No matter where you're staying, decorate your space. Make it inviting on the outside to others and inviting for you on the inside. Having a cozy and comforting spot to recharge in helped me feel ready to take on each day, which was really important whenever I felt overwhelmed or lonely.

    author's tent at edc

    9. Introduce yourself to surrounding neighbors sooner than later. I like to do this for safety reasons, and to meet new people. It'll also make it easier for you to be able to ask them for anything if you need to throughout the weekend.

    a dry erase board that says 'last day, but not the last rave'

    10. Carry a phone charger and other essentials like hand sanitizer, wipes, and gum. For yourself, and for others.

    11. Take more breaks — nobody's waiting on you. And embrace the overwhelming moments with grace.

    author in the bleachers overlooking edc venue

    12. Seek out other solo folks when you're feeling hard on yourself for feeling lonely. Stick with each other for a bit if y'all vibe with each other. And if you don't, you can just walk away!

    13. Do what you can to help other people have a good time. It'll pull your focus away from dwelling on your own experience. And when you do start to dwell, look around the crowd for some inspiration.

    ravers lift up a wheelchair user who is cheering at edc

    14. Ask a close friend or loved one to check in and message you every morning and/or night.

    15. Write down a few reasonable hopes and dreams ahead of the weekend, and look at them each morning. I didn't until day three, and my mindset changed when I did. I was sad I wasn't having a life-changing experience like I've had at past festivals, until I understood that I did have most of the moments I wanted to.

    edc in the back with an insert of the author's hopes and dreams for his edc 2023 experience

    16. And finally: Try everything twice.

    In conclusion, if you feel scared of going to a large music festival on your own, that probably means you should do it. When we do the things we're afraid of, it usually turns out that most of what we were afraid of is just in our head. Going alone to a massive music festival gave me a chance to discover and explore what I truly need to have a good (and safe) time on my own. And now, I feel motivated to try out other festivals — maybe smaller ones — on my own.

    What are some tips I missed? If you've had a solo experience at a festival before, how'd it go, and what did you wish you did differently? Drop your wisdom in the comments.