It can happen to anyone. You look down at your phone for one second, or you might become momentarily distracted by an awesome art installation, or maybe you’re just caught up in the magic of it all. You snap back to reality – your friends are missing and you suddenly find yourself alone in a huge crowd of people, unsure of what to do next.
This has happened to me many times through no fault of my own at multiple events. Being alone at a huge event with tens of thousands of people around can be a little daunting, so here are some tips from me to you if you plan on going alone, or find yourself alone for whatever reason.
Find and Attend Meetups: I went to my first EDC alone, not sure what to expect while rolling solo for such a massive event as I drove to Vegas from Los Angeles. I’m a little shy, but I knew making new friends was crucial to a positive experience, and doing just that made my trip worth remembering. I attended the EDC Reddit Meetup last year, and with a little bit of planning and psyching myself into putting myself out there, I ended up with great new friends that I’m still close with nearly a year later. In fact, meeting these people was the first step to becoming a contributor to the website EDM Identity. Just because you arrive alone, doesn’t mean you’ll leave alone.
Utilize Social Media to Your Advantage: If you’re flying solo and want to meet others doing the same (like I did at EDC last year) there are countless groups on Facebook, Reddit and other sites dedicated to uniting festival goers at specific events. Hotel sharing (or camp sharing depending on the festival), local meetup groups and more are plentiful and easy to find. While keeping your wits about you is always essential if you plan on sharing a hotel (or campsite) with a stranger, try to have some sort of backup plan in case you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation. My experience arriving alone and leaving with new friends leads me to believe that most people who attend events of this nature are there to have a good time and memorable experience, can be trusted, and are excited to meet new people, too.
Designate A Meeting Spot in Case of Separation: I recommend an easily accessible spot as equidistant from all stages as possible. At EDC Las Vegas, the mobile charging locker station worked well for us. My friends were waiting for me as soon as I arrived. Large art installations also worked well. For obvious reasons, I do not recommend trying to meet anywhere near stages at any event, and too many people moving in too many different directions. And as everyone knows, do NOT choose the Daisy as your meetup spot.
Keep Your Cell Phone Battery Charged: Cell phone and data service can be spotty at events like EDC, but keeping it juiced up and with you at all times is a smart idea to reach your friends.. Put your phone in airplane mode to conserve battery. when taking pictures or videos of a set and try to keep your brightness down. Reserve a mobile charging locker available at most large events, or invest in a charging battery case or portable charger (I personally recommend and enjoy Mophie’s products) if you can. Bonus tip: disable LTE on your smartphone and stick with 4G instead – your battery will last longer and your texts or iMessages have a better chance of going through.
Be Open to Making New Friends: Spread positive vibrations by helping a stranger in need. If someone looks lost, sad, dehydrated or afraid, don’t hesitate to offer a helping hand just because they happen to be a stranger. Offer water, or the opportunity for them to tag along in your group if they have lost their friends (after all, wouldn’t you want someone to do this for you?) and if someone is kind enough to include you in their group, take advantage of the opportunity to meet some new friends. Sometimes all it takes is a simple “hey, how’s it going?” to plant the seed for a new friendship.
Again, just because you arrive alone, or find yourself alone, doesn’t mean you have to be alone or will leave alone. How you choose to make or find new friends is entirely up to you, but braving an event solo or being separated from your friends doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have a bad experience.