Pre-Planned Festival Agenda? Consider tossing it.

*My accidental front row experience and newfound love for Saba at Outside Lands 2018* 

To sacrifice or not to sacrifice a pre-planned festival agenda, that is the question. 

Time and time again I knew exactly who and what I wanted to see at a festival, and ended up in the complete opposite direction. There is a conditioning and desire to go to a festival because a certain number of artists are performing that everyone’s been hungry to see. But festivals are one of the greatest catalysts for new discoveries and sounds, so it’s important to do them some justice. 

So which artists in your plans are worth sacrificing for new discoveries? Clearly, there are unmissable acts, artists that could be the primary reason you’ve made it to the festival. But have you considered reasons for why you have artists on your agenda that you’re not familiar with? 

Of course it could be through recommendations and other external factors that influence you to see them, but in my opinion, I think not having plans for unfamiliar artists is a potential space for spontaneous journeys to come to life. 

My main effort for pre-planning and creating a performance agenda for the weekend was once because I have always thoroughly gone through the lineup, and wrote down all of the names that I’ve heard of but haven’t seen. Some of the recommendations came from music outlets, trending indie artists, or where my group want to go. But the thing is, if the festival experience is at complete fruition, none of it matters anyway. 

Artists that I stumbled upon for the first time at a festival are Empire of the Sun, Kaytranada, Goth Babe, Anderson .Paak, Hiatus Kaiyote, just to name a few… 

I am not here to say that planning for new artists is something to avoid. The point of sharing is to tell you to stay open-minded, and that any visceral feeling is the right decision when it comes to where you truly want to be. Follow the sound. 

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