When I first heard about Los Almiros Rock Festival, I instantly felt my indie soul all fired up and ready to go. If Glastonbury is my ultimate dream, then that festival had to be one step closer to that dream.

I got in the mood and immediately started thinking of festival outfits. But then as it was slowly approaching, certain problems started arising in my head and they were holding me back.

I was about to bail when in an ‘Almost Famous’ moment under the starry sky, I said: “It’s All Happening!” and went home to start packing. The only thing bringing me down now was that I had to travel alone and I was thinking ‘where is the fun in traveling all by myself?”.

Little did I know.

I never realized how 3 hours passed by while I was sitting at the back of a half empty bus along with a good friend of mine I accidentally met there and her friends! And talking about fun, try pinpointing the tents of your friends (who are in the beach and won’t answer all of your calls) in a vast forest with thousands of campers… Yeah! You got me!

So, that is how this amazing experience started and I was in a total ‘Let’s fucking RAGE!‘ mood!!!

But let’s clarify things a little bit…

[ Rage: to party extremely hard- excessive drinking, smoking, boozing or any combination of the three. ]

About 3 years ago when I bought Alexa Chung‘s book “ It ”, I stumbled across the following phrase just after the chapter about music festivals;

How to rage:

Get a balloon and a best friend.

Go to a festival in the desert.

Be 24.

Back then I mocked it ’cause I found it a little bit pretentious. 3 years later right after I came back from my very own first music festival, I can’t help but think she was absolutely right!

I gotta tell you this is the only way to rage in a summer music festival (in my case minus the balloon, plus a bubble toy -which is a must- and all the rest apply).

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Here are some tips for virgins like myself in order to make the best out of your first camp out music festival…

Survival Guide 101 for your first music festival:

  • Alexa Chung and Piniterest will be your number 1 inspirations when packing your things and getting in the mood.

  • Light packing is a must. When I see people carrying suitcases in camping and nagging about it, I feel a strong urge to slap them in the face repeatedly. A big bag pack and your camping essentials is all you need.

  • You might as well bring a fanny pack for your personal stuff. I didn’t have one so I used small purses, attached to neck chains I had from past conferences. I looked cool at first, but my neck was tortured with unbelievable cruelty and I switched to a small bag pack.

  • No matter how big your car is, if you’re planning several rides with 7+ people loaded, you might wanna try loud music and singing all the way through. It’s the only way to survive the heat and the parking problems that would most surely arise.

  • Be open-minded and patient when discussing the different genres of music and how these can be defined in music terms. This discussion will surely last several hours and will never lead to any definite conclusions.

  • Forget manicure of any kind. Your nails will break, the nail polish will go and you will be left with sloppy nails filled with dirt. Go with short cut ‘working girl’ nails, clean and practical.

  • Sleeping bags are not mattresses. If you can’t bring a mattress at least bring a pillow, because your towel will be wet and you might need to wear your sweater.

  • Rail tracks is a good place to camp since you will always find your way back and you will feel cool watching all the people walking by your tent, BUT if you love your buttocks, bring something else to sit on.

  • Festival Outfits were the main thing I packed and they would be perfect for a festival like Glastonbury, Pinkpop, Lollapalooza, Coachella, etc. BUT for a Greek summer free camping festival these are useless.

    The only clothes you need are: lots of bathing suits (literary they would be your second skin), 2-3 pairs of shorts (hotpants, denim, athletic, whatever you like and feel comfortable sleeping in), T-shirts, foulards and sneakers for the concerts (because there is a lot of of dirt, dust and sweat) and CODE RED for girls a sweater and tights for after the concert if you plan to stay out all night till dawn!

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  • You WON’T need: underwear, make up (except for sunscreen & glitter), jewelry, sandals (unless you use them as flip-flops) sleep and an attitude.

  • Be careful! Soap is not a hair cleanser. It will not remove the salt water AT ALL.

  • Boys restrooms are surprisingly cleaner than the girls restrooms (I guess boys prefer nature and next time I’ll do the same).

  • Drinking before the concerts is one of the brightest ideas ever. Especially if you audaciously crash on somebody else’s table and start taking wasted photos with hundreds of hashtags (’cause you’ll definitely want to remember the highlights of the incoherent discussions you’re gonna have)

  • If you’re interested in what the local artists are selling, buy something right away, because when you come back way after the concerts have ended, around 5-6 am, surprisingly enough they won’t still be open!

  • Don’t be afraid of traveling on your own. You never know who you will end up meeting on your way there. Plus the determination with which you will decide the right tents to put your things in is a fantastic “I don’t give a shit” moment! Plus on your way back you won’t need any company since you will be sleeping all time long.

  • If you wear contact lenses practice ways to wear them independently of a mirror and a restroom (I didn’t manage to do it, but I watched others doing it in complete  awe!)

  • Forget about your cell phone. In free camping festivals, electricity to charge your phone is hard to find so you’ll need to save your battery. Use it only in emergencies- when you’ve lost your friends in the crowd or when you’re so wasted you just have to capture the moment.

  • When you face transportation problems, strangers at your own age will happily exchange information with you, but the only ones who will really help you are older locals. (sounds perverted but it’s not).

  • Sometimes random bars in the nearby area can play better music than the actual concerts. So what if you miss a few gigs when you can have a better time at the bar dancing and sharing embarassing stories with strangers…

  • If you feel ugly, drink some booze, put some glitter on (anywhere), dance, blow some bubbles and smile! You’ll immediately feel like a goddess!!!

  • The previous strictly applies for night hours. If you feel ugly in the morning, make sure you wash your face somehow and wear as least as possible so that others direct their looks to your body and not to your face (especially if these others are the cute guys you met the night before). Bikinis are a good solution, much better than my ex’s loose T-shirt and tights combo I was wearing…!

  • KEY LESSON of this festival: BE AUTONOMOUS! You can’t find your friends? Have fun sitting next to the sound engineer (or on top of him). Even when you arrive home and you’re so tired but of course you forgot your keys and of course your mum is at the beach, just spend a couple of hours at the bus station cafeteria. Buy something cold to drink and watch the fashion channel until it’s time to get the bus home… And maybe you’ll arrive at the same time your mum does!

  • And last but definitely not least, deers are the most beautiful animals everrrrr… I would give everything to have their horns and graceful walking…!

    So, let’s keep on RAGING!!! Until next time…!

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