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First Time Alone 
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Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:33 pm
Posts: 35
Hello all!

After a few years off of Fest I'm considering coming back again. However this time would be the first time I would be attending alone. I'm used to a large bustling compound of people and camping by myself would be new for me. I was wondering if anyone else has attended with others before and then started coming alone or advice from people who have always come alone too!

Thank you!

Sat May 17, 2014 6:50 pm

Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 12:02 am
Posts: 224
Location: Greater Kansas City Area
Hi chem-witch,

I camped solo last year. I'm not sure anyone is using it yet, but here is the link to the solo thread that was started last year viewtopic.php?f=37&t=8536

There is usally a BB/FB meetup on Monday night to put faces with names from connections made here on the BB and on FB.

There is a Solo camping area on either side of the path between Bread & Roses and Juniper Jumpoff. Last year we planned a couple of meetups, movies, night stage, etc.

One of the best things I did was to go to speed-dating on Tuesday morning. I met 35+ womyn and often small groups form out of the larger group again for things like night stage & meals.

There is also an "alone at fest" area for meals, so just look for the sign.

I'll be with my gf this year, but we will pobably still be camping in B&R. We'll be the tent with the peace lights, feel free to look us up.

Sat May 17, 2014 8:14 pm
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Joined: Wed Nov 08, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 204
Location: Central Iowa
I've pretty much always come "alone", in the sense that I have a tent that I sleep in (usually) by myself, and I have my own stuff in my own car. That said, once I get to fest, I rarely feel like I'm really alone, unless I want to be.

If you're interested in meeting people, here are some good ways to do it:
1. Walk around, smile, and talk to womyn. When I move through the world outside of fest, I tend to have this "stay away from me" demeanor when I encounter people I don't know. It's OK to turn that off at fest.
2. Workshifts! I have met tons of memorable womyn at workshifts. Kitchen is particularly good for that, as is Orientation.
3. Don't be afraid to ask for what you need. This is the part that is always hardest for me to do. Oasis is a great place to go, if you just feel like you want to talk to someone about whatever random emotions are going on.

I'd like to echo suggestions upthread about speed dating, the BB meet and greet. I camp up solo hill, on the JJ side, and a bunch of friendly people tend to camp up that way. That said, I've never camped anywhere that didn't have friendly people. (Other than the occasional person, who gets bent out of shape because you took "their" spot.)

Mon May 19, 2014 4:36 pm

Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 2:11 pm
Posts: 385
Location: Miami Beach, Florida
hammi - love everything you said - I returned to fest in 2012 without my partner (we'd been going since '04), scattered her ashes on the land and found old and new friends to be most welcoming. I camp way up in the woods with just a hand full of neighbors many, many yards away, but the friendly smiles are still there. Yes, come with a big smile, join in where you want and have a blast.

Mon May 19, 2014 5:13 pm
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Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2006 7:41 pm
Posts: 77
Location: WA
More ways to make connections:
Help someone. Offer to help putting up their tent. Help a mom on a shuttle as she juggles chair, kid, packs. Share your umbrella or your tarp/mat at Night Stage.
Join one of the week-long groups, like the Choir or Drum Orchestra, that meets every day.
Take a workshop that meets multiple times.
Join the big song circle group.
Chat with a favorite Crafts vendor. Encourage passers by to stop and check out her wares. Bring her a frozen fruit pop on a hot day.
Strike up conversation with neighbors in camp, on line, at shows.
Do extra work shifts.
You'll have a fine time.

Mon May 19, 2014 11:43 pm

Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2006 8:52 pm
Posts: 788
Location: Exotic Brooklyn
I consider it a luxury when I get to come alone. It's my favorite way, because I have only myself to please and my schedule to keep and I won't let anyone down or upset anyone if I change my mind or wander off.. I love my friends, family and loved ones, don't get me wrong, but it is so very freeing to come alone.. Over the years I have camped in many configurations, as many as 12 in the "Family" compound, with kids, lovers and friends. I have come as artist support and mingled among the workers and the talent. I have camped with kids and just as a couple. This year my sister and I are camping together, and she is so low maintenance with so many cool friends (waves to the INNies!) it will be almost like camping alone with the benefit of hanging with her crowd if I feel like it. I like to camp downtown in a certain area. I hope to be there again this year swinging in my red hammock... I think I have convinced her on this location.. :D

Tue May 20, 2014 4:16 pm

Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 6:32 pm
Posts: 4
Location: northern Minnesota
Colleen wrote:
Join one of the week-long groups, like the Choir or Drum Orchestra, that meets every day.
Take a workshop that meets multiple times.
Join the big song circle group.
Chat with a favorite Crafts vendor. Encourage passers by to stop and check out her wares. Bring her a frozen fruit pop on a hot day.

These are great ideas, Colleen! As a craftswoman, I have always wanted to join the Choir, so that would be my first choice. And I have missed so many interesting workshops! But I am devoted to being in my booth to meet my prospective customers and art lovers who might stop by to see my work. Sometimes there are few customers, like right after we open in the morning, or during a day stage concert that is well-attended. Those times are good opportunities to get to know us artists. We may be tired or bored or lonely in our booth, and your visit might be very welcome then! After we become well-acquainted (like after a few days) you might offer to give us a portojane break, which can be a very valuable service if we are working alone! I have often offered my space as a little Downtown depot for friends to drop their backpacks, etc. so they don't have to lug them around all the day long. My booth back area is quite secure. Since I am a jeweler, I have even given a small space below my jewelry display to friends to store a camera securely out of sight of the general public. (This space is very limited.) Several friends from my region have found that the Crafts Area made a good sort of "home base" for them when they attended alone. They commented to me that they would have been much more lost in the crowd without that connection. I often ask Festies what workshops they have attended, etc., as a way for me to stay in touch with what is going on out there during the festival daytime.
I aslo liked the suggestion someone made to help women as a way to make friends. Even if you don't end up as buddies, you'll have someone new to say hi to when you see them on a path or road. I used to always come alone, and I would do extra work shifts at night, usually some kind of security duty. I also roamed the camping areas with a flute or banjo in hand, looking for friendly campfires. Just be as outgoing as you can be, and good things can happen!
M'lou Brubaker, Jeweler, Booth # 6
Stop by and say HI!!!

Thu May 22, 2014 9:09 am

Joined: Fri May 03, 2013 8:44 am
Posts: 6

I'm really grateful for this thread, because this will be my first Fest alone, too!

Thank you all for the suggestions.

I appreciated the wisdom that it is safe to turn off the "don't come near me" demeanor at Fest. I wonder what that will feel like


Tue May 27, 2014 11:37 pm

Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2012 6:57 pm
Posts: 119
I have always gone alone, and I have always had a wonderful time. It's easy to meet womyn on the land. Just smile and ask if they're having a good festival.


Sun Jul 06, 2014 7:54 pm

Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 446
[i][/i]U R not alone once u get in the line, or come thru the front gate

Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:46 am

Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:56 pm
Posts: 58
I always go alone too and it's a refreshing respite from having a schedule and having to deal with others schedules. I may attend alone but I rarely feel like I'm alone.

Best advice I have is bring less stuff than you might have previously. You'll be hauling it in and out by yourself and that can break your spirit a bit. Try a minimalist year this year.

Mon Jul 07, 2014 5:08 pm

Joined: Tue May 08, 2007 1:20 pm
Posts: 30
Location: michigan
ditto what Artemis said. such a wonderful thing to not be on anyone else's timetable. i mostly went to fest with others -- from 1 to 15 people. always spent a bit of time waiting -- for a variety of reasons. when i have gone alone, i felt free to change my mind at any time. always so many things to do! and, so many womyn willing to engage with a new friend. actually, i made more new friends the years that i went alone! this was a surprise to me as i am an introvert most of the time

Mon Jul 07, 2014 5:53 pm
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