HIGH NOTES: 6 Ways to Make a Music Festival Exciting Without Drugs

When I first started going to music festivals, drugs were among their main appeal. Then, my body started telling me it couldn’t handle drugs like it used to, so I had to get creative. Over several sober weekends, I developed methods to preserve festivals’ excitement without the illicit substances.

That’s not to say, “Don’t do drugs, kids.” But it’s always good to have alternatives, because most drugs will take back what you owe them (if not in the form of a comedown, then in the form of a hangover). If drugs have become too hard on your body, or you just don’t want to deal with any negative side effects, here are some ways to get high on life at your next festival.

  1. Talk to people who are on drugs.

Part of the fun of doing drugs in a group is socializing with people on drugs. But you don’t need to do drugs to get that! Talking to rolling people in particular is a joy in and of itself. They will say the nicest things and answer the most personal questions. Stoned people aren’t bad either. They’ve got some interesting theories about life. That’s doubly true if you find someone on psychedelics. Rolling people are the easiest to spot though. Just look for someone wearing sunglasses and chewing gum.

  1. Make out with someone.

You don’t need drugs or alcohol as an excuse for a make out sesh under the strobe lights. Just make sure the other person is also sober enough to consent.

  1. Wear a music-responsive sex toy.

I’m not even kidding — they make these. I can attest to that. I wore the OhMiBod Club Vibe 3.OH to Ultra Miami, and it was an adventure. It fits inside a pair of underwear and vibrates when it detects sound. Because the music is so loud, nobody will even hear the vibrations — or your moans. In all seriousness, though, there probably won’t be any moans, because the vibrations are quite weak and inconsistent. Nevertheless, the way they buzz in tandem with the beat definitely adds a little something.

  1. Eat a ton of delicious food.

I won’t deny that festival food is absurdly overpriced. But if you consider how much money you’d otherwise spend on drugs, it evens out. Some of the best festivals for food are Tomorrowland and Day for Night. Come for the music, stay for the taco trucks.

  1. Crowd surf.

Literally putting your fate in the hands of a crowd of drunk, high, dancing people will give you more adrenaline than a line of coke.

  1. Feel the incredible energy.

Nothing beats that moment when a song everyone loves comes on, the performer pauses right before the hook, then it gets fast and loud and everyone jumps up and down. Music festivals exist for those moments. Those moments will give you a rush of endorphins unlike any other drug. And yes, I mean “other” — because music itself is a drug.

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