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Neon paint illuminated against a cardboard backdrop: unlucky music fans adorn a handmade poster as festival officials attempt to regulate Woogie Weekend traffic and integrity. Over the course of the three-day music and dance affair created by the DoLaB from July 8th-10th, several individuals tried their hand at trekking the Silverado hills to gain access into the coveted festival.
We’ve all been there–it’s festi season, the lineups are stacked, and you’re envisioning yourself basking in the shadows of your favorite techno bassline, but your bank account is telling you otherwise. In recent years, events like Woogie Weekend, Lightning in a Bottle, and Coachella are more likely to be accompanied by a hefty price tag.
Let’s take a look at the damage from Woogie Weekend: a full weekend pass (including service fees) to WW was $172.80, a 2-day pass ($135.88), and a 1-day pass ($77.85). All tickets include walk-in camping, but if you’re the vast majority, you’re shelling out an extra $88.40 for car camping (not to mention $172.80 for RV camping). All in all, if you aren’t planning to peruse the enticing vendors, you’re looking at $261.20 as a minimum base price.
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For some, that’s enough to have them mapping out the route less traveled. It’s a well-known fact that music festivals can get awfully expensive, especially as they continue to gain exposure and expand on acts and amenities. And while sneaking in may save you a dent in your pocket, it’s worthwhile to take note that ticket sales translate directly into funds for the event as well as future ventures. So it’s no surprise that fully developed festivals will take extra precautions to ensure all heads in attendance are paying customers.
Founders like the Do LaB’s Director of Marketing, Jesse “Y2” Shannon, are working towards ways to solve this issue and deter future offenders: “If people feel love and dedication for what we do, it would be nice if they didn’t try to steal it… it is pretty much like stealing out of our pockets. With that said, many of us on the team have snuck into our fair share of events. There’s the thrill of sneaking in and it’s always nice to save a few bucks. But we also believe in supporting the things we love.”
But the realities of stealing are often muted by the heartfelt intention of adding something to the scene. As Nick Taylor puts it, “LiB (Lightning in a Bottle) is inviting more people into this community. A lot of the crowd that came this year were new to LiB and wanted to get in on that vibe… And the people who want it that bad make the festival experience”. Most early burners or renegades thrive off intimacy and a collective effort to spread love and good vibes, deeming them relatively affordable. But no matter the humble origins, there’s no denying the progressive lifecycle of a music festival. Simply put, the more fans you attract, the more you need to expand on overhead and logistics. And when it comes to attending events that pay artists to perform, the lines begin to blur between true enthusiasm and stealing.
So in order to save you some headache, we’ve compiled a few tips to stay money-smart at festivals like Woogie Weekend:
What do you value? Something tangible? An experience? A haven for friends and strangers to gather? If you’re a true fan, supporting artists and production teams that pour their heart and soul into creating a safe space should come easily. So the next time you decide to sneak into a music festival like Woogie Weekend, save yourself the trouble of hopping fences and having a muddled conscience and support your community.
If you’re craving some Woogie action, check out this Woogie Weekend after-movie:
Connect with Do LaB + Woogie Weekend
Woogie Weekend: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Do LaB: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, I aspire to stimulate the minds of others through various forms of art including but not limited to multimedia artwork, web design, and writing. My free time consists of vinyasa yoga flowing, dance hooping, mindful meditating, scenic hiking, and Netflix watching (specifically documentaries about nature). Feel free to reach out to me with your opinions on my work; I deeply appreciate sharing ideas with strangers!