Bros, coked out yuppies and 12-year-old ravers. Yep, must be a music festival. And people-watching is half the entertainment. Whether you’re among them or trying to avoid them, you’re bound to witness these 22 different stereotypes at any music festival.
1. The Hipsters
These people came solely for the “experience” (whatever that means). They’re just here to dress like a hippie (outfitted in a flower crown and high-waisted shorts supplied by H&M) and take an unhealthy amount of selfies. They float around each festival searching for celebrities and style blogs to take their picture. They had a “Coachella Style” Pinterest board three months before the festival, and they somehow keep forgetting the name of the band that’s currently playing: “They were in that iPhone commercial, right?”
2. The Yuppie Vacationers
They took the weekend off from their job at Google to indulge in a three-day cocaine and caffeine bender. They’re usually in the front during every set going crazy because they have never experienced the magic of live music before.
3. The Crazy Costumers
Where the hell does one even procure a Big Bird costume or one of those all-encompassing spandex suits? These people likely took a detour to rob a Party City on the way to Bonnaroo.
4. The Ravers
You can usually spot a raver by their disproportionate clothing-to-bracelet ratio–too many colorful beads and some form of lingerie or swimwear. Then there’s the obligatory pacifier/whistle, fishnets, fluffy leg warmers, animal ears, furry backpack and fairy wings. You can find them in the techno tent eagerly awaiting the next bass drop. No, we haven’t seen your friend Molly and we don’t want a lightshow.
5. The “Please Don’t Stop the Music” People
This is a group of people on the same mental plane, which is far, far away from everyone else. They endlessly and effortlessly spin, even if there’s not a bassline or a beat to be heard. They came to dance, and nothing will stop them—especially not a lack of music.
6. The Tweens
You set up camp next to a minivan with a gaggle of high school girls and a chaperone that resembles Regina George’s mother. Is this a Girl Scout field trip? These kids just had to see Jack Johnson, but their parents wanted to supervise to make sure they wouldn’t take part in all of the sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll that festivals ostensibly support. Or they’re playing the cool card and sneaking their offspring sips of their Heineken.
7. Drunk People Taking Care of Drunker People
Guaranteed to entertain even more than that new band you were on the fence about seeing. These are underage girls struggling to get their inebriated friend to the port-a-potties to purge before security catches on. Also known as the group of people flailing around in the crowd, (unsuccessfully) trying to hold up a dude who’s drooling and looks like he’s about to pass out any minute.
8. Out-of-Place Old-timers
You always see that older person who may or may not be trying to relive Woodstock or wants to see what’s up with “kids these days.” They usually sit down in the shade, looking lost or awkwardly trying to soak up the “vibes” in Tevas and boonie hats.
9. The Hardcore Kids
They’re embarrassed to admit they actually like electronica and are “only here to see (insert obscure punk band here)”. These guys are having Warped Tour withdrawals so they start a mosh pit at a Sigur Ros set and ruin everybody’s day. While everyone serenely sways to the music, here they come with an elbow to the face. Can you not?
10. The Newbs
There is a constant glimmer of hope and fright in their eyes as they try to navigate the sweaty, drug-addled, half-naked crowd. They’ve really only lived vicariously through YouTube videos and tall tales from their friends, so experiencing a festival firsthand is kind of overwhelming. They’re struggling, but loving every minute of it.
You can spot a newb from a mile away because they rock a souvenir tee and those free, knockoff Ray Bans from the promotional tent.
11. Shirtless Bros
Costco-sized pack of Red Bull? Check. A different pair of aviators for each day of the festival? Got it. Fist pump game? Strong. Shirt? No way.
The shirtless bros pounded one too many Rockstars and are now under the impression that they are actual rock stars. They can be found playing air guitar to Red Hot Chili Peppers.
We do commend them on their ability to simultaneously fist pump and hold a beer, but sadly, this isn’t TRL’s Spring Break.
12. The Druggies
How he got so much paraphernalia through security will forever be a mystery. He sits in a corner of the festival with a mini-dispensary in his camo cargo shorts and is beyond stoked that Coachella lands on 4/20 this year.
13. The Play-By-Players
These people can usually be found on top of someone’s shoulders trying to take the perfect Instagram pic. They just missed Kanye because they were too busy picking a filter, but they’ll just add in a Yeezus hashtag to make it seem like they caught the set.
14. The Festival Snobs
This is their 5th consecutive year at Lollapalooza so they’re allowed to be pretentious and stuck-up. They know where the shortest bathroom lines are, where to get the cheapest food and the fastest way to get back to the campsite, but of course they’re not telling you.
15. The People Pleasers
I don’t know what this guy’s deal is but he is way too excited to be here and it’s kind of creepy. Is he by himself? Did he get separated from his friends, but is too intoxicated to care? Whatever it is, he’s here to enhance your experience. Want to be launched into the air for an epic crowd surfing experience? He’s got you. Need him to hold your spot in line? No prob. Forgot sunscreen? Got you covered, bro. Thanks, but no thanks.
16. The Twins
These girls constantly try to recreate Twin Day from middle school. Except instead of wearing innocent, identical “Vote For Pedro” shirts they sport matching thongs and pasties. They can be found on their boyfriends’ shoulders flashing matching peace signs (or their boobs).
17. The Wild Cards
They are carrying a 3-foot picture of their favorite artist or a random celebrity on a fishing pole. I have so many questions about why people spend their day carrying around a giant stick, but I just can’t stop laughing about imagining them rocking up to Kinko’s and asking for a giant print of Steve Buscemi’s face.
18. Culturally Misappropriated Headgear Wearers
At every festival, there’s always a white dude wearing a sombrero and blonde girls in Native American headdresses. I don’t know how or why this became a trend, but it did.
19. The Complainers
Some guy who really wanted to see Modest Mouse brought along his annoying girlfriend who hasn’t heard so much as “Float On”.
“Where’s Taylor Swift?” she whines from beneath a wide-brimmed hat while she skims Instagram and complains about the lack of cell service.
20. The Injured Warriors
My favorite festival moment was when I found a wayward crutch at the end of a rambunctious final set. Someone raged so hard that they lost their crutch. You always see at least one or two people rocking a boot or a cast who won’t let their injuries stop them from doing their thing.
21. The Awkward Grinders
She looks bored as hell and he’s trying to sneak his hands up her shirt. Can you please get a room? This is painful to watch.
22. The Covert DJ Trying to Be a Normal Dude and Have a Good Time
He played a set at one of the smaller stages this afternoon, and now he’s just trying to catch some tunes like everyone else. Unlike The Newb and The Wild Card, you probably won’t even recognize him, but he’s living proof thatsome people really are there for the music.