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10 MUSIC FESTIVAL ARCHETYPES
1. Kandi kid
You know those people with the colorful beaded bracelets strung halfway up their arms? The ones with the neon tutus and pacifiers hanging out of their mouths even thought they’re full grown adults? Those are kandi kids. They’re all about PLUR and are usually pretty nice but in an annoying, overly positive way. They love Molly and receiving lightshows from their glover friends. They’re usually pretty new to the scene and call every show that they go to a rave.
Wooks are the people who walk around barefoot and unshowered with a wire wrapped spoon hanging on a piece of hemp around their neck. Their clothes are usually baggy and slightly tattered—lots of tie-dye, acid wash, and Grateful Dead bears. They’re like a combination of a hippie and gypsy, trading, bartering, and borrowing their way through festivals. You can usually find them at the jam band stage or at some lower level EDM artist, definitely nothing that could be considered mainstream. For a more in depth description on this specific archetype, check out my article, “How to be a Wook”.
Chads are those guys who wear Hawaiian shirts to music festivals ironically. They usually have a joint tucked behind one of their ears and take three doses even though they most certainly cannot handle three doses. They’re the type of guys who put on Sublime at a house party. At festivals, you can usually find them in the back of the crowd somewhere, their long, surfer-esque hair tousled and messy, their pupils huge and dilated, watching the lightshow with mouth agape, in a sort of acid-fueled trance. The next day, you can find them talking shit about how those doses really weren’t even that strong and how their guy back home can get much better.
4. Jaded basshead
This person has been in the scene for a while. They started following Bassnectar back in 2012-2014, back when he was actually good according to them. Still, they go see him when he’s at a festival they’re at, then pick apart the setlist afterwards. They began to dislike him after his Noise vs. Beauty album. After that album dropped, they started getting into smaller artists like G Jones and Truth and Yheti.
5. Not at all jaded basshead
These bassheads don’t care if Bassnectar plays straight house for the entirety of his set. These bassheads are ride or die. Bassnectar is their lord and savior and they will make sure that you know it. In fact, they don’t even call him Bassnectar. They’re such dedicated fans that they feel they’ve earned the right to be on a first name basis with him, so they called him Lorin. Some even call him Daddy Lo. They don’t wear something unless it’s got a bassdrop on it. Shirts, hats, dresses, leggings, jerseys, patches, jewelry, scarves, socks...they’ll put a bassdrop on anything and wear the emblem proudly. They’ve seen Bassnectar 43 times, but you don’t need me to tell you that because they will within five minutes of meeting you. They spend way too much time trying to predict which songs he’s going to play for each set, even though they always end up more than happy with whatever he actually ends up playing.
6. Self-declared headbanger
These people can be found at an Excision or Zeds Dead set. Basically, if a DJ’s thing is asking the crowd to throw a letter up (X for Excision, Z for Zeds Dead) in the middle of their set, they’re about it. They headbang so hard that their neck is sore for days after the show. They go out of their way to be the most savage person at the festival. They love being on the rail and will push you out of the way to get to it. Lost Lands is their motherland and Excision is their god.
Not to be confused with Chads, bros can usually be found traveling in packs. They spend five day a week in the gym, but never do any cardio or leg days, so they’ve got a slight beer belly, ripped arms, and thin legs. They’re usually wearing bro tanks with things like “Eat Sleep Rave Repeat” or “Party With Sluts” printed on them in big block letters. They made fun of the kids who listened to EDM in high school, and the only name they know on the lineup is The Chainsmokers. They’re pretty much just here to drink Coors Lite and prey on girls. Don’t accept a beer from them, ladies. It’s probably been roofied.
8. The human camcorder
This person, usually a guy, can be found standing somewhere in the middle of the crowd with his cell phone held above his head for the majority of every set. He wants to record every moment so he can look back later to relive it rather than actually living it while he’s there. It’s almost as if his cell phone becomes an extension of himself when he goes into recording mode. People dance around him, but he has a wide stance to ground himself so as not to get pushed or shoved and his arms remain straight and steady above his head.
9. Creepy lone old dude
This guy is over 30 and usually wearing cargo shorts. He lingers on the outskirts by himself, watching everyone around him. He doesn’t care if you catch him staring at you. He has no shame. He does have a receding hairline though and a pair of old white Reeboks on that he should have 86ed back in 2010. He’s probably an undercover cop.
10. Trust fund baby
Last but not least, there are the trust fund babies. These are the people whose parents bought their festival tickets for them. They always do VIP and either get hotels or pay extra for the glamping package at camping festivals. They show up to the festival each day with a fresh face of makeup, fully charged phone, Instagram-worthy outfit, and flower crown that cost them upwards of $200. They usually hang out in the VIP lounge or in the back of the crowd, phone in one hand, drink in the other, snapping selfies for them to post on their social media. 9/10 times, they’d rather be at Coachella.
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