10 Ways to Make the Most out of your Gratitude Migration Festival Experience

Festivals are filled with a thousand different ways to have fun. Like Disneyland for adults, there’s art, music, yoga, workshops, speakers and activities – not to mention the sparkling beach laid out before you like a never-ending playground of art installations, inflatables, and delicious swimming and sandcastle building. That’s why we’ve got ten suggestions for you on how to make the most of your Gratitude Migration festival experience. You might skim the schedule or plan in advance, but once you get here, it’s time to turn off your phone, forget what you had planned, and watch where the wind might take you.

1.     Check out a speaker or film screening

It’s easy to get caught up in the fun and excitement of music and art, but one of the best things about festivals is the chance to be in the same place as thousands of unique people interested in creating a better future for our planet, some of whom you might have to travel far or pay for expensive sold-out tickets to hear speak in person. Stop by the School of Dreams to hear our visionaries talk, check out a film screening and leave inspired to make real changes in the world around you.

2.     Follow your ears, not the schedule.

Some of the best music heard at festivals has less to do with the headlining DJ on stage but those magical spontaneous moments that make a festival what it is: It might be a small drum circle after the stage closes or a solo at a sunrise bonfire jam. It’s great to try and catch your favourite headlining DJ or band; but try to follow your ears and see where that takes you, finding new music rather than just those guys you prepared to hear on your Soundcloud playlist at home.

3.     Volunteer or help out

Photo by Tico Chango

Photo by Tico Chango

If you didn’t get the chance to volunteer officially, that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of ways to help out all those doing their best to make the festival happen smoothly, and there’s no better way to appreciate a great time than by giving it back to others. If you see someone struggling to set up a dome; clean up a station; get people to attend their activity; or keep the beach clean, pitch in and help out. Not only will you take a load off and show your Gratitude, you’ll make a new friend as well.

4.     Open up to new people

Photo by Eraj Asadi

Photo by Eraj Asadi

You're surrounded by people you wouldn't ordinarily cross in day-to-day life: From costumed corporates to nomadic artists, stay-at-home parents to idealistic educators, this is the place to meet the people you might only otherwise meet on Internet message boards or read about in the paper. Open your mind and heart to everyone you meet; find out what makes them tick and what they want to see from this weekend; and you'll be surprised how much magic we can manifest when we're together.

5.     Try yoga or a movement workshop

Photo by No Fear of Missing Out

Photo by No Fear of Missing Out

When there's so much going on at a festival, it's easy to get overwhelmed. Practices like Yoga and Qi-Gong help us come back into our bodies and in the present moment, and there's nothing like doing it on the beach, as we do at Gratitude Migration. Join us in the mind-body-spirit village for yoga classes, sound immersion, shamanic healings and conscious movement dances to step out of the festival haze and back into your body again.

7.     Make an impact

As an eco-conscious, LAPT (leave a positive trace) event, Gratitude Migration is filled with opportunities to have an impact on the environment; from collecting garbage along the coastline to turning it into awesome, inspirational art. Help out at a sustainability station, bring reusable utensils, sort your trash, bring a refillable water bottle, and support local plant-based vendors, and know you're not just filling your belly but doing something good for the world!

8.     Visit a theme camp

This year's Gratitude Migration is centered around "Villages of Light", with theme camps from Burner communities around the northeast gathering together to showcase art, music and collective community. Visit a theme camp or stage takeover to experience a mini Burning Man of your own and see just how far community can take you.

9.     Wander around the art

Photo by Tico Chango

Photo by Tico Chango

Installation and visionary artists  and live painters devote a chunk of their time, money and all of their passion into creating something that will make others think, wake up and notice through the medium of art. The best part about experiential art is the ability to make whatever you want of it - there's no right or wrong answer, just the ultimate you experience. So wander around; gaze in wonder; watch a painting-in-progress; and find a way to make the art your own.

10.  Dress yourself!

Photo by Roland Marconi

Photo by Roland Marconi

Costumes are a favorite component of any festival, and Gratitude Migration is no exception. Raid your long-forgotten dress-up box or dedicate a day to thrift stores; pay a visit to Grandma or swap with friends: The opportunities for the ultimate outfit are everywhere you look; and there's no better way to dress than the costumed daredevil butterfly mermaid leopard warrior you always are but rarely get to be.