8 Reasons Why We Love Festival Mornings

Article by: David Hillier|@Gobshout

Tue February 23, 2016 | 00:00 AM

When you’re looking back at your festival experience after you’ve safely landed back on planet Earth, how often do you replay happened before midday? You may think about that sad-eyed chanteuse who broke your heart as the sun went down on the main stage or you might ruminate about the headline act who defied the odds to deliver the perfect, career-defining set. Hell, you’ll probably even dedicate some brainpower to that crazy guy wearing a goat mask who swore he was Elvis. But the morning as the sun started peeking over the horizon...?

Well, we're here to give you a few reasons to pull an all-nighter in order to experience some of that morning-time magic. Why? Because they are part of the grand clockwork of it all, a hazy time where new festival adventures get hatched and night owls bond with fellow night owls. Without the mornings and their lazy, crusty-eyed rhythm you'd never get those unforgettable moments. 

The Round-the-Clockers

Envision Festival Backpacking 2015 Lane Undhjem

Photo by: Lane Undhjem

You’ll know these because they’ll be playing Prince, Fleetwood Mac or psytrance. They’ll all be wearing sunglasses and be constantly cackling like hyenas. Walk past them and they’ll cheerily involve you in the same gag they’ve been riffing on for the last four hours. You and your friends will have conversations along the lines of "Thank God we’re not camping next to them" and pity the family with young children who made the grievous mistake of not booking into family camping and ended up with the constant barrage of psytrance (instead of babies crying). When you’re waiting behind them in the toilet queue the next morning, they’ll sheepishly avoid eye contact and be having croaky conversations about going home a day early. Long live the round-the-clockers.

Embracing the Normality

Camp Bisco Digboston Cc   01

Festivals are a break from reality and that’s why we go to them. We spend our precious time and hard-earned cash on disengaging from life, in an environment that permits us to do so. The great thing about mornings, however, is they give you an opportunity to show the real you. Yes, you might have turned up topless and twerking in front of your neighbor’s gazebo late last night, but in the harsh light of day, you actually get a chance to have a normal conversation, whether it’s about a band you like or the fancy brand of toothpaste you’re using. If you’re ever going to stay friends with someone outside of a festival it’s most likely here that you’ll put in the groundwork. Sure, it’s all good kissing someone at 4 am when you can’t feel your face and the DJ has just dropped your favorite tune, but it’s those chats in the morning that will let you know if you’re ever going to be just more than Facebook besties.

The Line for Breakfast

Oregon Country Fair 2015 Matte Hanna Food Vendor
Photo by: Matte Hanna

The most important thing to do on a festival morning is to eat as soon as possible. Your body needs energy, and you’ve got to be swift to quell the rumblings of a poor stomach that’s processed nothing but toxins for the last 16 hours. Of course, everyone else is thinking exactly the same thing, so you’ll encounter a giant line of weary, red-eyed festival hounds that would be a horrible ordeal if it weren't also an opportunity to make new friends and bond over last night's debauchery. Who’s the got the energy to moan when they’ve had two hours sleep and they still have last night’s luminous face paint smeared across their face? It’s a wonderful thing, that line, and a testament to our shared, quiet desire to nourish ourselves with fried meat in bread.

Sneaking In a Much-Needed Shower

Bonnaroo 2015 Marco Sanchez   06
Photo by: Marco Sanchez

One of the great mysteries of modern festival going is why anyone who values their time bothers to queue up for the shower late in the day; after all, that's when headliners are taking the stage, friend groups are uniting, and vibes are out in full force. Despite what your mother taught you growing up, you don’t have to be clean, especially not at a festival where literally everyone is packing pockets of dirt or covered in glitter, or both. But if you do want to sneak in a shower or two – of course, spending some time under that warm waterfall will rejuvenate you and send you off into the festival mire in tip-top shape – get it in early. It'll instantly wake you up and get you ready for the day, and come nightfall you'll still be fresh enough to take on an entire night of dancing.

The Chance to Legitimately Do Yoga

Arise Festival 2015 Juliana Bernstein   28

Most festivals doing sunrise yoga sessions these days. Your opinion on this will largely depend on whether you see spirit-boosting pursuits such as this (or the morning jogs that Bestival started doing last year) as antithetical to everything a festival should be about. We say embrace the yoga, dig the healthy stuff, get to work on that Downward-Facing Dog. You’ve got all day and night to hang with your friends and see some bands. Do your body some good before you give in to the bad stuff.

Puffy Eyes That Tell a Thousand Stories

Bestival 2014 Dan Dennison Tents
Photo by: Dan Dennison

Everyone has them, and so do you – in fact, you’re practically tripping over them. If you want to hide them away, don’t even think about leaving that tent without your sunglasses. Roll up those greying bad boys and slouch around looking like a Day-Glo raver, only at 10 in the morning. Yep, puffy eyes are the all-encompassing singular thread that bonds all festival-goers, and perhaps even the universe itself.

Morning Music

Arise Festival 2015 Juliana Bernstein   35

As day turns to night, everything heats up, from the increasing hardness of the music, to the lines for food trucks, and panel discussions. You feel more hurried and stressed, trying to navigate through the hoards to get to where you want to go. In the morning, everyone’s more chilled out, and the atmosphere is more gentle, and the chances of you listening to some reggae or dub increase by approximately 7000%. Other preferred morning music choices include Paul Simon’s Graceland and anything by Air. Don’t settle for anything too energetic. You’ve got the rest of the day for that. Find a juice truck playing Horace Andy, get yourself a smoothie and reminisce on the night before.

Those Sweet, Sweet Sunrise Sets

Symbiosis Gathering 2015 Galen Oakes People   1 Of 55
Photo by: Galen Oakes

If you're lucky enough to be at a festival that has sunrise sets that can keep you and your crew dancing as the sun peeks over the horizon, make sure to be there. The shared delirium of having stayed up all night in order to experience the sheer joy of music with kindred spirits will definitely make it onto your list of favorite festival memories. You definitely won't find yourself doing that on any old school night back in the default world, and that's part of what makes sunrise sets so delectable.