After observing another summer full of outdoor music festivals, one thing has become glaringly true. Thanks to the rising prices on festival booze, the stockade-like nature of beer gardens, increasing security and police presence and the ever-rising tide of fun-stabbing Puritanism in this town, it's getting increasingly difficult to establish and maintain a quality Music Festival Buzz (MFB) these days.
So, here are some tips and hints on how to establish and maintain a quality MFB:
1. Pacing and moderation: The most important thing to remember about your MFB is that, while you may want to consume a wide variety of all the delightful powders, pills and potions available, it's not about getting wasted. Getting wasted is what you do to kill boredom. It's what you do when you don't have a music festival to attend.The MFB is very specific. It's the kind of buzz that accessorizes the experience, the kind of buzz that—when Jack White is on that stage melting the lacquer off his Telecaster—will encourage your brain to visualize it smoking and bubbling and dripping to the floor.
There are many phases of the MFB. You've got Def Con: Sober, Def Con: Tipsy, Def Con: Drunk and Def Con: Blind. In the middle of all those, in the dead solid center of the MFB spectrum, is the perfect euphoric, Nirvanic state of MFB known as Def Con: Shining—or, as I call it, shinus perfectus.
2. Build a solid foundation buzz: Of course, one does not simply arrive at shinus perfectus, nor is it easily maintained. Def Con: Shining must be carefully and wisely constructed. Like any work of architecture, there must first come a solid foundation.
Arrange to meet your group at one of your houses and have a little pre-party. Drink some beers and take a few shots of something with a medium- to low-level potency. Stay away from the Rumplemintzes, tequilas and 151s for now and stick with the stuff in the 40-proof range—a Bacardi Limon, perhaps, or anisette, or any of the yummy flavor options of the schnapps series. Just put the bottle in the freezer for a few hours, then pull it out and pass it around. Before you know it, you'll have a fully constructed foundation buzz. Def Con: Tipsy.
3. Smuggle: Now you must build on your foundation. That's easier said than done, what with the hassles of getting to and from the booze gardens, then the lines to show I.D. and the lines to buy the drinks, and, well, I recommend smuggling.
There are several booze-smuggling options, but I prefer using the airplane minis. They are cheap and small. If you get caught, the worst that will happen is they'll be confiscated. Otherwise, you've got four to six ample shots too spread out throughout the day. And, sure, go ahead and buy the hard stuff—the Rumplemintzes, tequilas and 151s shooters—it's about maximizing your resources now, so liquor up.
4. Choose an appropriate narcotic: Basically, you want long-lasting, low-maintenance drugs, drugs you don't have to keep taking every half-hour and, when you do take them, are not overly conspicuous—which is why I like mushrooms.
Wait until you arrive at the venue and pop a half-cap or half-stem, just enough to test the potency and, hopefully, to establish a tingle. The foundation concept still applies, so you should adjust your intake from there.
Of course, tripping would be a mistake. It's too intense, too irreversible. And you run the risk of a bad one, such as when the band you're watching sprouts fangs, the stage cables become snakes and the singer sings a song about how Satan is building a molten torture pit with your name on it and you believe him and flee into the darkness in a flailing panic. Trust me: Save the mushroom trips for the campfire.
5. Choose a healthy-diet strategy: I recommend eating a huge, carbohydrate dripping monstrosity of a late breakfast. Then don't eat anything, other than a snack, for the rest of the day. OK, maybe it isn't the most healthful advice, but this isn't a Men's Health article. Bottom line, too much eating can inhibit, if not disable, your MFB, and one day of unhealthful eating isn't going to kill you, much. Editor's note: CityBeat is not responsible for dietary claims made by the author, who has no medical or nutrition training and is, obviously, intellectually speaking, a half-orange short of the Recommended Daily Allowance for Vitamin C. Do not heed anything he says, and if you do, don't say we didn't warn you.
6. Choose an appropriate hydration strategy: Where the MFB is concerned, this means don't hydrate. Water is a flushing agent. You want the toxins right where they are. Editor's note: See? This is what we're talking about.
7. Hard finish: If it's late and you've seen all the bands you wanted to see and had all the experiences you wanted to have, I think it's OK to top off your shine now. Or, even better, dive headlong into Def Con: Drunk and halfway to Def Con: Blind. So long as your ride is secured, your friends notified and all your potential festival-babe pick-up options exhausted, I say go for it. There's nothing about the rest of the night you need to remember. However…
8. Exit respectably: Be stoned and be cool. If you're one to stumble around, cause fights and grab-ass, well, don't! You're screwing it up for everyone! Instead, why don't we all let the world know that we can get tanked at events without causing problems? Let's let the world see that while we may be drunk and high, we're not jerks. Not like some.Write to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. For more nutrition and health advice, visit www.edwindecker.com/tequila_diet.Would you like your online comment to be considered for publication in our print edition? Include your true full name and neighborhood of residence.