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Hi loves! I'm barely a week out of the wildness of Bonnaroo and it was one of those somewhere over the rainbow, traveling to the north star and back, 100 trips around the sun types of experiences.
I could write for days on end about the feelings, the music, the friendship and the food we experienced.... however here today I've got three things to share with you.
1. How to get in the mood for a festival of this size.
2. How to spirit guide yourself into the best style & beauty choices for a festival weekend.
3. My top picks of the weekend in regards to bands, pop-up shops and food!
Sound good? Let's go.
Getting in the Mood
1. Focus on the possibilities to come: to be honest if I was an impatient person a festival of this size could be daunting... the first day will require you to navigate traffic, figure out parking, sort out gate entries, and learn the grounds... however keep in mind that every moment is an opportunity to experience something new. I traveled to Bonnaroo with my little sister, and lucky for me, she'd been several times before... so good news! She knew how to navigate our way around as we finally got settled on day 1. We sorted through the waves of people and settled in ready to take the weekend in stride.
2. Be Present: There is so much good music, yes - but a festival like this will give you time to connect with your friends (new and old) on a completely different level. I checked my iPhone health meter and we were literally walking 8-10 miles everyday... journeying from stage to stage, to the campgrounds and back... and with that sort of time you can really bestow some heartfelt attention on your traveling partners. Michelle and I were able to connect on so many things during that time, I think it's truly one of the reasons I love festivals the most.
3. Find a thrill in curiosity: If I only saw the bands I knew when I arrived at Bonnaroo I would have missed so much. On the first night we saw Mondo Cosmo... why? I had never heard of them, but the name sounded right up my alley (hi "cosmo") so we went and it was a blast. The last day Ben joined us and recommended a UK band Royal Blood... again, never would have thought of it, but watching the wild 90's style mosh pit that formed at 2 pm (from a safe distance) was a bit of a thrill!
Spirit Guide Your Style
I am girl that dresses myself the same way I did when I dressed in costume as a child. There were a few mornings that I wondered... is this too much? However, here's my thoughts when it comes to festival style.
1. Be your boldest you: Well, first start with a comfortably stylish shoe and then move forward. There's not many times on a given week that you'll feel comfortable donning loads of patches, fringe, sequins and twirly dresses.... or dying your hair shades of highlighter yellow (which I did the night before) ~ however, this IS a time to be bold. I honestly pursue getting dressed in the morning for me and me only, and I highly recommend taking that approach too... so if you're your boldest you on the festival grounds you'll surely get more comfortable being that in regular life too.
2. Let it breathe: while being bold is one thing, keeping your skin happy and healthy goes along with it. I chose light weight dresses and cotton patterned sets and layers and layers so as the cold air set in at night I'd be able to warm up. Quality fabrics will allow your skin to breathe and you'll feel better for it.
3. Channel your inner dancing queen: I truly danced the days away every.single.day. When I was little I was certain I'd be a dancer on one of those 80's TV shows... Solid Gold anyone? So put your hair up, slather on the glitter and make the festival grounds your own personal dance floor.
Top Picks of the Weekend
1. Favorite shows: Mannnnn, this is a hard one - there was so much good stuff! However, here's a few acts that I was MIND BLOWN 💥 by:
Crystal Castles (for their punked out ghostly insaneness), Glass Animals (hiiiii that's me twirling madly way down front), Tegan & Sara (yep, me again down there), The XX (the interaction on stage is sheer magic), & Aaron Lee Tasjan (best dressed, best guitar shred and the best of Nashville for sure).
2. Best pop up shops: Mamie Ruth! I stopped by everyday for glitter freckles and new wardrobe.
3. Best food: Subway. Every day at 4:30 we ventured back to the Subway Greenroom (they literally built an entire store including a stage for acoustic sets on the fest grounds). We ate red pepper hummus wraps (soooo much better than overpriced fest pizza), an awesome vegetarian option and dudeeees it was free - to everyone.
I truly can't thank you guys enough for following along on my festival adventures. As the music loving girl that I am, these trips have been so incredibly special. So as the sunsets on Bonnaroo, I promise to be back again with more of these to come!
This fest season I've been so incredibly fortunate to be invited by Subway to hit the road with them to attend a few of the top music festivals across the country. I shared my 10 Things to Stay Cool at Summer Fests' list right before taking off for Hangout, and I'm happy to report back that my packing list served me well. This post was a paid partnership.
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This fest season I feel so incredibly fortunate to be invited by Subway to hit the road with them to attend a few of the top music festivals across the country. I shared my 10 Things to Stay Cool at Summer Fests' list right before taking off for Hangout, and I'm happy to report back that my packing list served me well. This post is a behind the scenes look from one seriously killer weekend!
I stumbled across an IG post the other day, right before taking off for the Hangout Festival - it included an excerpt from a reddit thread and said this:
Man, did that post hit me. The reality for me is I DO care about the Grand Canyon, and I care about every other place we share with you here in this space. Travel has truly set my life on fire. Since I spent that summer in Spain a few years back I never, ever, not even kind of - wanted to look back. That summer marked the moment I left my corporate job, decided to pursue my creative passion fully (with plenty of bumps along the way) and live this life with my eyes focused forward.
However, it got me thinking, when I look back on this space, especially, years from now, I want to remember all the in between moments too, not just the ones that made the instagram cut.
When I make a list of things that inspire me it looks something like this:
Travel: road trips, long haul international, beaches, mountains... you name it, I want to do it * Creative expression through style & beauty * Music: all kinds of it * Learning: especially things that engage my more mystical side * Relationships: my romantic one with Ben, and the friendships I've cultivated too
Really, those are the things that do it for me. And, often "Relationships" gets left off the list, because, well maybe it's obvious, but it's truly the most important. So this post is a combination of all of those things, and, in honor of that little note above, it's also a behind the scenes look at what a festival weekend really looks like... not just the pink skies at the top of the Ferris Wheel, but the crazy stories and wild laughter, the moments caught in the rain and the friendships that run through every aspect of that.
First a little back story:
In regards to travel & music: I've been following bands since I was 15. I remember my very first fest, it was a famous one, now based in Chicago, back when it was still a touring event. My bestie and I braided our hair, tie dyed our favorite t-shirts, made flower crowns and drove my '84 Jeep CJ7 to the fest to dance the next several days away.
I was bitten. I couldn't begin to tell you how many festival events or shows I've traveled to at this point in my life... and it's no surprise I ended up with a touring musician as a partner. Every Spring & Summer AKA fest season, I still get as excited as I was that day I went to that first fest. And truly, I still do it the same way. Friends, fest fashion, road trips and all the dancing we can squeeze in over the course of the weekend.
So here we are: below I'm sharing the behind the scenes moments from my time at the Hangout Festival in partnership with Subway. Every photo was shot on our iPhones, like I said, this is what it really looks like (and in the spirit of keeping it real I even shared quite a few of these to insta too 💁🏼)!
Hangout Festival Behind The Scenes
Michelle and I arrived and made a mad dash to catch the first bands. As I mentioned last week, I've been to this festival 4 times now (told ya, I'm a fest junky), and doing this weekend with my sister was so incredibly special. We were well prepared, we'd picked up a little festival kit with hand cleanser, deodorant, wipes and things of that sort plus a rain poncho in case the weather got crazy (which in our case it did)! We were fully prepared for a brilliant good time.
On our list of must sees for the weekend: Mutemath, Band of Horses, Phoenix and MGMT. Bands we saw that I wasn't expecting to kill it as hard as they did? The Suffers, Local Natives and Lany topped my list.
We headed into the Subway Green Room to check in with the team and caught up with a few of the other girls that were in for the weekend too!
One of my first 'jobs' (sometimes I can't believe I get to call it that!) for the weekend was to interview the band Coin in the Subway Green Room. I asked questions like "what job would you have if you weren't a touring musician" and "what songs make you think of the beach?" The guys were a blast, I could feel such a chemistry between them and their acoustic set in the Green Room was stellar.
We closed that first night seeing Phoenix (second time in a week)! wayyyyy down front in the VIP area.
For day 2 I decided to channel my 17 year old self and went full on hippie vibes. Grateful Dead vintage T, with my new dip dyed hair making a full on appearance.
I had another MC'ing sort of job scheduled in the Subway Green Room so were back there mid afternoon. This time I'd be introducing LP, a singer / songwriter out of New York who's written for all sorts of mega stars.
After that we took off to go spend the rest of the day in the music. My favorite set was Local Natives. dude! Watch these guys rock out the close of their show... uhm insane! And, truly the vibe out there that afternoon was so full of love. No one pushing and shoving, just people having the time of their lives. Later we had the funniest experience - a semi crazed party girl came to chat with us while we were eating, we just happened to be sitting at the same table as the band, and she somehow believed she'd seen me on stage dressed as a butterfly. We all just went with it, and the guys told her yep, I am the lead singer, and we're a family band. Ha.
We met up with my New Orleans friend Whitney after that for some pool time and caught the MGMT set pool side. (Have I mentioned how insane the VIP accommodations are at Hangout?!)
The rest of the time the rain came and went. For us, we were just happy to be together and there was plenty of places to take cover and just spend time laughing, eating, drinking and laughing some more. We stayed in the VIP Grove for most of the final day: complimentary drinks, a food tent (with Subway of course, but lots of other additions too). We watched Lany from the special VIP riser in the Grove and caught some serious lounge time too.
I hope you guys have enjoyed this behind the scenes trip to the Hangout Festival. I'll be back out with Subway again at Bonaroo in just a few weeks! Let me know if you'll be there! I love each of you for following along and would love to meet as many of you as possible in person! (Relationships, you guys)!
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I'm finishing packing up for a weekend down at Hangout Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama. I've been to this festival many times, some of my favorite memories of times with friends have happened at this fest. I'm doing this year a little differently, however. I'll be staying at a beautifulllll b'n'b about 30 miles away, and taking notes on things to do for the female adventurer too. (Come back for that post, and follow along on my IG stories to get an inside look at our b'n'b starting tomorrow!)
I've always loved festivals on the beach and to be honest, I JUST checked the line up and am kinda wayyyyy excited: Phoenix, Band of Horses, MGMT and Mutemath are topping my list. It's my first beach weekend of the year, and as a girl that's always happiest by the water it feels like it's the perfect kick off to the summer.
I took a last minute road trip this past weekend to Shaky Knees Festival in Atlanta (and wow, it was a good one! Two weekends in a row of Phoenix, my faveeee, and omg I'm a happy camper.) One of the things I love most about a good road trip is the excitement of jumping in the car and just, well - going for it.
I'm truly thinking through my festival packing list this go round since it's a three day deal. I'll be meeting up with a group of travel & style bloggers in partnership with Subway (yummy salads and "green room" accommodations at the fest, yes please!), and there's two things I'm thinking about as I get my trunk loaded up:
1. Festivals give us the perfect opportunity to rock out our most adventurous bohemian summer fashions (I mean, c'mon whether we like it or not Coachella seems to be the new Fashion Week).
2. I don't want to look like a "fest girl wannabe." At all. And you shouldn't either. Be your best you, and maybe funk it up a bit and you'll have the best time.
So here's what I'm packing and a little of the prep I'm doing before road tripping to the beach tomorrow.
So there we have it loves. I'll catch you guys at the top of the ferris wheel and I hope you guys will follow along this weekend on insta. I'll definitely be sharing a post festival recap. Share your thoughts on my packing list in the comments. Anything I'm missing?! What's your festival style?
This weekend was our first Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival in Franklin, TN. The festival takes place at The Park at Harlinsdale. It's a beautiful horse farm about 20 minutes south of Nashville, an absolutely stunning location for a festival.
From the festival website:
Established in 1933 by W.W. Harlin, Harlinsdale Farm has been called the most significant historic farm associated with the modern Tennessee Walking Horse industry. As famous as the farm itself is its prize stallion ‘Midnight Sun’. The famous horse became the first repeat World Grand Champion. The success of Midnight Sun has yet to be rivaled by any other Tennessee Walking Horse.
When my friend Clif & I arrived we were like giddy little girls, so excited to finally be back with my Ben, and also to catch some seriously amazing bands: Violent Femmes (hellllo middle school Andi), Shakey Graves, Beck and of course Grace and the band. We saw a few bands I hadn't seen before, Kaleo was a favorite of the day.
Day 1 was truly killer. Grace and the guys brought down the house per usual. I just love getting to see Ben, Grace and the band perform to such excited crowds day over day.
We closed out the night with a full on dance party. Beck's set was unbelievable. Everyone was talking about it Sunday morning. We watched from the soundboard, maybe one of the best spots on the farm! Afterwards there was an Electic Western Dance Party back in the Shangrilounge Artist tent. Vinyl records and about 100 people totally getting down.
On day 2 we headed back out, Ben played with New Orleans' stars Better Than Ezra and the line up continued to be one for the books (City & Colour and Hall & Oates topping my list)! I was totally fan girl'ing and snapped a shot of the City & Colour set list right before the show. They're so incredibly good.
The whole weekend was so perfect. I sent Ben back off on the bus late last night. Sad to have him go, and feeling happy that he's down to his last week of this tour, so thankfully he'll be home again soon.
I've been to a million festivals over the years and somehow this one felt different.... like a big family reunion.
Big thanks to Octer for dressing me for the weekend. If you haven't checked Octer do it asap. Their goal is to make online shopping easier than it's ever been. They feature the biggest US stores and something like 8,000 brands ranging from Topshop (which is where my outfits for the weekend came from) to ASOS to Farfetch to Net-A-Porter. Nobody's got time to search every store to find the perfect pieces and Octer definitely simplifies the game!
In all honesty it was so insanely hot (felt like Louisiana) that I was glad to have a few outfit options. I chose a couple of varieties of cotton dresses and stashed them on the bus so I could go change it up when I started sweating through my clothes, ahhhh! Always come prepared for fest weather you guys.
Hope you all had a beautiful weekend!