Festival season is over. Now what?

How do I go back to real life?

What is real life?

What is my purpose on this planet?


If you’ve been thrown into the heavenly pit of sweat, euphoria, over-priced food, pyro-technics and ringing eardrums, then you know that festival season is the happiest time of year and that the comedown from it is a real thing. It’s worse than any hangover or drug-induced withdrawal.

It’s just sad.

The rest of the year, we drag our feet through life, counting down the days till we pull out our shades and cut-off shorts (for the men, it would be shorts above the knee, of course) and turn into the better versions of ourselves. The turnt up humans we were meant to be. The humans, who can dance sporadically, laugh uncontrollably and scream profanities for no reason. Everything is better, as if those actions are our sole purpose for breathing.

We’ve seen things, heard things, smelled things and experienced things that will make it hard to re-enter our 9 to 5 like the same people we were before.

After a weekend of sun and music, life has changed forever. We’ve seen things, heard things, smelled things and experienced things that will make it hard to re-enter our 9 to 5 like the same people we were before. Some are too intoxicated the whole time or in denial to remember that it even happened. They don’t have it as rough; because all that’s there to prove that it was real are tan lines, an empty wallet and photos their friends will probably blackmail them with years from now.

But many, like myself, are so embedded in it that the thought that the experience could be over is too much. The nostalgic depression exists and it hits harder than a mosh-pit elbow to the face.
I feel your pain.

After years of searching for the cure, it has become clear that there is none, but there are some steps that can be taken that don’t involve prescription medication or therapy. I’m writing this list for me, but I know there are more of you out there and it’s not right to suffer alone.

How To Survive Festival Season Withdrawal:

1. Change your Facebook profile picture, Instagram avi, LinkedIn photo and Twitter wallpaper to your favourite photo of you having the time of your life at your favourite festival of the summer and don’t change it until you take another one next year, because nothing you do the entire year will be as turnt up or worthy of such an online position.

2. It’s important that if you used a porta-potty, you must shower immediately. As in, before you read the rest of this column. Go.

3. Sleep for a week. Chances are, you’ll have no voice or barely be able to walk anyway, and considering you probably sprained your ankle doing the Shmoney Dance all over the grounds. If your boss doesn’t understand, quit your job, because why would you ever want to have a job where they don’t understand the religious holiday that is festival season anyway. That’s no way to live.

4. Do NOT, by any circumstance, take off your wristband. Taking off your wristband means it’s over. It’s better to live in denial forever for your own mental state.

5. Eat a salad. Seriously, there’s only so much over-priced greasy hotdogs, energy drinks and warm beer your body can take before it starts to shut down.

6. Throw out all the clothes you wore. Not because they are probably stained and dirty beyond repair from moshing against people you’ve never met or spilling drinks on yourself because the DJ just spun “No Flex Zone”. Throw them out because you can’t bare the thought of rocking them again if it isn’t accompanied by scorching sun, live music or OVO Fest.

7. Cry. Just let it out.

8. Search for all the people you met during the weekend on social media so you can share photos and stories with because your real friends just won’t do anymore. If they weren’t there, they won’t understand who you are, because you’ve changed.

9. Listen to the same artists and songs you just witnessed live, over and over while scrolling through the endless blurry photos and muffled videos on your newly cracked phone.

10. Start planning for next year.

I’m grateful I survived, grateful for the experiences, grateful for my new freckles and grateful for all the incredible acts at CMW, NXNE, Ruisrock, Blockfest and Flow Festival I’ve witnessed so far this year.

FestivalSZN forever.


Samantics is a weekly column, written by columnist Samantha O’Connor, highlighting and discussing the Toronto hip-hop community – the talent, the identity, the events, the slang, the industry and all things in between.

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