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Operation Manatee Presents Regina Folk Fest Survival Guide 2016

I’m dusting off my summer hats, digging out my older, more festival-worn Birks, lining up my beads, stocking up on film, curating playlists, and just getting in the mood for the single most fun weekend in Regina!

This is the weekend I look forward to the most, every year. People are smiling and singing, music is playing, you’re out in the fresh air, with friends – new and old, no judgments are made. Yep. It’s pretty great. Don’t just go and expect the will of the universe to provide though (actually, you could probably get away with that, at this event)! Take these as handy tips to aid you in your delightful time.

Those who remember previous years’ Survival Guides (or those who don’t: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012), know that traditionally, I’ve focused on the settlers. This one is for the nomads, so there are two categories below…

Essentials You’ll Need, No Matter What

  • Camera: Yeah, I know. Who still owns a camera? They’re in our pockets, right? I’ve said it time and time again: cell phone cameras are fine for mostly daytime snapshots, but a real camera (and you can get them for cheap, if you look) is worth every penny (scroll to bottom for a handful of gems from last year).
  • Water Bottle: This festival has free water refill stations! Give that a second………………………………………. Right?
  • Hippy Pack: No, you don’t need to buy something made in Nepal with a big old “ॐ” on it (although no one will stop you – especially if you buy it at the FF arts market) – just something sturdy, and possibly something big enough to fit records – if you’re into that kind of thing – which I am. At times, this has been my home for LPs, CDs, a coffee mug, rain coat, garbage bags (po’ man’s tarp), sun block, snacks, FF program… Trust me; this is an essential item!

Other Stuff You’ll Be Glad You Brought

  • Bike: What festival has a bike valet? Uhthisone. Righthere. Regina is not the most bike-friendly city. I get it. Trust me. But if this is a viable option for you: do it. It’s so great seeing everyone out on their ride, knowing they have somewhere safe and convenient to keep it, and it’s obviously just better to be on the bike… obviously.
  • Hat: If you have any intention on seeing the day-time freebies (which you obviously are), don’t forget. Wouldn’t hurt to keep those sunnies nearby too.
  • Rain Gear: If you don’t live in Regina, please just take my word on this. I’ve gone the whole weekend carrying an umbrella around, I’ve packed raincoats and ponchos… whatever works. A dry RFF-goer is a happy RFF-goer.
  • Money: I like to leave this one for last, to de-emphasize it a bit, but I always mention it. I also always mention that you can have an absolute riot at Regina Folk Festival without spending one thin dime (again, experience talking). Free daytime shows, pack a lunch, and you’re good to go. But if you want merch, festival grub/drinks, it’s going to cost you. And if you don’t set a limit, it will cost you a lot.

See you in the park tomorrow. If you happen to see me (the dude in the featured image at the top of this page), be sure to stop and say “Hi.”

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