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Operation Manatee Presents Regina Folk Fest Survival Guide 2019

Where does the time go? I can’t believe Folk Fest is here already! This year is going to be incredible! A Tribe Called Red? Bahamas? Blind Boys of Alabama? Ruth B? And… oh, I don’t know… 3 dozen others? I can’t even wait.

Whether you’re coming for a single artist, just the free daytime stuff, only the nighttime main stage stuff, or all of that plus the after parties, we’ve got some helpful tips to help you make the most out of your festival. Trust me, I’ve been doing this a while.

RFF Survival Guide Archives:
2011 – night one, 2011 – night two, 2011 – night three, 2011 – Storytime

While you can definitely survive Folk Fest without a whole lot of extra stuff, there are a couple things I would argue are just plain essential:

1. Vibe
The thing I probably enjoy the most about this festival is the feel of it – people are there to feel good, help each other out, be well, smile, sing, dance, love, and live life. I always see so many smiles! Bring a good vibe and you’ll attract a good tribe. 🙂

2. Water Bottle
The second most important (and my second favourite) thing about RFF is free potable water stations. Surprisingly, not every outdoor festival does this. Take advantage! Bring a small, easy-to-carry bottle for water. It could literally be a life-saver!

Less essential, but still super important in my book:

3. Camera
Consider taking a real camera. Even borrow one if you can. Cell phones are great for snapshots – especially when the light is perfect for it, but being able to take quality photos of a concert at night (think 85% darkness mixed with 15% bright lights) is still not something I’ve seen a fancy cell phone camera do. If you’re into photos, as I am, take a camera. The photo memories are worth the tiny bit of extra bulk!

4. Appropriate Clothing
Might sound like a no-brainer, but the weather here is unpredictable. Be prepared to wear shorts/skirt, but consider a sweater, rain jacket, etc. Also worth mentioning in this category is not to wear your very best pair of shoes. If it rains cats and dogs – even outside of festival hours – the park is going to be muddy. Take it from someone who virtually ruined a new pair of rather expensive leather and cork sandals (which are now my festival sandals)!

5. Hippy Pack
I basically just don’t want to admit I bring a murse, so… “hippy pack”. If you’re at the festival all weekend, like me, you’re there for a while. It’s a long haul. You need a home for your festival program, water bottle, records/CDs, t-shirts…


6. Travel

Kinetic Automatic
Bike: Historically, RFF has had a bicycle valet. To be honest, I’m not sure if this is still a thing. I hope it is, though, as I bike, and this is an awesome feature! Car: I get it. Biking in Regina is not always the best option. Most of the city features exactly no bike lanes, most motorists know exactly nothing about what to do when driving near a cyclist, and downtown is just about impossible to access from some parts of time.

7. Experience

The Nomad The Settler
Pack light enough that you can always move around with everything you brought. It’s easier and you never have to worry about something getting lost/stolen (not that that’s usually a threat at RFF). It’s also far easier to get up and dance, meet up with friends, or go get another drink without any extra steps. Bring a lawn chair, blanket, tarp/garbage bags. Bring it all! Get there early and scope out your spot (remember, full-size lawn chairs in the back, low riders in the middle, and ground-seating right up front). Make friends with your neighbours. This is a big part of why I’ve never had anything stolen at RFF. If you meet your neighbours and offer to help them out, they’ll help you out without you even having to ask (remember that whole vibe thing I mentioned?).

8. Money

Don’t Spend A Dime Spend All The Dimes
I have been to RFF and only experienced the free daytime stuff. It’s one of the best parts of this festival! All daytime hours Saturday and Sunday, there is non-stop music and fun. You truly don’t need to spend money to have a good time. I have also spent a lot (don’t ask) of money a RFF. I love buying music directly from artists, and I’m guilty of partaking in a lot of delicious festival grub.

That’s pretty much it. Honestly, this post probably makes it seem like there’s more to this than there is. Then again, if you check out those archives, above, I’ve definitely gone more overboard than what you see here (garbage bags, sun block, etc., etc.). Sometimes, it just pays to be prepared. Bring a water bottle and a smile, and you’ll be fine. Make new friends, meet old ones. Whatever, it’s all good.

ps. Come see me (Chris, the guy in the picture at the top of this post) at the CJTR booth on Saturday between 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM. We’re doing a live broadcast from the park once again. I’ll be chatting with artists and festival-goers. Or, just say “Hi” if you see me in the park!

psps. I’ll be handing out free download cards for my record label, during the weekend. If you see me, hit me up for some free tunes!

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