Operation Manatee Presents: Regina Folk Festival Survival Guide 2022

Whew! It’s been a minute since I’ve done one of these.

Live music is back and I couldn’t be happier that that includes RFF! I’ll be there, in the park, probably for the whole thing. Actually, both us manatees will be there. More on that at the end.

For now, I’m just happy that we can get together an enjoy this great little festival again! The New Pornographers! Lido Pimienta! Cadence Weapon! William Prince! Begonia! All in our back yard? I mean, come on!

You barely need to bring a thing to have a good time at RFF! You could pretty much wrap this up with, “Be cool and have fun.” However, having attended every Folk Fest for well over a decade now (including last year’s mini COVID fest), I have picked up a tip or two you might find useful. Here’s what you need to make this year’s festival great…

  1. Be cool and have fun. Really, all you need to do is bring that positivity. I always feel so nice at Folk Fest because people are out there dancing, laughing, being kind and just having a great time! Go in assuming everyone will be really nice and they almost certainly will be.
  2. Be COVID-smart. Definitely a new one for this list, but it’s valid. Bring hand sanitizer, maybe some masks – especially if you’re not feeling the whole smooshed-together-with-20,000-of-my-closest-friends thing.
  3. Bring a water bottle. RFF has free, refillable potable water stations and that is really rad! I’d recommend bringing a small bottle that you can easily stash in a bag/purse/whatever.
  4. Camera. Yeah yeah. Everyone has a fancy phone with a fancy camera – and that’s likely enough for most. If you’re a geek like me, though, consider bringing a small step-up from the ol’ cell phone. Great pictures last longer than your memory will – trust me.
  5. Clothing. Sask weather is… let’s say unpredictable, to keep this post PG. Striking the balance between prepared and packing light is important. I usually wear light pants, sandals, and a t-shirt, but pack a light sweater. For me, that’s good.
  6. Bag/backpack. I usually try to do RFF as light as possible, but I like to buy merch, stash my water bottle, maybe even a small blanket. You might need this, you might not. Keep in mind: if you have a sit-down spot, you may need someone to watch your stuff. Conversely, if you’re carrying everything with you all the time, it may be heavy/cumbersome.
  7. Nomad vs. Settler. I’ve split my festivals about 50/50. Half the time, I pack very light and move around whenever/wherever needed. This is great for joining pals without feeling stuck in one spot, and for moving seamlessly from the stage to food vendors or market without having to check in anywhere. The other half, I’ve kept a home base; I carve out a tiny spot with a folded tarp and blanket (even lawn chairs), and make friends with neighbours to make sure my stuff stays safe and volunteer to watch their stuff, in turn.
  8. Money. As I mention every year, you don’t need a single, thin dime to enjoy your time at RFF! In fact, if you just attend the free, daytime stuff, you don’t even have to pay for the festival, itself. That said, there’s band merch, food vendors, a whole market. Maybe set yourself a dollar limit, then have at it. 🙂

That’s pretty much it. Of course, you can be more or less prepared. It’s kind of about striking that balance between travelling light and being comfortable. Outside of that, just show up with a smile and you’ll be great!

If you’re hitting Folk Fest this year and you happen to spot me or Cory (Cory will be volunteering again, in some capacity), come say hi!

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