Festival season is officially upon us! We can’t wait to reunite under the sun with our festival fam and rave to our favorite artists all night. There’s so much to do before your first festival of the year and so many ways to prepare to make the experience even more enjoyable. One of the most popular trends in rave culture today has been the rise of festival totems. What is a festival totem, you ask? Festival totems are big, bold, and sure to get your attention. They come in all different shapes and sizes and can be a hilarious way to meet some new people and mark your location at your next rave. They’re an excellent way to stand out amongst the crowd and locating your friends becomes much easier when you have one handy.

Totems are essentially giant signs you create and bring to the festival to use as a landmark. They can usually be seen from a distance and are designed to be easy to notice and eye-catching. Some of the most hilarious encounters at festivals can be a result of a festival totem, and they’re without a doubt a great way to add to your festival fun. In this guide, we’re going to explain exactly how you can create your very own totem as well as proper totem etiquette so you don’t literally get in the way of anybody else’s festival experience.

Planning Your Totem

Planning Your Festival Totem

The first step in building your very own totem is to first iron out the details. What will your totem be built out of? How much will it weigh? How large will you make it? What’s the inspiration behind it? These are all important things to think about before constructing your totem. It is important to remember that someone will need to be responsible for the totem at the festival, so you don’t want to make it too large or too bulky. You don’t want it to become an inconvenience when you have to lug it around all day. In addition, be sure to take all the variables of the festival into consideration. Trust us when we say you don’t want to put all that effort into creating your very own totem just for it to be ruined by some bad weather or poor planning. Once you decide on your genius totem idea, the next step is making sure you have a strong foundation for your totem.

Choosing a Base

Totem Base

Selecting a base for your totem is very important because it will determine how high your totem will sit and how easy it is to carry around. Some popular base choices include PVC pipes, wood, or retractable metal poles. Ideally, you want your base to be lightweight so you can easily carry it around all day, but still durable enough to survive the elements and festival grounds. Retractable poles like the ones used for pool nets are a great choice because they are not too heavy and you can retract the pole which makes storage much easier. When it comes to choosing your base, the taller, the better. If your base is not long enough, you may risk blocking the view of the stage from anyone standing behind you. The higher your totem is, the easier it will be for your friends to find in the crowd.

Choosing the Head of Your Totem

Festival Totem Head
Festival Totem Head

Choosing the head of your totem is a great opportunity to show your awesome personality or your hilarious sense of humor. Totem heads can be designed with anything from poster board or cardboard signs to flags, plush toys, fruits (you’d be surprised how many pineapple totems we’ve seen), and more! Memes are always a hit, but whatever you think might get a good laugh or is unique enough to be spotted from anywhere will make a solid choice for your totem head. When going with large signs that include a lot of surface area, wind can sometimes be an issue, and you’re also more likely to block someone’s view of the stage. The head of your totem is what everyone will see, so make sure you go with something you’re really feeling great about.

Constructing your totem

Building Your Festival Totem

There are several ways to get the head of your totem attached to your base. Some of the most popular options include hot glue, zip-ties, duct tape, and rope, but it really depends on the types of material and sizes you are working with. Experiment with what gives you the most stable option and get to constructing from there.

Decorating your totem

Decorating Your Festival Totem
Decorating Your Festival Totem

Realistically, you can stop building your totem once it’s constructed, but this is a perfect opportunity to go all out and make your totem truly your own. Decorate your totem with paint, lights, glow sticks, stickers, or anything you can think of! The more unique your totem becomes, the more noticeable it will be among the rest. This is a great way to really show off your creativity and personality with the finishing touches of your festival creation.

Festival Totem Do’s

  • Before you build, be sure to check what types of totems and materials are permitted inside the festival
  • Make sure your totem is colorful, unique, and easy to spot
  • Get creative! The more creativity you put into your totem the more fun you will have building it
  • Make something specific to you and your friends for easy locating
  • Check the weather to avoid ruining your totem
  • Stand towards the back or the sides of the stage to avoid blocking the view of others

Festival Totem Don’ts

  • Don’t block the view of others in the crowd. Remember the taller the pole, the better
  • Don’t put anything offensive on your totem
  • Don’t hit anyone with your totem
  • Don’t leave your totem unattended on festival grounds
  • Don’t make things too complicated. The more you add to your totem the heavier it will be
  • Don’t become too attached to your totem. They can and will deteriorate after multiple extended uses

There you have it, everything you need to know about building your own festival totem. As the festival season continues to ramp up, we can’t wait to see what kinds of hilarious totems you all will produce. Over the past year, there has been plenty of new memes, shows, and characters for you to reference, so coming up with a head for your totem should be no problem! For more music and festival content, be sure to check out our blog at The Inspo Spot, and for more of the freshest festival gear check us out at Spencers.com