Should You Bring A Totem To Your Music Festival Experience?

In Buzz, Music Festivals by Sam

If we look back at Music Festivals 40-50 years ago, the view of the audience from the stage would look similar to the Woodstock picture below.

Now let’s take a look at what the same view commonly looks like today. Below is a picture from the most recent Summer Set Festival.

Notice any big differences? What about the hundreds of sticks being held in the air? Those, my friends, are totems, which have become very popular to bring to music festivals.  Totems consist of an object or picture of your choice held up high on a stick.  What is the appeal of them though and is it worth it? Well having experienced festivals with and without totems, there is definitely pros and cons.


Find Your Group

By far the biggest advantage of having a totem is giving your group the ability to find one another. If you have ever been with a big group of friends at a festival, then you can attest to how hard it is to mobilize the entire group from one show to the next- someone is always getting lost or walking too slow. By having a totem, you don’t have to worry about getting separated from your group, since you can always look up above the crowd and locate your totem. There’s also something fun about holding a big stick up high and having a lot of people follow you.

Make Bathroom And Water Breaks Easier

If there is one thing that is guaranteed at a music festival, it is that someone in your group will always be leaving to use the bathroom or fill their water at the most inconvenient time. If you’re in the middle of a huge crowd, how are they going to find your group again? That is the beauty of having a member of your group carrying a totem. Instead of the whole group leaving the show, friends are able to leave to take care of their business and find the group again without a problem. If you make a unique totem, you’d be surprised how easy it is to spot from a distance.

Make People Smile


Get creative with your totem, because everyone else that brings one will! Plus, is there any better gift than laugher? Your fellow festival-goers could alway use a smile from seeing a creative totem!


Someone Has To Hold It

Despite all the benefits of having a totem, the biggest downside is having to carry it around the entire time. This can interfere with your dancing, if you need two hands, and also gets your arms tired. However, if your group agrees to share the responsibility of holding it, then it becomes much more manageable. Additionally, if you have that kid in the group that doesn’t like to dance, then try passing the job on to him- he won’t mind!

Blocking Others’ View

When holding a bulky totem, be mindful of those behind you. No one appreciates getting their viewed obstructed. Then again… if no one wants to stand behind you, does that mean more space for your group to dance..?

Overall, if you will be with a large group of friends at a music festival, we definitely recommend bringing a totem. It will make your festival experience run much smoother, and help everyone stay together. You don’t realized just how helpful a totem is, until you try one out. Just remember to make it unique enough so it stands out from others. Besides, look how much fun the guy below is having with his totem!