9 Tips to Make New Friends at a Party or Festival when Going Solo

Give yourself a chance to experience things in a way you never thought would be possible; Going solo to a festival, club or party could possibly become one of the most transformative and memorable experience you get to do. Party at your own rhythm, meet like-minded people, make new friends and create life-time memories.

1. Going solo is better than not going at all

Whether your friends don’t have the money or the time or interest in going with you to that amazing party, don’t let them dictate your faith. Stop watching things pass by, try going solo instead. Meeting new people at a party or festival is fairly easy. Most people are there to have a good time and enjoy the music, so you already have something in common with almost everyone. If you are excited about the music and the venue in general, you will have a great time and be surrounded by plenty of like-minded souls to hang out with. 

What’s more?  If you are a social butterfly, festivals are a great opportunity to meet new people and do whatever the hell you want without dealing with compromises. If you live in a small city or town, chances are you will run into someone you know. Remember: You decide of the programme and of what's fun!

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2. Give your stress wings and let it fly away!

I remember my first time going alone to a festival. I had bought tickets for me and a friend. While organising travel arrangements, my friend told me she was no longer interested and able to go. I was in shock. How could she do that to me? I felt heart-broken, disappointed and sad. I was looking forward to the festival and knew no one else going. Could I possibly go alone? Do people go alone to festivals? I decided to find out.

I sold back my friend’s ticket, booked my train and airbnb and there I was: Ready to party alone! My first hour at the festival was both odd and amusing. I felt like a lost kid in Disneyland. I arrived early for the first hours. I went for a long walk, took pictures, watched the sunrise, listened to a few sets, drank a few beers and slowly let the stress fly away. A few hours in I felt ready to socialise, meet new people and get over my fear of talking to strangers.

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3. Wear cool trinkets / Talk about music

“I love your socks!” “Oh, I love this track, do you know the name of that track?” “Where did you get that cowboy hat?” “Can I have a sip of your beer?” “Look, there’s a unicorn!” 

No matter what it is, skip the odd “Hey, how ya doin'." Festival and party people are fun, colourful and love music! Start the conversation. Comment on someone else's outfit or talk about music. Make your dance partners laugh, laugh with them. It's the best way to start making friends.

What's moreLight-up earrings, fun djellaba, bright red wig, glitter, crazy ornaments, neon party socks ... Trigger attention with cool trinkets and get people to comment on your outfit. Who wouldn't want to know where you got that pink leopard legging that lights up at night?

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4. Take a lighter with you (or a pen)

The oldest tricks in the world always work. If you are a smoker, ask someone else if they got a lighter for you. If you are non-smoker, take a lighter with you or offer cigarettes to people. It's a great conversation opener to meet new people.

The trick also works with a good old pen. Write your new friends names and phone numbers when everyone else's phone battery just died (usually at the end of the festival or club night).

5. Bring a Fan

My favourite party accessory is a fan. I offer air to people on the dance floor when it's hot -- or just water. Every dancer gets thirsty and hot after a while. People usually respond with sighs of happiness, hugs and offering me a sip of their cocktail as thank you. Bring your new best friend, the fan, to festivals and clubs and never be on the dance floor alone again. 

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6. Pretend you lost your friends

Identify a fun crowd on the dance floor and stick with them. Comment on the music and shout how cool their sunglasses are. When you're ready, it's time to bring the conversation to a new level with a polite- “Do you mind if I stay with you a little bit? I lost my friends!” Everyone can relate to how shitty it feels when you lost your friends. Their big heart will feel nothing but compassion and you will be invited to tag along as long as you want.

After a while, your new dancing buddies may ask “Do you have any news of your friends?” - “No, they didn’t reply to any of my texts”. After a few hours “Wow, your friends are really not cool for not trying to find you”, to which you can confess “Actually, I have no friends. I came alone”. Your new group will usually respond with a big group-hug “Don’t worry, you’re not alone, we are your friends now, you stay with us!”.

I’m still friends today with that German festival crew I used this trick with years ago. When I saw them dancing with a palm tree balloon as a mascot and gifting neon fairy glow sticks on the dance floor, I knew we would be friends! 

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7. Getting a group together through a party app

Meet new party people through social apps. Party with a Local is a free mobile app that connects people together who like to party. You can join an existing group going to an event or get a crew together yourself. 

Whats more: The app exists worldwide and is community driven. Party enthusiasts include a mixture of locals, travellers and party ambassadors. As I like to say on a more relaxed note "We connect ravers to raves" (we are not a dating app!).

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8. Create a festival exchange

Meet new people, keep in touch: Repeat! After just a few events you will have new party buddies. Most of them you will only meet at parties, and a small percentage which may actually add meaning to your life and  never leave. Keep in touch with new people you meet, ask them out to the next event or invite your new crew to join your home-based one. 

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9. Smile, the world can't stop you now

Perhaps there will still be moments when you feel lonely, surrounded by people who came with friends. To that my advice would be to smile, always smile. Put a nice grin on your face even if you feel sad, miserable and alone. Even if no one is watching. Relax your shoulders, stretch your back and lose those feet. Chin up and put that phone away. Your smile and relaxed attitude will attract nice people around you and get people to smile back at you. You will even make some of them happy. Eventually you will start to believe in it yourself, feel more happier and relaxed.

What's more: Beat those creeps at their own game with their loser comments "Come'on sweetheart, smile!". 

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"Reminding yourself of your own awesomeness is half the battle."