Electronic music has developed a bit of a reputation for chewing up producers and spitting them out rather quickly. However, that is clearly far from the case when it comes to Martin Stääf. Having experienced a variety of music festivals as both a patron and performer, Liquid Stranger’s perspective is truly more intriguing than most. The Swedish-born musician has acquired an immense amount of knowledge over the years, and now he’s finally ready to share it with the world.
As festival season continues to pick up momentum, we were fortunate enough to track down Liquid Stranger at Summer Camp Music Festival in Chillicothe, Illinois. With a load of big name events still left on this summer’s calendar, we promptly seized the opportunity to get some essential guidelines from a battle-tested festival veteran on how to achieve music festival bliss…
Tip #1: Get your damn ticket well in advance
“This first one isn’t a very fun tip, but it’s a smart tip. For example, one of the festivals I’m playing this year, Shambhala, sold out before they even announced the line-up. Electric Forest is kind of the same situation. So if you’re looking at a more popular festival, secure a ticket quickly. And if you can afford it, get a VIP ticket so you get the extra amenities and good treatment.”
Tip #2: Prep Beforehand
“Maybe the most important tip of all tips I can give is: Drink a lot of water! Whatever you do, drink a lot of water. Where I live in Scottsdale, it gets so warm that you don’t even get sweaty, it just evaporates off your body. So I’ve learned to always walk around with a water bottle, and it’s helped me a great deal. It also helps me to stay feeling fresh, young, and operational.
“If you’re going to go hard at a festival, sleep well before you go, stock up on vitamins, go get a B-12 shot. You have to think about where you are going. Is it going to get cold at night? Be prepared for anything. Bring enough clothes. Bring an extra pair of shoes. I didn’t even f**k around this year because I know how bad the weather can get here [at Summer Camp]. I just brought my boots and everything.”
Tip #3: Go out of your way to watch something you wouldn’t buy a ticket for
“One of the coolest aspects about any festival is that there are a lot of people playing and a lot of different types of music. That way you can become more educated and learn about new music. Personally, I wasn’t here yesterday, but if I was, I definitely would’ve checked out The Roots. I heard that they had to cancel their set, but wow, what amazing musicians! Don’t be afraid to go out of your way to find something quirky and new.”
Tip #4: It’s very important to have a piece of home
“Get that little piece of comfort. Eat well. Get a good air mattress if you’re sleeping on the ground. It’s not healthy for your back. Also be conscious of what you’re putting in your body. If it’s dusty, always bring something to cover your face. Bring a good tent, with no holes in it! Bring your own food to eat if you don’t have much money to spend. Healthy stuff though. Vegan food is super cheap and very good fuel for doing things like this.
“When you’re at a festival, you’re in an extreme environment. You have to look at your intake versus output – and it’s a lot of output. If you were just sitting in an office chair working on like stock market stuff all day, well then you would need to think about being active, more so than thinking about getting enough fuel.”
Tip #5: Stick with a squad
“But even when you do, still go out of your way to meet new people. Having said that, it’s important to have a strong backbone – especially if you’re going to get off your rocker.
“Also, you always have to have a plan. You have to have a backup plan and then you have to have a bump. So really, you should have three plans total. And this doesn’t even apply to festivals alone. Whatever you do, have three plans, because then you’ll always be able to act, instead of react.
“Bottom line, just be safe. Have a squad. Have a spotter. Have a designated driver – if you’re going to be driving. Be smart, because we want to see you back at more festivals and at my set!”