How to Sneak into Bonnaroo and Anywhere Else You Want
It’s difficult to follow your own advice. The mentor student relationship is fickle when each is the same person. Every day I try to get better at something. I tell myself I will connect better with my mom and dad, start writing better, attempt to understand small talk, eat healthier, find a job I don’t hate, and be more adult in the ways that are important, and by the end of the day, I usually have a couple successes and failures that balance out to where I started. When I try to discipline myself, more often than not, the smallest critiques are the most difficult, like learning a new skill or mastering a language, but most of this time, the difficulty is not in gaining something new but in giving something old up. When I make a to-do list this seems the easiest but in execution its the opposite.
Of my losses and achievements I have become well versed in how to walk away from either with my head up. It’s all about how you spin it. After working at a couple environmental companies in public relation departments, I had to learn how to spin a story so that everything we did seemed like some kind of environmental victory. I wasn’t lying, only expanding a certain truth. (ok it’s the same as lying) This included making something that is barely “important” seem monumentally “important”.
If you are passionate and interested in learning,in my opinion, maybe not the laws, rules no longer apply. I have gone to Bonnaroo each year without paying. Attended political debates, cult meetings, and random events in the name of looking for a story. Now seems like a decent time to share how. Below are a few things to keep in mind anytime you want to get in somewhere you may have otherwise not had access to.
The idea is to prove every step of the way through the world that you are one of the elected and anointed ones who has the right stuff and should experience life from the inside; that you are one of that elite few who has the professional capacity to be apart of the action; opinionated to the point of publication; and exist at the very heart of the community that is made of the right stuff itself.
Women are attracted to confidence. So are men. But both sexes are easily turned off by bragging or boasting. So don’t do either. Be respectable when asking for help,because you never know the things a person has seen so give them the credit of unsaid potential. Prove that you deserve advice by being active and engaging, not burdening. And get to the details. Wasting time is the opposite of confidence.
Most of the friends you will have in life you haven’t met yet. They are still strangers. Before you meet someone they are a
mosaic of possibilities. Put your best forward. Use your charm and wit and style to be friendly with everyone you meet. Use every moment to connect with the world around you. In emails, craft these messages with care and openness. Use social media to follow venues or people and look for contests, give aways, and similar opportunities. Anytime I write to an editor, I do my research to know what sort of approach will inspire an action motivating conversation. Look outward toward your interactions for meaning, rather than inward or upward. Woody Allen said the only way to make opportunity happen is by showing up. This means not only being somewhere but interacting, talking, and showing those around your wonderful assortment of faculties and potential.
Know Your Angle
The people on the other side of the fence have used the divergent paths of their own moral compass to get in. No one is entirely clean. The rich got rich because they took chances or were born into it. What i am trying to say is, to get on the inside, you have to go for it. Once you realize who and what you are, then the rules no longer apply. Let the rules apply to the docile and the vague. Be original, hop the fence, tunnel through, or start the party on whatever side you are on. Fitting in is bullshit and no fun. People will gravitate toward what is original. Know who you are and what you have to offer and go for it. If something doesn’t work, try something new.
Public relation firms rule the world. This means any event is open to the journalist who portrays themselves like they will cover an event in a positive light. Join the ranks of the press by reaching out to bloggers and smaller publications. Ask if they would like to see coverage of the event you are interested in. If you are unable to find someone to write for then make up the publication and reach out to the event staff. Publicity is the purpose of almost all events. Sad but true. If it wasn’t for brand mentions, data collection, and unique selling opportunities half of the great shit in the world we like going to would not exist. So take charge and send an email saying you would like to cover the event for the Tennessee Train Association or whoever. Soon you will be passing lines, hanging out with celebrities, and rubbing shoulders with a possible future career in reporting.
1. Contact magazines and blogs (if you are new, most likely blogs) that specialize in the area of an event’s interest.
2. Find the contact pages and send a query email that briefly details the story you think exists and let them know why you are the person to write it.
3. Send a request to the event. Most websites have a press section with check in details and details on how to go about obtaining a pass.
4. Show up and be professional. Bring a camera and something to write with for interviews and observations
5. Get to writing. After finishing, send the story to the people you originally pitched to. If no one takes it, now is your time to start a blog.
When it Does Not Work, Experiment
You are the scientist and explorer of the life around you. Even if it feels fake at first. Really visualize it. You are the scientist. Your life is the laboratory. If you treat each action as an experiment, each thought as an experiment, each emotion as one, each day and moment as a secret still waiting to be discovered then you begin to see all life as a mystery. A treasure waiting to be discovered inside of each moment. How do we unlock those treasures? By experimenting, observing, and then observing who is observing. You can’t experiment enough.