Sure Music Festivals Are Fun, But the Drive There Can Be Pretty Alright Too

How to make sure eight hours stuck in a small vehicle with your "friends" doesn't suck (plus enter Carlton Dry's Splendour in the Grass UnderthinKIT Hamper competition for all the road trip essentials).
Illustration by Kristopher McDuff

This article is supported by Carlton Dry's Splendour in the Grass UnderthinKIT Hamper competition. Call the hotline on 1800-UNDERTHINK to find out more and watch the helpful infomercial below.

Ever heard the saying, “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey”? Perhaps you saw it on a poster stuck to the back of the toilet door in an Airbnb? Possibly it lives cross-stitched onto a cushion that inexplicably sits, every day, on your co-worker’s desk chair. In any case, the saying is true! Like, in the sense that it is occasionally true. And occasionally also totally untrue.


Here’s the thing: what kind of evil, heartless monster actually wants the trip to a place to be better than the actual place? What kind of sick, sick individual wants to have a better drive to a festival than the five days at the festival itself? Someone who’s watched Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle a few too many times I’d say (just kidding, not possible).

So. How good do you want your Road Trip to the Festival to be? Good. But not that good. Just… quite good. And if there’s anything I’m good at, it’s having an average time. So pay attention.

Make a Playlist

OooOooh rEaL gRoUnDbReAkInG!! a PLayLiSt! Hush, hush my little grasshopper. I’m not talking about selecting your favourite Summery indie rock jams like you’re livin’ in some Big M ad, hands out the window, Ray Bans always on top of the head and never over the eyes for some reason. Falling in love on the side of the road between rippling curtains of tall grass, none the wiser on the sewerage pipe mere feet away. No. I’m talkin’ ‘bout a playlist that has highs and lows, ebbs and flows. Narrative arcs. Yeah, it’s a good playlist, but not always! Life isn’t all peaks, peaks peaks, baby! You can’t have Fleetwood Mac into SZA into Carly Rae into Calvin Harris! This isn’t Pleasantville! Life is not an ever-flowing pop music-fuelled party of Good Times and Hot Beats. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Life is pain and beauty. Life is chaos. Fleetwood Mac goes into Aretha Franklin’s most upsetting break up songs, into SZA, into Ennio Morricone’s soundtrack to The Mission, into Carly Rae, into “Oh Yoko!” by John Lennon, which, yes, seems like a nice ‘n’ fun-loving pop song, but in reality, is a heart-wrenching reminder that two of the only people in Earth’s history who were certified soulmates and found each other in one lifetime were torn apart by senseless violence. Into Calvin Harris! Enjoy. But not too much!


Merriam-Webster defines a ‘snack’ as a “small amount of food eaten between meals” and I just think that’s beautiful. Due to popular as all hell demand, here’s my advice: bring along some snacks that are extremely dope. Snacks that are power moves. Like onion ring crisps from your local Asian grocer. Or a dozen chilled mandarins. Perhaps some mint-speckled or salt-dappled chocolate. AND THEN. Refer mix in some average and below average snacks to ensure that the fun had on the road is tempered so that it does not exceed the fun had at the festival. Trail mix. Nuts. Kernels. “Puffed Snacks”…………………. You get it. DON’T HAVE TOO MUCH FUN.


Why, pray tell, do we humans insist on twisting the proverbial arm of fun in such a way so that it no longer resembles anything even remotely reminiscent of fun? Hmmm? Can you tell me that? Why, good friend, is it that every single person guilty of enjoying the game Cards Against Humanity is also an insufferable little beast of a person, whose inner fedora is on such a tilt that their mere presence in a room seems to put off the Earth’s very axis? Hmm? Listen to me: stop bringing Cards Against Humanity into social situations. Here are some great games for the car: being yourself, and appreciating the divine and subtle joys in friendship in intimately confined spaces :)

This article is supported by Carlton Dry's Splendour in the Grass UnderthinKIT Hamper competition. You can find out all the details here.