The Festival Guy: how one gentleman turned festival-ing into a lifestyle

Tucker Gumber sold his home, parcelled a suitcase and now dedicates their own lives to carnivals, having wasted 460 epoches dancing, camping and listening to live music

The first time Tucker Gumber listened a music celebration, he was both enchanted and a touch shocked. It was winter 2011 at Colorado’s Snowball, and with flurries falling lightly against the Rocky Mountain sunset, Big Gigantic playing onstage and a army of followers playing tag in the field, Gumber knew festival culture, in all its exhilarating whimsy, was for him. At the same time, he was baffled by the absence of tendency provided to the tens of thousands of attendees.

” They were basically telling 50,000 beings like:’ Show up. You’ll be fine. Here are some medicines. What could go wrong ?'” Gumber says.

Gumber, 34, has now been dedicated his life to music galas, having christened himself” The Festival Guy” and reached more than 135 celebrations in the last seven years. If you’re a festivalgoer in the US, it’s not peculiar to look Gumber from across the field at Coachella, Bonnaroo, Electric Forest, Electric Daisy Carnival, SXSW, Okeechobee, Burning Man and many more, frequently wearing his signature dress hat and surrounded by a gaggle of friends. As of June 2018, Gumber has logged more than 460 festival periods of dancing, camping, listening, devouring and generally having the time of his life at indicates across the country.

And in the process, he’s grown quite savvy.

Gumber is now focused on helping fellow attendees optimize their own festival knows and promoting “festival-ing” to a lawful pastime. With his recently released The FestivalGoer’s Guide, he has literally written the book on the subject.” I recognized it was my purpose ,” Gumber says.” I discontinue my work and learned how to be a pro who obliges celebrations better and makes tools for festival-goers .”

While his lifestyle may be non-traditional- Gumber doesn’t have a house and spends most of its first year along the road going to shows- as The Festival Guy he’s prolonging his family’s gift of turning hobbies into chores. His granddad was an ardent golfer and his daddy worked for the fraction of wildlife in Colorado, where Gumber grew up heartfelt about live music and the outdoors.” My dad’s entire undertaking was to enforce the correct way to be an outdoorsman ,” Gumber says.” I was learnt from a young age that there’s a right space to do occasions .”

Which is why what Gumber was watching at festivals- offspring, slipshod campsites, rude attendees, sleep destitution, lost cars, keys, tents and sidekicks- was so disconcert. He Googled” guidebook to festival-going” and spotted there wasn’t a thorough manuals on par with those written for more traditional hobbyists like golfers, fishermen, hunters, snowboarders and hikers. There was no one he could pay to give him a lesson. So, he endeavoured out festival ex-servicemen, the person or persons with the comfortable chairs, coordinated campsites and good shoes, and soaked up all their insight. He then led by pattern, obtaining efficient ways to instill ordering, and thus greater different levels of pleasure, into the often disorganized and sometimes slipshod festival culture. His purpose is the establishment of festival-going as a legitimate pastime. He’s even marked the word “FestivalGoer”.

Gumber’s goal is to establish festival-going as a legitimate pastime. Image: Miles Najera

His first taste of success came at Coachella 2011, when he brought a portable phone charger he’d bought online. These chargers weren’t common at the time, and fellow attendees were impressed that Gumber’s phone didn’t succumb all weekend.” It was just play on from there ,” he says.” It was like:’ There’s a right path to do this and I’m going to learn it .'”

For a season Gumber built coin by hiring the members of this house he had bought in Los Angeles- where he moved after college- when he was 24. (” I was really good at sales ,” he says of the acquire .) He eventually sold the house and invested the money into FestEvo, an app he developed that helps fans detect new music, connect with pals and meet festival tips-off. Everything Gumber owns now fits into a suitcase and carry-on pocket. His only major overheads are his cellphone and the currency required to keep the FestEvo servers operating, and he often gets into carnivals for free with media or artist guides. At pictures he subsists largely on 99 -cent tuna packets and protein shakes and says he’s still navigating how to represent his lifestyle financially sustainable.

Certainly Gumber’s greatest asset- and most employable ability- is the lore he’s accumulated in his hundreds of days of festival-going. Just as a angling guidebook can lead you to the best blot on the river or a snowboarding teacher demonstrated in you how to carve, Gumber knows what you should wear, how to jam-pack your auto and how to avoid post-fest feeling. All this information is in The FestivalGoers Guide, his comprehensive notebook that should be required reading for any auto full of 18-year-olds driving off to their first event.

” I’ve been able to cover every inclination of celebrations because I’ve been bitch slapped from every angle ,” Gumber says.” In my first year of carnivals, there wasn’t one that I didn’t have a moment where I didn’t kind of feel like crying because my phone was dead or I’d lost my friends or I couldn’t find my tent .”

The crying daylights are long gone. Gumber is now the person with the illuminations, the protein shakes and the earplugs. But his interests extend beyond pragmatic supplyings. For him, festival-going is also about the outlook one brings to the affair, an aspect he’s dubbed” the circle of vibes “. He feels that in the last seven years, as festival culture has exploded in the US, incidents and the people who attend them have gotten more sophisticated.( His first volume, The Festival Goer’s Bible, a guidebook for phenomenon organizers, was published in 2015.) With more than 800 festivals happening each year in the US, it seems “festival-ing” is gaining legitimacy.

Tucker Gumber:’ In my first time of carnivals, there wasn’t one that I didn’t have a moment where I didn’t kind of is like exclaiming .’ Photograph: Jar Photo

Sweet, entertaining and blessed with a huge and apparently permanent smile, Gumber’s love for festival culture- and the music, community, sort and pas within it- is obvious. While others might feel a grade of burnout after seven years along the road, he remains enthusiastic and dedicated. A few years ago he left Coachella on a Saturday morning at dawn, operated to Oregon to be a groomsman at a friend’s bridal and flew back to the celebration the following morning. He even had the wed DJ play music by all the artists he was missing.

Like his father before him, Gumber is a hardcore conservationist. (” I was a four-year-old and picking up junk on hikes with my papa, it is therefore hurt my middle to see the litter at galas .”) He posts a selfie of his clean campsite after every picture, organizes two-minute celebration clean-ups on Facebook and travels with his own reusable utensils to cut down on litter. He practically got into a fight this year at Coachella after approaching a soul who had tossed a tomato on the floor. In his journal, Gumber also takes a hard posture against sidling into shows and scalping.

” If you’re selling tickets above face value, that’s enough for me to know I don’t need you in my life .”

Last weekend, Gumber shared his expertise with the thousands of attendees at Michigan’s Electric Forest. He’ll give the talk again this weekend at the second iteration of the fest, having become the sage ex-serviceman with the comfy shoes he tried out in his early days. He says the best part of the celebration was running into people who had benefited from his advice. One person ranged up and contributed him a hug, saying he was able to get some sleep by following Gumber’s recommendation of removing the rain fly from his tent to create airflow. Telling this story with the same enthusiasm one might use to recap a great era of angling or especially epic day on the descents, it’s clear this hobbyist turned FestivalGoer has detected his calling.

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