By Coco Cortesian

* All names have been changed to protect the guilty. 

Have you ever kissed a performer at Wheatland?

You are 2 days into one of Michigan’s best summer festivals. The sun is out and that thick-rimmed glasses-wearing hotty has been peaking your interest all weekend. He looks ‘oh so sexy’ from afar. Later that night, you are at the dance pavilion and turn to a group of FOLKS calling out “Who wants to dance?” You hadn’t noticed him before, but out from the sea of fans steps your hotty. You join the dance floor and begin the sensual two-step. It’s as if your two sets of hips were made to push and pulse together. Several hours later, taking a break under a tree, this handsome stranger plants a sweet kiss on your lips. Your friends approach you and remind you it is time to depart. You ask this stranger if he would escort you to your van. As you walk, he holds your hand and you think to yourself “What a perfect evening.” At which point you arrive at the entrance to the backstage area. Your companion stops to say, “We can’t go back there.” You smile and answer, “Of course we can, I’m a performer.”  Your hottie, still holding your hand, steps back and replies, his eyes wide, grinning, “You’re a….a performer? I’ve been coming to this festival my whole life and I’ve never been in the performer‘s area before!” And then, the most appalling phrase begins to flow from his lips. You can predict the sentiment of what is coming and only wish you could prevent it…but then it is blurted out for the night air and your sinking stomach to hear…”I kissed a performer at Wheatland.”


This story may sound far-fetched but I assure you…it is totally true. To avoid following in my faulty footsteps follow the rules on engagement!


The Rules of Engagement: Festival Hook-Ups (What Not To Do)


1. Avoiding the moonshine make out

Hillbillies don’t need roofies—they have moonshine. There’s nothing quite like waking up on day two of a festival and realizing your friend from last night doesn’t really excite you when the whiskey wears off. And now he wants to buy you a cinnamon sugared beaver tail between sets. Stay regret free and only enjoy your top three.

1) Assess the field prior to the first sip of alcohol, hit of weed, or taste of other mind-altering substance that day. If possible, select people you’d enjoy bragging about for the rest of the summer.

2) Scan the crowd. Take your time and select three hotties.

3) Now enjoy the weekend. Party safe, if they aren’t one of your top 3, they are OFF LIMITS until you are sober again.


2. “F” doesn’t stand for fun 

Ok, so you are sold on the sober selection method and out into the sea of fans you go. STOP!  Fans are probably the most dangerous hook-up option. Remember ‘fan’ is short for ‘fanatic’, not ‘fantastic’. At first, it might seem awesome to have a pretty face that is in awe of your musical prowess. The view is pretty nice from up on a pedestal.


Never fuck a fan: unless you want a stalker.



From a distance:

Are they wearing band merch or other folk festival merch?

Are they holding CDs and several colors of sharpies?


From up close:

5 questions to slip into conversation before they slip their tongue in your mouth:

The answers to these questions should give you a feel for the level of fanaticism you are dealing with. Mainly you want to avoid scenarios in which you will run into this person frequently in the future.


How often do you come to music festivals?

Worst answer: OMG I love them. I am going to 7 more this summer.

Ideal answer: Not often. They aren’t really my scene.


Which are your favorites to attend?

Worst Answer: Anything I can drive my VW to and camp at.

Ideal answer: I’ve only ever been to this one in my hometown.


What band/bands are you here to see?

Worst Answer: Well, actually I’ve been following your band all summer.

Ideal answer: Oh, my best friend from High School plays in The Shyest of Marmots.


Did you catch our set?

Worst answer: I camped out at the main stage since yesterday to make sure I had a good view.

Ideal answer: Oh, are you a performer? No, I was getting coffee with the band.


3. How (and why) to avoid hooking up with people in touring bands

There’s a new fiddle player on the scene and she looks like a former underwear model. You wouldn’t mind wearing her on your arm all weekend or summer for that matter. But beware, she will eventually move on and that once hot piece of ass can become a future cock block. Then again, maybe these girls are into sharing. If so, you’d better be sure you left her happy enough to give you good marks, but not so happy that she’s still pining. More importantly, what happens when you meet the one you “really like” and you have a love’em and leave’em history? It’s gonna be an uphill battle with the girl of your dreams.


4. Civilians only

Right, so you are sold on the ‘don’t shit where you eat’ plan, so out into the sea of fans you go.

What is a civilian? A civilian is someone who has no interest in your music, hasn’t heard you play or at least didn’t make a point to see you and maybe didn’t LOVE your band. They think you are cute, friendly and witty and that is about it.  If they only want you for your body, you are GOOD to GO!


The mythical hook-up: Tour Managers, guitar techs and sound engineers.

If you actually meet a hot one, go for it! They rarely come out of their caves. But beware, they tour too and could be a regularly featured character in your summer.  Find out their summer schedule, if this is the only festival in the run where you cross paths and you actually think they are cute, I would rock out. I mean-they’ll probably change gigs before you cross paths with this band again.