Smoker’s Etiquette – Festival Edition

Smoker's Etiquette at Music Festivals

Food, art, music, camping, and happy hippies…it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Summer is in full swing, meaning it’s time to kick back, gather your friends, and enjoy some good music. Outdoor festivals and concerts are perfect opportunities to drop your worries and get lost in the wave but don’t forget your manners. In order to have the best time and avoid looking inexperienced in front of seasoned smokers- or worse, become the butt of the joke- then follow these basic rules.

Keep it Classy

Keep it Classy

Follow the age-old advice: make sure the time is right and the coast is clear. No one wants to end up in Coachella jail. Be discreet and polite with your puffing. Don’t be the jerk blowing clouds right at the faces of strangers who don’t want any part of your smoke session.

Even if you see other smokers around you, don’t get too comfortable. Stay under the radar to protect yourself from detainment or your goods from confiscation. Be mindful when you’re near security and try to keep track of where they’re stationed. The risk of trouble with enforcement often seems lower in these environments, but it’s still a risk. There’s nothing less cool than getting kicked out.


Bring Your Own Smoke

Don’t show up empty-handed. If you want to take flight at a festival, then always bring your own stash. Think carefully about the type of smoke your bringing and how it will affect your mood and experience. Make sure your supplies are discreetly tucked away and secure, but also accessible for when you need it. Look into stash cans or other creative ways you can sneak in your herb.

Consider bringing more than one form of smoking. Using a lighter and keeping something burning might be difficult in the wind or rain. Certain lighters like Clippers are good for outdoors because they have a flame that automatically adjusts for wind resistance. If you’re worried about rain or safekeeping, then make sure you have the right storage container for your stash. Depending on the weather, you might decide it best to chow down on some infused goodies or find it easier to puff on a vaporizer.

Be Generous

Go with the festival flow and don’t be stingy with your 420 fun. If you can afford to, then trying to bring enough to share with your crew and maybe even some other fun festival-goers. You will easily become the life of the party, and you may even make some new friends. Bringing more than enough stash with you also stops you from having to rely on others for herb, which could be of questionable quality and a potential health risk.

Respect the rules of community smoking. It’s a courtesy to always let the guest kick it off. Don’t take too much, and make sure everyone in your group keeps it moving. Have someone keep scanning the area to make sure you’re all in the clear. If you have rolled herb, pass it clockwise, and puff carefully. Just like nobody wants to watch you double-dip chips at a party, nobody wants to see others slobbering on the communal herb. Gently remind your group, especially any newbies, to keep it dry.

No one has time for hate. You will get back what you put out, so make sure you’re not disturbing anyone else’s festival experience. People pay good money to be there, and there will always be some who don’t want to be around smokers. Be nice to them and mindful of their space. If you do this and they are still rude to you, move away from them and carry on instead of engaging and creating a possibly dangerous situation.

Consider the overall atmosphere of the festival and how your energy is contributing to it #FestivalVibes. If someone shares with you, say thank you or return the favor if you can. Keep your group in check and make sure that you’re all on the same page about when and where you’re smoking and who you’re sharing with.

Don’t Peer Pressure

Don't Peer Pressure

You don’t ever want to be “that guy”. So don’t assume everyone in your group will want to smoke, and never make someone feel bad for opting out. If they say no, don’t try to change their mind about it. You never know what reason someone might have for abstaining, and they don’t owe you an explanation. If they don’t want to smoke, be sure to check if they are comfortable being around it. Shift the group around so your sober friend isn’t suffering in the middle of a smoke storm.

Safety First

Smoker's Safety

Be selective in what you have on you. Bringing too much puts you at an even higher risk for confiscation. Some festivals are known to be more smoker friendly than others, so do your research. If you’re at a smaller festival, then you’ll be more exposed so act accordingly. If you’re in states like California or Nevada you can have your fun without worrying about too much about charges, but there’s still a chance your festival has a policy against it so be cautious. But no matter where you are, stay away from the wheel and make sure your friends do the same. Never drive under the influence. Not even a golf cart.

Safety also means looking after yourself and your friends. Stay hydrated, keep eating, and take breaks. The summer sun will get you. Sunscreen is cool! Wear it! This has less to do with smoking, but a burn on the first day will ruin your whole experience. Check in with your friends and make sure no one is looking burned or dehydrated. It’s easy to lose track of the simple things when you’re rolling with your friends, but take care of yourself so that your friends don’t end up having to miss the show for you.


When you take concerts by storm this summer, heed your Butler’s wisdom to keep it classy. Worry less about how you come off to other experienced smokers and focus on what feels right in the situation. While smoking at festivals might seem like a no-brainer to some, the consequences can be damaging if you’re being reckless. At the end of the day, if you’re careful and practice common sense then you should have nothing to worry about. When you and your friends make a point of being courteous and looking out for your fellow concert-goers, you’ll attract other smokers on your same page that’ll amplify the good times. Remember: your vibe attracts your tribe, make it a positive one. Enjoy the festival!

What’s your biggest smoking pet peeve?

We love hearing from you! Tell us your best festival tip in the comments below.

Erinn Holman

A millennial writer who's passionate about alternative medicine, the smoking industry, and the Oxford comma.

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