How to Make a Festival Totem in 3 Easy Steps

music festival totem
Find Your Happy Thought

Festival totems can make all the difference in your rage crew having a good time and an awesomely memorable time.

If you have ever been to a festival and have gotten separated from your friends, surely you have found yourself gazing above the crowd for a signature landmark that could help you pinpoint their location.

All in all, totems are a creative outlet that provide humor and bring smiles to the entire crowd.

Totems make you personable and approachable. I have met more people in one weekend at one festival (CounterPoint ’14) carrying my totem than I did at my previous three festivals combined. And this is no exaggeration.

How to make a rage stick
Music Festival Totem

I have been to festivals with large groups of people – both with and without a totem – and there is no question that having the totem presents the ideal situation. Especially at the larger festivals cell phone reception is at an all time low, it can be challenging to find your friends if you get separated.

With everyone taking videos, sending text messages, and updating social media, relying on a signal can leave you scouring the crowd for hours focusing more on finding your rage crew than on the experience in front of you.

Yet this can all be avoided. In the midst of the beaming lights, thumping bass, and screaming ravers, on thing protrudes above the crowd like a beacon calling you home: the festival totem.

Ever thought about building your own totem?

There are many factors to consider when building your own rage stick. While it may seem like a simple theory, it is more than just taking an object and sticking it to a pole.

A few things to consider:

  • Weight – How heavy your totem is can really determine how much fun you actually have carrying it throughout the weekend. If it is more than a couple pounds, you might find yourself struggling by the end of the weekend. Substitute materials where necessary. I find alot of times you can easily use styrofoam in place of wood.
  • Surface Area – The more surface area your totem has, the more susceptible it is to wind. For some reason, it always seems like there is a wind storm at whatever festival I go to. If you have a totem that is flat with a large amount of surface area, you will be fighting a weekend long battle with mother nature. Avoid this at all costs.
  • Height – One of the most fun things about having totem is the ability to shake it around relentlessly. Make sure it is tall enough so that you are not smacking any one in the head/face while you are dancing around.
  • Light – Consider utilizing electro-luminescent wire or glow paint to help your totem stick out at night.
  • Color – When choosing what color to make your flag/totem, choose colors that are not dull and will not blend in with the scenery. Avoid black, brown, or green at all costs.

We take a look at all you need to know build your very own festival totem and be the saving grace of your entire festival crew.

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2 thoughts on “How to Make a Festival Totem in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Some festivals, like bonnaroo, dont let you take in big poles or anything like that. Anyone have any suggestions for a skinny, collapsible pole that i could easily sneak in?

  2. Those pool noodles at Walmart are super lightweight and cheap. That what’s I was planning on using for a totem.

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