Whether dating apps are causing a "dating apocalypse" or are merely the easiest way to get a date, there's no denying these tools have been total gamechangers in the dating scene within the last few years. And even though dating apps are most popular among Millennials, according to a recent Bustle survey with dating app Happn of over 1,000 dating app users, 78 percent of women and 85 percent of men still want to meet people IRL. That's why for the second year in a row, Bustle is deeming April, "App-less April" and encouraging our staff and readers to delete their dating apps for 30 days and meet people the old-fashioned way: offline. With participants tracking their progress and tricks and tips from dating experts, we'll be helping you feel empowered to meet people IRL all month long. Today's topic: how to meet someone at a music festival.
Spring is probably one of the best times to take a break from your dating apps, which is why Bustle's App-less April, a challenge to delete your dating apps, is encouraging singles get out there, and try meeting people IRL. Why? Well, for one, the weather is super nice so a lot more people are out. And two, it's festival season! So whether you're heading out to the desert for Coachella this weekend or any of the other music festivals to come this year,know that it's a great place to meet someone IRL. "A music festival is an amazing place to meet someone because right off the bat you both know you share a real passion for music and are both likely to be unafraid of a little adventure," Erika Kaplan, senior matchmaker at Three Day Rule in Philadelphia, tells Bustle. "We always encourage clients to explore new events, physically put themselves in new places, and above all else, break outside of their normal comfort zone. Music festivals check all of those boxes."
As a bonus, you'll also feel like more yourself since it's a relaxed environment and nobody's wearing heels or tuxes. Meeting someone at a music festival is also ideal for those of you who feel like super anxious making the first move.
"When you're at a music festival, it's likely that everyone will be in a great mood, and open to meeting other people," certified, international dating and relationship expert, Megan Weks tells Bustle. "It's a low anxiety place to make new connections." So here's how you can meet someone at a music festival, according to experts:
I know you're at a music festival and there's obviously tons of great artists to see, but don't spend the entire time with your eyes glued to the stage. "Take some time to explore the venue with your head held high, making eye contact with others," Weks says. "Bring a warm smile and don't be afraid to say a simple hello when you see someone interesting."
As for ice-breakers, Weks suggests, "Who's been your favorite band so far and who are you excited to see next?" Can't go wrong with that!
Looking for someone who shares similar interests? Your favorite artist's show is a great place to find them. "If you connect with a particular artist, it's likely that you'll have a connection with the artist's fans," she says. "This is a great way to bump into people who have similar tastes in music with you among other things."
It's totally OK to take a few snaps or photos here and there. But as Caitlin Bergstein, a Boston matchmaker at Three Day Rule, tells Bustle, "If you're looking to meet someone, leaving your phone in your purse or pocket will make you more approachable. And when someone does approach with an icebreaker, go with it and keep the conversation going!"
Dance and enjoy the music! People like to be around people that are happy and enjoying themselves. "If you're living in the moment and having a great time, other people will notice and want to have fun with you," Bergstein says.
"There are so many opportunities to break the ice at a music festival," Bergstein says. The music itself provides the perfect opening for you to ask a question about a current or upcoming artist or just strike up a conversation about your favorite song.
"Many people wear the most creative outfits they can come up with to music festivals," Bergstein says. "So wear a pink tutu or funky sunglasses. Wear anything that shows off your personality!"
And of course, don't be afraid to approach someone to ask them about their outfit. You never know where that conversation could go.
Just have fun and be yourself. "Remember that, just like you, everyone is there to have a good time and enjoy the music, which makes music festivals a great opportunity to be yourself," Bergstein says.
So don't be afraid to let your hair down, say hi to cute strangers, and just be your amazing self.