A Short Practical Guide to Festival Essentials: DépistaFest Edition

If there’s one thing our belle province is famous for, it’s its festivals. Music, theatre, circus, gastronomy, and other equally festive events. There’s something for everyone!

Every summer (when there is no pandemic, of course), towns and villages fill up with festival-goers who have only one thing in mind: to have fun and create unforgettable memories.

But fun events require a minimum amount of preparation. No one wants to be caught unprepared the day before their favourite festival, and DépistaFest is no exception!

We have therefore compiled a short practical guide to essentials for the first edition of DépistaFest so you’ll be ready for any eventuality.

1. Soundcheck your crotch

As for all good festivals, it’s always a good idea to plan according to your tastes, desires, and needs before the big event. Are you more of a “show à la carte” or “VIP pass” type of festival-goer? Do you have a penchant for bands whose songs you already know by heart, or do you have a soft spot for small emerging bands? Are you the type that likes to follow a strict schedule, or do you go with the flow and let your moods and desires lead you from one stage to another?

It’s a bit the same in the bedroom, you know. Some are more “YOLO, I’ll deal with this tomorrow” types, while others are “never without a condom” types. There are people who are in full on naughty butterfly mode, while others prefer to give their full attention to one flower at a time. There are also those who are mellow 10 months out of the year, but who turn into beasts on the prowl during the hot season.

We therefore advise you to determine what type of festival-goer you are so that you’ll be able to explore the program light-heartedly. Now, on to the music!

2. Get your tickets

If you’re used to festivals of all kinds, you know that it’s better to plan ahead. Of course, you can choose to go in last-minute mode if you feel lucky, but we advise that you plan ahead instead, because the best tickets often sell like hotcakes.

At DépistaFest, everyone is welcome, and as you would for any festival, we suggest that you reserve your spot, aka book an appointment.

By the way, for the entire duration of DépistaFest, the clinic will cover transportation costs (which are normally between $10 and $15). What a bargain!

3. Put some respect in your bag

We bet that when you spend the day or the weekend at a festival, your fanny pack or backpack contains sunscreen, a bottle of water, a cooling face spray, your cell phone, and other stuff suggested by Nightlife. The goal? Stay fresh, hydrated, and organized.

It’s no different when it comes to DépistaFest: we want you to be ready to go. When you’re getting ready for a hot and naughty night, there are certain things that we strongly suggest you have with you: condoms (traditional and latex-free, in case of allergies), a dental dam (if you know, you know!), a travel-size bottle of lube (so it slides perfectly in your bag, wink, wink), and while you’re at it, why not carry your favourite toy if you’re feeling up for it. Because being well organized doesn’t mean not having fun!

4. Images for inspiration: yay or nay?

If you were getting ready for Osheaga (or Coachella, depending on your budget), we’d recommend that you go on the internet to explore the best clothing trends of 2021: crop top, flower crown, colourful kimono, amazing boho look, and other super Instagrammable outfits.

But when it comes to getting ready for DépistaFest, it’s the opposite: DO NOT LOOK UP GOOGLE IMAGES. Under no circumstances, understood? It’s a recipe for freaking out and gathering misinformation. Google always offers you the images with the most clicks, and therefore, the most sensational, red, and pus-filled photos, which do NOT represent reality!

If you have any pressing questions or concerns, you can always visit our festival website or call 811.

Relying on Google Images to get ready for DépistaFest is like choosing a feathered headdress for your festival outfit: a very bad idea!!!

5. Pics or it didn’t happen

We know you, Millennials and Zoomers. We know that when you go to a festival, you can’t resist the urge to share photos and stories! “Pics or it didn’t happen,” right? No way will your friends miss your Saturday look, the crowd singing the chorus of your favourite band, or your poorly cropped selfie with the star you bumped into on site!

At DépistaFest, we also want you to spread the word, even if we agree that talking about your last screening test is a lot less exciting than talking about your favourite band’s concert. But it’s crucial and it must be done.

Even if it’s not always easy, it’s also really important to talk about screening with your partner(s): when was your last test? Did either of you test positive? If so, was everything treated or dealt with properly?

The more we talk about STBBIs and testing, the less taboo it becomes. Likewise, the more transparent we are, the more we will succeed in flattening the STBBI curve!

Speaking of, we’ve written some dos and don’ts for disclosing an STBBI diagnosis to a partner and for responding to such a disclosure.

6. One day is great, but all year round is even better.

The cool thing about festivals is that we can treat our eyes and ears for a whole day or an entire weekend. We go to one show after the other, discover a ton of new bands, and sing and cheer at the top of our lungs in front of our favourite artists! In short, we live intensely.

That said, that doesn’t mean we don’t listen to music the rest of the year. Shout-out to social media, streaming platforms, and our beloved music stores for keeping the music alive until the following year! Plus, we get to learn the lyrics of our favourite songs by heart to sing them as loud as we can at the next festival.

You know where we’re going with this, right? While DépistaFest is the perfect time to take charge of your sexual health, it doesn’t mean it’s a one-time deal and that you shouldn’t be cautious the rest of the year.

We therefore advise you to take advantage of DépistaFest to get informed, ask questions, use protection, and adopt healthy habits for your junk.

To find out whether or not you’re due to get screened for STBBIs, take our quiz. Easy-peasy!

Happy festival!