The 5 Things You Need to Know
Folk Fest is fucking expensive. It's over $300 dollars just to go and camp for the weekend. When you factor in snacks for the campground, any supplies you may need, and alcohol and other "party favours", the cash starts disappearing real fast. Buying food from the food trucks/pop-up restaurants is the most egregious money burner, especially when you know you can get the same food in the city at the same spot for half or three-quarters of the price. Even if you want a day pass to just hang out with some friends and check out the music in a completely lawful way, it'll run you at least $90. The day pass also prevents you from accessing the campgrounds at night, where at least half the fun lies. Sneaking in is easy, cost-effective, and you have the freedom to leave whenever you want. You can always jump the fences, but for those of us who aren't as athletically gifted, the wristband method is a great alternative (described below). We present to the brave (and/or bored) a quick guide to sneaking into Winnipeg Folk Fest.
1. Have/Make Friends in the Campground
You need a home base to go to after you get in, duh. If you plan on finessing, you'll probably just be staying in the campground. So link up with your friends beforehand, or try to make some new ones with festival-goers when you get in, so you can have somewhere to crash after you invariably get too fucked up to drive and/or miss the bus back to the city. The latter move is riskier, so try to link with friends before you get there.
2. Finesse a Fake Wristband
There are a number of ways to go about conjuring a wristband. You can head over to Michael's or Wal-Mart for ribbon and wristband connectors . Or you can have friends hide wristbands for you in some foliage near the gate. If you're really set on going to Folk Fest without spending money, rack the ribbon from your local Wal-Mart, paint Winnipeg Folk Fest on it with white-out or a white paint marker, and you're now on your way for the low price of 0 Canadian doubloons. Speaking of free...
3. Consider Transportation
There are free transit buses that run to Bird's Hill every 30 minutes from the U of W (389 Balmoral Avenue). We even got you the bus schedule right here. Alternatively, you could try to drive out, but finding parking could be dicey, and getting back to your car is another thing you'll have to keep in the back of your mind when you should just be worrying about partying in the campground.
4. Avoid High-Fiving the Volunteers
The volunteers are at all the gates, screening entry to and from the campground. It's a safe assumption to say that most of the volunteers at Folk Fest are relaxed, liberal festival attendees themselves, and aren't too worried about hassling you for sneaking in. In the spirit of good, folky vibes, these people will be dishing out high-fives to campers all day and night. No big deal, right? Oh, how wrong you are, naive reader. This act of positive human contact also doubles as a way for the volunteer to quickly check if your wristband looks somewhat legit. This isn't a big deal if it's a half-decent fake, but caution is always important, so when you see someone in a yellow shirt at the gates trying to give you a high-five, dodge that shit.
5. Confidence is Key.
You need to be calm and act like you're doing nothing wrong, obviously. Walk in with a group of people so you can blend in more. Chant words of encouragement to yourself to keep the positive energy flowing. DON'T PANIC HOE. All that's stopping you from getting into one of the weirdest parties of the summer is a few friendly quasi-hippies in yellow shirts. This is also much easier if you're an extrovert, or white, or dressed in tacky festival garb that wouldn't arouse any suspicion.
Disclaimer: This is at your own risk. We may have given you a useful, detailed blueprint here, but The Enemy holds no legal responsibility if you get pinched for this. The volunteers are usually chill anyways. Don't fuck up.