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DIY Series: How Do You Make A Rave Totem Pole?

You’ll most likely always spot at least two to three (minimum!) rave totem poles at an EDM festival. And believe it or not, that funny Pepe The Frog meme on a 10-foot pole actually serves many purposes. Rave totem poles are a form of creative expression whether it be to make people laugh, share a message, or simply just to help your friends find each other. 

Photo Bones Rave Totem at Festival

Making your own rave totem pole may seem like a simple theory, but it is more than just taking an object or sign and sticking it to a pole. Before jumping into how to make the perfect totem pole, there are a few things you should factor in and consider.

Table of Contents:

  • Things To Consider Before Making A Totem
  • How To Make A Rave Totem
    • Step 1: Choose A Base
    • Step 2: Choose The Head Structure
    • Step 3: Attach The Head & Base
    • Step 4: Design Your Totem
  • Conclusion

Things To Consider Before Making A Festival Totem

Building a festival totem sounds like a great way to make people smile, make some new friends, and even help you and your crew find each other when surrounded by 300,000 people at EDC Las Vegas. And don’t get me wrong, it sure is all of those things! But before putting the time and money into building one, it’s important to check the rules and regulations of the festival you plan on bringing it to. Some festivals and venues have restrictions on what’s allowed inside the gates. Double-check the FAQ on the festival’s website to make sure there are no restrictions on items like flags, signs, and totem poles.

Another thing to consider is will you want to (or even be able to) hold and carry a totem pole throughout the entire festival? Many rave crews make it a rule that everybody takes turns holding it. But be real with yourself and be real with your friends. If the festival you’re attending isn’t a camping festival, will you have somewhere safe to store your totem if you want to put it down? It’d be a shame to put a lot of time and effort into making it, only for it to be misplaced or ruined.

EDM Rave Festival Stage

How To Make A Rave Totem

There are many different ways to build a festival totem and the possibilities are endless when it comes to designing your own. Follow these steps to build the perfect festival totem. Head to craft stores like Michaels, Lowe’s, or Home Depot for all the right tools, materials, and equipment. The number one rule is to have fun and experiment with your creative side! 

Step 1: Choose A Base

It’s important to consider all options when choosing a base for your totem. You’ll want a sturdy base that isn’t too heavy or too lightweight. You’ll also want to consider a base that is easy to travel with and can also withstand multiple festivals. PVC pipes, wooden dowels, mini flagpoles, and telescopic pool poles are all great base options for your totem pole. Telescopic pool poles are very common. They are cheap and easy to transport because they are collapsable and expandable. They are also the perfect weight and are easy to carry around all day and night at a festival.

Things To Consider When Choosing A Base

One important thing to note before buying a base is determining the desired length of your totem. Some events have rules and restrictions on the maximum lengths they allow. Also, be sure to think about how you want to be holding your totem. A 5-foot pole is a great size for a totem you want to be lifting up. A 10-foot pole is great if you’re going to treat it like a staff.

Step 2: Choose The Head Structure

There are many different options available to use for the head of your totem. Types of materials you can use are wood, cardboard, plastic, styrofoam, or whatever else you think makes the most sense for your design! A lot of people also use stuffed animals or blow-up dolls as the head of their totem! 

Be mindful of the size. You don’t want to choose something too big that will be too heavy or obstruct the view of anyone around you. 

Step 3: Attach The Head & Base

Attaching the head of your totem to the base may be a bit tricky, but it’s not impossible. Duct tape, electrical tape, zip ties, string, rope, or whatever else you can think of can be used to attach both pieces. Use what works best for you and your design! Be sure to make sure the head of your totem is safe and secure to prevent it from falling off in the middle of the crowd!

Step 4: Design Your Totem

Have fun and get creative when designing your totem! Little accessories can make all the difference in setting your totem apart from the rest! The possibilities are endless. Make your totem pop and stand out with fun decorations such as: 

  • Lights
  • Sparkles
  • Glow sticks
  • Beads
  • Glitter
  • Flowers
  • Jewels
Rave Festival


We hope these steps guide you in the right direction to making the perfect rave totem. Festival totems are a great form of creative expression. Have fun with it and get ready for a great time! Visit our blog for more helpful tips and information. For first-time ravers, be sure to check out What To Bring To A Camping Music Festival or How To Become A Vendor At Music Festivals. Take a look at the Top Music Festivals and Raves of 2022 and get ready for a great festival season!

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