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Why You Should Not Bring A Rave Totem To A Festival

Back in the early 2010s, rave totem poles were fairly new to the festival scene. Nowadays, you can expect to see them at almost every festival that allows them. These totem poles serve many purposes whether it be to make people laugh, share a message, or simply just to help your friends find each other. And although have become extremely popular within the electronic music festival scene, their purpose and use do raise some controversy.

Table of Contents:

  • What Are Rave Totem Poles?
  • Why You Shouldn’t Bring A Totem To A Festival
  • Things To Consider Before Bringing A Totem To A Festival
  • Conclusion

What Are Rave Totem Poles?

Rave totem poles are, for the most part, an object, sign, or poster that is attached to a pole and carried around at festivals. Many ravers view them as a way to express themselves creatively.  The possibilities are endless when it comes to building one and designing your own. More often than not, they are 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. Visit our website for more information on How To Make A Rave Totem Pole.

Reasons You’re Better Off Without A Rave Totem

Your Rave Totem Ruins The Visual Experience For The Crowd Behind You

Festivals are loved by many because of the great amount of production that gets put into them. The music, art, design, structure, and so on, are all a part of the experience. The visuals are an important component of many artists’ sets. And for many, the visuals are just as important as the music. I’d be pissed if I went to an Eric Prydz set and couldn’t fully see the visuals.

Rave totem poles obstruct the view for many ravers that are in the crowd behind you. Maybe those people could just move over but more often than not, moving over a few feet is not possible in a large crowd of hundreds or thousands of people. 

Your Festival Totem Is Distracting

Rave totem poles are a great form of self-expression and creativity however, some people tend to go overboard with their designs. Seeing and hearing your favorite artist is an enjoyable experience, except when you have a glow-in-the-dark Hello Kitty poster with strobing LED lights directly in your vision flashing in your face all night. 

Some Festivals Prohibit Rave Totems

Imagine wasting hours of your time and money to build a totem pole for a specific festival, only to be told at the festival gates you’re not allowed to bring it in? It has happened before – and trust me it SUCKS having to part ways with something you don’t want to let go of. Whether you checked the festival website for the rules and regulations or not, just know that I’ve been to a handful of festivals that said they allowed one thing, and then denied me entry once I arrived.

Things To Consider Before Bringing A Rave Totem To A Festival

Check The Rules & Regulations 

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.

Keep Size In Mind

If you’re still planning on bringing a totem to a festival, be mindful of its size. This includes its height and length. Some events have rules and restrictions on the maximum lengths they allow. 

Carrying A Totem All Day & Night Is Exhausting

Festivals require a lot of energy if you’re going to be dancing all day and night. Having to carry a totem pole the entire time will get old, pretty fast. 

Not Many Areas To Store Your Totem Safely

And if you don’t want to carry your totem pole the entire festival, there are not many places you can store them safely (unless you have a tent and are at a camping festival). Yes, you and your rave crew can take turns holding it. But be real with yourself and be real with your friends. Your totem pole will get in the way if you’re trying to headbang during an Excision set or shuffle during Tiësto.


If you’re going to bring a rave totem to a festival, be sure to be mindful of others. Try standing to the outskirts of the crowd to the left or right of the stage, don’t make your totem huge or distracting, and don’t write or draw anything offensive. It’s important to have a good time yourself, but also allow others to have a good time as well. Head to our blog for more helpful tips and advice like How To Stay Awake During A Rave or How To Keep Cool During A Music Festival. Be sure to also check out our favorite rave items & accessories!

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