In 2015 my sister made a few totems out of pool noodles to use at Outside Lands. She took a couple of pool noodles, added some ribbons at the top to make them distinctive, and bought some glow sticks to attach at night. Those totems served our group well, uniting us between different sets throughout the weekend. When the festival ended, I took one of the totems home.
Outside Lands 2016 rolled around and the totem came out of retirement. He even got an upgrade when one of our friends wrapped a battery powered LED light strip around it. The totem became an essential part of our Outside Lands experience. I liked to carry it. It was my safety noodle. I always knew where I was in a sea of people.
The safety noodle returned for his third Outside Lands in 2017. That’s impressive. My sister, the creator, added an inflatable unicorn to the top because the third anniversary is the unicorn anniversary. The unicorn turned my safety noodle into a celebrity. Random festival goers would take pictures of it and use it as a beacon to find their own friends.
Unfortunately the third year of Outside Lands took a toll on it. The LED lights got a little faulty. He also got a little bent from the extra weight from the unicorn. Pool noodles are not designed to deal with that kind of stress. I’m not sure if he will be able to survive Outside Lands 2018. He will make an appearance. I owe him that. But I don’t see him making it through another crazy weekend of debauchery. I want him to go out on his own terms and (other than the inside of my closet) Outside Lands is all he knows.
Critically Rated at 16/17
Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young