Sun God for the uninitiated: a first timer's guide to the festival

    Everyone knows that the posters advertising the Sun God festival are like those mysterious inkblot psychology tests. That fabulously colored chicken-esque object that wallpapers the campus every year come springtime communicates much more than simple, pedestrian information.

    No, that poster of the chicken thing (rooster? Sun God by Nikki St. De Phalle? Fauvist Loch Ness Monster?) is not an inkblot test.

    Listen, all those newbies out there: That poster promising a festival to pay homage to a Sun God (mohawk-headed fowl with a bad stylist?) is far more that a mere advertisement. This poster represents UCSD’s version of the decadent Caligula with its debauchery and general merriment.

    Essentially, Sun God posters are the telltale signs that students will be out to party the clinging stench of the library off their clothes.

    That’s just one meaty morsel of information that the Sun God first timers should know. It’s the one thing that hardened regulars of the festival know for sure, considering they are unable to recall much else about the event.

    Even the veterans of Sun God do not know all the ropes of the festival, as large blocks of time were somehow lost in an inebriated time warp. Further, there are more than a few hardened cynics skeptical about UCSD’s ability to sponsor a day slightly more fun than the annual bone marrow drive.

    But, there are several preparations that will make the day even more enjoyable than those inkblots/posters claim. These small steps aim to win over even the most contemptuous critics and ease the transition from the swaddled babes of the festival to the veteran Sun Gods and Goddesses.

    First and foremost, the practicality of Sun God and the crux of the event is the student status: Bring that student ID card. It not only allows free entrance, which is always better than cheap, but it might have that all important Triton Taxi sticker on the back of it. If one were to plan ahead and get one, that is.

    Do not forget those dollar bills. It would be wise to make them more than single dollars, as food and beverages (nonalcoholic) are pretty pricey. Forewarning is powerful — no one wants the festival to get 1999 Woodstock-violent.

    Wear shoes! As stated above, this is not Woodstock, and no one wants it to be. A festival does not necessarily mean dirty bare feet frolicking through pastoral hills. Plus, it’s a jungle out there on RIMAC field, with possible minefields of broken glass. Of course, to hop around on anything inflated, such as a bouncy castle or something of the sorts, take them off.

    Alter that state of mind. That’s right, bring patience and ambivalence to Sun God. Patience is crucial because people stumble and yell a lot, both of which can get rather trying. Basic ambivalence (nothing too intense) is required because bands have been known to insult the audience by calling it something along the lines of “”mainstream radio slaves”” who “”have no idea what music is”” and “”will punish the audience by playing a twangy country song”” (2002’s Sun God had its Cake and ate it too). The ambivalence helps when performers get too big for their britches and need to be dealt some of their own medicine.

    While it sounds a bit excessive, different personalities may be in order. With such a wide array of music and activities, more than one personality is needed just to experience it all. Bring that inner rave child out for the club tent. Become ghetto fabulous when hip-hop hits the stage. Don’t forget your hidden punk — punk is on the inside after all — when the first strains of vintage Bad Religion waft over the field.

    Stain-resistant clothing is one important item that may slip the mind. Dirt, grass, mud and vomit are like bounty hunters for clean clothing. Leave the silks and cashmeres at home. Further, put more clothes on. Tube tops and jersey tops are not the most practical of digs for an outdoor concert. Remember this is not Cancun, its RIMAC field at night, outdoors, in the cold.

    Finally, arrive with pessimism and leave with fulfilled hopes. Expecting too much will inevitably lead to let down. It is much more satisfying to be pleasantly surprised.

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