Festival season is in full swing for the Schwag, and the boys will be busier than ever as they’re scheduled to play a different festival each weekend of September. First up is the Green Eggs and Jam Festival in Kansas with the Schwag headlining Friday and Saturday, Sept. 4-5. The next weekend features the return of Schwagstock! Held in the festival’s original location at Ozark Outdoors in Leasburg, Missouri, Schwagstock 46 is back and better than ever and the venue follows suit. Boasting three bathroom and shower houses, on-site hotel rooms as well as three rivers with plenty of swimming beaches, Ozark Outdoors may give Camp Zoe a run for its money, though lacking the majestic bluff Zoe was known for. The third weekend of September, the Schwag will perform at FarmFest450 near Chicago, and the fourth weekend they’ll be off to Ozark, Arkansas, once again for Byrdfest.

As you embark on your festival journeys in the coming months, try to remember what it’s all about: the music, the camaraderie and the opportunity to share love and joy with others who are experiencing the festival with you.

The explosion of major music festivals — billed Super Concerts in an insightful article from the Huffington Post recently posted on the Schwag’s Facebook page — has saturated the music market and completely skewed the idea of what a music festival was meant to be. Those of us who got our start in a glorious place like Camp Zoe learned from the beginning festivals are the best time to break connections with the outside world and enjoy a weekend without cell service. At major festivals, however, you practically need your phone to find your friends, which easily leads to checking social media and becoming engrossed in a world so far removed from the festival atmosphere, what’s the point? Many major festivals even promote connecting RFD chip wristbands to Facebook, allowing attendees to “check in” at the festival simply by scanning their wristbands.

Even if there’s service, instead of carrying your phone on you throughout the festival, try turning it off as soon as you get to the festival and leave it in the car the entire weekend. In today’s “plugged in” lifestyle, there’s not much more liberating than cutting yourself off from the outside world. Instead of checking texts, emails, Facebook, Instagram — pick your poison — you can connect on a very real level with the people all around you. And trust us, there are not many better friend-making opportunities than a festival, especially if there’s a Grateful Dead theme. Not to mention how much more fun you’ll have if you’re not worried about keeping track of your phone. So sit back, relax and enjoy the upcoming festivals as they were meant to be experienced.