I waited exactly one year for this moment: My scruffy old Stan Smiths are back on my feet. Finally, it’s festival time! Dirty sneakers, sunglasses, a homemade green draw-string bag with a glitter unicorn on it and a do-it-yourself Tetra Pack drink holder tinkered out of a juice carton and a lot of gaffer tape are my essentials for the next four days.

At festivals it doesn't take much to be happy – try to transfer this lighthearted attitude into your daily working routine for more creativity.

Festival season is the time of the year when people all over the world break out from their normal lives, celebrate the moment and forget everything else. Anyone who has ever been to a festival knows that it has its own magic, no matter if it’s the mega Burning Man, Glastonbury or Coachella, or your favorite national music festival, like Lollapalooza or the more sporty kind, like Wanderlust.

My festival days marked some of the most important and beneficial time for my work life. And here is why:

Just let it go

The minimalistic environment of camping grounds, no luxury, music and different, but like-minded people fosters our craziness and creativity. People start to create without striving for perfection: here’s the grumpy cat mask I made.

In our day-to-day business it is impossible to switch off completely so inspiring breakouts like festivals relax our minds and fuel our creativity batteries.

Full batteries and memories

Back at work, I still benefit from my festival days. It feels like a sparkling lemonade that still refreshes my mind. I have new ideas, approach challenges more light-heartedly and try to keep up that mentality of being a little bit crazy from time to time.

So here are my tips how you can benefit from your festival experience at work:

  1. Tunes: Create a playlist with your favorite festival songs. Close your eyes for a moment, remember your favorite festival scene while listening. You’re now ready to nail the next challenging meeting.
  2. Symbols: Have your personal festival symbol on your desk. My unicorn cup stands on my desk and sometimes it just helps to look at it and remember the moment when my friend put the children’s tattoo on my arm to become more lighthearted and playful on busy days.
  3. Creation: Think of your favorite self-made creation you saw or made during the festival, e.g. a grumpy cat mask. Start a brainstorming session in the easygoing manner in which you started creating your favorite festival item. Don’t think about sense, logic and consequences in the first phase of brainstorming.
  4. Break out: Although it’s not a festival-like experience, try to break with routines as often as possible. Try out new places to work from, like a park, a small café or the bench in front of your favorite sneaker store. And try out other behaviors while working: sit on the floor, have an email-free day or draw your notes instead of writing them.

My Stan Smiths are back in my wardrobe and I’m already looking forward to putting them on my feet next year. But until then I will just try to make my work life a little bit more festival-like from time to time.

Burning Man is the place to be for a lot of people who work in Silicon Valley. For some of the smartest brains and visionaries of our present, the festival is a fixed agenda point within the year.


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