Best festival toys

Gear

There aren’t many experiences as exhilarating as a gigantic flaming wick passing by your ear — but always exercise safety precautions and abide by all relevant laws and regulations.

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The best toys for enjoying all-night dance parties

Whether you like jam bands, house music, drum’n’bass or all of the above, there’s nothing like dancing all night to your favorite music. Plus, when nighttime comes around, you can take advantage of bright, efficient LED technology (or even Kevlar wicks and fire, if you like) to create enthralling shows at a moment’s notice.

No matter which discipline you prefer, make sure you always have enough space to use your hula hoop, glow staff, poi, or fire toys safely, without hitting or burning anyone.

Best LED poi

Possibly the most popular toy on the scene, poi are basically balls on a string. As festival culture exploded over the last two decades, manufacturers have done a great job of making LED poi more durable and better looking. There’s a wide range of options, some of which are extremely popular among talented users.

Flowtoys Podpoi v2

Flowtoys Podpoi v2

With 64 selectable modes, you can choose the perfect colors and transitions to complement whoever’s on stage at the moment. They recharge via USB and are soft enough to prevent injury when you bonk yourself in the head, which will happen. They’re also so durable that Flowtoys stand behind them with an impressive lifetime warranty.

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Speevers Stardass

Speevers Stardass

Having been around for over a decade, the Stardass are still some of the most advanced poi available. They change color based on a pressure-sensitive switch between the string and the body, so the actual spins and dance moves you use dictate what color they are and how fast they transition. Their fiber optic tails require extra caution to keep safe, but there are few poi on the market as stunning as these.

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FlashingBlinkyLights Poi Balls

FlashingBlinkyLights Poi Balls

Beginners who don’t want to make a huge investment should consider this straightforward pair. They offer 6 colors to choose from and are relatively soft so they won’t hurt. Most importantly, they’re highly affordable.

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Flowtoys Crystal Poi Lite v2

Flowtoys Crystal Poi Lite v2

One nice thing about this glowstick-style option from a prominent manufacturer is that they come with rechargeable AAA batteries and a charger, although you’ll want to take special care when reinserting the battery cover to avoid breaking it. The leashes are made from flat and smooth polyester, minimizing friction and helping you spin them as fast as you can.

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UltraPoi Helix

UltraPoi Helix

The whole package consists of light-up cores, silicone cases and premium leashes with spherical handles on the end that make for a slightly different trick style than loops. It offers a number of exciting modes including rainbow fades and strobe settings, and it lasts for about 12 hours of use before you need to replace or recharge the batteries.

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Best light-up staves, sticks and hula hoops

UltraHoop Shuffle Hula Hoop

UltraHoop Shuffle Hula Hoop

Traditional hula hoops are great for daytime use, but at night you want something a lot flashier. The Shuffle line comes in a variety of sizes and weights for beginner, intermediate and advanced users and offers a huge range of color and transition settings. It’s one of the most standout hula hoops you’ll find today.

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The Hoop Shop Color Changing Hula Hoop

The Hoop Shop Color Changing Hula Hoop

Thanks to The Hoop Shop,. You don’t have to spend a fortune on a good-quality LED hoop. This one comes in 32”, 34” and 36” versions, has a total of 36 LEDs and is collapsible for easy transport, although it’s not advised to store it collapsed for the long term.

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Flowtoys LED Flower Sticks

Flowtoys LED Flower Sticks

These are a premium light-up version of the classic devil sticks. It’s recommended to start learning on a non-LED model like the Jolly Lama! Funtastix before moving on to this high-end option, but once you’re ready, the Flower Sticks are a seriously eye-catching set of equipment.

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RexRod LED Gloves

RexRod LED Gloves

If you’ve ever wanted to give your fellow festival patrons their own personal light show during their favorite act, these gloves are one of the most tried-and-true ways to do so. They should last all night if you start out with a full battery, but just in case, they come with 4 CR2016 cells in total.

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GloFX Hypno Levitation Wand

GloFX Hypno Levitation Wand

A slightly less well-known toy, levitation wands consist of a roughly 2ft LED wand controlled by two thin, barely visible cords that you hold with either hand, making it look like the wand is floating. This model from GloFX is about as nice as they get and should have you mystifying your fellow hippies in no time.

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Best fire toys

Steelman Kevlar Safety Sleeve (Pair)

There’s nothing like spinning fire, and as you might imagine it can be very dangerous. It’s also disallowed at a good number of festivals due to general fire restrictions. If you’re in the midwest or deep in the desert, though, you’re likely to see a troupe of fire spinners at your next jam band outing. Keep in mind that you’ll need a good deal of practice before actually lighting up, and it’s imperative to have spotters ready with wet towels and a fire extinguisher.

All the pros operate with those safety considerations and you need to as well. Depending on your style and choice of toys, a pair of kevlar sleeves might also be a good consideration.

Trick Concepts Monkey Fist

Trick Concepts Monkey Fist

The knot that these dense and well-wrapped poi use is one of the most popular due to the meteor-like flame that it produces. Their chain is 22 inches long and uses a reliable ball-bearing swivel for ease of use and safety.

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Flames ‘N’ Games Beginner Poi

Flames ‘N’ Games Beginner Poi

If you’re just getting started, this low-cost pair is a great choice for practicing without an actual flame. They’re relatively lightweight so it won’t be too painful when you inevitably miss a reversal and slam one into your body.

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Fire Mecca Spinning Staff

Fire Mecca Spinning Staff

Not all staves are created equal, and this one-piece design is meant for spinning around in circles and, if you’re good enough, tossing into the air. The thick Kevlar wicks ensure relatively large flames and there’s high-performance grip tape in the middle to help you keep traction.

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Trick Concepts Collapsible Staff

Trick Concepts Collapsible Staff

It can be difficult to lug a full-size staff around, but the engineers at industry giant Trick Concepts offer this three-piece model that joins together reliably without any twisting or rattling during use. This particular version is meant for contact juggling, which can be tough for beginners, but there’s also a more lightweight version that’s meant for actual spinning.

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Trick Concepts Double Staves

Trick Concepts Double Staves

It’s normally called “fire spinning,” but you don’t spin double staves quite like you do poi or a bo staff. Instead, these advanced toys can create mesmerising and even confusing geometric patterns in the air. The tradeoff here is that they tend to take considerably more practice and coordination just to get the basics down, although your mileage may vary.

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