Festivals grew out of control. Whole towns were ruined as each festival attempted to overshadow the other. After the Great Event Wars of 2073, the government decided to step in and stop the chaos with the Great Dakotas Evacuation and Restructure (GDEAR). This statute declared that any event with more than 10,000 attendees must be held in the newly unified state of Dakota.

The year is now 2080 and every event is organized by the last remaining event company, a faceless corporation shrouded in mystery. Dakota is a state that never sleeps and brings in people from all over the world with one goal in mind: Party.

Many of your friends have warned you of the physical damage that follows even a seven-day festival. You ignore their advice and purchase the “MLWP” (Month Long Warrior pass) and leave for the central event, The Prime Festival.

Soon, you realize that your friends were right as you feel like you are being swallowed whole. You want to leave. The only problem is that you have lost your wallet, keys, cell phone, water bottle and your car. You know you need these things to survive and Escape The Fest!


Two to six attendees can play. Choose how many days you want for the festival, shuffle the calendar cards then remove any cards you don’t need to make the pile the correct size. (There are 30 cards in the deck, so if you choose a 14-day festival, make sure to remove 16 cards.) Shuffle the draw pile and deal each attendee five cards to start. Place the calendar deck and the draw pile in the center with space for the ground pile. Choose who goes first, then go clockwise.

(We like to choose who goes first by figuring out the attendee who went to a festival or convention last unless no one has gone to one… then all we can say is that you really should try!)

Card Types

Action Cards: These cards create change, some can be played at any point of the game and others on your turn. If you play a card outside of your turn, you do not get to draw back up to your max hand size until the end of your next turn.

  1. Ground Find!: There are hidden treasures everywhere!: Go through the discard pile and grab an item card.
  2. Lost & Found: Thankfully people return what is yours!: Take an item in play from another attendee, thank them for holding onto it for you!
  3. Fuck it! : Sometimes you just got to give up on some responsibilities: Remove any secondary responsibility and put it in the discard pile. (Play Anytime)
  4. Fuck that! : Sometimes you just don’t care if something is supposed to happen: Ignore the effects of a What Did I (We) Just… card. (Play Anytime)
  5. What did I just: You must deal with this on your own. You can ask for help… but if none comes remember we have to be responsible for how we handle the things the festival throws at us.
  6. What did we just: Your tribe is awesome and you get to share the good and the bad. Everyone must respond to these cards. If a Fuck That is played, then the person playing that card can ignore this, everyone else must abide by it. If everybody else bails and you can’t do what the card says… then draw another face-up card.

-Items and Responsibilities

  1. Main Responsibility Items: Keys, Car, Bottle of Water, Wallet, and Cell Phone.
  2. Secondary Responsibilities: Find your tent! Find your shirt! There are other things you could be searching for, remember you must take care of these as well in order to Escape The Fest!
  3. Secondary Responsibility Items: Things like food, hula hoops, and tents. When you place these cards on your secondary responsibilities, put both cards in the discard pile.
  4. Special Items: These items grant bonuses to your time at the festival.


  • You can play these cards on your turn and you can only have one person in your squad unless you have another card that says otherwise. Every squad card you have in play raises your max hand size by one.
  • People in your squad are also looking for lost items. Help them to get one extra point at the end of the game.


  • These cards allow the attendees to know how many more rounds are in the game. Don’t look at any discarded day cards, keep the past in the past.
  • There is no way to avoid the day… so any special circumstances that arise from it must be followed by all attendees.

    -Suggested Rounds

  • 2 players = 30 rounds
  • 3-4 players = 25 rounds
  • 5-6 players = 20 rounds

How To Play

  1. Draw a card face up from the draw pile. You must deal with this card immediately.
  • If this is any type of item card you may immediately play it for free.
  • If this is an Action card you must do as the card says or remove it with a response. If it is a response card you can place it in your hand to use later.
  • If this is an objective card, you can immediately remove it with a response card or play the item needed to deal with it. If you can’t immediately respond then you must move it in front of you as a new responsibility.
  1. You get to choose up to two things to do on your turn. You may not do the same thing twice unless you have a card saying you can.
  • You may put any item in front of you.
  • You may play an Instant or New Responsibility card for yourself or any other attendee.
  • You may play an action card.
  • You may discard a card.
  1. Make sure to draw cards up to your maximum hand size.


Two Player Variant Rules

It is easy to play ETF! with just two attendees. You will need to make a few adjustments to the main deck.

  • Remove two sets of main responsibility items and the squad cards that go with them.
  • Remove duplicate squad members.
  • Remove three of each “anytime” cards. (Ground Find, Lost & Found, Fuck It!, and Fuck That!)
  • Attendees can only have 3 secondary responsibilities they are responsible for at a time, if you add one to another attendee, you can replace a current responsibility they are looking for.

Winning the Game

To win the game, you must be the first festival goer to find your matching wallet, keys, cell phone, water bottle, and car. You must also not have any additional responsibilities to deal with. If no one has escaped by the end of the festival the winner will be decided by points.


  • Each main responsibility card you have in play is worth 1 point. *If the main responsibility card matches a member of your squad they are worth 2 points.
  • Every squad member that you helped find their item give you 1 point.
  • Every secondary responsibility you have not taken care of is -1 point.

Example end-game breakdown

  • Chris has all five of the main responsibility items. Four of them are associated with Foolish Panda and one of them is associated with Teena. Chris has Foolish Panda and Erick in his squad because of his Totem Card. Erick has been helped, but not Foolish Panda. Chris also has two secondary responsibilities he has yet to fulfill. He is sitting at 8 points.
    • 4 main items at 2 points apiece because Foolish Panda is in his squad.
    • 1 main item at 1 point because Teena is not in his squad.
    • 1 point because Erick has his shirt.
    • -2 points because he has two additional responsibilities that weren’t taken care of.
  • Ashley has all five of the main responsibility items. Three of them are associated with Teena, one of them is associated with Erick and one is associated with Sun Drop. Ashley has Teena in her squad. Teena has been helped. Ashley has no secondary responsibilities to fulfill. She is sitting at 9 points.
    • 3 main items at 2 points apiece because Teena is in her squad.
    • 2 main items at 1 point because Erick and Sun Drop are not in her squad.
    • 1 point because Teena has their sunglasses.
  • Matt has four of the main responsibility items. Two of them are associated with Shiela-Maye and two of them are associated with Erick. Matt has Shiela-Maye and Erick in his squad because of his Totem Card. Erick and Sheila-Maye have been helped. Matt has no other responsibilities to fulfill. He is sitting at 10 points.
    • 4 main items at 2 points apiece because both Sheila-Maye and Erick is in his squad.
    • 2 points because Sheila-Maye and Erick have both been helped.

At the end of the game, Matt would be the winner because he has the most accumulated points.


Q) If I play an action card outside my turn, can I draw back up to my full hand?

No, you only draw up to the full hand size at the end of your turn.

Q) Can I collect more than one squad members’ items?

Yes, you can, it may be a viable strategy for you to figure out the best set to collect.

Q) Can I collect more than one of the same item? (ex: Teena’s Car and Sun Drop’s Car)

No, you can only have one of the main items out at a time, but you can definitely hold onto the same items in your hand.

Q) Can I play a “Fuck That” card onto another “Fuck That” card?

Yes, you can counter another “Fuck That” in that way, but your counter can be countered so be wary.

Q) If I forget to draw up at the end of my turn, can I draw up in someone else’s turn?

No, if you forget to draw then you must work with the cards you have. Make sure to draw back up to a full hand at the end of your next turn!

Q) Can I have two backpacks or totems in play?

No, you can only have one of each in play.

Q) Who is the winner at the end of the game if there is a tie for most points?

The people who are tied with the highest points share the title of winner.